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I am going to apologise in advance for the short diary, but I've seen something disturbing being repeated with increasing frequency across these and other boards.  People are repeating the following statement:

In order to count as part of the delegate allotment in Texas, you can just sign in and leave.

This is false.  You must be PRESENT at your precinct convention in order to count.

update please scroll down for an important update

A few quick points.

Yes, you can legally "sign in and leave".  But if you do that you cannot nominate anyone as a delegate.  You cannot vote in your candidate's caucus (there is no proxy voting at precinct conventions).  Most importantly, you will not be counted in the EZ math formula for allocating delegates at your precinct convention and candidate caucus.  This is the part that determines viability and how many delegates each candidate receives.

Here are the relevant parts of the EZ math formula:

   Step One: determine which groups are eligible to caucus.

__ Number of people attending the precinct convention DIVIDED BY
__ Number of delegates to the County/Senate District convention to which the precinct is entitled EQUALS
__ Number needed to form a caucus, aka "the threshold"

You cannot be counted here unless you are present.  See line one: "number of people attending..."

Step Two: Determine How Many Delegates Each Caucus Gets

__ Number of people in a caucus DIVIDED BY
__ Number of people at your precinct convention EQUALS
__ Percent of Convention MULTIPLIED BY
__ Number of delegates to which your precinct is entitled EQUALS
__ Unrounded number of delegates to which the caucus is entitled
Next, round the number DOWN to determine how many delegates are alloted.

Look at line one.  You only count towards "number of people in a caucus" if you are present.   These are the rules.

I went to a refresher training last weekend.  Multiple times the question was asked "can you sign in and leave".  The answer - according to the rules - is yes, but it was repeatedly emphasised that if you do that, you give up your right to vote in the precinct caucus and you are not counted in the math formula.

The bottom line is this: sign in and stay.  If it's hot, tough shit.  If it's crowded, tough shit. If it's chaos, tough shit. This is democracy and this is how it works.  People in other states have waited for hours to caucus. They sacrificed their time in order to participate.  We have a unique opportunity in Texas.  For the first time in a long time, we are going to help determine the nominee.  The least we can do is stick around and get the job done.

P.S. I went into the math formula in greater detail in yesterday's diary.

update:  Great.  Now the TDP has sent out an alert claiming that you CAN be counted in the EZ math formula if you leave.  This is not what we were told in Tarrant County last weekend.  We were specifically told that you cannot sign in and leave and still be counted.  The question was asked numerous times and we got the same answer each time: you must stay to be counted.  

Frankly, I don't know what to believe at this point.  I've got my county party telling me one thing, the TDP saying another, and various commenters claiming one way or the other.  Fuck this is a mess.  I apologise for any confusion this has caused.  I'd delete this diary but the comments are full of info, so I'm leaving it and doing a huge mea culpa because frankly, now I have no fucking idea how this is going to work.  I give up.  I'd still advise people to stay.

Originally posted to anna on Sat Mar 01, 2008 at 07:54 AM PST.

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