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 consideration • 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 window – 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 consideration • 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 NO CAUCUS SHALL HAVE THE RIGHT TO WAIVE THE READING OF ANY DOCUMENT OR COMMUNICATION INCLUDED IN THIS AGENDA 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 gender • 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 elected. 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 immediately • 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 MOST IMPORTANT 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 up. • 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.