Become A Precinct Delegate
As a Precinct Delegate you are elected to represent your neighborhood for one of the two major political parties. The positive results that a Precinct Delegate help accomplish are powerful and make a real difference. The process is easy and the likelihood of winning a delegate seat is very high. In some districts only one vote is needed to get elected—and that one vote can be yours!
County Convention Checklist
Here is what you must answer, and/or prepare to do as conventions approach:
1. Are you a Precinct Delegate?
2. Decide: Do you want to go to State Convention?
3. Let you County Party Chair know.
4. Go to your County Convention
5. Vote to select State Convention Delegates.
6. If you are chosen to go, collect the information candidates give you and thoughtfully review it.
7. If you are not chosen to go, continue to watch the process and choose to be prayer support for the State Convention weekend.
8. Experience and enjoy the State Convention.
9. Stay involved whether your candidate wins or not.
How To Know Who To Support
Choosing who to support in your county and state conventions is just like any other election.
1. Find out who is running.
2. Start doing research on the candidates, and understand who they are and where they stand on the issues.
3. Talk to your county party leadership and other in your party community to get their perspective
Why Your Voice Is Needed
Precinct Delegates shape issues and leaders within their political party.
You are the salt and light.
As a Precinct Delegate you will be a much needed voice to support leaders who will stand for our values, protect our freedoms, and lead with integrity. Becoming a Precinct Delegate is a great opportunity to really make a difference – NOW!
Silence is not an option. Now is the time for you to rise up and let your voice be heard! Take the first step and file your affidavit by May 3. (If you’ve missed the filing deadline, read the “Filing As A Write-In” section below.)
We will help and guide you through the entire process. Then we will train and keep you informed at every step. You will make a difference.
Steps to Becoming A Precinct Delegate
1. Obtain an Affidavit of Identity.
Any registered voter can file an affidavit of identity to run for Precinct Delegate.
[twocol_one]Not sure if you’re registered? Find out! (Take note of what precinct you’re registered in, this will be important!)
Not Registered? Register!
[/twocol_one] [twocol_one_last]Here’s what you need in order to file:
Print out your Affidavit of Identity[/twocol_one_last]
2. File Your Affidavit by May 8
File the affidavit with your county clerk by May 8th at 4:00pm. (If you’ve missed the filing deadline, read the “Filing As A Write-In” section below.) The affidavit will need to be notarized, and the clerks can do that when you submit it.
3. Notify Our Organization.
Fill out this form to let us know that you’ve filed. We can then supply you with helpful information and keep you posted.
4. Notify Your Friends & Neighbors.
Your name will be on the ballot! Notify your friends and neighbors to vote for you on the August 2nd Primary ballot.
5. VOTE on August 7
6. After You are Elected…
Your county clerk will send you a verification of election. Depending on the party you listed on your affidavit, you will receive an invitation to attend either the Republican or Democratic county convention. The dates and locations, along with information on the State nominating conventions, will be posted on our website.
7. We Help Inform and Educate You.
CTV’s Maximize Your Voice program will provide training along the way to inform and educate you on the process and what to expect. Locations and times will be posted online. You can also connect with us by phone, text and email. You will not be alone.
Filing As A Write-In
I missed the May 8th filing deadline; is it too late for me to run?
Not at all! After May 8 and right up to 4 PM on the Friday before the primary you have the ability to file as a write-in candidate. Here are the details according to the Michigan Bureau of Elections (emphasis added):
Note that you cannot file this form with your county clerk, but only with your city or township clerk or the appropriate precinct board.
I’ve filed as a write-in candidate; now what?
Follow the rest of the steps outlined in the “Steps to Becoming A Precinct Delegate” section above, starting with step 3.
After Filing, What's Next?
You now have two tasks:
- To get elected on Tuesday, August 2, 2016
- To Serve
If you have filed for Precinct Delegate, you will have received a sample of your August ballot. It will show your name as well as the names of others who have filed to run in your precinct. It will also list how many delegate positions there are for your particular precinct when it says: “Vote for no more than ____”
You will be faced with three possible scenarios:
- There are the exact amount of delegates for the exact positions available. If there are 5 seats, and 5 candidates – assuming each candidate gets one vote, you win! You are officially a Precinct Delegate!
