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chris/CO149 [userpic]
Makin' my vote count.

Dwight Pelz
Chairman
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.

Sincerely,

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
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Comments

You are so awesome.

(Anonymous)
Well stated

I couldn't have said it better myself.

- IanJ

RAWK!

Response Transcription 1

February 14, 2008

Dear Mr. Osburn,

Thank you for sending me a copy of your letter to Democratic Party Chairman Pelz to let me know of your concerns with the caucus system. I've heard from a variety of Democrats with an equally wide range of comments and experiences with this year's caucus.

My own experience at last weekend's caucus was quite positive. Despite the crush of voters, many of them new to the caucus system, the organizers at Rainier Beach High School did a commendable job. Yes, it was hot and crowded, but that's the best kind of problem for a political party to have.

I'm always happy to see Democrats happy and together in large numbers, but I'm beginning to see the point about a primary. It may well be the more accurate indicator of the voters' preference, since it's more inclusive.

I'm glad you have let so many, including Party leadership, know of your concerns. It will be important for Democrats to have a discussion both on what citizens and party members have come to expect of the candidate selection process and whether the caucus or the primary system will meet those expectations.

I think the time has come and would be happy to participate in such a process.

Thank you for letting me know about your concerns.

Yours truly,
/s/
Senator Adam Kline
37th Legislative District