Convention versus caucus

Precinct conventions have been with us for a long time, but suddenly there’s talk everywhere of precinct caucuses. The conventions have traditionally been quite sedate, but this year it’s obviously going to be different! Anyone who voted early and who wishes to attend (or caucus at) his or her precinct convention must do so at the official precinct polling place. The polls will close at 7 pm officially but will remain open so long as people are waiting to vote. The conventions will begin 15 minutes after the polls close (officially at 7:15 pm).

Travis County voters very often vote in the Democratic primary even if they’re Republicans, because that’s where all the action is and they hope to influence who will oppose the G.O.P. candidate in the real election. The Texas Democratic party has a great compendium of links to information about everything, including polling places and rules of the Democratic precinct conventions. Bring proof that you voted in the primary (the voter card is customarily stamped with the name of the party, but sometimes other methods of proof are used). The process of selecting G.O.P. delegates is much simpler.

The local daily has been printing links to on-line lists of polling places and nothing more, so the Travis county clerk finally broke down and paid for a full-page ad printed today and containing the address of every precinct for the benefit of those surviving without access to the Internet. Some are voting at a “Presbytarian” church. People should look at voting locations very carefully, because several precincts have been “combined” and one precinct will vote at another precinct’s customary polling place. I like this little notice that appeared at the bottom of the page: “Travis County purchased space for this listing of Election Day polling places at a cost of $13,356.00 as a public service to all Travis County Residents.”

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