Friday, February 12, 2010

Precinct Convention Check List Summary

Primary voters throughout Texas will go to their 2010 primary election day polling locations after the polls close on March 2, 2010 to hold precinct conventions to do the following:

  1. Elect delegates and alternates to the county conventions.
  2. Adopt resolutions that will be submitted to the county conventions.
The precinct convention is the first step in the convention delegate process. That process begins at the precinct level and moves on to the county level and on to the state, and in presidential years, to the national convention. Much of what is done is set by state law, the Rules of the Texas Democratic Party, and Robert’s Rules of Order.

The precinct convention is called to order by the temporary chair. The precinct chair typically acts as the temporary chair, but if the precinct chair is not available, any interested Democratic 2010 Democratic primary voter from the precinct may pick up the convention packet and convene the meeting as the temporary chair.

Precinct Convention Check List Summary:
  1. Each Precinct must hold its own convention. If your precinct has been consolidated with others for voting on Election Day, you still must hold your precinct conventions separately.
  2. Your precinct convention may NOT begin until the last voter has voted at the Election Day Polling Place where the precinct conventions are schedule to convene or after 7:15 p.m. whichever is later. (TX Elec. Code Sec. 174.022).
  3. A Temporary Chair steps forward to pick up the convention packet from the Election Judge and to assume responsibility to check in convention attendees. The Temporary Chair is usually the Precinct Chair, but it can be anyone who picks up the packet from the Election Judge may serve as the Temporary Chair. The precinct convention packet will includes the following items:
    1. One letter from the State Party Chair
    2. Convention Minutes Form
    3. Convention Exhibit A Sign-in Form
    4. Convention Exhibit G Delegate Form
    5. Convention Exhibit H Alternate Form
    6. Number of Delegates that may be elected
    7. Texas Democratic Party Rules
    8. Precinct Convention Instructions
    9. Other forms and information
  4. The Temporary Chair appoints a Temporary Secretary to assist in checking and recording convention attendee information and to record minutes of opening proceedings.
  5. The Temporary Chair and Secretary confirms that each convention attendee voted in the Democratic primary and lives in the correct voting precinct.
  6. The Temporary Chair and Secretary enters the name, address, voter registration number and other information for each person attending the convention the on the "Exhibit A" sign in form. Each voting member of the precinct convention body must be entered on the "Exhibit A" sign in form. All fields except email and phone are required, however, at least one phone number or an email address is preferred so that the credentials committee may contact these voters in case a delegate vote challenge arises requiring verification.
  7. When sign-in of all in attendance is complete, the temporary chair calls the precinct convention to order as the Temporary Secretary records the minutes of the opening proceedings on the minutes form found in the convention packet.
  8. The temporary chair announces, "this convention will be conducted in accordance with the Texas Election Code, and the Rules adopted by the Party in accordance with section 163.002 of the Election code..." (See the "Democratic Precinct Convention Minutes" form for the complete statement to be read by the temporary chair.)
  9. The temporary chair calls for nominations for a permanent convention chair and the Temporary Secretary records the names of each nominee. The temporary chair then calls for a vote on each nominee's name by convention attendees. A simple majority vote is sufficient to elect a permanent convention chair to run the convention.
  10. The permanent convention chair then calls for the nomination and election of a permanent convention secretary in a similar procedure. The temporary secretary continues to record these proceedings until the permanent secretary is elected takes over recording the minutes.
  11. The permanent convention chair announces:
    1. Number of people who signed in on “Exhibit A” at the precinct convention who voted in the Democratic Primary;
    2. The number of Delegates and equal number of Alternates the precinct convention is allowed to elect to advance to the county convention. (An alternate is someone who may take the place of a delegate at the county convention if the delegate is unable to attend and participate in the county convention.)
  12. The permanent convention chair calls for nominations of Delegates and Alternates to the Collin County Convention according to the rules set forth in the TDP Handbook Article IV.B. The following is a brief synopsis of the rules:
    1. The chair announces that any individual or group present may submit a written petition to caucus, and that other convention attendees are permit to sign the petition and join the caucus. Participants may sign only one such petition. The caucus may act as a group for the purpose of nominating and electing their representative portion of Delegates and Alternates. If no caucus petitions are offered then the full portion of Delegates and Alternates are elected at large by the full convention body. (TDP Handbook IV.B.11.b-f)
    2. Convention participants may nominate themselves or any other participant.
    3. If a non-attendee desires to be nominated as a delegate or alternate, they must notify the precinct chair prior to the precinct convention.
    4. In non-presidential years, the total number of alternate delegates equals the total number of delegates allotted to the voter precinct.
    5. Nominations are held open until a motion is made, seconded, and passed by a two-thirds majority to close nominations.
  13. The convention chair announces the names of the nominated Delegates and Alternates.
  14. The convention chair calls for the ratification, by majority vote of the full convention, of the nominated Delegates and Alternates.
  15. A single Chair of the Precinct Delegation is elected by majority vote of the full convention to represent the precinct’s delegation at the county convention.
  16. The precinct convention secretary records the names of the delegates and alternates on the Exhibit G and Exhibit H forms found in the convention packet.
  17. Other business then is considered (e.g. Resolutions) The convention considers resolutions or positions on issues. It is strongly suggested that resolutions or issue position papers be submitted in triplicate. Each resolution is voted on individually after proper discussion. A majority is required for passage.
  18. By motion and majority vote, the precinct convention is concluded and adjourned by the convention chair.
  19. The convention chair and secretary sign the minutes.
  20. Originals and copies of the minutes, the Exhibit A sign-in, Exhibit G Delegates and Exhibit H Alternates forms, and any resolutions or other adopted items must be delivered by the permanent precinct convention chair as follows:
    1. The original and one copy of each form are delivered to the county chair in one of the following ways.
      • By registered mail no later than the second day after the election
      • In person no later than 5:00 PM on the third day after the election. (In person Primary night is even better.)
    2. The second copy of the minutes and marked sign-in lists must be sent to the state Party in the envelope provided.
    3. The third copy is retained by the convention chair.

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