The State of Florida is divided into 67 counties. For each county, its Democratic Executive Committee (DEC) is composed of elected Precinct Chairs (PCs, also known as ‘committeemen’ and ‘committeewomen’), who represent their neighbors and get out the vote for Democratic Party candidates.
Volusia County—the 9th largest county in the state—is made up of 125 precincts, each of which may have up to 2 PCs: 1 committeeman and 1 committeewoman.
Additionally, precincts that have over 1,000 registered Democrats qualify for an extra set of PCs (1 committeeman and 1 committeewoman). Currently, 68 of Volusia County’s 125 precincts have over 1,000 registered Democrats.
As defined by Florida Statutes, Section 103.091 (1), precinct committeemen and committeewomen are elected officials with specific responsibilities, including but not limited to the following:
- Attending meetings of the Volusia County Democratic Party;
- Assisting the Democratic Party with voter registration;
- Assisting and encouraging Democratic voters to vote on election days;
- Working within the precinct from which elected;
- Creating enthusiasm and support for the Democratic Party;
- Helping to elect Democratic candidates;
- Fostering loyalty to the Democratic Party and promoting its ideals.
HOW MUCH TIME WILL IT TAKE?
In practical terms, the level of your participation depends on you. Some PCs are almost full-time political junkies; some are political consultants, campaign personnel or lobbyists. Some are retirees; some are working professionals with families. If you have even a few hours a month and want to get to know your party’s candidates and elected officials — or if you want to influence elections or run for office at some point in the future— this is a good starting position to consider.
HOW DO I BECOME A PRECINCT CHAIR?
Becoming a PC isn’t difficult: if you’re registered as a voter for the Democratic Party, then you are eligible to be a PC for the precinct in which you reside. Precinct committeemen and committeewomen are elected in each primary presidential election, and serve a 4-year term thereafter. The next primary election will take place in 2020, so now’s a good time to start thinking about the process.
Becoming an elected PC isn’t difficult; most PCs who run are elected. But as for any other elected office, there is a procedure to follow and paperwork to file. Here’s a 1,2,3 step-by-step guide to the process.
- Find your precinct and verify that you’re registered as a Democrat at your current home address.
- Download and complete form DS-DE24C, the Candidate Oath – Precinct Committeemen and Committeewomen. You will need to have this notarized by a Public Notary. Notaries are available at banks and generally do not charge for this service. In addition, several members of the Volusia County Democratic Party, are public Notaries. Call 386-320-6350 to arrange one of them to notarize your form at no charges.
- Hand deliver or mail your completed affidavit of qualification to the Volusia County Democratic Party located at 457 S. Ridgewood Ave, Daytona Beach, FL 32114 no later than June 20th. Note: While you do NOT have to turn this paperwork into the Volusia County Democratic Party, it is recommended that you do so. Turning your paperwork into the Volusia County Democratic Party will ensure that that the form is reviewed for accuracy and properly filed with the Volusia County Department of Elections during the qualifying period. In addition, we will let you know if any other candidate is running for the position. Optionally, you can personally mail it or hand-deliver it to the Volusia County Department of Elections. If you do so, just make sure the Volusia County Department of Elections receives your form no later that 12 pm on June 24 2016.
- You can begin to file PC paperwork starting Noon Monday, May 20, 2016. Completed forms must be must be received no later than 12:00pm on Wednesday, June 24, 2016.
- Pre-qualifying – The Volusia County Supervisor of Elections may accept and hold qualifying papers submitted not earlier than 14 days prior to the beginning of the qualifying period, to be processed and filed during the qualifying period.
- You can mail your PC paperwork after Monday, May 6 to: Volusia County Department of Elections, Historic Courthouse, 125 W. New York Ave., DeLand, FL 32720-5415
Again, please note that if you decide to mail it, it must be received no later than 12:00PM on June 24, 2016…postmarks do NOT count.
After the qualifying deadline ends, the Volusia County Department of Elections will publish a list of candidates who have qualified.
If there are more available slots than candidates, your name will not appear on the ballot, but you will be elected. If there are more candidates than available slots, your name will appear on the August 31st ballot.
Once elected, your effective term of office will begin on December 1st, 2016 and ends on December 1st, 2020. Early in December, you, as a newly elected precinct chairs will be required to attend the Democratic Executive Committee orgnizational meeting to elect the new officers of the Volusia County Democratic Party who will lead the county party for the next 4 years.
If you need additional information, complete the form bellow, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 386-675-0100.