Saturday, March 03, 2012

GOP suppresses its own voters

The Republican primary system is in such dissarray. They screwed up the count in Iowa and Maine. Michigan's delegate distribution was a convoluted mess. Today in Washington state the GOP disenfranchised their own voters. When an unexpectedly large crowd showed up for the caucus, they sent half of them home.

Benton County Republican Party members who organized the caucuses said they estimated 2,000 people would show up at the convention center, where most of the county's precincts caucused today.

But their jaws dropped when they saw an estimated 3,000 people packed into the convention center's hallways and spilling outside.

"We where overwhelmed," said Tony Benegas of West Richland, chairman of the Kennewick caucuses. "It's tough because it's all volunteers — nobody gets paid to do this."

Benegas said it quickly became apparent there weren't enough volunteers to check everyone in — which in most cases involved looking up their voter registration on a list provided by the county Auditor and helping them find their precinct number, and that the rooms they booked were filled to capacity.

And the party was under pressure to finish by 11:30 so that results could be tabulated and turned over to the state party.

The leadership decided to just turn away 1,500 people and they're very sorry to deny them an opportunity to be part of the process. Unsurprisingly, those who didn't get to cast votes were not happy. They want the whole damn thing to be invalidated.

I think they're probably right. Don't see how it could be legal to turn them away. They should have extended the deadline until they could figure out a way to accommodate the crowd.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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