By Sarah Pridgeon
Confusion over the results of the straw poll taken at the Crook County Republican precinct caucus last week is due to there having been two separate votes, says Ted Davis, Chairman of the party.
“We took a hand-raising poll earlier on in the day, just for the fun of it, which Ron Paul won. Although none of it was official, the vote that actually went forward was from the paper ballots near the end,” he explains. “A lot of people had already left by then, for various reasons.”
The paper ballot, which showed Rick Santorum as favorite with 20 votes, was “distinctly different” from the hand-raising poll, says Davis. The latter saw Ron Paul receive 14 votes, while Santorum received nine.
It was originally intended that each caucus implement a change in procedure this year, keeping the results of polls confidential until all caucus votes had taken place. It was discovered shortly after the Crook County caucus, however, that the party’s website had not been updated to reflect the change and, in order to keep procedure in line with information available to the public, all caucuses were instructed to announce their results as in previous sessions.
Because of this, says Davis, the results of the Crook County paper ballot were not announced at the caucus itself, which caused some people to think that the earlier hand-raising poll was the only one taken.
“The good news is that the straw polls have brought a lot of people out to their caucuses,” Davis says. “Our numbers were half as big again as they usually are and, at one caucus I know of, attendance jumped from 20 to 172. We have an actual contest for leadership within the party this go-around, so it’s great to see all the energy among the supporters.”