Yesterday for no really good reason, I decided to go to the caucus. While my mother was alive and I was her caregiver, I never felt it worthwhile to leave her alone or to get someone to stay with her while I went to a caucus. I received a canned phone call from Senator Clinton that advised going to the precinct by 6:30pm. Off I went. I did make one concession to my failing hip: I took mother's walker with a seat. I was very glad that I did. When I reached the polling place which was an old school cafeteria, I took a seat in the rear. Soon a poll worker hustled us all out into a hallway. Thanks to the walker, I could sit down. Without it, I could not have stayed. Someone should pay attention to the needs of the handicapped. From my vantage, the disabled are not welcome in this part of the Texas political process. There were no accomodations for the elderly or handicapped.
We waited. At 7:15 pm, an election worker came to the door for volunteers to help register voters as they made their selection. More waiting, except now I was on my feet. Just when I thought I had reached my limit (my hip is very painful), we were let in. I was in the front because I had arrived so early, so I did not wait long to enter my vote. I retreated to the rear of the room and a seat on my walker. I looked at the two sets of lines: one set for Obama, one for Clinton. Clinton's lines had an end; Obama's lines stretched out the door. ( There was a short line for people who did not want either Clinton or Obama or had problems with their voting record.)
Suddenly, a large number of Clinton supporters joined the lines. I was elated until I learned that there were several hundred people waiting outside to vote. These Clinton supporters were the only ones culled from that group. A young couple joined me and found some chairs. For the first time in my life, I had the feeling I was being looked after. Oh, well, they were very nice and very young, but they, too, supported Clinton. The voting went on and on. All the Clinton supporters had voted, so their lines were converted to Obama's. Some Obama supporters were suspicious of the Clinton lines and refused to go to the new lines. They need not have worried; you have to personally write in your candidate's name. Eventually, the additional lines made a difference and the voting was complete.
More waiting. And waiting. The votes had to be counted. Oh, there was a skirmish over who would chair, but the Obama people won. Their chair did seem pretty even-handed. The secretary elected by the caucus was a Clinton supporter. The votes were counted and recounted. There were arguments over how the delegates should be divided and more arguments, but all very civil. I wanted to stay to find out the results so I waited, then waited some more. A little after nine, there was a decision. The delegates would be divided: 76% for Obama, 24% for Clinton. There were a total of 611 votes cast, a record for that precinct.
People were asked to come forward if they wished to be a delegate. We were divided by candidate. There was a mob of people for Obama, but fewer for Clinton. Clinton supporters came up one short. The leaders asked if someone there could attend and gave the date and a vague location. I raised my hand expecting others to be raised, too. I did not see any, and the young couple next to me leapt to their feet, shouting that here was the needed delegate. They both pointed to me. The next thing that I knew I was filling in my name and information. I was a Hillary Clinton delegate.
The photos are by mlovitt and not my precinct.