Thousands of local residents wanting to take part in the selection of a presidential nominee was both good news and bad news for the Democratic Party Tuesday night.
Although organizers made late attempts to find venues large enough to accommodate the crowds, even they were surprised at the numbers. Caucus-goers had to split off to a second location at one site or be counted and leave another site to make room for other participants. Some people were unable to make it to their caucus because of parking problems or traffic jams.
There were frustrations, but it nonetheless was inspiring to see so many people wanting to participate in this grassroots political effort. People waited in lines. Some young people stuck in traffic reportedly abandoned their cars as far away as Barker Avenue and jogged to the Douglas County 4-H Fairgrounds to be counted.
There were glitches, but Democratic leaders did the best they could to hold fair and orderly caucuses. They no doubt learned valuable lessons they will be able to put to use if future caucuses draw similar crowds.
Republicans will have their turn at 10 a.m. Saturday at South Junior High School. Their process, not surprisingly, is a little different than the Democrats' but it would be great if they also found themselves dealing with a larger-than-expected crowd.