Washington State Democrats
PO Box 4027
Seattle, Washington 98194
Dear Mr. Pelz:
Please find enclosed my ballot for this year's presidential primary. My preference for the Democratic Party's nominee is indicated.
I am sending my ballot directly to you rather than to my county's elections department because I am informed the party will not be respecting the vote counts in this election, but rather will select delegates only through the caucus system.
To my regret I was unable to attend the caucus this year, having fallen ill with this season's flu strain. Prostrate and infectious, I was physically and morally unable to participate. Alas, there is no such thing as an "absentee caucus."
In 1989, the legislature passed Initiative 99, a measure requiring a primary election for president. While I realize that there is no way this law can be binding upon the party, it can't be difficult to ascertain the voters' will in this matter.
The caucus system has its merits. My wife participated this year for the first time and she found the process positive and invigorating. She particularly appreciated the chance to connect with other members of our community. But the caucus isn't for everyone. There will always be people too ill, too disabled, too old or too desirous of keeping their jobs to participate. The Democratic Party disenfranchises these people by not respecting their individual challenges.
The citizens of Washington have provided the party with a tool for ensuring these citizens will have a voice in their democracy: the primary election. It seems ironic that the opposition can find a way of letting all its members participate while the Democratic Party must remain undemocratic.
Christopher J. Osburn
cc: WA Rep. Eric Pettigrew
WA Rep. Sharon Tomiko-Santos
WA Sen. Adam Kline,
US Rep. Jim McDermott
US Sen. Patty Murray
US Sen. Maria Cantwell,
DNC Chairman Howard Dean