Wednesday, February 3, 2010

 I recently got an email from someone who shared why he doesn't share my enthusiasm for the Colorado Caucuses:

The Caucus process works for people who can attend at 7pm on March 16th. However, it excludes people: those who will be out of town for work; truck drivers who make up time at night; people who work the night shifts at: hospitals, police stations, fire departments, call centers, grocery stores, convenience stores, 24-hour businesses, 24-hour public services, janitorial services; parents with young children who need to get them ready for bed at 7pm; the elderly and disabled who have to rely on others to get to their caucus locations; etc. -- they are EXCLUDED from being able to participate in choosing their candidate. For the past few years, when I make calls to remind active voters about their precinct caucus, I've heard the reasons listed above at least once for why a voter cannot participate - and they are not flippant about it, but actually wish they could participate in some way.

As a political activist, I love the concept of getting together with my neighbors to discuss our candidates and platform. However, you have to admit that the caucuses, unfortunately, have become an exclusive gathering, so I can't really say I'm a fan of the Colorado Caucuses.

The fact that not everyone can attend is a shortcoming of the neighborhood caucus system for nominating to the primary ballot. So is this a sufficient reason to change they system or to not support it by helping to reach out to newcomers?

No, not in my opinion. To me it's like jury duty. It's a civic responsibility some of us need to take on some of the time. Those who can't attend the caucus can still participate in the primary election. And candidates who want can still skip the caucus and petition onto the ballot.

What do you think? Please take just a minute and post a comment here, OK?
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