Anyone who thinks our election system works well did not attend precinct caucuses in Colorado last night. One neighbor on the Facebook “North Wonderland Community” page called it… “a disaster. So many people left out.”
When Margaret and I arrived at 6:15 PM (doors open for registration) the line was already two blocks long. It took us 45 minutes until 7 PM to reach the doors and another 1/2 hour to register. When Ed Byrne, our precinct Captain took the Presidential preference poll around 7:45 PM, 81 people participated. The vote split nearly 50/50 between Hillary and Bernie, which made it easy to divide up the 4 delegates to the County Assembly. We had a straw poll on the Colorado HD-10 race and further divided delegates who would vote for the 4 flavors available: Clinton & Hooten, Clinton and Espinoza, Sanders and Hooten and Sanders and Espinoza. We’re lucky given the chaos involved there were only two races to vote for and the delegate counts worked as well as they did. After a vote on delegates (I got the most votes among the Sanders block with the additional help of my wife and son’s support) most people dispersed at 8:45 PM. On the way out the door I saw people who were still registering to vote in the caucus that officially ended at 9 PM, long after most votes had been taken and delegates selected. Ed stayed and continued to count votes. Ed wrote later that it took the late arrivals 1.5 hours in line to get in. The line grew to 4 blocks long. The final tally for our precinct was 68 Clinton, 64 Sanders. Our precinct skews older, nearly all single family home owners, few university students and renters.
I keep saying this, maybe someday it will get some traction. The slavers who designed our electoral system back in 1787 at the Constitutional Convention did so with the intent to exclude people, not to include people, so that they could continue to accumulate wealth and power. Only 6% of the populace was allowed to vote. The election systems in use today are still deeply flawed and need to be revised. How we conduct elections are at the root of every other issue, unmitigated global warming, plutocrats buying elections, fracking next to kids’ schools, unlabeled GMO foods, poisonous drinking water, it goes on and on. If we were to start from scratch, design an electoral system today, we would never create the arcane, First Past the Post, winner take all, exclude most voters, limited choice system we‘ve inherited. Instead, we would make it inclusive, proportional (PR) and use Ranked Choice Voting (RCV). Please consider joining “Best Democracy” on Facebook. Please read my essay on election reform https://www.facebook.com/notes/jesse-kumin/electoral-reform-in-boulder/1178560025504495 and help make election reform happen.
I’m voting for Angelique Espinoza for several reasons: 1) When I asked Edie Hooten if she would work for election reform once elected to the Colorado State Assembly, she was evasive and noncommittal. When I asked Angelique, she said she saw the need for a fairer, more democratic system that gives minorities a voice, a seat at the table, and she would work for reform. 2) Angelique has legislative experience, Edie has no experience in elected office, 3) Angelique is calling for election reform, reiterating in print here what she told me verbally several weeks ago, AND she’s willing to make it part of her platform.