Smooth Sailing For Idaho GOP At First Caucus

Mar 7, 2012

BOISE - Idaho Republicans held their first presidential caucus Tuesday. Mitt Romney won big and it was mostly smooth sailing.

After Tuesday night Dawn Hatch’s voice is nearly gone.

“When the people are getting in line to vote, you have to get them out of their seats, up the stairs, over to the booth in a rapid manner," she says. "And I’m saying come on come on, go go go, let’s go.”

Hatch was chair of Ada County’s Republican presidential caucus, the largest in the state, with more than 9,000 people. Hatch says besides talking herself hoarse, the biggest problem at the Ada County caucus was a late start.

“There were some that wanted to get in after, well half-an-hour after we closed the doors because we held them open a little bit longer," Hatch says. "But we just had to start the program.”

State GOP Executive Director Jonathan Parker says late starts were the biggest bump the party hit running its first caucus.

“That’s a pretty good problem to have," Parker says. "The reason they started late was the large attendance numbers.”

There were some other hitches. One location in Boise County lost the key to the ballot box and had to fetch some bolt cutters to count the ballots. Someone in Canyon County tried to tip the scales for Ron Paul by tossing in a handful of quarters into the machine that weighed voting tokens.

But Parker says if he could make one change for next time it would be allowing only one round of voting. Koontenai County, he says continued voting past 12:30 before anyone got a majority.

Copyright 2012 Boise State Public Radio