42 votes

IMPORTANT: 1500 Voters Turned Away In Kennewick, Washington!


POLITICS: Local GOP apologizes for turning 1,500 away from caucuses in Kennewick
By Michelle Dupler, Tri-City Herald staff writer

Kennewick About 1,500 people were turned away from pooled Benton County caucuses in Kennewick by event organizers after rooms at the Three Rivers Convention Center reached capacity this morning.

Some potential caucus voters said they arrived at 9 a.m. to find the large hallways at the convention center packed to the rafters and were told no more people could enter the caucus rooms.

Ray Swenson, a Richland lawyer, criticized local GOP officials for poor organization and said the results today should be invalidated.

"I think it's illegal," Swenson shouted to a gathered crowd, many of whom were filming him with cell phone cameras. "The Republican party leadership is taking away our freedom."

Swenson told the Herald he may file a lawsuit seeking to invalidate the caucus results.

"I think it's unconstitutional," he said. "Our right to vote is the most fundamental right in the Constitution. ... This is exactly equal to walking into a polling place and being told, 'We've run out of ballots. We didn't expect this many people. Go home.'"

Benton County Republican Party members who organized the caucuses said they estimated 2,000 people would show up at the convention center, where most of the county's precincts caucused today.

But their jaws dropped when they saw an estimated 3,000 people packed into the convention center's hallways and spilling outside.

"We where overwhelmed," said Tony Benegas of West Richland, chairman of the Kennewick caucuses. "It's tough because it's all volunteers — nobody gets paid to do this."

Benegas said it quickly became apparent there weren't enough volunteers to check everyone in — which in most cases involved looking up their voter registration on a list provided by the county Auditor and helping them find their precinct number, and that the rooms they booked were filled to capacity.

And the party was under pressure to finish by 11:30 so that results could be tabulated and turned over to the state party.

"We did pull the leadership aside and said, 'What are we going to do?'" Benegas said.

The only choice apparent was to close the doors and turn an estimated 1,500 people away, he said.

"I am extremely sorry we could not accommodate everyone," he said. "I apologize to those folks who we had to turn away. We fit in as many as we could, but we had more than we could physically fit in the rooms."

For the full story, read Sunday's Herald and tricityherald.com.

Read more here: http://www.tri-cityherald.com/2012/03/03/1849623/politics-hu...

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8:25 ET

Romney up by 2k.

Paul and Santorum same number of votes

Does anyone find it strange that Santorum caught up to Paul and is not tied with the exact same number of 4203 votes? The statistical odds of that are extremely low.

I saw that...

...just moments ago asked dh how can that be? My guess is that they're pushing him up so RP winds up 3rd. Praying I'm wrong.

To Be Fair

Each of the 1500 turned away should have been asked to print and sign their name and address. They could have easily circulated 20 petitions or more at once.Preserving each persons ability to vote, since they were there in person. No?

I think politico are saying

I think politico are saying the overflowing crowd was mainly for Santorum.

That's good

but you have to consider the source.

Chaotic process..

Some people are being awfully rude about this. Look, we haven't been doing this in Washington very long. This was the first caucus I and many others had been to. I got to my location at 9, before anyone else except the two ladies with the coffee and the database, so I offered to help. At the last minute someone had dropped their 3 precincts and we had absorbed them. Last time these ladies had done a caucus, 15 people showed up! They were definitely unprepared for the turn out. There was also some false information circulating on the internet as well about where one or two precincts were meeting. Also, LOTS of people don't know their precincts because when we had a primary you didn't necessarily have to have that number memorized and they didn't know it was essential. We had a database for our districts, but if they weren't in it, I didn't know where to send them. Luckily the ladies in charge knew some stuff off the top of their heads. I think this was a matter of bad organization, rather than evil scheming.
The people helping were nice. People got frustrated but kept their heads. People were respectful regardless of who they were for. I think those volunteers did the best job they could. Trying to find another location at the last minute with that many people?? How would that take away chaos?
The public could definitely be better informed about how caucuses work. I think we are on a learning curve.

That's Great News Isn't It?

I'm assuming Ron Paul supporters have learned from mistakes in the earlier caucuses and that they were the first ones in line at the Washington caucus sites. This means that the vast majority of people turned away at the doors were Romney/Santorum supporters, RIGHT? Unless RP supporters still haven't learned anything from experiences in other states.

Not neccesarily

I got there early because I thought I should, so I was able to jump in and help. But not all of us have been Ron Paul supporters as long as others, and for me and many others this was our first caucus, so some people probably came not knowing what to expect. Why would they expect there to not be room for them? I did go online last night and do some pre-caucus homework, but I doubt everyone does that.

Romney up by 156 right now according to CNN 7:17 pm

If Romney wins by less than a feww hundred votes, those 1500 votes are huge. I know Dr Paul was down that way and since eastern WA is a lot like North Idaho, my bet is that of those 1500 votes RP would have gotten more than half.


Name ......... County..........Vote........Time...

form lines, pass around the crowd - get the votes COUNTED!

They that give up liberty for security deserve neither.

Sounds like plenty of volunteers were available.

