Every single County Democratic Party needs precinct chairs, and they need them immediately.
You can find your local county Democratic Party here. If you’re interested in becoming a precinct chair, contact them directly.
What is a precinct chair?
A precinct is the smallest unit of the Democratic Party. Each county has dozens or even hundreds, depending on the size of your county, of precincts. All the precincts are under the direction of your county party, and the county parties are under the state party.
A single precinct usually consists of your neighborhood and might also include adjoining areas.
A precinct chair is an elected position, but when you first sign up to become a precinct chair, if the position is empty, your county party will appoint you to the position. Still, you’ll have to be on the ballot in the following election.
As a precinct chair, you will organize within your own precinct/neighborhood and help with elections. In addition, you can attend conventions, get involved in committees within your county party, and most of all, you’ll have a ton of fun doing it.
Why are precinct chairs so important?
Precinct chairs represent the registered Democratic voters in their neighborhoods. For many Democratic voters, the precinct chair is the most accessible person within the Democratic Party. You will coordinate messaging between the party and your neighbors and help increase voter turnout.
Real grassroots change comes from your community. If you want your voice and your neighbor’s voice heard from the Democratic Party, from your elected officials, the best way to achieve this is by becoming a precinct chair.
Right now, democracy is in peril. Republicans all over America, and especially here in Texas, are working diligently to take away your right to vote, your right to bodily autonomy, and your access to healthcare. We all know that we need a huge voter turnout in 2022. The best way to help is by becoming a precinct chair, organizing in your neighborhood, and ensuring people get to the polls on election day.
What does a precinct chair do?
Your primary job as a Precinct Chair is to get as many voters as possible in your precinct to vote for Democrats in elections. The best way to get people to act is by being invested in the election. The grassroots representation of a precinct chair is the heart of our democracy. And while not all precinct chairs will be able to give the same amount of time and effort, it’s better to have some action in your neighborhood than none at all.
As a precinct chair, you will:
- Identify voters in your neighborhood. Get to know your neighbors and tell them you’re the Democratic Precinct Chair. This is the best way to strike up a conversation, find out their political leanings, and learn who are the Democratic voters in your neighborhood. You can also find out who the swing voters are or the non-voters, and you may be able to convince them to vote.
- Register voters. To register new voters, you’ll have to become a Deputy Voter Registrar (DVR). That’s done through your local county election office and is a straightforward process. DVRs take a short training course and an oath from the county Voter Registrar. They are then allowed to accept a completed voter registration application card from a new voter and take it to the Voter Registrar. Contact your local Voter Registrar for more information.
- Keep Democratic voters in your neighborhood informed. As a precinct chair, you are the political leader in your neighborhood. You’ll keep in touch with the Democrats in your area about political events, issues, upcoming elections, and opportunities for involvement in campaigns or with the local party. You’ll also be able to distribute campaign literature or yard signs.
- Turning out the vote. The most important step in this process is making sure the Democratic voters in your neighborhood get to the polls. After you’ve identified who they are, made sure they were registered, and kept them informed, the next important thing is to get them to the polls to vote for the Democratic candidates.
What makes a successful precinct chair?
Voter contact. If you want voters to turn out in the election, you have to reach out to them between three and five times per election cycle.
Signs and literature. Dominate your local precinct with election signs and literature. Many local candidates will give out free signs. Larger candidates for state races will likely sell yard signs; make sure your neighbors know where to go to buy them.
A high voter turnout. A high voter turnout at your neighborhood level would mean making sure that 75% or more of the Democratic voters in your precinct showed up at the polls.
What tools do you need as a precinct chair?
Make sure you have saved the links to the Democratic Party platform so you can easily share. When people have questions about issues or party priorities, the platform is always the best thing to share.
Voter registration cards and change of address cards. You should always be ready to register more Democrats (make sure you’re a DVR).
You should know who is on the ballot and where the polling locations are. Be ready to share that information with your neighbors when they ask.
Qualifications for becoming a precinct chair:
- Be a resident of the precinct.
- Be a qualified voter in that county.
- Not be a county, state, or federal public officeholder or candidate for such office.
- In a general election year, be affiliated with the Democratic Party through voting in the Democratic primary election or runoff or by an oath of affiliation.
Resources available to precinct chairs:
Your county party staff and officers. In addition to your county chair, who should be your main point of contact, if your county party has a headquarters staff, they will be the best resource to answer questions about local issues.
Your local county elections office. Your local county election office can provide detailed maps of your precinct and the most recent list of registered voters for your county.
When should you sign up to become a precinct chair?
Now! Right now! There are only 15 weeks until the election. Do you want Texas to turn blue? It will take all of us, and it has to start immediately.
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