- There are more candidates running than positions available. Now you get to campaign! See the tab below for what to do next.
- There are more seats available, than people running – as long as you have at least one vote – you win!
Sometimes a delegate can win by less than 1 dozen people voting for them! However, do not let the ease of your election cause you to sit on the couch. Use the opportunity to let others know you are running for Delegate by using it for conversation starters (i.e. did you know there is an important election on Tuesday, August ___? I am running for Precinct Delegate! I signed up to do it because I want to be a positive voice in the party and serve my neighbors by voting for conservative statewide candidates in party conventions! Will you vote for me?). You can also help others get elected that might have a campaign!
When you file to run for Precinct Delegate, you have to identify what party you want to represent. In the same way that you join a team and are expected to contribute something to the effort, the parties are similarly eager for your participation. Simply a couple hours a month, or a few hours on a weekend etc, is a great way to serve those on your team. When you approach the county leadership later with a desire to participate in the convention process, they will be extra eager to engage you, as you will no longer be an “Unknown commodity” to them. You will be a trustworthy team-mate!
Get in Touch with your local party chair
- Introduce yourself
- Tell them you are new and excited to be part of the process.
- Ask to be added to their email list.
- Find how what you can do to help.
Get to Know Your Area
- Contact your township and/or city clerks and ask them for a map of/or a list of streets in your precinct. This will show you the region you represent. Sample Precinct Map
- Take a drive, or walk around your area to see what it is made of. How many homes? Do you know the neighbors? Are there schools in your area? Manufacturing complexes? Churches? Are there homes for sale? What can you learn about this community you want to represent?
- Contact your party leadership and ask them for a walk list, or a list of the houses in your neighborhood that are identified as the party of your choice. These are the homes and families you want to especially reach out to as they are the ones to most likely vote for you.
Meet Your Neighbors
Over the next few days (between now and the Primary Election) take time to stop by some of the neighbor’s homes: Introduce yourself, take a plate of cookies, or leave them a flyer.
When Contacting Your Neighbors, your message should be:
- Introduce yourself: “Hi! I’m ______ and I would like to be your Precinct Delegate!”
- In a few seconds, tell them two-three important things about you that you think they should know “I’ve lived here for five years, and I am a small business owner” or “I’ve been married for 25 years, have four children, and love our country.”
- Tell them how they can learn more about you, or how to contact you if they have questions.
- Perhaps ask them what is most important to them in your neighborhood
It is up to you on how influential you are in this role. You decide on how engaged you make this role, how creative you become with serving your precinct, and how you connect with those you want to represent. Have fun with it and be creative! Many of your neighbors are going to be so excited to meet you and grateful someone like you wants to get to know them, and represent them on issues that matter.
Do I Need to Campaign?
- If you filed an Affidavit of Identity you should have received a letter and sample ballot from the county clerk. Look at the “Vote for not more than” line above your name and see how many Delegates will be elected for your precinct. If there are more slots than people running, congratulations! You are nearly guaranteed to win so begin spreading the word to vote the entire ballot and look for your name. You can also look for friends and family who may want to do a Write-In to be elected with you and vote for each other.
- If there are more candidates than available slots, that means you might want to campaign. Begin with spreading the word to everyone (starting with friends and family) to vote on Aug 2nd, vote the entire ballot and look for your name. As more people understand the importance of this role, they will likely never miss a Primary election again!
- If you missed filing an Affidavit of Identity to have your name on the ballot, see the Filing as a Write-In above and contact our office to find out if there are vacancies in your precinct. If so – then you have a great chance of winning as a Write-In.
Learn More About This Role
What is a Precinct? A precinct is the smallest political geographic division in a state. The area varies in size and is determined by population. A precinct contains a maximum of 2,999 registered voters, although many precincts are smaller. It is up to the local municipalities to draw their own precinct lines.
What is a Precinct Delegate? A Precinct Delegate is an elected representative to the local political party from the precinct. Every precinct has at least one Republican or Democrat delegate seat and some areas have more. The local party determines the number of delegates based on the number of votes in that precinct in the previous election.
