EDITOR'S NOTE: Ilwaco High School senior Lacey Coleman, who is interning for the Observer this spring as her senior project, participated in Saturday's Democratic Caucus and wrote this first-person report about her experiences as a first-time voter.

ILWACO - Hey, welcome to democracy! When I arrived at the Democratic caucus I was very surprised to see the huge turnout - there were over 300 people crammed into the Ilwaco High School cafeteria. I was congratulated by many people that were there, since they knew it was my first time voting. I thought that there was going to be way more first-time voters attending but I only saw myself and one other first-timer there.

Right as I walked through the door they asked me what precinct I was in. They organized everyone who came through the door by what precinct they lived in - which is a way of saying what town you are a resident of. These precincts included Chinook, Ilwaco, Seaview, Long Beach, Pioneer, Klipsan, Ocean Park, Nahcotta and Oysterville.

After a short introduction to the rules, each precinct started to ask for volunteers to defend either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. These volunteers stood up for each candidate, saying a lot of things that could sway anyone's vote.

On Obama's side, people were saying that, "Obama is the stronger contender; Obama would beat McCain much easier in the November election." Also, people were saying that Obama would make a great president because he is so open minded.

On Clinton's side, people were saying things such as, "Hillary can rock and roll with the punches." People were also saying that Bill Clinton would be a hindrance toward Hillary.

The representatives for Clinton and Obama could both agree on some of the same things, which I thought was very incredible.

"We have broken the barriers, having either a woman president or a black president would be great," said a member of the Long Beach precinct. The Democratic Party believes that if they stick together they can elect whoever they want into office, but when they say that their candidate doesn't win then that just means that they are not working together as a team.

Their main purpose is to work together to get a Democrat elected into the White House and have George W. Bush gone - forever.

It's great to see members of the community coming together to accomplish what they want to see done in our country.

Going to the Pacific County Democratic Caucus for the 2008 election as a first-time voter is something that I won't ever forget. It was a great way to have my voice heard and hear the voices of other community members.

Washington has 78 Democratic delegates at stake. The state GOP will award 18 delegates based on the caucus results and 19 based on the Feb. 19 presidential primary.

The results of the Washington Democratic caucuses are as follows - Obama took the lead over Clinton with 67 percent of Washington state caucuses' support, compared with 32 percent for Clinton.

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