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Why My Vote Counts and Yours Doesn’t: My Life As a Ron Paul Delegate

Photo by: John Riggs

When it comes to voting for President, my vote counts and yours doesn’t.

What?  Why?

Because I am an elected delegate, that’s why.  WTF is a “delegate” you ask?  Let’s back up a bit…  I’ll try to explain the confusing process as simply as possible.

First, you need understand that the U.S. of A. is a democratic republic of 50 individual states as opposed to a pure democracy (one person, one vote) when it comes to Federal elections.  This is an important distinction.   

In order to become President, a candidate must win the majority of votes cast by the Electoral College but before that occurs, the potential president must receive the nomination by his party to be their candidate.  This occurs when elected delegates vote for the nominee at the national convention.

Before a person can become a national delegate, they must be elected at the state level.  This is what I, as well as my wife, are currently preparing to do this weekend as Ron Paul-pledged elected delegates to the Washington State Republican Convention to be held in Tacoma, Wa.

Before I became a state delegate at the Yakima County GOP Convention, I was elected at the precinct level.  I did that by showing up to caucus. 

Caucus?  WTF?

Caucusing means showing up to a meeting of supporters or members of a political party or movement.  Any – ANY – registered voter that lives in that voting precinct is free to show up on a specified day, which is what I did. 
At the caucus, a straw poll is held to gague the support of a community for specific candidates.  While the candidate that gets the most votes may be reported as the ”winner” , it simply is not the case

In fact, you will probably be hearing tonight or tomorrow that former Massachusetts Governor Willard “Mitt” Romney is going to secure enough delegates to become the 2012 Republican nominee to face incumbent President Barack Obama in the general election come November.  Again, not the case.  At least, not yet.

Many states, including ours, have yet to go through the delegate-electing process, even though they have already held their primary elections.  While Mr. Romney won the popular vote here (37%) there is a distinct chance he will not get the majority of our states 43 delegates that will be heading to the National Convention to vote for the GOP nominee.

This, with little media attention or fanfare, has already occured in a number of states such as Minnesota, Iowa, Colorado, Nevada and Maine.  For a more accurate tally of where the actual delegate count stands as of today, go to this handy site.

Needless to say, there is still much to happen before election day and I am proud to take part in the process.  Even if I am not elected to nationals, I am proud to be just one of fewer than 50 people from all of Yakima County that gets a say in who will be voting for the party’s nominee which, in a nutshell, is why my vote counts and yours doesn’t!  ;)

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