Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Democratic Party members throughout Washington will caucus on Feb. 9 to express their presidential preferences and to elect delegates reflecting those preferences. Caucus proceedings, which will get under way at 1 p.m., are expected to last no more than two hours.
Delegates elected in Klickitat County caucuses will attend a 15th Legislative District Convention on April 5, and those elected in Skamania County will attend a County Convention in Stevenson on April 19 in order to select representatives to the Washington State Convention in Spokane on June 14.
The State Convention will determine the delegates and presidential preferences which Washington State Democrats will take to the national convention in Denver on Aug. 25-28.
At the grass-roots level, the Democratic Party is organized into precincts. Anyone can vote for a presidential preference at a Democratic Party caucus, provided that he/she is a registered voter (or will be so by Nov. 4, 2008, if not yet of age) in a precinct attending that caucus; considers himself/herself to be a Democrat at the time of the caucus; and agrees that his/her caucus attendance is a matter of public record.
Anyone without these qualifications may observe a caucus without voting.
The state party organization has determined each precinct's delegate quota for the next-level convention; Feb. 9 caucus members will be grouped according to precinct of residence in order to vote the distribution of their precinct's presidential preferences within this quota and to determine who will represent these preferences at the next level convention.
Feb. 9 Democratic Party caucuses will occur at two sites in Klickitat County -- in White Salmon and Goldendale -- and at three sites in Skamania County -- in Skamania, Stevenson, and Underwood. Voters uncertain about which precinct they reside in can get that information from the county Auditor's Office at 1-800-583-8050 in Klickitat County, and at (509) 427-3730 in Skamania County.
Klickitat County precincts will caucus at the White Salmon Pioneer Center and Goldendale Middle School.
Skamania County precincts will caucus at Skamania School, the Rock Creek Center in Stevenson, and the Underwood Community Center.
After caucuses have determined presidential preference and delegate representation, they will collect from caucus members any resolutions which might be suitable material for party platform positions. Resolutions gathered from all over the state will be organized into a finite, non-redundant, set of draft platform positions, to be voted on in regional party conventions in April.
To find out the locations where voters in the specific precincts will caucus, Klickitat County voters can contact Julie Larson at (509) 365-3103; Skamania County voters can contact Honna Sheffield at (509) 427-5031, or Norm Luther at (509) 493-1164.