Caucus Training Videos

2016 Screencast by Frank Francone
Part 1 ~ Length: 30 minutes

2016 Screencast by Frank Francone
Part 2 ~ Length: 30 minutes

2014 Training by Mary Everson
Filmed by John Gaudio ~ Length: 30 minutes

What is a Caucus?

Caucus Locations

The word Caucus comes from an Indian word meaning 'meeting'. Colorado is one of 13 states that have Caucuses to begin the process of determining which candidates end up on the Primary ballots for each party. It is considered to be a highly grassroots process since it allows for a small group of neighbors to select someone from their neighborhood (or more accurately, precinct) to vote on their behalf at the relevant assemblies. These delegates are charged with learning about the candidates and then voting on who they would like to see on the Primary ballot. They are often given ample opportunity to get to know the candidates intimately as any candidate with a primary challenger will be actively seeking their votes.

The Republican Party Platform actually has a very humble beginning at the neighborhood caucus. Attendees discuss and vote on resolutions which have a chance of becoming a part of the Party Platform. If you want to weigh in on the platform, it is essential you attend your caucus.

The Caucus is also the time when Republicans will elect up to two Precinct Committee persons to represent them within the Party structure. It is also a great time to meet your Republican neighbors and become more involved in the party.

The process is governed partly by state statute and partly by the political parties at the state and county levels. It isn’t difficult to understand, but can be confusing because each party and even each county can do things a bit differently. However, a Jefferson County voter only needs to understand how the election process works here. Follow this link to explore each basic element of the Jefferson County Republican Party election and Caucus process.

What might you do at your caucus?

  1. Elect Precinct Committee people
  2. Elect Delegations to the County, House, Senate, Congressional and State Assemblies*
  3. Volunteer to help the party with upcoming campaigns
  4. Volunteer to be an Election Judge (The Clerk & Recorder ultimately chooses Election Judges, but the party must submit the names of Republican volunteers.)
  5. Discuss and vote on resolutions that may become the Platform

Voting participants of a caucus must be registered Republicans of that precinct. Click here to read the statute and exceptions to this requirement.

Note: The caucus is free but there may be fees associated with Delegate and Alternate positions to defer costs of assembly. These fees vary by assembly but range from $10 - $65.  If you are elected to one or more assemblies, all fees must be paid on caucus night and could total $95.

*Your House and Senate District assemblies, if wholly contained within Jeffco, will be held within the County Assembly. Therefore the County delegation will also be your Senate and House district delegation. Only HD1 will hold a separate, multi-county assembly which requires an independent delegation to be elected.

Precinct Committee Person Job Description

Two committeepeople may be elected from each precinct in Jefferson County for a two year term.  They are either elected by a majority of the qualified Republican attendees at the Caucus or, in the event of a vacancy, are nominated by the vacancy committee and ratified by the Central Committee.  Committeepeople are the most effective Republican representatives for advocating and defending our Party’s principles, policies, elected officials, and candidates. They are the grassroots level of the party.

Legal Qualifications:

A person 18 years or older, registered as a Republican two months prior to the Caucus and residing within the precinct 30 days prior to the caucus; except that a person who becomes 18 years old or becomes a naturalized citizen within two months immediately preceding the Caucus may be a candidate for committee person even though he or she has been a registered Republican less than two months as shown in the records of the County Clerk and Recorder.

Specific Responsibilities:

 

  1. Organize each precinct by blocks or streets
  2. Recruit and train volunteers (blockworkers) to help with campaigns
  3. Use available data and canvass the precinct to identify:
  4. a. all favorable voters

    b. favorable voters who are unregistered and need registration information

    c. favorable voters who are candidates for permanent mail in ballot status

    d. favorable voters who need special assistance on election day

  5. Be prepared to run the precinct Caucus
  6. Be prepared to assist the party or candidates for literature distribution
  7. Provide for ballot security and poll watching on Election Day.
  8. Be the Republican Party’s year-round liaison in your neighborhood.

PCs MUST SUPPORT ALL REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES IN THE GENERAL ELECTIONS!

 

 

 

About the Caucus and Assemblies

The following terms and procedures relate to the Jefferson County Republican Party and Central Committee.

Caucus:

A meeting of registered Republican voters in a precinct (see definition of precinct below). The meeting is mandated by state law for major parties, but attendance by voters is optional. One must be a registered voter within the precinct two months prior to Caucus and affiliated with the party for 30 days (or just turned 18 years old) in order to participate. Each major party conducts its own Caucus. Some procedures are mandated by the state, while other decisions are left up to each county’s party. Therefore, each Caucus is a little different in procedure as well as terminology.

Caucus serves three main functions: to elect Delegates to send to various Assemblies (explained below), to make Party platform recommendations to the Republican Party, and to elect two Precinct Committee people. Ever wondered where they get the Party platform issues? They might come from your neighborhood. Anyone qualified to participate in Caucus may vote on Delegates and take part in the debate over which issues ("Resolutions") should be submitted for further review up the line.

NOTE: Assembly fees are usually charged and range from $10-$65 depending on the assembly. This information will be posted on our site as it is provided. Fees MUST BE PAID the night of caucus after a delegate/alternate has accepted a nomination and has been elected. Cash and checks are accepted.

