Letter to Editor From Lori Stokes


June 11, 2016 by David Dehlendorf


Well-known local personality speaks out about what is wrong with Washington State’s presidential primary system.

Submitted by Lori Stokes, San Juan Island, June 4, 2016

Hi, David — I’m writing you as chair of the local Democrats. I wanted to officially complain about the Democrats’ decision to waste A LOT of time and money participating in the primary election when the results weren’t used for anything. I was one of the vote processors for the county a few days ago, and was horrified to see how many people spent their time (and getting paid for it!) checking all the ballots, counting them, dealing with any that weren’t clearly completed, etc., etc. It was a total waste of everyone’s time. And I guess it also cost the county a lot of money to run the election. The whole process made me shudder. Can’t there be JUST a caucus or JUST a primary vote? And by the way, if we use only one of these, I think the primary is a more “democratic” way to determine opinions, since there are so many people who just can’t go to the caucus because of other commitments, child care issues, etc.

4 thoughts on “Letter to Editor From Lori Stokes

  1. Bob Gerfy says:

    I would prefer the caucus system despite the drawbacks Lori mentions. I like meeting with my neighbors. I liked being able to support young people who want to get involved, like the young
    woman elected as a delegate from Lopez and county-wide. She would have had no such opportunity in a primary. Our islands are small enough for us to know our delegates personally.

    In a state-wide primary, voting for a candidate, who ends up going as a delegate? Do you know them?

    In a parliamentary system, with more parties, the party decides their candidates. We would
    vote for a party. I prefer a multi-party system. I’d have voted Green Party all the way.

    Donald Trump is what you get when people just vote state-wide. No thanks.

    Bob Gerfy

    Liked by 1 person

    • vivien burnett says:

      there are a lot of voters who don’t like to go to the caucuses and stay home.


    • Paul Mayer says:

      As it turns out, the WA state primary basically showed that the wrong candidate won. Clinton had more votes than Sanders. Caucuses are not Democratic by nature, because many people cannot attend and participation is poorly understood. I am for a strait up and down vote rather than a small group deciding for the masses.


  2. davidgeri says:

    I chaired the platform committee preparing for the County Convention in Friday Harbor, and I then chaired that convention. We proposed and adopted a resolution that calls for a three step process:
    1. Voter information forums where voters can learn about candidates and issues.
    2. A statewide primary where all Democrats vote, and this voting is used to determine the number of delegates allocated to candidates.
    3. A caucus where those who would like to participate show up, and delegates are elected from this group of people by the people attending.

    This proposal preserves the best features of the caucus while enabling those who simply want to vote to do so by mail, avoiding overcrowded fire code-violating caucus rooms. The young lady from Lopez would still be elected in this situation. We have sent the proposal to the state platform committee, and we hope it will receive a fair hearing.

    David Turnoy
    Vice chair for Orcas


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