So tonight my co-bloggers and I decided to jump feet first into the fray and attend our precinct conventions. Frankly, I had a blast. There were about 250 there for my precinct alone (and big turnouts were the order of the day) but since there were multiple precincts gathered there we had probably 500 or so people packed into the building. It was a little disorganized at first, but it eventually got going and by the end our precinct had split evenly between Obama and Clinton, with eight delegates going to each nominee. The delegate selection process was a little wild and a little exciting, as I'd say most of the people there really didn't even know what they were there for; they just wanted to be part of the process and have their voices heard. But when some of us were able to explain what the process entailed, how it might mean an obligation to take a trip to Denver for the Democratic National Convention, not a single person balked. Everyone was there to help in whatever way they could, and though I'm a bit of a cynic at heart it was certainly very uplifting. Both candidates managed to get the word out about the importance of the caucuses. I'd say those of us Texans who participated got to witness democracy in its purest form, as ordinary people made their voices heard.
Observations: about half of the people in my precinct were African-American, and of those about ninety percent went for Obama. The total turnout in my precinct alone was probably around 250 (based on the vote totals alone for both candidates) and of those I'd say about 1/3 hung around after the sign-in process to take part in the voting for delegates. There has apparently been some contention in precincts across Dallas County, but I saw nothing like that in my precinct.
Here are some pictures from the precinct below:
UPDATE: Some pictures from Nat-Wu's precinct caucus: