I've just returned from my first caucus, and I'm not impressed. This being our first-go around as a state (though others allude to previous caucuses I've never heard of), it was very disorganized.
When we arrived, we found out that three precincts would be housed in the elementary school. One precinct headed for the library, and two precincts including ours had to share a multi-purpose room. This created a great deal of confusion, and it was also clear that the other precinct was better organized than ours.
It was assumed by the vocal participants that we were two camps: "Obama voters over there, Hillary voters over here. . ." That left The Other Half and I--Edwards supporters--to wander around in between.
Ultimately, our precinct of 80 people broke down like this: 37 Obama, 32 Clinton, 8 Edwards and 2 Kucinich. Where did the 80th person go? No idea.
After that count was taken, we were allowed to realign to a second choice, where we changed our votes to Barack Obama. Our precinct finished with 43 Obama, and 34 Clinton. As you can see, two people left before the realignment.
My opinion of this event was largely negative. Our precinct chair had no voice, and was unable to overcome the noise the precinct next to us. Nobody could hear him, and we all felt out of sorts, not knowing what we were supposed to do, or when we were going to do it. The projected "less than an hour" turned into more like an hour and a half, and we left before the delegates were chosen.
An older man was very vocal in his belief that the caucus system was unfair, excluding anyone who was unable to be there that specific hour. He's one of the people who left before realignment. For us, we figured we bothered to show so we wanted our vote to count. And while I settled for Obama in the realignment, I intend to keep my support of John Edwards going on this blog, at least as long as he remains in the race.