Tuesday, March 1, 2016

This is not a blog about politics (but I do talk about a caucus)

Because of my health issues, I work really hard to minimize stress in my life, which means I pretty much never post about anything political, anywhere. So I'm not going to talk about candidates or platforms or anything like that.

However, it is Super Tuesday, and this is a pretty intense election season with some really colorful candidates, and I just want to take a moment to encourage my US readers to look up the primary/caucus rules in their states, because it usually is pretty easy to go vote, and this is a year when there are a lot of variables and therefore voting this time means rather more than it can some seasons.

In MN, for example, you don't have to register ahead of time. You just show up to your chosen party's caucus (between 6:30 and 7) with your ID, and can leave after voting, you don't have to stay through the whole caucus.

I have never actually done a real caucus/primary before. I think this is mostly because in high school I was involved in homeschool conference with this teen segment about politics and my experience with caucusing there was frustrating. (But *shamefulconfession* also because in past elections I've often been in Florida during the MN caucus.)

See, I was in a group with my friends, and I wasn't happy with the candidate they chose or the platform they chose to run on (some teen issue I thought was stupid at the time or whatever). So in typical strong-minded teen Elizabeth fashion, when it came time to vote, I left my caucus and voted for the group whose candidate was the only other person at the conference I knew. Then, fed up with the whole thing, out of my friend's good graces, and exhausted from lipreading for two days, I went out to hang with my mom and look at used books and school curriculum.

Yeah, even among homeschoolers I was weird.

 Anyhow, what was weird and stuck with me, was that that candidate I had defected to got pretty far in the whole process - he ended up as "vice president" in the final election and they might have even had the winning ticket! (I don't remember for sure) Now that I understand the process a little better as an adult, it comes home to me that he got past that first round because he got that extra vote... mine!

So yeah, there are issues with the US election system and you can get me to rant about them in person (but never online), but sometimes a single vote can make a difference, especially at the primary level where everything is more chopped up between all the different candidates.

Happy Voting!