Don't be afraid at any caucus/primary location to step to the front of the line and volunteer. I will help. What can I do? Take charge. This is a revolution.

I volunteered at my caucus because there was nobody else who would. I was nominated and elected secretary of the caucus to count the votes. I counted them all fairly.(Dr Paul was third in my precinct). I nominated myself as a delegate, gave a limited government no RINO speech and then was elected as a delegate with the most votes.

Bottom line. Step up. Don't be disappointed when the other GOP volunteers are overwhelmed. Jump in to help them. They are your neighbors and want Obama voted out as bad as you do.

Here we go again

They have created the perfect scenario for more fraud.

If they can make the count show Ron Paul losing then that will be the story.

If they can't cheat that much they will invalidate the entire caucus.

They will never let us win a state. But we know it and we WILL remove them from power.

Ron Paul 2012!!!

Become the Republican party. Drive out the wolves.

Why is HuffPo declaring

Why is HuffPo declaring Romney the winner, when there is no hard data listed on the map yet? Am I missing something?


Just in case they change it, this link currently lists:

Romney 37%
Santorum 32%
Paul 16%
Gingrich 13%

This is the text of the news article- but NO data on the map!

Where are they getting the numbers? Anyone know where the hard data is listed? As far as the local news reporter (Michelle Dupler) told me, they were still counting the votes less than an hour ago when she left the Benton County site. How can they declare anything?

optimystic's picture


You read it wrong. Those were the figures from the PPP poll heading in to the caucus:)

Did a brush fire get set somewhere, and spread, or what? :)

How about another venue being opened up? or- the party was under pressure to finish by 11:30 so that results could be tabulated and turned over to the state party- could have been extended to accommodate the citizens? I call BS.

Wake up America, for the love of liberty!

A song video. The lyrics seem so fitting to this post and, much of RP message. Keep 'em burning!
W/bonus commercial at beginning...great call out of OB!

Under Pressure

TY Queenlover14

Shocked? Who wants to bet

Shocked? Who wants to bet they told their insider pals to show up early in anticipation so they could stack the vote.

Show your support for Ron Paul and inspire others at new grassroots site:
( Consider uploading a picture or video of your sign or event, etc .)

That's my conclusion too.

The whole thing smells to high heaven.

I keep hearing about these

I keep hearing about these kinds of things in Maine, Iowa etc. There will come a time when we should not feel sorry for the actions that WE take.

Called Michelle Dupler and

Called Michelle Dupler and talked to her. Will be expecting a follow up story. She showed up after the crowd dispersed and doesn't have photos. I told her I have photos of the crowd, and photos of the empty precinct tables- crowd out in the lobby was told there was no room for them, yet handfuls of delegates are up in the air because there were 6-8+ empty precinct tables.
If you have photos, send them to her!!!

Oh, I Hope...

...that someone gets on this.
THANK YOU for doing this and, YES, MORE PHOTOS...someone???

You're expecting Republicans

You're expecting Republicans to be fair, follow the laws, and uphold the wishes of the people?


This is ridiculous!

This is ridiculous, "you can't vote b/c we have no room?" WTH? How about spread out the time a little, it's not like they live under a rock with no phones that could help them contact w/ the state about pushing time to be later so people can be let in? Isn't that the very job of the "organizer"? Urgh, this is ridiculous!

"Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed."~Mahatma Gandhi
Quick Humorous Satire course on Ron Paul: http://www.youtube.com/watch?annotation_id=annotation_65316&...

I think the results should be

I think the results should be invlidated since not everyone got to vote. Nonetheless, hopefully the center was "packed to the rafters" with Ron Paul people :)

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Where are the people video-taping this, as has been said

over and over and over again. Now, can we learn for Super-Tuesday? I would do it, but on a lecture tour, telling the world about health freedom--and Dr. Paul. Can anyone just do it this time? The instructions are on the post: Anonymous Donors Offer $10,000 to Prove the Vote. It's all there, including the exit poll. Even a payment gift for the time spent. Let's finally capture this crookery.

America the free

where you can only vote if there's room and it's not snowing to hard.

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace."
Jimi Hendrix


only available to the first 1000 people!

This kind of thing makes us

This kind of thing makes us no better than what Putin is doing in Russia with his elections!!!! The GOP should be ashamed of themselves! This not only makes the republicans look bad, it makes the whole US election process look like a joke.

It was packed to the rafters at my caucus site in

Bellevue Wa. Too! I got the two precinct counts that I could see, but it was wall to wall and very hard to move around. Very chaotic, and loud, disorganized. My republican POC was fresh back from Maui, 87 years young and a Gingrich supporter. When she tried to tell me my writing down the caucus precinct vote totals was illegal, I smiled and said " no, it's not." I then helped her run things as she was very unorganized and cound not Multi task one little bit. Being as I know Roberts Rules, I just stepped up. Sadly one of our votes had to leave early because of child care issues and two went the undecided ruote. Santorum took my precinct, ug with 7 , Ron was second with three that should have been six, again ug!

Drew, by the very grace of GOD through the blood of Christ Jesus.
"there shall come after us men whom shall garner great wealth using our system, and having done so shall seek to slam the door of prosperity behind them." George Washington