Michigan Conventions 101

Palin Campaigns In Missouri Five Days Before ElectionThere are two GOP conventions between now and the end of 2014: The County Conventions on August 14th (one in each of the 83 counties) and the State Convention on August 23rd at the Suburban Showplace in Novi.

The purpose of the County Convention is to elect delegates who will attend the State Convention and choose nominees for Lt. Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, Supreme Court, State School Board and University Boards.

The following material is to help give you a general idea as you prepare for the conventions.

Remember, our goal is to ultimately help bring a positive voice to the political process. So as you come to better understand this content, email us with questions and we’ll do our best to answer them!


An Alternate is someone elected at County Convention to go to State Convention. At State Convention if delegates can’t fulfill their duties, an alternate will be elevated to fill their spot.

Formats for Delegate and Alternate Selections at County Conventions can be handled by various formats. That format will be outlined and stated in the rules for County Convention.

Rules Committee: Sets the rules for how a convention will be run.

Credentials Committee: Confirms delegate eligibility to participate.

Permanent Officers: Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary for that Convention

County Convention

Prior to County Convention:

Once you have been elected as a Precinct Delegate in the August 5, 2014 Primary Election, the County Clerk will send you a notification via an election document. It will certify the results of your election. The county political party will be notified of the delegates elected.

Each major political party is mandated to host a County Convention after the August Primary Election, the main purpose of which is to select delegates to attend the State Convention.

Every county except Wayne County meets as a county to select their convention delegates to the State Convention. Wayne County meets in separate convention arranged by Congressional District. For example, if you live in Plymouth you will meet as a Wayne 11th Congressional District.

The Call to Convention (for the County Convention) must be sent prior to July 15 and must be sent to all candidates for Precinct Delegate. County Chairs will know how to get in touch with you because you have provided your info on the Affidavit of Identity form you filed to run as Precinct Delegate. This letter will notify you of the time and location for the meeting.

Bring official government issued identification such as a driver’s license or passport in order to check in at registration at the County Convention.

Each county is given a certain number of delegate positions, and a certain number of seats at State Convention. I.e. your county could have 100 Precinct Delegate slots but only 20 delegate seats.

Prior to arriving at the County Convention meeting, you may want to contact your party’s County Chair with the following questions:

  1. Can I get a copy of the rules, ahead of time? (Usually they will only be available at County Convention check in)
  2. How will the Convention be run in regards to selection of delegates?

Also, let the County Chair know ahead of time if you wish to go as a delegate to the State Convention or that you would prefer someone else go in your place. Even if you are not able to attend State Convention, we encourage you to attend County Convention to experience the process.

Your position as a delegate cannot be filled by a proxy in your absence. If you “give up your seat” to convention, your seat is now available for the County Chair to fill with an Alternate.

County Conventions:

Rules: The county party usually passes out rules for the County Convention at registration to be voted on immediately after the selection of the Permanent Chair for the convention. Those rules outline several things.

New this year is a hard-working Republican provision, which is an option that must be adopted by the full-strength of a County Convention. It is not automatically a part of the rules of each county convention. What this provision would allow: that hard working Republicans be eligible to be elected to attend State Convention as delegates.

The following is a rough idea of the business that will be conducted at a County Convention.

Registration: This may be by city or township or could be an alphabetical list for the entire county. Upon registration you will get your “Credentials” and may be given a copy of the rules which will be voted on later by the full convention. Giving the rules is optional, but commonly done.

Call to Order: Read the call

Pledge and Prayer

Appointment of Temporary Chair: This is designated by the rules to be County Chair.

Appointment of Temporary Officers for Convention: These are usually the county official officers.

Nominations for Permanent Chairman: This is the process to choose the Chairman who will run the County Convention, nominate officers and set the rules from that point forward. This position does not have to be the regular County Chair, but it is usually filled by this leader. Rules state the nomination is open, and normally the County Chair name is placed in nomination.

