2012 Democratic Caucuses A Guide to hosting the 2012 Caucuses
June 2, 2012 Democratic State ConventionMassMutual CenterSpringfield, MA
The State Convention• The Massachusetts Caucuses elect delegates to the annual Democratic State Convention – 4,180 Delegates and 1,686 Alternates• 2012 is a Nominating Convention – Senate candidates who receive 15% of delegate votes at the convention will be on the Democratic Primary ballot in September, 2012
Dates you NEED to Know• Dec 31, 2011: Deadline to register as Democrat• January 9, 2012: Caucus locations Registered – All locations will be publicized, available in local media and also on Massdems.org/caucuses• February 11 – February 26: Caucus Window• March 30, 2012: Add-On Application Deadline• April 13, 2012: Delegate Registration Deadline• June 2, 2012: Democratic State Convention
Your Job as Chair• Call the Caucus!• The town/ward chair shall call a caucus to occur during the February 11-26 window – Caucus start time: No earlier than 9AM on the weekend; No earlier than 6PM on a weekday• The caucus must occur at a public location must be ADA accessible• Date, Location and Time must be registered with the MDP by January 9, 2012
Eligibility Rules for Delegates• Must be a registered Democrat in the town or ward by Decmeber 31, 2011• Must be present at the caucus – Exception for person serving in U.S. Armed Forces • Must advise Chair by Jan. 18 of desire for consideration• Cannot have publicly supported or endorsed any candidate opposing a nominee of the Democratic Party in the current or previous partisan election – For Statewide and President, 4 year ban – For all other offices, 2 year ban
Preparing for the Caucus• Notify registered Democrats in your town or ward of the caucus. – Notice should appear in local media no sooner than thirty and at least nine days before caucus• Obtain a copy of the most recent official registration of Democrats from your local clerk• Recruit volunteers to assist with registration and balloting at the caucus• Make copies of Add-On Delegate forms and Registration Fee Waivers
Use VoteBuilder to Gather Dems• Utilize your town’s FREE VoteBuilder account to bring in strong Democrats to the Caucus – Find Registered Dems who voted in ALL 3 of the last 3 primaries (Super Democrats!) – Find newly registered Dems who might want to get involved for the first time• Encouraging involvement in the Caucus strengthens town/ward committees for 2012
Caucus Day• Arrive at least 45 minutes early to set up• This is an open Democratic Party meeting – No person shall be denied admittance – An area shall be set aside for those not eligible to vote in the caucus – Only registered Democrats residing in the ward or town may vote and/or run for Delegate/Alternate• Registration must begin 15 minutes prior to the starting time and remain open until 15 minutes after the scheduled starting time• Post and Distribute the Preliminary Call to Convention for the Massachusetts Democratic Party
Caucus Agenda• Read and present the information concerning the 2012 Massachusetts Democratic Convention with emphasis upon responsibilities of Delegates to the convention• Read and discuss the “Affirmative Action and Outreach” as outlined in the Party Charter and Statewide Affirmative Action and Outreach Plan – Inform participants of Add-On positions: Disabled, Minority, Youth• Read and review the “Method of Selecting Delegates to the 2012 Massachusetts Democratic Convention”• Explain ex-officio delegates• Read aloud the letter from Chairman John Walsh NO CAUCUS SHALL HAVE THE RIGHT TO WAIVE THE READING OF ANY DOCUMENT OR COMMUNICATION INCLUDED IN THIS AGENDA
The Balloting• Balloting must begin within 1 hr of start time• Collect nominations for individuals (NO SLATE)• Post the names of all candidates prior to vote• Candidates have right to brief (2 min) speech• Run separate ballots for women and men• If odd number of seats: Third ballot open to both genders after gender-specific seats filled• Alternates elected after Delegates, ranked by votes received; ties decided by lot
After the Caucus• Remind elected Delegates/Alternates that the $75 registration fee is due by April 13th, 2012 – $25 late fee for missing April 13 deadline – Highlight Fee Waiver process (MDP Exec. Director)• Remind Delegates to COMPLETELY fill out their Delegate Certification forms• Chair should submit caucus books by mail back to MDP two days after the caucus – If book is not received by May 25, 2012, no one shall be seated in the Chair’s ex-officio position• VoteBuilder will collect caucus results online – Towns/Wards not yet registered for VoteBuilder must contact the State Party immediately
MOST IMPORTANTRead the “Method for Selecting Delegates to the 2012 Massachusetts Democratic State Convention” These slides are a summary, but many details found in the Method will provide further explanations and solve issues that may arise.
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