In years where the U.S. President is elected, the Caucuses may conduct a non-binding straw poll for U.S. President which is made public and national convention delegates are selected at the GOP State and Congressional Conventions.

Because Caucus is an official meeting, it is run as such according to traditional rules of order. This includes electing a Chairperson and Secretary to conduct it. Then Delegates, Alternates and Precinct Committee people (see below) are elected and platform issues are discussed and voted upon for submission (optional). It begins promptly at 7:00pm so arrive early to sign in and talk to your neighbors. Anyone with an interest in the process is welcome to participate to the fullest extent possible including becoming a Delegate. One must be 18 years of age, a resident of the precinct for two months and be affiliated with the Republican Party for 30 days to be elected as Precinct Committee person or Delegate. This is a state statute.

Precinct

The smallest political unit in the state of Colorado. It consists of a geographically connected neighborhood of around 1500-2000 registered voters. Jefferson County has 258 precincts.  See your precinct map HERE.  Precincts can change every 10 years when the population of registered voters in the county changes according to the Census.

Precinct Committee People (PC)

For each precinct there are two PCs elected at Caucus. They are charged with the task of organizing and mobilizing voters within the precinct. They also prepare the precinct for the next Caucus in two years. This elected position has the smallest number of constituents in the party but is one of the most important. PCs are provided with information about their precinct including voter registration data. They will also work closely with candidates in their district in an election year. PCs are the backbone of the party and are often the biggest activists. They attend organizational meetings and sit on committees for the county as well as house and senate districts and possibly state. This position is in the pool from which party officers and oftentimes candidates come from. Anyone qualified to participate in the Caucus may run for the office of PC. It requires a two year commitment.  View your current PCs on the Contact Us Page.

Delegate

Campaigning for an office does not guarantee a candidate will be placed on the Primary ballot. In order to determine which candidates should be placed on the ballot, each precinct will elect Delegates to go to the County, State, Congressional, House or Senate Districts to vote on behalf of the constituency. The number of Delegates elected is dependent upon a formula determined at the state level and is subject to change with each election. In a non-Presidential election year, all Delegates are elected at the Caucus or precinct level. In Presidential years, national Delegates are elected at the State Convention.

Alternate

Alternates are elected as backups and become part of a pool to replace a Delegate who is a no-show at the Assembly.

County Assembly

Any registered Republican can run for an elected office as long as certain age and residency requirements are met. If there is more than one Republican candidate running for an office, there will be an election at an assembly to determine which candidate(s) will be put on the Primary ballot. (See Qualifications) All registered Republicans can then vote in the Primary election to determine who will represent the Republican Party in the final election in November. The County Assembly is a meeting to determine who will be nominated to run for office and thereby placed on the Primary ballot for county-specific offices such as Sheriff and Coroner. This may be determined by a small number of voters who represent each precinct in the county. These representatives are called Delegates and are elected from each precinct at the Caucus. The County Assembly is just one path to the Primary. Candidates may (and often do) choose to petition onto the Primary Ballot. This allows a candidate to appeal to the citizenry at large to garner enough support to be on the Primary ballot and bypass the assembly process.

State House and Senate Assemblies

Precincts also elect delegates to their house and senate district assemblies. Here in Jeffco, most of our house and senate districts are wholly contained within the county. Their assemblies are actually conducted in conjunction with the county assembly. Therefore delegates to county from these districts are automatically elected to vote in their senate or house districts wholly contained in Jeffco. If you live in a senate or house district that shares a district with other counties, your caucus will be charged with electing delegates/alternates specifically to that "multi-county" assembly. This applies to Senate district 16 and House district 1.

State Assembly

The State Assembly is similar to the County Assembly except that Delegates vote on candidates running for statewide offices such as Governor and U.S. Senate. Therefore, the Delegation is from all over the state of Colorado. This Assembly also determines which of the submitted platform issues will be recommended to the Republican National Committee. If it is a Presidential election year, the National Delegation is elected at the State Convention which convenes immediately following the Assembly.

Congressional Assemblies

Every two years Coloradan's send seven Congressmen to Washington DC to represent us in the US House of Representatives. These representatives come from seven distinct Congressional Districts. Jeffco currently lies within three of those districts: CD2, CD7, and just a small area of CD1. Each district has an assembly to select which candidates will be presented to voters on the Primary Ballot. Voters only vote for the specific district in which they reside. So if you live in CD7, you will only see the candidates for that district on your ballot. In Presidential years, the congressional assemblies become conventions and National Delegates are elected.

Judicial District Assembly

Jefferson County is in the 1st Judicial District. The Assembly is usually held in conjunction with the County Assembly.  All delegates to the County Assembly are automatically the delegates to the 1st Judicial District Assembly.

Qualifications:

Any candidate who receives at least 30% of the assembled Delegates’ votes is automatically placed on the Primary ballot. Any candidate receiving less than 30% but more than 10% of the Delegates’ votes will only be placed on the ballot if able to obtain a minimum number of signatures on a petition to nominate that candidate for office. These signatures must come from the qualified registered voting constituency and the number required varies with the office. Any candidate receiving less than 10% of the vote is not eligible to run in the Primary race. This is true for every assembly. Candidates may choose to bypass their Assembly and petition onto the Primary ballot. This process and the number of signatures needed are governed by state statute.

 

More specific information can be found at the Colorado Secretary of State's page on Voting and Elections.