When the votes were counted, 537 people voted in Quay County’s first ever primary caucus and a percentage point over half voted for John Kerry. He was followed by Wesley Clark with 98, John Edwards with 76, Howard Dean with 22, Joe Liberman with 18, Dennis Kucinich with 4 and Al Sharpton received 2 write-in votes.
In addition, 19 individuals voted for New Mexico’s delegates to the Democratic National Convention to remain uncommitted.
According to Ballot Box monitor Pat Martinez there was also one spoiled ballot and four ballots that were rejected because those individuals marked two candidates.
In addition, two Republicans tried to vote, two people from Harding County attempted to vote and two people from Mora attempted to take part in Quay County’s first-ever caucus in New Mexico.
According to Site Judge Dellia Sue Winnet throughout the day, those who filed into the Quay County Exposition Building were always well behaved and patient.
“If they had to wait in line,” said Winnett, “it didn’t seem to bother anybody. Everybody was up.”
For many taking part, the voting took on an almost historical aspect since it was a first-time event.
“I think it is great,” said Janice Goldston of Tucumcari. “It has put us on the map. Now people will know that New Mexico is part of the United States.”
The enthusiasm that many felt as they approached the registration was communicated by Sarah Norris.
“I thought it was kind of exciting,” said Norris. “I always say, ‘If you don’t vote, don’t complain.’”
According to Head of the Quay County Democratic Party, Ron Wilmot who was also in charge of the caucus, everything went, “fantastically.” He said it was almost frightening just how well the whole process flowed.
“We had a much larger number turn out than I ever expected,” said Wilmot, and everybody was incredibly nice.”
Wilmot said people came to the caucus on crutches and in wheel chairs and a few times ballots had to be taken to cars since individuals were too infirm to get out of their cars, but those people waiting to cast ballots inside did so patiently until the election judges returned. He said the people were patient despite a several minute wait at times. Wilmot said he had been worried that inclimate weather would keep people away from the caucus.
“It certainly didn’t here in Quay County,” said Wilmot.