When I found out that the Washington State Democratic Primary is basically an opinion poll--that all the delegates to the national convention are determined not by the primary but by the caucuses--I was a little hesitant. I'd never been to a caucus before and I was intimidated by the potentially in-your-face nature of the process. I felt strongly enough that Barack Obama should be the next president of the United States, though, to force myself to face the unknown and go to the caucus.
It ended up being a lot of fun and more satisfying, I think, than a simple vote-and-go election process. As with a lot of other areas of the country, my precinct had a record turnout this year, helped by the fact that I live close to a university and Barack Obama is able to achieve the impossible: get college students to vote. Taking that into account, the results ended up about as I expected, with Obama getting seven of the eight delegates my precinct is sending to the district caucus (who will in turn elect delegates to send to the county caucus, who will in turn elect delegates to send to the state convention, who will in turn elect delegates to send to the national convention in August).
I had an interesting moment when signing in. There's an optional field on the form where you can mark "GLBT" if it corresponds to you. I hesitated. If I check "no," am I a closet homosexual hiding my true identity? If I check "yes," am I claiming an identity that I don't deserve because I live in the social and political comfort of a heterosexual marriage? I ultimately decided to check "yes" because it seemed appropriate, in an election where a half-Black man raised by his white grandparents is being labeled the Black candidate, for a half-gay man in a straight marriage to label himself a gay voter.