Caucuses coming to the Plateau
April 30, 2009 · Updated 10:57 AM
Plateau residents will have the opportunity Feb. 9 to participate in selecting November's presidential candidates, when the two major parties host caucuses throughout the region.
The importance of the caucus process varies by party.
It's crucial for Democrats, who will use the meetings - and only those meetings - to determine who the state's delegates support. The Republicans will use both the caucus process and the primary election to weigh the state's support for a GOP presidential candidate.
For Democrats, the upcoming primary election means little when it comes to selecting a nominee.
“The primary has nothing to do with the Democrat's allocation to the national convention,” said Wilkeson resident Karen Willard, Democratic caucus coordinator for the 31st Legislative District.
Her party has 10 caucus locations selected for Feb. 9, scattered throughout the district - four in Auburn, two in Bonney Lake and single sites in Buckley, Enumclaw, Sumner and at Lake Tapps. Specific addresses are available at www.31stdistrictdemocrats.org/2008CaucusLocations.htm.
On that page is a link that will help those who have forgotten which precinct they live in; interested parties need only enter an address.
Also on the Web site is a primer for first-timers who don't know how caucuses work.
On the Republican side, caucus locations in King County are available by visiting www.kcgop.org/caucus_locator.html.
Pierce County Republicans can get caucus locations by visiting www.piercegop.org.
“We haven't seen a Republican presidential primary this wide open in 70 years,” King County party chairman Michael Young said. “All Republicans with interest in helping determine who ends up being the presidential nominee should participate in their precinct caucus on Feb. 9.”
Caucus attendees will get to vote for delegates in their own precinct based on who they support for president. The state's Republicans will also be allocating 51 percent of their delegates to the national convention based on results from the Feb. 19 primary election.
For those who do not know which precinct they live in, a link is provided to the precinct locator on the King County Records and Elections Web site. Those without internet access can receive the same caucus location information by phoning 425-990-0404.
Precinct caucuses across Washington state will begin promptly at 1 p.m.