by TxKat, Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 07:21:53 AM EDT
Last night, the Clinton camp sent this letter to the Texas Democratic State Party chair. You'll be hearing lots of spin from other camps in the news in the next few days, so I thought I'd provide both the original letter and a bit of context.
In Texas, Democratic Party caucuses are done with sign-in sheets as a verifiable paper trail for deciding the proportion of delegates to be awarded to each candidate for President. That is, each attendee signs in and identifies who they are representing in writing. There is no provision for 'hand counts' or other methods of counting votes for delegates. All caucus attendees are required to prove that they voted in the primary in order to be included in the final count. If for any reason an attendee does not have their voter registration card with them, the voting rolls from the early vote and the on-the-day vote are available to precinct workers to refer to prior to allowing an attendee to sign in as an eligible attendee.
For the last 2 weeks, there have been a multitude of reports of misbehavior, sloppy math (when determining final caucus totals), people who attended -- and voted -- in the caucuses who were not even registered to vote (some of these were even selected as delegates) and more and more and more.
The Texas Democratic Party -- at a minimum -- is supposed to 1) verify that the caucus attendees were registered voters, 2) determine that the math was done correctly and 3) provide lists of (at least their own) delegates to each campaign. The TDP has been so overwhelmed, both with the numbers of attendees to check and the size and frequency of the problems, that they say they cannot accomplish these tasks prior to the scheduled County/State Senatorial Conventions on March 29.
The Clinton campaign has requested that the County/State Senatorial Conventions be delayed until that information can be provided and the State Party can accomplish its job.
Texas has a paper trail for caucus results and delegate selection. That the State Party is essentially saying "Yeah we do, but we don't have time to look at it" is a failure of the highest order. This HAS to be dealt with at this next stage in the process, or the process breaks down completely.
No one knows what the results of actually referring to the paper trail will be. It could net Obama more delegates, it could net Clinton more delegates. BOTH camps should be joining to demand that the paper trail be examined.
The text of the letter from the Clinton campaign follows: