Monday, February 04, 2008


Tomorrow, on "Super Tuesday," Minnesotans will caucus to express their preference for the Republican presidential nominee. Other things are decided at these caucuses, too - selection of state convention delegates, for example.

Unfortunately, I am leaving tomorrow for a business trip, so I will not be able to attend my caucus. I've researched, and I could not find anything that resembles an absentee option for caucus participation. I want to attend, but I am not willing to tell my company to go pound sand so I can stay home and vote.

I called the state GOP office to double-check, and the person I spoke with confirmed my findings. It goes beyond just not having my vote counted, though. The opportunities to participate in the party's political processes in this election cycle all begin with this caucus, as I learned in 2006 when I found myself in exactly the same situation.

So I specifically asked the MNGOP rep on the phone, "So does this mean I'm completely shut out of the process for the next two years?," hoping to hear some options I hadn't considered. His response? "Sorry."

Does this seem right to all of you? Are there others out there for whom this is a problem? And what is the solution? I can see the rationale for requiring in-person attendance for other state party business, but why can't there be absentee voting for the elections?

Especially since tomorrow's vote is expected to be a close one, and since tomorrow's results are so important to the presidential race nationally, I am particularly frustrated and disappointed.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The straw poll is relatively meaningless, so your absence didn't affect much in that regard. The reason there can't be an absentee option is that there is no way to know who will show up at your district and run for a position as delegate or alternate. That is where the vote really matters. You can't possibly know everyone in your district who supports the same candidate and issues that you support, let alone know which ones are going to show up at the caucus.