A PRECINCT COMMITTEEMAN IS THE ONLY PARTY OFFICIAL DIRECTLY ELECTED BY THE REPUBLICAN VOTERS.
A committeeman and his or her fellow committeemen represent the Republican party to the people. He or she is a primary contact between voters, candidates and elected officials. It is his or her job to make sure the Republicans in their assigned precincts are informed and prepared to get their vote to the ballot box.
What Are The Responsibilities Of a Precinct Committeeman?
A precinct committeeman has many varied responsibilities.
You may be asked to circulate petitions for Republican candidates and/or to walk your precinct with an elected official so that he or she may be introduced to your neighbors. The work you do in your precinct WITH YOUR NEIGHBORS can make the difference in an election!
Every precinct is different. That is why it is so important to have active precinct committeemen working with neighbors to obtain the best results. If you live in rural Arizona, the nature of your work will be quite different from the work to be done in urban areas. There are, however, some basic items that need to be covered no matter where your precinct is located. Elected committee persons (by ballot) are eligible to vote for official party officers at county and/or state functions where official balloting for officers takes place.
THE BASIC TASKS FOR PRECINCT COMMITTEEMEN
- Elect a precinct captain to assume overall precinct leadership.
- Divide your precinct into geographical areas and assign portions of the precinct to each precinct committeeman.
- Recruit precinct volunteers and assign specific blocks (or areas) to them for door-to-door and telephone work.
- Have REGISTRATION FORMS available in your precinct. Regularly check for newly moved-in Republicans and also for families who will have members turning 18 years of age before the next election.
- Maintain up-to-date records of the current REPUBLICAN residents of your precinct.
- Attend precinct meetings. These are called for updating records, planning strategy and other organizational purposes.
- Attend district and or county Republican meetings. These will be great places to share information and ideas.
- Assist your precinct captain in recruiting election board workers.
- Assist your precinct captain in establishing election day GET-Out-The-Vote (GOTV) committees and a Precinct Election Headquarters.
- Distribute election information and candidate literature to the voters in your precinct.
- Frequent contact with your neighbors is the secret to success in a political campaign. Large media campaigns have a place in the political process, but it is GRASS ROOTS organization that gets the votes in the ballot box!
Precinct Committeeman’s Important Assets
- Block workers are volunteers who help you by keeping track of a small geographical portion of the precinct, usually their own block of neighbors. Good precinct committeemen find good block workers!
- Election Board Workers are individuals working as inspectors, judges or clerks at the polls on election day. They are recommended by you or your precinct captain through the district and county chairmen for appointment by the County Division of Elections/Board of Supervisors. The County Boards of Supervisors fix the compensation for these workers.
Precinct Committeeman’s Glossary
- Official Roster This is THE list of registered voters in a precinct as provided by the Voter Registration County Recorder’s Office.
- Perfect List This is a list of voters in a precinct that has been called or contacted to correct any incorrect information (such as phone numbers, etc) or having moved into or out of the precinct.
- Walking List This is a list either on computer sheets or on cards that is organized by street numbers. This information is available from District officials.
- Yellow Sheets This is a copy of the list of all persons who have cast a ballot on election day. This list is available at the polling place with proper identification and is often prepared by the clerk of the election board.
- Block worker This is a volunteer who is assigned a small geographical area to work in a precinct.
- Phone Bank This is a group of volunteers or paid workers who make a large number of phone calls into targeted areas, usually to get out the vote, to identify problems or to establish name identification.
- Precinct Captain A Precinct Committeeman who is chosen to lead the other precinct workers in organizing the work in a precinct.
- Absentee or Early Ballot This is an election ballot which may be requested by mail and voted by mail. Some voters may need assistance from precinct workers to properly complete the absentee/early voting process. No reason is necessary to vote by absentee/early ballot.
Many registered Republicans ask this question.
Often we assume that since we are registered Republicans; follow party happenings in the various media outlets and vote regularly for qualified Republican candidates, we are doing all we can to further the party’s goals.
There is a way to do more!
By becoming a Republican Precinct Committeeman you can take that next step – the pro-active one – in spreading the great republican principles of lower taxes, fiscal responsibility, individual freedom and strong national defense.
Being a precinct committeeman means being THE most direct contact point for fellow Republicans in your immediate neighborhood. A precinct committeeman can be the first line of defense when it comes to information accumulation and dissemination within the Precinct.
As a precinct committeeman you will have the opportunity to attend many party functions. From regular district meetings to county meetings and state meetings; you will be kept abreast of party activities and issues. Your can be “in the know” to a much greater extent than just being a loyal Republican voter. You can acquire specific and accurate information regarding party positions and policies to “counter” the misinformation so often spread about Republicans by our opposition. YOU too can be an opinion MAKER within the Republican party structure of the State of Illinois.
Where does A Precinct “Fit” Into The Party Structure?
A precinct is the smallest, yet most important political subdivision in Illinois. Technically, a precinct is a geographical area established by law for election purposes. A precinct usually consists of anywhere between 200 to 1300 registered voters.
Multiple precincts make up a “township”. Townships are the oldest form of a governmental body in the United States. There are 63 precincts in Addison Township. In DuPage County there are nine townships with a total of approximately 750 precincts.
Townships are led by Township Chairmen and the County is led by a County Chairman. The Township Chairmen enlist precinct committeemen to run for elected Precinct Committeemen positions (if sufficient time exists before the next primary election) or appoint them in the event no candidate can be found to run for Precinct Committeeman, or if a vacancy occurs do to a death or resignation.
Shortly after the Primary Election takes place those Precinct Committeemen who were elected gather and elect their Township Chairman either by the weighted vote derived from the turnout in their precinct, or in some cases by the process of one man, one vote depending on the By-Laws of the individual township organization.
Soon after all nine Township Chairmen are elected a County Party Convention is called in which all 750 Precinct Committeemen attend to elect a County Party Chairman by casting each of their weighted votes which is derived from the voter turnout in their respective precincts.
Thus, Township Chairmen are defined by the county party organization, which in turn is defined by the state party organization and state statute.
Each Precinct in Illinois is entitled to one (1) Precinct Committeeman from each major political party.
“Divide the country into small districts and . . . . .
• appoint in each a subcommittee.
• Make a perfect list of all the voters and
• ascertain with certainty for whom they will vote.
• Keep a current watch on the doubtful voters
• and have them talked to by those in whom they have the most confidence.
• and on election day see that every Whig is brought to the polls.”
• Abraham Lincoln, 1840
(The father of the modern Republican Party.)