January 3, 2008
Iowa Caucus Night
My Iowa Caucus experience, for those of you that may be interested.
I arrived at the local middle school for the republican caucus shortly before 6:30pm. The crowd was very large, with little room to move. We were supposed to come in through the lobby and register at a small table, but with the amount of people, it was not possible. We were told we could register later, when we broke into smaller groups. First we were to all meet in the auditorium as a large group. The auditorium held about 900 people, and with the overflow, it was estimated that there was over 1000 people in attendance. I'm not sure when things were supposed to start, but they didn't get going until after 7:30.
The event started with the pledge of allegiance, and a prayer. Next the chairwomen for the local party gave us a short history of the Iowa caucus. There was applause when she noted how seriously Iowans take their roll in the presidential election. She then introduced representatives from the campaigns to speaker on behalf of the candidates. There were speakers for Fred Thompson, Mike Huckabee, John McCain, Mitt Romney, and Ron Paul. The man speaking for Mitt Romney was his older brother, Scott Romney.
Next she introduced our state senator, who gave a state of the senate address. This was followed by a short speech from a women who was running on the republican ticket as our state representative, and then a man who solicited attendees for the Marshall county republican steak fry fundraiser. Finally she announced directions to the rooms where we would break up into smaller groups for the actual vote.
My precinct was located in a small science class room at the other end of the building. Of the 1000+ voters that turned out from Marshalltown's 8 precincts, only 21 were from mine. I suspect this is because I live in a heavily Hispanic area, and many of them can't vote. The precinct Captain told us that we would need to elect 2 delegates to the county convention. Two people willingly volunteered. We then elected a secretary, and a helper for the precinct captain. The precinct captain then said that if any one person wished to have a secret paper ballot vote then we would do so. No one requested this, so votes were taken by a show of hands, and written on the white board. The results are below.
Mike Huckabee 8
Mitt Romney 7
Fred Thompson 4
Ron Paul 1
Rudy Giuliani 1
That was all, and everyone left. The helper stayed with the captain to call in the results, and to be certain it was done correctly according to the vote.