In my last blog I wrote about what the Caucuses are all about, how the caucuses fit into the overall election process and why we should participate. In this blog I want to go over how the Caucuses are going to be run.
The Delta County Republican Caucuses are going to be held on March 1, 2022 at four different locations for the 20 Precincts in our County. Credentialing opens at 6:30 pm and the Caucuses will run from 7 to possibly 9 pm. Precincts will meet at the following locations:
Precincts 1-7 (Delta Area Precincts) Delta Middle School – located at 401 E. 10th St., Delta CO.
Precincts 8-14 (Cedaredge Area Precincts) Cedaredge Middle School – located at 845 SE Deer Creek Drive, Cedaredge, CO.
Precincts 15, 16 & 17 (Hotchkiss – Crawford Area Precincts) Memorial Hall – located at 175 1st St., Hotchkiss, CO.
Precincts 18, 19 & 20 (Paonia Area Precincts) Paonia Elementary School – located at 846 Grand Ave., Paonia, CO.
Participants can pre-register ahead of time on the following site, set up by the state GOP. On the Internet go to caucus.cologop.org The site is called the Colorado Republican Caucus Locator & Pre-registration. When you open the page, the screen that comes up says, “Find Your Caucus Location.” You enter your physical street address and zip code and hit the Search button. The next screen is “Verify Your Address.” The screen will show your address, city and zip code. You click on “This is my Address—Click Here.” The next screen is “Confirm Your Identity.” There may be several individuals listed, who are probably also registered voters who reside at that address. Click on your name. That will bring up a “Pre-register for Caucus Now” menu, that asks for your email address, your phone number and if you wish to volunteer to be an election judge. Complete those three items then click on the “Click to Complete Pre-registration” button. This will bring up your completed Pre-registration. This shows your name, address, email, phone number, county, Colorado voter #, your status (whether you are eligible to participate at caucus, confirmed and pre-registered), and the date you pre-registered. The form also shows the caucus location (Precinct #, building location, address, and city), the Republican contact for the caucus, their phone number and email. The pre-registration will also have a map of the location. Print it and bring it to the caucus. This will simplify your “credentialing” or registration at the caucus. If you are pre-registered you will only need to review the information that the organizer will have and initial the information.
I realize this is a very detailed description on how to pre-register but I want to walk people through it so you know it is very simple to do and only takes 2-5 minutes to complete. If people don't pre-register it may take 3-5 minutes to register at the credentialing table at the precinct caucus rather than less than a minute for those that pre-register. Pre-registering will definitely speed up the credentialing process at the Caucus. And it will give you the exact information on what Precinct you are in and where your caucus will be.
Once participants have been credentialed, everyone at the four locations will go to a central site to view a video on the candidates for the County offices. Following this, participants will break out into their individual precincts. Each Precinct Caucus will have a notebook with a registration roll, a script to follow to conduct the meeting and all the appropriate forms. At each individual precinct caucus one of the current Precinct Committee People (PCPs) will call the meeting to order. Participants will then recite the Pledge of Allegiance and offer an invocation. After these opening activities, the first order of business of the caucus will be to select two people of the credentialed participants to serve as Precinct Caucus Officers, a chairman and a secretary, and run the remainder of the meeting. Often, the two existing PCPs will serve as PC officers but any credentialed participant may also serve. If only two people are nominated, these two are elected by acclamation. If more than one candidate is nominated, a vote is taken by raising of hands. Once the Precinct Caucus Officers are elected, the meeting moves on to the rest of the agenda. The Precinct Caucus Chairman will conduct the meeting and the Secretary will record the various motions and elections and any other paperwork that is required.
