Provo Caucus Overwhelmed


Wasatch Elementary, just north of Kwanis Park, was overrun with citizens trying to participate in this year’s caucus.

Essentially every room was filled with citizens of all voting ages, voting to elect different postitions for their particular precincts.  Provo’s seventh precinct was to hold their caucus in a regular size classroom.  It was evident that this would be impossible when 50 people were still waiting to get in and the room was already filled to standing room only.  Eventually the proceedings moved outside, to the relief of everyone.

The first order of business, after reading the rules and procedures, was to elect a precinct chair.  One nominee was Stephen Hales, an older gentleman with considerable political experience and contact. The other was 21-year-old Ryan Johns, fresh off his mission with some high political goals.  Johns founded and heads the Liberty club on BYU’s campus.

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The two candidates took questions and defended themselves on the spot. Hales spoke in support of Orrin Hatch, while Johns claimed that Hatch was a career politician who needed replacing.

In the end, Hales won in a landslide, despite the large number of students present.  Provo’s seventh precinct lies just south of BYU campus, and consists mostly of student housing.  Before the results were announced, Johns explained why he thought he should be voted in.

“Our main constituency is students,” he said.  “I as a student, have the strongest voice and reflect the desires of the people living here, perhaps more than an older person.”

Janessa Baird was there to participate in her first ever caucus.

“I came because its my civic duty, and I wanted to learn how caucuses work,” she said.

Another contributor to high turnout might have been the letter from the First Presidency of the LDS Church, urging members to attend their caucus.


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