Election News – Archives

Precinct, Caucus & Convention Schedules  See:    http://www.thegreenpapers.com/P16/events.phtml?s=c&f=m

WA State Democrats 2016 Caucus and Convention Cycle Guide  See:  http://www.wa-democrats.org/sites/wadems/files/documents/2016%20Caucus%20and%20Convention%20Guide.pdf

Want to get info on How To Participate in the WA State Democratic Caucus this Year?  See the 34th LD’s excellent website for more information  See:  http://www.34dems.org/



WA State Dem Party Structure & WA State Dem Party Presidental Caucus/Convention Cycle Process  (Passed Out at January’s Meeting) 

        Washington State Democratic Party Structure

Note: All the levels of government and the Democratic Party are based on one-person/one-vote. This means that the following levels are approximately equivalent in number of registered voters. They vary greatly in geographic size. County and state levels also vary in population. All official meetings of the Democratic Party are open to the public. Calendars are generally available online. All regular elections and reorganizations within the Party are done on a two-year cycle.

Precincts – The grassroots level of the Democratic Party (Party) in Washington is the Precinct. A Precinct Committee Officer (referred to as aPCO) is elected by voters in the precinct to represent them in the Democratic Party. This person acts as a liaison between the Party and voters in the precinct by participating in Democratic Party functions including reorganizing the County Central Committee and Legislative District Organization (both described below), by acting as a representative of the precinct at the district organization meetings and sharing information back to the precinct through activities such as doorbelling.

Legislative Districts – Precincts are grouped to form a Legislative District(LD). Legislative Districts are the level of government that elects two representatives and one senator to the state legislature. For the Party, organizations at this level carry out the local party functions, such as providing forums for discussion of and action on issues, endorsing candidates and issues, and conducting other Party business. Precinct committee officers are automatic members of the organizations, while other Democrats residing in the LD are generally welcome to join and pay dues for participation in organization business. PCOs elect male and female representatives from the district level to the county and state central committees. Local elected officials often attend LD monthly meetings. This is great way to meet officials and candidates for office and to speak to them personally about issues that concern you.

County – The County Central Committee may be either a grouping of legislative districts in more urbanized areas or a part of a larger legislative district in more rural areas. All precinct committee officers within a county are members of the central committee and elect officers to represent them at the county level. Those officers, LD chairs and representatives elected from legislative districts, in more urban areas, make up the Executive Board of the county central committee. In rural areas, county and legislative district meetings are coordinated, sometimes with breakout sessions for county meetings as a part of the LD meeting. PCOs elect male and female representatives from the county level to represent them on the state committee. Although you are welcome to attend county meetings, only executive committee members are eligible to vote.

Congressional Districts – The Congressional District (CD) is the level at which congressional representatives are elected. For the Party, state committee members elect from amongst their ranks someone to represent them on the executive committee of the state central committee. This is the level that elects presidential electors and the first round of delegates to the national convention.

State – The state is the level at which candidates for state office are elected. Two US senators are elected at this level as well. The Washington State Democratic Central Committee (WSDCC) is composed of representatives elected from counties and legislative districts as well as officers and Democratic National Committee members. The state central committee meets four times per year in locations around the state. State Elections, Rules, Affirmative Action, and other committees as well as caucuses (Ag & Rural, Native American, Progressive, etc.) gather on the same dates to discuss their business and programming.


       Washington State Democratic Party Presidential                          Caucus/Convention Cycle Process

Note: The caucus/convention cycle for the Washington State Democratic Party is consistent with the jurisdictional levels noted on the other side. Please refer to that information if you have questions as you read this process description. The cycle changes, but the following is a basic process. Specific rules are provided for each level. Alternates are elected per the rules when delegates are elected. If seated, alternates have the same roles and responsibilities as delegates. The Democratic Party is committed to including representative groups within its delegations at all levels. Although contributions to cover expenses are encouraged, in no instance is a person required to pay a fee to participate in Democratic meetings.

Precinct Caucus – The presidential Precinct Caucus is the lowest level at which presidential preferences and platform issues are recorded. Any registered voter, or 17 year old who will be eligible to vote by the general election, willing to declare themselves a Democrat is eligible to participate in the presidential precinct caucus. People supporting one candidate, or uncommitted, “caucus” together. A spokesperson from each candidate, or uncommitted, may attempt to sway others away from their preference to their own and each participant is given an opportunity to change preference. There is a threshold for being assigned delegates and alternates, so those who would not get a delegate based the number of people who signed in for that presidential preference may wish to change preference in order to continue to have a voice in delegate selection. After changes are made, delegates are apportioned based on the number of people signed in for a particular preference; the reordered group meets to caucus and elect delegates to the Legislative District Caucus. (3/26)

Legislative District Caucus – This caucus of the delegates elected from the precinct caucuses is primarily dedicated to discussion of issues and election of delegates to the congressional and the state convention. Changes in preference are permitted. Delegates meet based on their final preference, including uncommitted, to elect delegates to the congressional and state levels. (4/17)

County Convention – The primary purpose of the County Convention is consideration of the county platform by the delegates elected at precinct caucuses. (5/1)

Congressional District Caucus – The business of the congressional district caucus is to elect a portion of the national delegation. (Persons wishing to run for national delegate at this level, and/or the state level, must complete forms indicating their qualifications and desire to run for a delegate position. This is a time-sensitive application and persons interested in these positions should be careful to note important dates by which action must be taken.) Delegates elected from legislative districts within a particular congressional district are eligible to vote for a predetermined number of delegates, apportioned on the basis of presidential votes in the most recent presidential election and the number of delegates declared for a particular candidate, or uncommitted. Electors who will cast a ballot in the Electoral College also run and are elected at this caucus. (5/21)

State Democratic Convention – The delegates elected at legislative district conventions participate in the state convention where they debate the state platform and related issues. A process for electing Party Leaders and Elected Official (PLEO) and At-large national delegates is included in the rules for the state convention. (6/17-19)

National Democratic Convention – Delegates elected to the national convention and other party leaders make up the Washington State delegation. Delegates need to pay their own way to the national convention. Fundraising is allowed. No person should be excluded from participation because they cannot afford to do so. The national convention location is generally announced far in advance of the convention. (7/25 -28)