February 22, 2008

Colorado Caucus Confusion As Democrats Select Republicans, Greens As Delegates

Confusion? Or campaign fever? Dude:
Denver Democrats have a problem: 172 of the delegates and alternates they elected at Super Tuesday caucuses appear to be ineligible.

Some showed up at the wrong precinct. Most of them weren't even registered Democrats.

"A couple people were Republicans. A couple people were Green Party," said Jennifer Coken, who chairs the Democratic Party of Denver. "It's been kind of nerve-racking for us."

Republicans getting elected as Democratic delegates is just part of the confusion that accompanied an overwhelming turnout at precincts throughout Colorado.
. . .
In Denver, the number of voters who showed up at Democratic caucuses jumped from 2,628 in 2004 to 26,096 on Super Tuesday. They chose 3,032 delegates and 3,032 alternates to attend their county convention on March. 8, Jacobson said.

But according to Denver Election Commission records, 119 of the delegates and alternates are not registered Democrats, she said, and 53 "caucused in a location other than their precinct."

All 172 will be challenged, but they get an opportunity to prove the city records wrong at a Monday night meeting at Denver party headquarters. To qualify, "they have to bring in a certified copy of their voter registration," Jacobson said.

Because Denver concentrated its efforts on ineligible delegates, Jacobson expects it will be weeks before the local party can check the eligibility of all the others who signed affidavits and voted in the caucuses.

"There were a lot," she said, "maybe close to a thousand."
So, who's to blame? Enthusiastic but apparently uninitiated "unaffiliateds":
"Most of these people were unaffiliated voters, and some of them didn't know that," said Jennifer Jacobson, director of operations for Denver Democrats. "They said they voted for Democrats their whole lives. They didn't know they hadn't affiliated with a party."
That's ok. Ineligible voters have voted for Democrats for years. Some even voted from the great beyond.

Democrats are inclusive, after all.

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