AZGOP Convention: Part 3

Link to Part 2

 The Infamous At Large Delegate Ballot

So, after lunch and getting re-credentialed, networking was a major part of the hurry up and wait process. The re-credentialing had been very confused, and took considerably longer than it should have as my own district and several others somehow got “lost” in the shuffle. We ended up waiting by a ballot storage room for them to credential us and give us our paper ballot, plus an innocent looking sealed whit business envelope. When held up to the light, this contained a small slip of paper.

Then it came; the big announcement about the wonderful electronic voting site, along with an instructional video. We were asked to pass in our paper ballots. Interestingly enough, those ballots had been given ut blank to begin with, whereas the FIRST paper ballots had been provided to each district group with the names from the district on them.

We were told we could choose one of four options–the “Trump” slate, the “Cruz” slate, the “Kasich Slate”, or the “unity” slate (this conventions buzzword of choice). We could, alternatively, choose to select our delegates manually from the entire list, up to 56 choices. I immediately decided to choose mine manually, and advised my fellow delegates to do the same. This choice turned out to be the wisest, as many of the delegates had slated for more than one candidate, some slating for all four choices.

The Electronic Process

It took about 20 minutes for the IT team to get the site itself to work on everyone’s smart phones and tablets, while the rest of us (several hundred) lined up by the one room that had about 20 laptops and tablets set up for us to use, with volunteers to talk us through the process. I went for the choose my own as stated, and I ended up choosing the full 56, all people I had personally approached and spoken to before the convention via email and phone, so I knew they were “safe”. I also voted for myself, for fun :-). Others voted for me also (arranged before the convention) but not enough to break the party’s slates, sadly.

I then went back to networking and waiting for the results, after also voting in the run off for our female chair for Cleveland. By 5:30, we hadn’t heard anything significant, and I was well beyond my endurance level, even though I went to the convention wearing my TENS unit, and with my medication, hoping to be able to last well beyond the voting phase and hear the results in person.

So my other half and I had to leave around 5:30 p.m.. He was loaded down with business cards, email addys, phone numbers for me, and I had my own pile of the same to work with in the coming weeks. So I unfortunately missed the big blowup by Jan Brewer and others concerning the vote.

What I Noticed and Heard About The At Large Election Ballot

As mentioned above, I noted that while some delegates were only labeled with 1 candidate or “unity”, more than 10% were labeled with 2 or more choices–so voters who blindly chose the “Trump”, “Cruz”, Kasich”, or Unity” slate didn’t end up with dedicated candidates in many cases. Also, some of the higher recognition names were NOT labeled for a specific candidate. As such, though I could get no confirmation the system was set up this way, there is a good probability that unlabeled candidates didn’t appear on specific slates.

I also noted when going through the final delegate list of primary and alternate for Cleveland that higher profile, more well known Trump delegates did NOT get primary slots–they got alternate slots or NONE. I CAN verify that about 2/3rds or so of the primary and the same of the alternate list are know (to me) Trump supporters–but many were also listed on the “Unity slate”.

The more interesting data is in the “alternate list”. Nobody can convince me that popular, well known people like Jim De Wit, Jan Brewer, Gabby Saucedo-Mercer, the Westermans and the Corbins didn’t get enough votes to make the primary selection. Unless, of course, for whatever reason they weren’t listed on the “Trump slate” in the system, as most people took the advice of the ground team and voted “the slate”. I do know having seen it with my own eyes that on my screen, I marked only delegates I had personally ascertained were Trump supporters, or who were known to me through local politics and listed themselves as ONLY on the Trump Slate.

Results Analysis

  1. I do NOT believe the website was “rigged” in the conventional sense. I read everything VERY carefully as I went through it. As a matter of fact, I deliberately played stupid and wiped out my results 3 times so I had the maximum opportunity to double and triple check the listings.
  2. There was one man yelling fraud in the room where we were voting at the time. His contention of fraud was based on the fact that some of his Trump Slate people were slated for other candidates as well. As we have ZERO information that is reliable on how the slating process worked for the at large ballot, other than the fact all the candidates had someone present to accept/.reject the slate, we have no way of knowing whether the multiple slating was due to choice/consensus on the part of the CANDIDATES’ reps at slating, or the party being sneaky. Had I been a Rep, I would have busted my tail making sure that ALL of my people were multi-slated, specifically so all my people would land in the primary delegate pool.
  3. Allowing your people to be multi-slated is the optimal strategy in this instance as most of the delegates, being new to the entire convention process, played it safe and voted their slate. As such, if a hard core Trump supporter were also listed for Cruz, Kasich and Unity, no matter which slate a delegate chooses, that person gets a vote. The lesson is simple: NEVER SLATE YOURSELF FOR ONLY ONE GUY, ESPECIALLY IF THAT PERSON IS VOTING FOR AN UNPOPULAR CHOICE.
  4. I find it highly improbable, statistically, that most of the well known names only made alternate. A good number of them in ANY OTHER YEAR would have been going to the national, based on their years of service, effort, and financial support of the party (all of which earn you extra points, BTW). So I tend to believe people like Jim DeWit when he says something stinks. But I don’t feel the stench comes from the website–I believe it came from the slating process itself.

