Area Democratic caucuses set for April 15

Published on Wed, Apr 11, 2012 by Jeremy Schwartz

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Registered Democrats in Blaine and Birch Bay will join their counterparts across Whatcom County this Sunday to hold precinct caucuses.

Organizers from the Whatcom County Democrats will run 24 separate caucus locations starting at 1 p.m. on Sunday, April 15. The location for Blaine and Birch Bay residents will be American Legion Post 86 at 4580 Legion Drive in Birch Bay.

Voters will mark their preference for the Democratic presidential candidate, Whatcom County Democrats chair Natalie McClendon said. Most voters will probably choose President Barack Obama, but everyone is free to mark themselves as “uncommitted” if they choose, McClendon said.

County residents attending the caucuses can register to vote or change their voting address at the caucuses, McClendon explained. Teenagers 17 years of age who will be eligible to vote in November can also register.

“People can just go to their [assigned caucus], and get their voter registration up to date,” McClendon said.

In addition to choosing a presidential candidate, attendees will also vote on planks of the local Democratic platform and choose delegates to send to subsequent conventions. Voters at this weekend’s precinct caucuses will choose 842 delegates to send to the legislative district and countywide caucuses on April 28. Delegates will then be elected to the congressional district and state caucuses, all leading up to the September 3 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.

County Democrats expect about a third of the caucus turnout compared to the 2008 election caucuses, since the current president is a Democrat, McClendon explained. She said some estimates have put the turnout at a quarter of what it was in 2008, but organizers would rather plan for more people than underestimate attendance.

“We’d rather have more space than be crowded,” McClendon said.

For more information on the caucuses, visit the Whatcom County Democrats website at www.whatcomdemocrats.com or call 360/647-7661.