How do I become a Precinct Delegate? A person running for Precinct Delegate must be a registered voter residing in the precinct in which they are running. The Candidate needs to fill out an “Affidavit of Identity”, have it notarized and submitted to your County clerk.
Once you file the form, your name is placed on the ballot in the August primary. It will be displayed under the heading “Candidate for County Convention Delegate” on the primary ballot (the primary ballots are separated by political party. The tickets are not split like in November Elections.).
When are Precinct Delegates elected and how long is the term? Precinct Delegates are elected in the August primary election of even numbered years. In 2014, the Primary Election is August 5. The term is a two-year term, so delegates elected in August 2014 will serve until the August primary of 2016.
What are the duties of a Precinct Delegate? The official role of a Precinct Delegate is to attend all County Conventions during the two-year term. The number of County Conventions varies from three to four, depending on if it is a Presidential or Gubernatorial cycle. In addition, Precinct Delegates are involved in helping local parties and candidates in a variety of activities.
Where is my Precinct? The first thing to do is find out which Precinct you live in. You can get this information from your voter registration card or from the County, City, or Township Clerk where you live, or you can find out by checking your voter information here. Once you get this information the next step is to get a map. Maps are available from the local clerks. The map will show you the boundaries of your Precinct.
Dates of Importance
- Filing Deadline – Tuesday, May 3
- Election – Tuesday, August 2
- County Conventions – August, before the state convention
- State Convention – August 26-27
- State Convention – ?
- Filing Deadline – Tuesday, May 3
- Election – Tuesday, August 2
- County Conventions – August, before the state convention
For a detailed rundown of the convention process, go here.
The Two Year Cycle of A Delegate
The primary role of a delegate is to serve as a voice at conventions. There are two types: County and State Convention. In an Election Year (2014, 2016, 2018) you can expect:
- Winter Convention (Usually January or February) – you will nominate Statewide candidates
- Spring Convention in Presidential Years Only (2016, 2020, 2024) – you will nominate national delegates
- August Convention – Nominating Statewide candidates
In an “Off” Election Year (2013, 2015, 2017) you can expect:
- A County Convention 2 Weeks before the Winter State Convention: Choosing local party leadership
- A February State Convention: you will choose state party chair
More questions? Email us.
Making the Decisions
- Ask yourself, before making a decision, have you heard both sides of the story? Oftentimes there can be two legit perspectives on an issue. You need all the facts.
- What are the sources who are providing certain pieces of information?
What to Expect
- Emails with surveys
- Robo calls on behalf of candidates
- Mail pieces promoting or opposing candidates
- Opportunities to volunteer
Our suggestions are:
- Identify a folder in your email, or a basket in your house, that as the material comes in set it aside until you are ready to process things.
- You are not required to do any surveys, or answer any robo calls.
- Prayerfully consider the information as you review it
- The party leadership is very excited to have you on board.
- You have joined a team. Make contact with the party leadership and let them know how you would like to participate (door to door, mailings, putting up signs). Do not be opposed to volunteering when they contact you.
But primarily consider the following:
The fact that you are being contacted means you are in a position of influence. You have something candidates want: your vote.
Instead of being irritated, or frustrated, look at in the positive light that you now have a seat at the table. You now have a certain level of credibility and influence with them. They know you represent, and reach, others and could help provide them with additional votes of support.
Use this opportunity as a reason to graciously engage these candidates. Ask them questions, offer them suggestions and let them know you are praying for them and their race.
Always remember, regardless of their positions on issues, the way they have handled their campaign, or even how they treat you – our role as Responsible Christian Citizens is to treat them with kindness, with humility and respect. They have families too, and issues they are fighting for. You will discover that a little bit of kindness with a servant heart will go a long way. It is possible – regardless of whether you vote for them or not – YOU could be a source of encouragement and hope for them.
Have fun on this journey! Good things are ahead!
What Offices Are on the Ballot
- State Board of Education
- University Boards
- Michigan Supreme Court
- Electoral college
Proverbs for the Politically Active
Read CTV President James Muffett’s list of Proverbs for the Politically Active here.
Join our team to be a positive voice in Michigan!
Can’t Find What You’re Looking for? Email us with “Precinct Delegate Question” in the subject line. We’re here to help!