Precinct conventions: what they are and why YOU should participate
What is a precinct convention? Well, I am so glad that you asked.
As you know, it is very important to vote so that your opinions can be measured on issues and heard, hopefully loud and clear, by candidates and elected officials. In a primary election year, such as we are currently in, voting is the first very important step.
But Voting Isn’t All You Can Do
The next step is often overlooked and is truly a citizen’s perfect opportunity to let his or her concerns be known through experiencing a “hands on” opportunity to make a difference in the political system.
On election night, March 1, an important meeting begins approximately 30 minutes after the polls close. This meeting is called the precinct convention and, if you voted in your party’s primary, YOU can participate! Some counties hold their precinct conventions within a few days after the March 1 Primary, so make sure to check with your local party to verify when yours is scheduled.
Purpose of the Precinct Convention
The purpose of the precinct convention is to elect delegates and alternates to the county or senatorial district convention, and to pass resolutions that will be forwarded to that next level. More about these delegates, alternates, and resolutions in a moment.
What Happens at this Meeting
The precinct convention is usually called to order by the sitting precinct chairman of that given precinct. The precinct chairman might also be serving as the election judge, so the convention may be called to order by another individual from the precinct.
One thing to note: even if only one person attends, he or she will fill out the minutes, may elect delegates and alternates, and submit resolutions. Hopefully, there will be many interested voters from the precinct who will attend and participate in this true grassroots process.
After the convention convenes, an election is held to elect a chairman, secretary, and sergeant at arms. A list of those in attendance is taken and the convention is ready to conduct business.
Voters who have an interest in attending the county or senate district convention will be nominated to attend as delegates and alternates. Each precinct has a set number of delegates and alternates who may be elected to the next convention. The political viewpoints of those elected as delegates and alternates are very important and will help set the tone for the next convention. At the county or senate district convention, delegates and alternates will be elected to go on to the state convention.
Passing On Ideas In a Resolution
Resolutions are presented at the precinct convention for the purpose of sending instructions and comments about issues to the next higher level of convention. The resolutions, if passed by those in attendance, will be forwarded on to the county or senate district conventions, and from there forwarded to the state convention to be included in the party’s platform. If you have ever wondered how a political party forms its ideas, values, and positions, this is it . . . the resolutions YOU have submitted, passed, and forwarded to the subsequent conventions.
Included below is an example of a resolution from the Republican Party of Texas website and the proper format in which to write one.
A sample resolution:
Whereas the right of American citizens to govern themselves is a bedrock principle recognized in the Declaration of Independence; and
Whereas ensuring the integrity of elections is essential to continuing the representative democracy or republican form of government on which America and its States now enjoy; and
Whereas, despite efforts to protect the integrity of elections, election fraud still exists and, in such cases, serves to undermine the very foundation of our government; and
Whereas, States have the right and obligation to protect the election process and its citizens’ right to participate in them; now therefore
Be it resolved that we urge the Texas Legislature to enact legislation requiring that voters provide valid photo identification in order to cast a ballot in any and all elections conducted in the State of Texas.
Adopted this ____ day of _______, 20__, at the Precinct Convention of Precinct # ____ of the _______ Party of Texas.
If you come with resolutions to your convention, be sure to bring three copies of each one. There will be a convention packet that the secretary will fill out and include all the resolutions submitted, as well as the names of the elected delegates and alternates. All of this must be taken to the county party’s headquarters within 72 hours for the primary administrator to prepare packets for the county or senate district convention.
Interested in resolutions that support parental rights and home schooling? Here are three resolutions that you can present at your precinct convention.
When and Where is My Precinct Convention?
With the Texas Primary being March 1, by law the county or senate district conventions will be held on March 19. You will be able to find your precinct chair, polling, and convention location on your county elections administration or county party’s website.
Hopefully, this explanation will stir your interest in participating this March in your precinct convention. Remember, the political process works best when YOU participate.
If you need information about candidates in your area, please check out THSC’s endorsements and the Presidential Candidate’s Guide put together in the words from the candidates’ mouths on issues that matter to Texas families. To keep informed on issues impacting home schooling and parental rights in Texas, please sign up for email notifications.
Thank you for your active support in the political process and for joining THSC in Keeping Texas Families Free. If you would like to do more, please remember that THSC could always use your financial support.