[By Marcia Milner-Brage in Cedar Falls, Iowa, USA]
After months of politicians crisscrossing our state, rallying for our attention and the world’s, Iowans finally gathered to cast the first votes in the nation to choose the candidates for the United States Presidency. Each neighborhood had a Democratic Party caucus site and a Republican Party caucus site. We’re in Ward 1 Precinct 3. There are 1781 caucus sites across the state. As a registered Democrat, I went to the cafeteria of Lincoln Elementary School, down the street from my house.
One had to be in the door by 7PM. I arrived an hour early and already there was a line. 372 of my neighbors showed up. I stood and sketched behind the volunteers who were checking people in, delighted to see so many turn out to participate in our democracy.
The cafeteria was packed. Bernie Sanders supporters gathered on one side of the room. Hillary Clinton supporters on the opposite. Martin O’Malley’s few gathered in a corner.
We voted by raising our hands. A counter for each camp pointed at each person. Once you called your number, you put your hand down. Sanders received 254 votes. Clinton received 107. O’Malley received 5. Seven remained undecided. With the announcement of Sanders’ majority, the Sanders counter yelled out, “Welcome to the revolution!!” The crowd around me broke out in raucous chanting: BER-NIE!! BER-NIE!! BER-NIE!! Bernie 2016 signs were waved in mass above our heads.
All precincts have been counted. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are locked in a virtual tie!