That's right, I've voted for Obama six times. I voted for him four times in 2008 and twice in 2012. It's a wing-nut's worst nightmare: a liberal voting multiple times. Here I am, totally admitting to it. Yes, I admit it. I did it. I voted six times, and I'd like to walk you through each time.
The first time I voted for Obama was January 19th, 2008. Actually, that was the first time I voted ever. I was living in a small town in rural Nevada and had been campaigning for Obama for almost a year. We were at the beginning of a hotly contested primary and I was an Obama precinct captain. I had spent months knocking on doors and calling people.
On caucus day, my precinct gathered in a small classroom at a local elementary school to dtermine who would get our two delegates. There were only a handful of us. After our first vote, Obama and Clinton were tied. There were two Edwards supporters and, I believe, one Kucinich supporter, but both candidates failed to reach the viability threshold, so they had to choose again. We had a spirited but friendly debate and, at the end the Edwards supporters joined the Obama side and the Kucinich supporter chose not to vote. Obama technically won, but not by a high enough margin to capture both of the delegates, so Obama and Clinton each got one delegate. I was elected as the Obama delegate, which led to my second vote for Obama.
The second time I voted for Obama was February 23, 2008. This time, all elected delegates gathered in the cafeteria of a school in the county seed. It was quite a trek from my hometown, but worth the drive. The experience was actually exhausting. The room was packed with a couple hundred people, many of whom had never even engaged in the primary system. There was a lot of business that had to be taken care of before we could vote and it was taking forever. The county Democratic party was run by hardcore Clinton supporters and there were rumblings that they were intentionally slowing the process down hoping that Obama supporters would give up and leave. Maybe that was true, maybe it wasn't.
Eventually, we got to the vote. The first vote was pretty even between Clinton and Obama. There were also quite a few Edwards supporters, but not enough to reach viability. Another spirited debate broke out. There was a lot of yelling and a lot of loud talking. We finally appointed a small group from within each group to discuss and deal. The final result was that the Edwards supporters agreed to all join the Obama side if we agreed to elect a certain number of them as delegates to attend the state convention. This meant that Obama had actually won the majority of delegates from our county. In fact, following the county conventions, Obama and Clinton were almost tied, with Obama being projected to have one more delegate heading to the national convention.
We elected the Edwards delegates first, and then elected the Obama delegates. There were a lot of people who wanted to be delegates, including me. We each stood up in front of the crowd and said why we wanted to go. Somehow I got elected.
The third time I voted was on May 17, 2008 at the Nevada State Convention. As someone who grew up in deep-red small towns in a a deep-red Evangelical family, being among a sea of Democrats was an amazing experience. We got to listen to several speeches, including one by Bill Clinton and one by Kal Penn. After the speeches, "The Rurals" convened in a small room to elect our state delegate. By this time, there were only Clinton and Obama supporters. The primary was still going on, but most people knew it was actually over.
Our delegate went to Obama easily, but that doesn't mean the process wasn't without controversy. The rurals were only allocated a single delegate. The Democratic party decided ahead of time that our delegate had to be a man. This was to make sure that we sent an equal number of men and women to the convention from Nevada. That didn't make it any less annoying. We were ensured that the next time a woman would be chosen. This didn't help much, since it meant that, assuming the Democratic candidate was elected, that the woman would be sent when it didn't really make a different. And, if we could continue to elect and re-elect Democrats a woman will never be sent from the rurals during a time when it really matters.
Once we got over that, or at least realized there was no way to change it, we agreed that we could at least select a woman to be the alternate. We selected our delegate and alternate and were then, basically, done.
The fourth time I voted for Obama was on the first day of Nevada early voting in 2008. I showed up about 20 minutes before the office opened. There was already a line. I saw several people from the county Democratic Party who I had been volunteering with over the past couple of years. The wait was short and the weather was nice. I cast my first vote for President ever.
The fifth time I voted was February 4, 2012. Even though there wasn't really any reason to vote in the primary (our Senate candidate was running unopposed), I showed up anyway just for the chance to vote for President Obama again. I discovered about 2 weeks before the primary that my registration had been purged (in Arizona, now). I re-registered. My registration went through six days before the primary, which resulted in my name not being on the rolls. I had to fill out some paperwork and vote on a provisional ballot. A week or so later I verified that my ballot had been processed.
The sixth and last time I voted for Obama was a few weeks ago. As soon as I received my mail-in ballot I filled it out and sent it back. Since then, I have verified three times that my ballot was received and will be counted.
If you've read this far, thanks for listening to my boring election story. :)
8:10 AM PT: Thanks for the rescue, totally didn't see that coming.