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Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Democratic caucus rallies in delegates for Bernie Sanders

Supporters decide which six ballots to select out of 51. Photo credit: Michelle Zhu

A passionate, diverse crowd gathered at the Chico Grange Hall Sunday afternoon to cast a vote for delegate candidates to represent Bernie Sanders at the Democratic National Convention in July.

People could attend, cast a vote and leave, or stay for delegate speeches. Caucuses were held statewide by California’s 53 Congressional Districts. The purpose is to elect delegates to represent Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton at the convention based upon the percentage of the vote that the supporting candidate receives in the Congressional District at the California primary.

Any registered Democrat could have applied to run as a delegate a month prior to Sunday’s caucus.

Supporters could arrive to cast a vote for delegates, register to vote or show support. Photo credit: Michelle Zhu

The Sanders caucus had 51 delegate candidates on its ballot, while the Clinton caucus had 19.

Wendy Le Master is a senior microbiology major and president of Wildcats for Bernie Sanders, a club that started at Chico State nine months ago. The club of about 300 members is currently canvasing and knocking on doors, aiming to gain support and making sure registration statuses are up to date. She recommends people check their registration status three times to confirm their vote will go through.

“I think what Bernie is saying to us is resonating with a lot of students,” Le Master said. “(Supporters) are leaning more toward Bernie because they see secrecy with Hillary.”

Le Master hopes to see a delegate who can represent Sanders to the fullest and won’t be “swayed by media.”

Additional support will be shown through Bern Fest, an event organized by Wildcats for Bernie Sanders, to get plugged into the local community and enjoy live music. Voter registration will be available throughout the entire event.

Lupe Hernandez, a senior mathematics major at Chico State, showed support at the caucus. Like many others, he donated to the Sanders campaign and believes more people still need to be aware and involved in order to see change. He has hopes that Sanders will take action on the income gap.

Lindsey Mendon was a delegate candidate hoping to use her background as a registered nurse to gain support. Mendon, along with her other colleagues, believes Sanders aligns with nurses on solutions to critical problems, including health care.

Clinton leads Sanders 47 to 41 percent in California, according to The Sacramento Bee. Supporters have voiced hope that a large turnout at the caucuses could close the gap between the two Democratic candidates.

The delegate results should be listed on the California Democratic Party website in a couple days.

Michelle Zhu can be reached at [email protected] or @mmichellezhuu on Twitter.

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