Monday, March 03, 2008

The Texas Two Step

If you vote as a Democrat in the primary tomorrow, March 4, 2008, in a sense you have a chance to vote twice. First, your vote gets counted in selecting the 126 delegates who come from the popular vote. Second, if you attend the caucus at 7:15 p.m. or whenever the last voter casts a ballot, you have a chance to participate in selecting an additional 67 delegates. To participate in the caucus, bring either your stamped voter registration certificate or a certificate obtained when you voted to prove in which party you cast your vote. (In other words, only if you voted as a Democrat can you participate in the Democratic caucus.) You can find the location of your caucus (Democratic or Republican) which is also your election-day precinct polling location by entering either your precinct number or your address or your name and address in the Harris Votes Find Your Voting Info page available as a pull-down choice from the Voting Information tab. The page also includes a sample ballot.

If you vote as a Republican, on the other hand, the traditional primary system prevails in which delegate votes reflect the popular vote. Both the Democratic and Republican precinct meetings, however, give attendees a chance to select people to attend the March 29 senatorial district conventions where delegates are chosen to attend the state convention. At the state convention delegates for the national convention are selected.

The Democratic State Convention will be held in Austin on June 5-7 while the Republican State Convention will meet in Houston on June 12-14. The Democratic National Convention will be held in Denver on Aug. 25-28 while the Republican National Convention will meet in Minneapolis-St. Paul on Sept. 1-4.

For a more detailed explanation of the whole election process see the Texas State Teacher's Political Convention Process page or access the Web sites of the the Texas Republican Party or the Texas Democratic Party .

On election day, March 4, the Houston League of Women Voters has teamed with KRPC Channel 2 to offer a helpline at 713-271-1905. Their Voter Guide March 2008 is also available online with information about candidates' positions on key issues.