Election of Permanent Officers: These seats are filled based on who wins the vote for chairman. Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary.

Appointment by Chair of Rules & Credential Committee: The Permanent Chair controls the selection of the Rules Committee and therefore controls the rules for the County Convention. The rules are usually written in advance but have to be officially approved and adopted at County Convention.

The approval of the rules significantly outlines how the convention will operate, how the Precinct Delegates will be selected for the State Convention, how alternates will be elevated, and how vacancies will be filled.

Appointment by Chair of Credential Committee: The Permanent Chair also selects the Credential Committee.

Credential Committee Report: The Credential Committee submits to the convention, during the meeting, how many duly elected Precinct Delegates are present and who is eligible to vote.

Speeches by various candidates and officials: This is an opportunity for those who are running for State Convention nominations to greet you and distribute information for your consideration. Please note that official nominations will not happen until State Convention.

Appointment of Township/City caucus chairpersons: The call to convention, according to the rules of the party, must include identification of who the caucus chairpersons will be. Each convention is broken down according to township/city areas.

Township/City Caucus: The chair of the Township/City Caucus will explain how many delegates and alternatives will be elected to go to the State Convention. The chair usually recommends the voting process or it may be outlined in the Rules on how to proceed. Once the voting process is determined the voting begins to fill the delegate spots.

Seating of the Delegates: Each Township/City Caucus will elect an allotment of delegates and alternates.

In the Call to Convention notice, it will give directions on who to call if you are interested in attending State Convention. If you cannot be at the County Convention and wish to attend the State Convention you can indicate to the County Chair that you cannot attend but would accept a delegate/alternate position if elected. Obviously, if you attend your chances are much better.

For Example:

Township A in Oakland County has 12 precincts, each having 4-7 available Precinct Delegate positions. So, conceivably 60 Precinct Delegates elected on Aug 5th could show up on August 14th to the County Convention to run for 16 State Convention delegate positions.

At the County Convention Township A elects 16 delegates and 16 “alternates” to the State Convention.

State party’s rules give preference to elected Precinct Delegates.

The Caucus Chair of a township or city caucus must fill all of the seats if possible. Otherwise the full convention will fill the slot at the end of the night and that person may or may not be from the designated city/township.

Alternate Elevation is decided at the County Convention in the rules by a vote of the County Convention.

Once the township/city caucus elects their full delegation, the caucuses come back to the main County Convention to reaffirm the selection process.

“At Large” Delegates: If some township/city caucus areas are unable to fill their entire delegation for their area, the full County Convention will be opened to allow anyone knowing someone who wishes to attend, or if someone is in attendance and did not get elected, they can be elected “At Large” to a seat before the full convention.

NOTE – these “At Large” Delegates may or may not be in the city or township they reside. This is appropriate and allowed by the rules. At times people confuse this process of open voting for people living anywhere in the county to be placed as a delegate in another area as “stacking the deck”. It is not. What it does represent is the importance of staying through the entire convention!

Acceptance of reports from Township/City caucuses to the County Convention of the Whole:

Report of Credential Committee will include:

  1. How many seats were filled?
  2. Are there any empty seats?
  3. Were they filled by delegates or alternates?

Motion to Adjourn

State Convention

August 23, 2014 Suburban Showplace – 46100 Grand River Ave, Novi, MI 48374

The State Convention follows much of the same format as the County Conventions, so only differences will be noted below. Remember however, it is much bigger and much more exciting. We will have a CTV Representative in each area to help our delegates understand the process, what is happening at that time, and answer any questions.

Obtaining Your Credentials: In August 2014, these can be obtained only Friday, August 22 between 5 and 9 PM and Saturday, August 23 starting at 7 AM in the Opal Room at the Suburban Showplace.

Rules Committee: The rules which guide the whole convention process are adopted by a Rules Committee. They meet prior to State Convention to approve the 2014 rules (among other tasks). Their report to the Convention of the Whole will indicate that they have accepted the 2014 rules; at convention there will not be any expected changes to the rules.

