Washington Democrats may ditch precinct caucuses | KUOW News and Information

Washington Democrats may ditch precinct caucuses

Jun 20, 2016

Washington Democrats complained about problems with the presidential caucuses this year and the state party listened. The party has long used precinct caucuses to pick delegates and choose which candidate they will support.


This weekend at Washington's Democratic Convention, a party leader said it's time for change.

State party chair Jaxon Ravens opened the event to a crowd in Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders shirts. They voted on the party's platform, but first Ravens had an announcement.

Ravens: "I think it's very clear that we have outgrown the precinct caucus process."

That's the process of neighborhood meetings across the state each election year. Some complained to the party that the meetings were unorganized and that the system leaves out people who can't take off work or get child care.

The state Republican Party uses the primary election to allocate national delegates. Next election, the Democrats might too.

The Democratic delegates passed a resolution telling party leaders to run a multi-step process. Democrats would vote on presidential candidates in the primary and pick their delegates in caucuses. Ravens said party leaders will work on a solution.

Ravens: "We have not outgrown our need and our desire to talk to our neighbors about the values that we care about, and we will make sure that we maintain that. But next year, I'm committed to putting together a subcommittee to help us move to a system that is more open, like the primary system."

Changing that system could influence the election. Clinton won the primary, but Sanders handily won the state's caucuses, and that's how the party allocated its delegates.

Washington State Democratic Party platform for 2016 - caucus change on page 65.