Democrats have opportunity to weigh in on candidates

By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor

Following Super Bowl Sunday Democrats in Roosevelt County will get a chance to be a part of the presidential primary excitement called Super Tuesday.

On Tuesday registered Democrats have the opportunity to participate in the Roosevelt County Presidential Preference Caucuses which will be held from noon to 7 p.m. Causey and Dora precincts will vote at Dora School, Elida and Floyd precincts vote at the Floyd Community Center and all other precincts vote at the Memorial Building at Seventh and Abilene in Portales, according to a news release.

According to Roosevelt County Democratic Party secretary Dolores Penrod this is just the second time Democrats in New Mexico have held their caucuses early. Previous to that they cast their votes in the June primary for president. Four years ago that changed so that the state party members could be heard before a winner was determined through other primaries and caucuses.

“If we did it as usual in the June primary the presidential race is already decided,” Penrod said. “We’re still voting for all the other offices in June. It was just moved up so that we would have a voice.

Penrod said the voting will all be done on paper ballot and counted by hand. She said there is only one choice on the ballot — that being for president. Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton are the only two remaining candidates in the race for the Democratic nomination as Super Tuesday nears.

“It makes the voter part of the process,” said Roosevelt County Democratic chairperson Jim Lee. “I like the idea of citizen sovereignty and the people being involved in the government. I think that’s what the founding fathers intended.”

Penrod said with a close race between Obama and Clinton it’s important that New Mexico gets the chance to weigh in. She said statistics are showing that turnout in the Democratic primaries is running ahead of Republican participation by two-to-one. She believes that excitment will carry over to the general election if more people are involved.

“I think it’s good for the voter to have the opportunity to express their opinion and actually be a part of the process,” Lee said.

What: Democratic Presidential Preference Caucuses
When: Noon to 7 p.m. Tuesday
Where: Causey and Dora precincts at Dora School, Elida and Floyd precincts at Floyd Community Center. All other county precincts at the Memorial Building, Seventh and Abilene in Portales.