Douglas tips toward Hillary | RecordCourier.com

Douglas tips toward Hillary

by Aurora Sain
asain@recordcourier.com
Douglas High School senior Grace Gautereaux, 17, facilitates a Democrat caucus meeting at Carson Middle School on Saturday.
Jim Grant | The Record-Courier

Douglas County Democrats mirrored state results in leaning toward former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at caucuses held Saturday.

With all of the county vote in, Douglas gave Clinton an 8-percent lead over Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Statewide results were narrower, with Clinton bringing in 54 percent of the vote.

Many participants in Saturday’s caucus said they would have preferred a primary.

“This is so disorganized, I would rather have a primary,” said Don and Dar Broadwell. “A lot of people are excluded in a caucus.”

Carson Valley Middle School was one of the caucus locations, and by 10:45 a.m. a line had already begun to form.

By 11 a.m. there were several hundred people in line, and it took 90 minutes to get everyone checked in.

Registering new Democrats at the door added to the wait time.

“I’m in favor of a primary,” said Mary McGee. “I don’t like the system, but I came.”

Many participants reminisced on the previous caucus eight years ago, and said that it was planned better the last time.

The Democratic Party offered pre-registration, but once voters got to the middle school they still had to wait in line and text in a number.

“The registration process was awkward,” said Ed Ferranto. “It was more organized the last time.”

Another thing that bothered people about having a caucus instead of a primary was votes get rounded up or down, not every vote counts.

“People are excluded, what about the people who couldn’t come out today,” said Ferranto. “Every vote should count.”

Once inside, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders split to opposite sides of the room.

In one of the rooms, they had an undecided voter, so each side had one minute to try and convince him to pick a side.

“She has the brains and she has the resources,” said one Clinton Supporter. “That’s why I am for Hillary and I think you should consider it.”

“If you vote for Hillary, you’re gonna get Bill Clinton whether you like it or not. That’s why you should vote for Bernie,” said a Sanders supporter.

There were a lot of first-time caucus participants, many of whom were unclear what exactly they were supposed to do.

“It sounded like fun and we wanted to vote,” said Donna Lyke. “It was just unclear when it was supposed to start.”

Younger first-time voters were also present and in support of Sanders.

“We were talking about it in my government class,” said 18-year-old Dalton Miller. “I wanted to have a part in this election process.”

One 17-year-old Douglas High School student, Grace Gautereaux, will be 18 by election time, and she was present and acting as precinct captain, leading one group of voters.

“I think the youth should be more involved,” she said. “It’s important that we allow everyone to have a voice.”

Realizing that voting is an important right, 19-year-old John Votel Jr. and Alyssa Bernal showed up to show their support for the Vermont senator.

“I’ve never done this and I wanted to experience it,” said Votel. “It’s important to be a part of the political process at all levels.”

While the caucus process may not have been the most desirable, people showed up to support their candidate.

“I think Hillary is the most experienced person for the job,” said Laurie Bauer.

Long time voter, 82-year-old Ronald Johnson, likes the caucus and was able to participate in the last one as well.

“The caucus has one advantage, you can speak out,” he said. “I’m supporting Bernie. He’s my kind of man.”

The Republicans will hold their caucus on Tuesday at 5 p.m.