County Democrats gear up for precinct caucuses

By Stevie Mathieu, Columbian assistant metro editor

Published:

 

Democrats online

Find your precinct with our interactive map.

For more information, contact the Clark County Democrats at 360-254-9116 or go to http://bluedonkeys.com.

Democrats in Clark County will have their chance to discuss party issues and elect delegates to their county convention during the Democratic precinct caucuses, from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday at 10 locations across the county.

Unlike the March 3 Republican caucuses, there’s no decision to be made about the party’s presidential nominee -- it will be Barack Obama. But the Democratic precinct caucuses are still a great way for party members to interact with their neighbors, get involved in politics and learn more about party issues, Clark County Democrats Chairwoman Kathleen Lawrence said Monday.

“It still has that potential for party-building and getting people involved,” Lawrence said. “And to support our president and get ready to work for the upcoming election. Just because you don’t have multiple candidates left, it doesn’t mean it can’t be exciting.”

There’s also a chance that some of the delegates selected in Clark County could end up at the 2012 Democratic National Convention in September in North Carolina. That was Lawrence’s first experience with politics: She attended a precinct caucus more than three decades ago and wound up at the 1980 national convention as a delegate.

What to expect

During the precinct caucuses Sunday, a general meeting will take place at 1 p.m. and last for about 10 to 15 minutes, Lawrence said. Then, participants will meet in their individual precincts, register, and begin discussing hot topics for the Democratic Party and any resolutions they’d like to send to the party’s county convention.

The Clark County Democrats’ county convention begins at 9 a.m. Sat., April 28 at Hudson’s Bay High School. Doors open at 7:30 a.m.

There, delegates will be selected to go either to the 3rd Congressional District caucus or the state convention. In all, 121 delegates and nine alternates from Washington state’s Democratic caucus system will head to the national convention.

Only registered voters may participate in the caucus, and voters must be willing to declare that they are Democrats during the registration process. The caucuses will take place on Sunday. Saturday is the last day of Passover.

The Democratic precinct caucuses are scaled-back versions of the 2008 ones that took place in 30 locations across the county.

In 2008, Washington state Democrats hosted the largest precinct caucuses in U.S. history, according to the state party. In those caucuses, an estimated 244,000 showed up statewide to decide between Obama and current U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

“The circumstances are different” this year, Lawrence said, but the caucuses remain beneficial to citizens.

No presidential primary will take place this year because Washington suspended it to save money. Four years ago, Democrats declined to use the primary election results to apportion their delegates, while Republicans used the primary to choose half of theirs.

Find your caucus

Caucuses are organized and run by each party, so caucus locations differ from the locations Republicans used for their precinct caucuses in March.

Democrats wishing to participate in the caucuses can find out which precinct they live in by checking their voter registration card, calling the Clark County Elections Office at 360-397-2345, or going online to http://myvote.wa.gov. On the MyVote site, submit the appropriate information and then select the “my districts & elected officials” link.

The Democratic precinct caucus locations are:

Frontier Middle School, 7600 N.E. 166th Ave. Precincts reporting to this location: 434, 441,483,543, 550, 555, 560, 563, 570, 573, 575, 577, 615, 617, 624, 626, 627, 628, 629, 633, 634.

Covington Middle School, 11200 N.E. Rosewood Ave. Precincts: 571, 630, 631, 635, 636, 638, 640, 643, 644, 652, 653, 654, 656, 658, 659, 677, 678, 679, 682,683, 688, 693.

Cascade Middle School, 13900 N.E. 18th St. Precincts: 645, 646, 648, 649, 662, 664, 668, 669, 680, 681, 685, 686, 687, 689, 690, 691, 692, 694, 695, 696, 697, 698, 699.

View Ridge Middle School, 510 Pioneer St., Ridgefield. Precincts: 480, 485, 490, 491, 500, 502, 505, 515, 525, 545, 510, 520, 528, 530, 535.

Felida Elementary School, 2700 N.W. 119th St. Precincts: 440, 444, 445, 446, 447, 448, 449, 450, 451, 452, 453, 455.

Chief Umtuch Middle School, 700 N.W. Ninth St., Battle Ground. Precincts: 536, 537, 540, 580, 582, 583, 584, 585, 586, 590, 592, 593, 595, 600, 605, 610, 613, 618, 620, 625, 606.

Camas School District, 841 N.E. 22nd Ave., Camas. Precincts: 900, 905, 910, 913, 914, 917, 925, 935, 950, 960, 961, 962, 963, 964, 965, 966, 985, 920, 930, 940, 947.

Clark County Public Service Center, 1300 Franklin St. Precincts: 50, 55, 60, 70, 90, 100, 110, 120, 130, 147, 150, 153, 160, 170, 175, 180, 340, 350, 360, 390, 395.

Fort Vancouver High School, 5700 E. 18th St. Precincts: 190, 200, 220, 225, 240, 245, 250, 255, 257, 290, 294, 296, 325, 330, 335, 642, 660, 663, 670, 673, 675, 639, 650, 651.

Columbia River High School, 800 N.W. 99th St. Precincts: 370, 400, 410, 415, 420, 423, 424, 425, 426, 430, 435, 460, 470, 565.

Stevie Mathieu: http://facebook.com/reportermathieuhttp://twitter.com/col_politicsstevie.mathieu@columbian.com 360-735-4523.