Some Washington Democrats are steaming mad after enduring what they called disorganized and tedious legislative-district caucuses on Sunday that lasted several hours.
As the 34th District Democrats meeting in West Seattle dragged on late into the night, attendees vented their frustration on social media.
Kathleen Kent, a Sanders delegate, called the 34th-District meeting a “madhouse” in an email to the Seattle Times.
More than six hours after doors opened, she reported “we haven’t even elected the chair for today! Agggghghhhhh.” The mounting delays made her and some other Bernie Sanders backers suspicious the party was waiting for them to leave to swing delegates to Hillary Clinton.
Bill Schrier, web editor for the 34th District Democrats, wrote a response on the group’s web site, noting the organization is run entirely by volunteers. “So: cut us some slack. And show up to help,” he wrote, noting that changes or improvements will only come if more people get involved.
The meetings on Sunday were a follow-up of last month’s precinct-level caucuses, in which Sanders easily defeated Clinton, taking 73 percent of the delegates.
The delegates elected at precinct caucuses had to show up at the Sunday meetings to ensure their favored candidate retained the same delegate split at the state Democratic convention in June. That’s when Washington’s slate of 101 pledged delegates to this summer’s Democratic National Convention will be finalized.
While some Democrats tweeted enthusiasm over big turnout Sunday, many others were angry at the antiquated caucus process. Some called for ending the caucuses system in favor of using the presidential primary to allocate delegates – as Washington Republicans are doing this year.
Jeff Handley spent many hours at the 48th Legislative District caucus in Bellevue. “I cannot even find the words to describe the level of confusion and hysteria at today’s event — it was horrendous,” he wrote in a 73-point blog post of notes from the meeting.
Derek Young, a Pierce County Councilmember, tweeted similar frustrations at state Democratic Party chair Jaxon Ravens.
Jamal Raad, spokesman for the state Democratic Party, said in an email “we heard some concerns about long lines and lengthy meetings. As I’ve said before, caucuses are inherently a somewhat messy process.”
He said results of Sunday’s caucuses should be compiled within a few days.