Over 300 Lake Stevens citizens gathered for the Republican caucuses which were held on Saturday, March 3 where constituents cast their votes for precinct delegates to send to the County Convention to be held on March 31, 2012 at Snohomish High School.
Voters were able to sign a straw ballot where their individual choice for the Republican Presidential candidate was written down.
Three separate caucuses were held in Lake Stevens; two in private homes with the majority of Republican voters meeting at North Lake Middle School where 37 precincts met.
Voters gathered in precincts to discuss who they wanted to send to the upcoming County Convention. Delegates were chosen within each precinct.
Governor Mitt Romney won the straw vote in Lake Stevens as well as throughout the county and the state.
With one small precinct not reporting, in Lake Stevens Romney received 176 votes, with Santorum receiving 55, Ron Paul with 43 and Gingrich receiving 23 votes, four people were still undecided.
“I’m heartened to have won the Washington caucuses, and I thank the voters for their support. Every day that passes with Barack Obama in the White House is a day in which America’s recovery from the economic crisis is delayed,” Romney said in a statement. “Unemployment here in Washington was recently as high as 10.2 percent. It’s wonderful that it has declined to 8.3 percent. But that is still an unacceptable level, bringing hardship and suffering and sleepless nights to too many American homes. I believe in an America in which everyone seeking work can find it.”
Because of budget limitations, the state of Washington chose to hold caucuses instead of incurring the $10 million cost of mailing out ballots to voters for the primary elections.
Whiles voters understood the reason for holding caucuses, many see the benefit of having a ballot election versus a caucus.
“I had a caucus and got to have my say but I would rather have a primary so that I don’t have to try to sway other people,” Jeff Rainwater said.
Rainwater lives in a precinct with a majority of Romney supporters. He supports Ron Paul making it hard for him to get chosen as a delegate. However, he was able to present his reasons for his choice to his fellow voters.
Nick Collins, a Romney supporter, lives in a Romney precinct but still wished for a primary election process rather than a caucus system.
“I would have it completely different,” Collins said. “I don’t like this delegate system. I think I should be able to vote for my candidate.”
The Glen Acres nor the Wellback precincts had representation at the caucuses.
The Democratic caucuses will be held on Saturday, April 15.