The 64,000.00 Questions:

  1. Why did our candidate’s rep at slating NOT slate for all choices, to make sure we couldn’t be overlooked?
  2. Why did Graham NOT explain that just because someone is slated for more than one team DOESN’T MEAN THEY ARE NOT ON YOUR SIDE?
  3. Why were only about 20 laptops/tablets available for well over 500 people who don’t have smart phones or who couldn’t log on at first with their own device?
  4. Why did our ground team NOT make every effort to put us in touch with one another before the convention? I did my legwork myself–but not everyone understands how very important it is NOT TO WAIT AROUND FOR THE GROUND TEAM FOR INSTRUCTIONS.
  5. Who was on the Star Chamber slating team for the first congressional district slating, and why were so many established party members kept in the dark (not to mention the rest of us).
  6. And why, most importantly, were we–the voting delegates–not allowed to stump, introduce ourselves, or otherwise let people know formally who we were and why we should be the choice? I and my other 3,3’s only met ONE of our slated choices for our district in the caucus room, and it was made quite clear to us by sundry parties involved we were expected to blindly vote our slate and not worry about it…..

Inquiring minds want to know…..Because we know that something DID go on.

In Case You Have Missed The Point, Here—

Our responsibility doesn’t begin and end in the voting booth. If we want our candidate, when elected, TO BE ABLE TO GET ANYTHING DONE IN DC, WE NEED TO GET CONTROL OF THIS POLITICAL CIRCUS BACK IN THE HANDS OF THE PEOPLE.

I DON’T CARE WHO TRIES TO TELL ME TO JUST VOTE A SLATE AND NOT WORRY. IT IS MY JOB AS A VOTER TO DO MY DUE DILIGENCE, ASK QUESTIONS, AND BE INVOLVED. 

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER. AND RIGHT NOW, WE NEED ALL THE POWER WE CAN GET.

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8 thoughts on “AZGOP Convention: Part 3

  1. Most interesting! Thank you for an inside view, via a well-written, descriptive and informative analysis of the AZGOPe cluster-****.

    I concur with your conclusion that although there probably wasn’t anything specifically or inherently flawed in the software itself, the level of ambiguity and the atypical outcome of results were where the accusations of “rigging” could be deduced.

    I remain optimistic that by sheer dint of Trump’s personality, he will be able to obtain enough delegates that a brokered convention won’t be necessary; however, there is nothing that you’ve written in these three parts that give me much reason to hope that Robert Graham won’t already be scheming towards this same troublesome scenario for the August primaries, at which time I shall take great delight in voting for Dr. Kelly Ward and praying for Senator McCain’s defeat. And as God is my Witness, if he makes it out of the primary, I’ll vote for the female Democrat from southern Arizona come this November.

    I’ll also look forward to your future articles concerning this very unseemly state-of-the-GOP-affair’s mess. Thank you for the time and effort that both you and your husband spent to shed light into this murky process. My eyes have never been opened wider, politically, than by this 2016 election. How naive I’ve been.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We all need to work our butts off for Kelli–which is why I am begging every able bodied AZ republican–or bedridden one or even ZOMBIE at this point to go to the next local GOPer meeting and see if your precinct seat is empty.

      The precinct level of the party is gutted and ripe for takeover, and if we get those seats we can use them to fight Graham and his merrie minions from the GOP netherworld, and get rid of Mc Cain.

      If Mc Cain survives the primary, I’m voting kirkpatrick myself. I will NOT vote for that man again. I’m also going to be stumping for Edna San Miguel in my district (Grijalva’s current seat), as Gabby Saucedo-Mercer isn’t running, though it will likely be a futile battle *sigh*.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Very interesting reports, chrystalia99. I will continue to read them.

    Corruption is innate to the human experience. Insiders will always defend their interests with layers of meaningless complication. What we Americans need is more of your spirit and determination.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So you didn’t get to be a delegate?
    I’m thinking that the answer to that is “no” from what you said in your articles.

    Sounds like even Jan Brewer didn’t get to be a delegate either.
    I saw a small video on Twitter where Brewer was saying that her name wasn’t even on a ballot.

    Sounds like a totally raw deal all the way around, Chrystalia.
    Thank you so much for all the hard work you’re doing!

    That thing about there only being “20 laptops” for so many people…because people “couldn’t use their own devices”…seems really fishy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I DIDN’T MAKE NATIONAL–BUT I got a whole lot more important things done for the local level *evil grin*…..

      Nope, Jan’s an alternate, I believe, as is Jim De Wit. Arpaio made the primary delegate list for Cleveland, as well as our governor I believe.

      The whole laptop/tablet situation was typical not thinking. These yo yos apparently think everyone in the world would come with a smartphone or tablet, *and* that the webiste would work with all the devices seemlessly. As such, they only had the one room for the tech impaired and the people like me who own a flip phone that is for making phone calls LOL.

      Even after they had the website working for most peoples’ personal devices, navigating the ballot if you did anything other than choose the “slate” offered in a phone was ridiculous–they had every volunteer in the place helping people.

      Things will get interesting, now–the amount of general angst throughout the party infrastructure will prove very useful ahead :-).

      Liked by 1 person

      • Aww…well Thanks again, for doing all this work, and for taking the time to give us a first hand report on it all.

        You’re awesome.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’ll keep the reports coming, have some local GOPers networking to do over the next few weeks. Desperately need more Arizonans on board, though *sigh*…. All those nice, juicy, open precinct seats just waiting for people.

        The way things are going, I may start recruiting democrats and independents. Not ALL of them are insane….

        Liked by 1 person

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