What is a Precinct Chair?
A precinct is the smallest political subdivision in Texas. Texas counties are divided into individual precincts, and it is the responsibility of the Precinct Chair to contact, guide and organize Democratic voters in their respective precinct. Precinct Chairs also sit on the County Executive Committee, which conducts the local business of the Party. The duties and responsibilities of Precinct Chairs provide fundamental services to party effectiveness. (Precinct Chairs are not to be confused with party offices elected at Precinct Conventions following the Primary Election.)
Precinct Chairs are responsible for:
- Working with others to mobilize and organize voters and get them to the polls
- Representing their precinct on the County Executive Committee
- Bridging the gap between voters and elected officials
- Serves as the contact person for the Democratic Party in their neighborhood
Precinct Chair vs. Election Judge
The precinct chair is a partisan Party position and are responsible for organizing and mobilizing Democrats and getting like-minded voters to the polls. The election judge is a non-partisan position and are appointed by Wichita County from a list of qualified persons submitted by each political party. If possible, election judges reside in the precinct. Election judges conduct all the elections in a precinct during the year.
Terms of Office & Qualifications
The precinct chair is a publicly elected party official and is elected by precinct voters in the Democratic Primary Election (or in the runoff election, if no candidate gets a majority in the first primary). The term of office for a precinct chair is two years, beginning on the 20th day following the Primary runoff election. Qualified candidates may be nominated by their State Senate District and elected by the County Executive Committee to fill vacancies for unexpired term. To be eligible for the office of precinct chair, an individual must meet these requirements:
- Be 18 years of age or older
- Be a qualified voter who has voted in the latest Democratic primary (not counting runoffs) in the voting year
- Be a resident of the precinct from which he or she is seeking election
- Not be a candidate for or holder of an elective office of the federal, state, or county government
- (Optional, but highly desirable) have Internet and e-mail capabilities and basic computer skills
According to Texas Democratic Party Rules, Temporary Precinct Convention Chair, Precinct Convention Secretary, and Permanent Precinct Convention Chair are elected at each Democratic Precinct Convention. These are temporary positions elected to conduct official Democratic Party business at the convention only.