RENO, NV- FEBRUARY 4, 2016: Participants at the basic caucus training are encouraged to ask as many questions as needed. Here, a participant clarifies the process of physically moving to a candidate’s preference group. CREDIT: Natalie Van Hoozer for Noticiero Móvil.
“So, would you be interested in being a precinct chair?” my friend asked.
My first thought – “Oh no, something else I need to do…”
That was my experience at the Washoe Democratic Party Office in early January.
I’ve noticed a lot of college students can’t stand the thought of getting involved in another extracurricular activity, especially volunteering politically. *gasp*
But here’s something else I’ve noticed: getting involved in Reno politics doesn’t have to be a huge time commitment.
I ended up agreeing to be a temporary precinct chair for the Democratic caucus on Saturday, Feb. 20. This means I would be in charge of calculating the number of delegates each candidate is awarded from my precinct.
So far, everything has worked well with all of my other responsibilities. I have attended three trainings that weren’t complicated.
To make things even better, during the caucus math training, I felt like I was more qualified to be a precinct chair than almost anyone else in the room. I believe students are the most qualified group of people to be temporary precinct chairs.
I’m not super politically savvy or a math genius, but the math needed for the Democratic caucus is exactly like the core curriculum math all college students at UNR need to take. While a few other volunteers struggled to find a calculator for division, I was able to finish the problem and relax.
This has helped me feel more comfortable about the fact that it’s my first time caucusing and voting in a presidential election.
The most important thing I’ve learned so far is that asking questions is key to learning about political processes. There is an abundance of people in Reno who love answering questions and want to get new, young voters engaged in politics in any way possible.
So, when I stand up and nominate myself to be the precinct chair this Saturday, I just have to remind myself that approaching politics is just like being in a class: ask questions and participate.