2014 Caucus Training PowerPoint for DTC chairs

2014 Democratic Caucuses
A Guide to hosting the
2014 Caucuses
June 13th and 14th, 2014
Democratic State Convention
Worcester, MA
The State Convention
• The Massachusetts Caucuses elect delegates
to the annual Democratic State Convention
• 2014 is a Nominating Convention
– Statewide candidates who receive 15% of delegate
votes at the convention will be on the Democratic
Primary ballot in September, 2014
Dates you NEED to Know
• January 31, 2014: Deadline to register as Democrat
• January 24, 2014 : Caucus locations Registered
– All locations will be publicized, available in local media
and also on Massdems.org/caucuses
February 8th- March 2nd, 2014: Caucus Window
March 30, 2014: Add-On Application Deadline
April 11, 2014: Delegate Registration Deadline
June 13th & 14th, 2014: Democratic State Convention
Rule Changes for 2014
• Delegates must be present at the
caucus to be elected
– Exception for person serving in U.S. Armed Forces
• Must advise Chair by February 8, 2014 of desire for
• Deadline to register as a Democrat
moved to January 31st
Your Job as Chair
• Call the Caucus!
• The town/ward chair shall call a caucus to
occur during the February 8th- March 2nd
– Caucus start time: No earlier than 9AM on the weekend;
No earlier than 6PM on a weekday
• The caucus must occur at a public location
must be ADA accessible
• Date, Location and Time must be registered
with the MDP by January 24, 2014
Eligibility Rules for Delegates
• Must be a registered Democrat in the town or
ward by January 31, 2014
• Must be present at the caucus
– Exception for person serving in U.S. Armed Forces
• Must advise Chair by February 8, 2014 of desire for
• Cannot have publicly supported or endorsed any
candidate opposing a nominee of the Democratic
Party in the current or previous partisan election
– For Statewide and President, 4 year ban
– For all other offices, 2 year ban
Preparing for the Caucus
• Notify registered Democrats in your town or ward
of the caucus.
– Notice should appear in local media no sooner than
thirty and at least nine days before caucus
• Obtain a copy of the most recent official
registration of Democrats from your local clerk
• Recruit volunteers to assist with registration and
balloting at the caucus
• Make copies of Add-On Delegate forms and
Registration Fee Waivers
Use VoteBuilder to Gather Dems
• Utilize your town’s FREE VoteBuilder account
to bring in strong Democrats to the Caucus
– Find Registered Dems who voted in ALL 3 of the
last 3 primaries (Super Democrats!)
– Find newly registered Dems who might want to
get involved for the first time
• Encouraging involvement in the Caucus
strengthens town/ward committees for 2014
Caucus Day
• Arrive at least 45 minutes early to set up
• This is an open Democratic Party meeting
– No person shall be denied admittance
– An area shall be set aside for those not eligible to vote in
the caucus
– Only registered Democrats residing in the ward or town
may vote and/or run for Delegate/Alternate
• Registration must begin 15 minutes prior to the
starting time and remain open until 15 minutes after
the scheduled starting time
• Post and Distribute the Preliminary Call to Convention
for the Massachusetts Democratic Party
Caucus Agenda
• Read and present the information concerning the 2014
Massachusetts Democratic Convention with emphasis upon
responsibilities of Delegates to the convention
• Read and discuss the “Affirmative Action and Outreach” as
outlined in the Party Charter and Statewide Affirmative Action
and Outreach Plan
– Inform participants of Add-On positions: Disabled, Minority, Youth
• Read and review the “Method of Selecting Delegates to the
2014 Massachusetts Democratic Convention”
• Explain ex-officio delegates
• Read aloud the letter from the Chair
The Balloting
Balloting must begin within 1 hr of start time
Collect nominations for individuals (NO SLATE)
Post the names of all candidates prior to vote
Candidates have right to brief (2 min) speech
Run separate ballots for women and men
If odd number of seats: Third ballot open to
both genders after gender-specific seats filled
• Alternates elected after Delegates, ranked by
votes received; ties decided by lot
Examples of Gender Balance
Example #1: Ward/Town is allotted 12 Delegates:
• 11 Delegates to be elected – 5 men, 5 women and 1 of either
• The Chair is the 12th Delegate (ex-officio gender not a factor)
• If 2 men and 15 women are candidates – then 2 men and 5
women can be elected; a 6th woman can be elected to fill the
either gender seat.
Example #2: Ward/Town is allotted 2 Delegates
• 1 Delegate to be elected, either man or woman
• The Chair going as the 2nd Delegate
• If 0 men and 7 women are candidates, then 1 woman can be
After the Caucus
• Remind elected Delegates/Alternates that the
$75 registration fee is due by April 11th, 2014
– $25 late fee for missing April 11 deadline
– Highlight Fee Waiver process (MDP Exec. Director)
• Remind Delegates to COMPLETELY fill out their
Delegate Certification forms
• Chair should submit caucus books by mail
back to MDP two days after the caucus
– If book is not received by May 23rd, no one shall
be seated in the Chair’s ex-officio position
VoteBuilder for your Results
• VoteBuilder will collect caucus results online
– Towns/Wards who have not yet registered for
VoteBuilder must contact the State Party
• Refer to the document included in the caucus
mailing for step-by-step directions on coding
• Keep track of all elected Delegates, Alternates,
and Attendees!
– All three types of individuals will have an
individual code to be applied – utilize attendance
sheet in the caucus book for Sign-In Tables
Read the “Method for Selecting Delegates
to the 2014 Massachusetts
Democratic State Convention”
These slides are a summary, but many details
found in the Method will provide further
explanations and solve issues that may arise.
Tips for a Successful Caucus
• Make sure you have plenty of volunteers.
Recruit a volunteer staff to help with
registration, to count ballots and to help set
• Have a space big enough to accommodate
unusually large turnouts. Make sure there are
separate areas and identifying labels (i.e.
colored name tags) for voting members versus
other attendees.
Experienced Chair Advice
• This section is a space for Town Chairs to talk
about their experiences during nominating
conventions of a similar scale.
• They can include helpful tips and some
anecdotal stories to aid chairs in preparation
and execution of a successful caucus.

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