The next order of business is to elect new PCPs. The PCPs will serve for the next two years until the next precinct caucus. They will represent their precinct at the monthly Delta County Republican Central Committee (DCRCC) meetings with voting privileges. The duties of the PCPs are to organize voter registration efforts, distribute candidate literature, coordinate “Get Out the Vote” efforts, help build and grow the Party, and help with events e.g. parades, fundraisers, Lincoln Day Dinner, headquarters office, etc. and conduct neighborhood canvass (solicit votes) for elections. Candidates nominated for PCP may offer remarks as to why they wish to serve as a PCP. Candidates who are not present at the caucus may be nominated to serve as a PCP. A candidate who is elected in absentia and later declines to serve will be replaced by the DCRCC. Voting is again conducted by raising of hands.
Following the election of PCPs is the election of delegates and alternates to the County Assembly. These delegates will vote at the County Assembly to nominate the County level candidates for elective office – County Commissioner, County Clerk, County Sheriff, County Assessor, County Treasurer, County Coroner and County Surveyor. The County Assembly will be held the morning of Saturday March 19, 2022 at the Delta Center for the Performing Arts – 822 Grand Ave., Delta CO. The number of delegates for each precinct is determined by the Chairman of the DCRCC and is based on the number or registered Republicans living in the precinct. Candidates for delegate are encouraged to state why they wish to serve at the County Assembly. The CountyThese brief remarks may include the names of candidates the delegate will support at the County Assembly or one of the higher assemblies. Again, someone not present at the caucus may be nominated to serve as a delegate or alternate. If the person nominated in absentia later declines to attend the County Assembly, a replacement delegate may not be selected, however an alternate may be moved up to fill the slot. The delegates elected to attend the County Assembly also are eligible to attend the State Assembly. This year’s Colorado Republican State Convention & Assembly and most of the other Legislative District Assemblies will be held on April 8th & 9th, 2022 in Colorado Springs. The multi-county District Assemblies will be held at the Double Tree Inn on Friday April 8th and Colorado State Assembly & Convention will be on Saturday, April 9that the World Arena. Delegates and alternates who are elected to serve at the State Assembly and Convention will need to pay a badge fee to help offset the cost of the Convention and are responsible for their travel, lodging and food. Badge fees are $60 for delegates and $45 for alternates. These fees MUST be paid to the DCRCC no later than March 19th, the date of the County Assembly.
The 4th item of business at the caucus is to prepare a list of interested and eligible election judges. Those interested will sign up on a form available at the caucus, providing their names and contact information. Candidates agree to take a class on serving as an election judge. The list will be sent to the Delta County Republican Chairman, who certifies the names and forwards the list to the County Clerk no later than the last Tuesday in April. The County Clerk and Recorder will make the final selection of election judges. Please remember the election judges are one of the most important components of our elections – making sure that our elections are conducted in a fair and honest manner. Those that sign up as election judges and take the class may also serve as poll watchers. These positions are also important in maintaining fair and honest elections. Please consider signing up for these important roles.
The DCRCC Chairman will provide a letter to each precinct to be read that will serve as an appeal to the attendees for the various activities that the DCRCC will be hosting in 2022.
The final item of business in the Caucus is the consideration of any resolutions that participants would like the DCRCC to consider for submitting to the State Party for developing the Party Platform. These resolutions must be written out ahead of time. Submitted resolutions must be approved by the precinct at the caucus by a majority vote. Any resolutions approved must be submitted in writing to the County Party officers upon the conclusion of the precinct caucus, and must include the name and phone number of the resolution sponsor and the vote tally of eligible precinct caucus participants approving the resolution.
At this point the caucus is concluded. The Caucus officers will need to complete the paperwork right after the meeting and turn it into the designated DCRCC representative before leaving that night. You won’t want a panicked DCRCC representative chasing you down to get the paperwork that must be submitted on a set time frame. Finally, remember that the Colorado Secretary of State holds the constitutional responsibility for conducting elections in Colorado. The Secretary delegates the nomination of candidates to the political parties but the process is governed by the Secretary’s rules. Some of the processes may seem rigid and overly formal but they are based on those Secretary of State rules.
I hope this gives everyone a good idea what will go on at the caucus. Try to pre-register (see the third paragraph from the top for details). But most importantly come to your caucus and be a part of our representative government. Let me know if you have any questions.
Delta County Republican Central Committee Chairman