Randolph Democratic Caucus Feb. 5 2022
Summary: What's a caucus?
Details: How's it all work?
Randolph is about to have a well-hidden exercise in democracy -- in which you can participate and make it less well-hidden. During February, the Democratic Party and the Republican Party will hold caucuses across the state, including one each in Randolph, at which delegates to the statewide conventions will be selected. Those delegates will then decide which statewide candidates will appear on the September 20th primary ballot. The winners of the primaries will then appear on the General Election ballot on November 8.
The Randolph Democratic Town Committee will hold a virtual caucus on Saturday February 5 at 11 AM (Zoom link below), to decide who Randolph will send to the Democratic State Convention. The Randolph Republican Town Committee will hold their caucus at a time and place to be announced shortly -- contact for the GOP chair is below.
The Massachusetts Democrats will hold a "hybrid Convention" (in-person and also virtually) on June 3 and June 4 (Friday evening and Saturday morning) at the DCU Center in Worcester. The Massachusetts Republicans will hold their convention in Springfield on May 21.
The caucus and convention process traditionally favors "party insiders" who know about the caucus and who attend with their friends to vote for them as delegates to the convention. But knowing the rules -- outlined here -- allows anyone to attend, and could make the process more "grass roots."
To be eligible to attend the Democratic caucus, you must be a registered Democrat on the day of the caucus. Similarly, for the Republican caucus to be held later, you must be a registered Republican. You can change your party registration, including from unregistered or independent status, up until the day before the caucus, online in advance or in-person at the Town Clerk's office at Town Hall.
This year the caucuses will be "virtual" (some towns will hold "hybrid" in-person plus virtual) but traditionally the caucuses are held at Town Hall or other public locations. The doors at the caucus are traditionally locked at the appointed hour, so you must arrive on time – for the virtual caucus, just Zoom in on time, and announce yourself to the Zoom host so your party registration can be checked.
"Last year we held virtual caucuses for a Platform Convention where delegate seats were open for the asking," says Randolph Democratic Town Committee Chair Jesse Gordon. "This year's caucuses are for the Nominating Convention so we expect higher attendance and competitive delegate seats -- we'll actually count the vote at the caucus. It's fun! -- and call me if you have trouble registering as a Dem, or joining on caucus day." The Randolph Dems will have a "Zoom master" to ensure against technical troubles, and two Democratic State Committee members present to ensure that everyone possible can participate.
This is how the Democratic caucus elects delegates: Half of the delegate seats are set aside for men and half for women. Anyone can nominate themselves or someone else to be a delegate. There is no limit on the number of people who can be nominated. Once the nominations are finalized, every registered Democrat attending the caucus votes for delegates, by a list in the Zoom chat, or by texting the Chair (votes are public, not secret!). Randolph is assigned 25 seats at this year's Democratic Convention, so you can vote for up to 25 delegates, plus 5 alternate delegates who can attend the Convention if an elected delegate cannot attend. Randolph residents who want to run for delegate, but cannot attend the caucus because they are in the United States Armed Forces and stationed out of town, may contact the Chair in advance and can then be nominated in absentia.
"We have rules for gender balance and also provisions for gender-nonbinary individuals," notes Gordon. "We also have additional 'add-on' delegate seats available for diversity representation at the Convention -- the diversity criteria are: under-represented race; sexual orientation; disability; and youth." If the nominations exceed 25 candidates, each person will have the chance to make a two-minute speech, to state their qualifications. If there aren't 25 candidates, the election will be by acclamation instead of by voting, and the remainder of the caucus will focus on how the Convention works, and on speeches by any statewide candidates who make an appearance.
Delegates will vote at the Convention on statewide candidates for the offices of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, State Attorney General, State Treasurer, Secretary of the Commonwealth, and State Auditor. For each office, nominees must receive 15% of the delegate votes on the first ballot to qualify to appear on the September primary ballot. Multiple rounds of balloting are held if needed, until one candidate for each office exceeds 50% of the vote, which then qualifies that candidate to be listed first on the Democratic primary ballot.
Democratic Convention candidate events will take place on the evening of June 3, and all votes will be held on June 4. The Republican Convention runs by the same rules, but with fewer candidates expected for each office -- the Republican state convention will be held on Saturday, May 21, two weeks before the Democratic state convention.
This is democracy at work. You can earn yourself the right to complain about the system for the next few years by spending one morning on it in February, then one day on June 4, and maybe the process can become more grass-roots and participatory while we're at it. Contact for the Randolph Democrats is Jesse Gordon at 617-320-6989 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The Randolph Republicans will hold their caucus at a time to be announced shortly – contact Jean Riguel Ulysse at 508-649-0971 or email@example.com. For readers outside of Randolph, check MassDems.org or MassGOP.com for when your caucus will be held. The Randolph Dems Zoom link is:
Randolph Democratic Caucus
Information about all the statewide Democratic candidates
|Randolph Democratic Town Committee, chair Jesse Gordon, 52 West St, Randolph MA 02368|
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