Transitioning Into the State Convention Hall: When you arrive into the large hall, you will sit in your “Congressional District”. If you are from Congressional District 3, look for the big sign with a 3 on it. Take this opportunity to network and meet other delegates from through-out your district. Remember many of the districts have several counties in them.

Please Note: The convention will be covered with literature, placards, giveaways, etc., all designed to influence delegates.

Unfortunately, it is common for people wishing to mislead delegates to place a piece of lit on the chairs of delegates outlining some vote, or affiliation, or something someone has said at some point in their life that could portray the candidate in a bad light. Prayerfully read each piece of literature with this in mind and go to a CTV Representative to discuss the issues with the pro and con arguments and to weed out falsehood or gain the truth in the piece of literature.

CTV staffs can talk with delegates about the CTV questionnaire of candidates that should offer insight into candidates’ views on issues of importance to CTV and value voters.

State Convention:

Following is a rough State Convention agenda:

1. Call to Order

2. Election of Temporary Chair/Officers

3. Election of Permanent Chair

Usually a well-respected person who knows Roberts Rules of Order well and has the gravitas to work in a tension filled environment will be the individual chosen to chair convention. We will know the expected Chair ahead of time and CTV would not generally have any problems with the appointment of a temporary chair appointed.

4. Appointment of permanent offices/ committee on credentials and committee on rules, parliamentarian procedure.

These guidelines are normally decided upon ahead of time and CTV would normally not have any problem with the choices.

This portion normally goes very smoothly, however, this year we expect some discussion, possibly rule changes, etc. Most of these votes are normally done by a “Voice Vote”. Since you cannot always see who is “voting” by shouting since some alternates or guests could be voting as well, so generally speaking, the permanent chair rules motion will most likely prevail.

5. Speech by national leader.

Sometimes a national leader such as a US Senator, or Presidential candidate could be invited to speak.

6. Nominating speeches for Lt. Governor, Attorney General, and Secretary of State (listed here in no particular order)

Those candidates wishing to be nominated and who have filed with the Party in accordance with the rules of the convention adopted several months ago, may select a person to nominate them for the office they seek.

The order of the nominations is determined by the Rules Committee; at the time of this posting it has not yet been finalized.

Following the nominating speech a video is usually played, and the candidate appears with family to greet supporters.

Important Note: Oftentimes this is the portion where things get “fun”. Sometimes those wishing to delay the convention for their own gain, or create confusion in the minds of delegates, begin to work over delegates towards “their” candidate. Those “stirring the pot” might present new accusations about opposing candidates or drudge up old accusations of why they believe said opponent is not a good candidate.

However, for your benefit, CTV Representatives will be close by to help our delegates process what is taking place.

Our team will be on the floor of convention willing to walk through with wisdom and prayer any concern of any delegate.

Remember, this experience is what we make it. CTV chooses to be a positive part of this process. Those contending for individuals or ideas are simply participating in the democratic process that makes up America – and Michigan – great! We encourage all those involved to participate with kindness and respect.

7. Nominating speeches for University of Michigan Regent, MSU Board of Trustee, Wayne State Board of Governors, and State Board of Education.

The process for these candidates is the same as mentioned above for other statewide candidates. Some races will be contested and others will not. Two candidates are chosen in each race.

8. Voting for candidates:

All candidate votes will be taken on a voting machine with a paper ballot. You will go to a table assigned for your congressional district, show your credentials and receive your ballot. You will then vote and place the ballot in an automated machine.

9. All votes will be processed onsite and then announced to the convention.

Winners will come to the stage to accept their nomination to be on the ballot in the November General Election.

10. Adjournment motion.

Thank you for being concerned, Responsible Christian Citizens! This will be a long day but an exciting one where YOU WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE in our state and our country. Voting is a precious right and one that we are proud of you for taking part in. Please help us to educate others on the process and how they can get involved with you!