County/Senate District Convention Agenda
1. Call to Order.
2. Appointment of a Temporary Secretary by the Temporary Chair.
3. Establishment of Temporary Roll of Delegates.
4. Appointment of Tabulations Committee
5. Adoption of the Permanent Roll of Delegates.
o Report of Credentials Committee (if necessary). The credentials report shall include recommendations regarding challenges.
6. Report of the Rules and Procedures Committee and action on its report (if necessary).
7. Election from among those present of a Permanent Convention Chair, a Permanent Secretary, and other officers necessary to conduct Convention business.
8. Announcement by the Permanent Chair of the number of Delegates and Alternates the County or Senate District was allocated to the State Convention.
9. Tabulation committee announces results of convention sign-in.
10. Announcement of number of delegates and alternates to which each precinct caucus is entitled.
11. Election of Delegates and Alternates to the State Convention from precinct caucuses.
12. Report of the Nominations Committee of delegates and alternates elected from each precinct caucus and recommendations for at-large delegates and alternates. Action on the report.
13. Election of Delegation Chair.
14. Report of the Resolutions Committee (if necessary).
15. Other Business: Committee reports, etc.
When is my County/Senate District Convention?
April 21, 2012
Where is my County/Senate District Convention?
Temporary Chair: Pamela McKinney
Temporary Secretary: Evelyn Barnett
Judge Clouser’s Courtroom
Missouri City Annex Building
303 Texas Parkway (2234)
Missouri City, TX 77489
11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Temporary Chair: Steve Brown
Temporary Secretary: Susan Clark
Houston Community College Missouri City-Sienna
5855 Sienna Springs Way
Missouri City, TX 77459
10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Temporary Chair: Don Bankston
Temporary Secretary: Carlos Garcia
Jury Assembly Room
Fort Bend County Justice Center
1422 Eugene Heimann Circle
Richmond, TX 77469
10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Who signs in at the County/Senate District Conventions?
Any qualified voter who registered to vote at least 30 days prior to the convention. The sign-in sheet contains an oath that will officially affiliate the voter with the Democratic Party. Once they sign, they are not eligible to participate in the primary or convention of another party. The Texas VAN system will be updated prior to the conventions to try to capture everyone who meets this criteria. If the person cannot be found in VAN, check with your county elections office to see if they registered in time. Even better, ask your elections office if you can use one or more of the electronic poll books on
the day of your convention if they are available in your county.
What happens after I sign-in?
After signing in you will go to your precinct caucus. Each precinct that cast at least 300 votes for Bill White in the last Gubernatorial election will caucus by itself. Precincts that did not cast at least 300 votes for Bill White will be grouped together.
Which Senate District am I in?
New Senate District lines as drawn by the federal court in San Antonio will be in effect for the convention. You can find your Senate District either by going to the Texas Legislative Council’s Redistricting website at http://www.tlc.state.tx.us/redist/redist.html or the Texas Tribune’s interactive district finder at http://www.texastribune.org/library/data/redistricting-find-your-district/.
Which precinct am I in?
New precinct lines drawn by your Commissioners Court will be in effect at this time. You should receive a new voter registration card from your local elections office that tells you your correct precinct. If you do not know which precinct you are in, ask your County or Senate District Chair.
Can we just have one big at–large election instead of having everyone break into their precinct groupings?
The Rules state that each precinct or group of paired precincts shall caucus to elect their delegates and alternates. Not doing so puts your entire delegation at risk of being challenged at the State Convention..
How are Delegates and Alternates Elected?
1. Precinct Caucuses – Each precinct gets to elect 1 delegate and alternate for every 300
votes Bill White got in the precinct for Governor in the General election. Precincts where
BW did not get 300 votes are paired with other precincts to make a “grouping” where they
are entitled to at least 1 delegate and alternate. Precinct caucuses can elect whoever they
2. At-Large – Any remaining delegate and alternate positions left over after the precinct
groupings have voted are elected “at-large”, which means the entire body of the convention
votes on them. At-large positions are used to bring the delegation as a whole into balance
with the results of the presidential preference poll conducted at the convention (this is what
the sign-in is for). So once the precinct groupings have voted, the Nominations Committee
will determine what kind of delegates and alternates are need to establish balance and
recommend individuals who meet those criteria. Balancing priority is given to presidential
preference, then gender. At least 1/3 of the delegates and 1/3 of the alternates must be of
the gender opposite to that of the rest of the delegation. Achieving diversity goals should
also be considered, to the extent possible. For example: Say a County gets 10 delegates.
If 70% of the delegates sign in for Obama and 30% for Uncommitted, but the results of the
precinct caucuses are 3 delegates for Obama and 5 for Uncommitted, then the delegation
is out of balance with the sign in. The 2 at-large positions need to be Obama supporters to
help bring the delegation back into balance (as much as possible). Then gender is
considered. So if 6 of the 8 delegates elected out of the precinct caucuses are male and 1
is female, then the 2 at-large delegates need to be female. So in this example, the
Nominations committee needs to find 2 women who support Obama.
What is “Voting Full Delegate Strength’?
Delegates in attendance at the county/senatorial conventions may vote their precinct’s full delegate strength during deliberations at the convention. Examples of this are the election of the permanent chair and secretary, consideration and adoption of committee reports, adoption of resolutions, election of delegation chair, etc. Election of delegates and alternates in the precinct pairings, however, are governed by Rule IV.C10(c)(2) of the Rules of the Texas Democratic Party. This Rule states that “each delegate present shall vote for one nominee.” Therefore there is no full delegate strength voting in the precinct pairings.
Is the County Chair an automatic delegate to the State Convention?
Yes. The County Chair in office as of the date of the State Convention automatically gets to be a delegate to the State Convention, with all the voting benefits thereof. Their delegate position to state is IN ADDITION TO the number of delegates and alternates their county gets. No one else may take their place.
Are SDEC members automatic delegates to the State Convention?
Yes. The SDEC member in office as of the date of the State Convention automatically gets to be a delegate to the State Convention, with all the voting benefits thereof. Their delegate position to state is IN ADDITION TO the number of delegates and alternates their county gets. No one else may take their place. This applies to ALL SDEC members.
County Senatorial District Committees: What do they do?
Credentials Committee (optional) is charged with preparing the permanent roll of the
Convention (i.e. a list naming all Delegates who are eligible to vote and participate in the
conduct of Convention business).
Nominations Committee is responsible for allocating At-large Delegates in accordance with the results of the County/SD sign- in sheets – without disturbing the results of the precinct caucuses. This list of the Committee’s nominees must be submitted before the full Convention for adoption.
Platform and Resolutions Committee is charged with reviewing and debating all the Resolutions which are brought forward at the County/Senatorial District Convention. The resolutions are considered by the Committee, and the committee members will determine whether to recommend the Resolution to the full body for adoption. This committee must also propose and recommend suggestions for the Party Platform for the General Election. The Committee’s recommendations will be considered by the full body, and the Convention as a whole will decide whether to adopt the Committee’s recommendations and refer the adopted recommendations to the Temporary Platform and Resolutions Committees of the State Convention.
Rules and Procedures Committee is responsible for proposing any special rules which the Committee believes may help the Convention’s business to be conducted more efficiently or effectively (e.g. proposing a rule on how long a person may speak on a matter). They are also charged with reviewing and debating all proposed changes to TDP Rules which are brought forward at the County/Senatorial District Convention. The rules changes are considered by the Committee, and the committee members will determine whether to recommend the rules change to the full body for adoption. The Convention as a whole will decide whether to adopt the Committee’s recommendations and refer the adopted recommendations to the Temporary Rules Committee of the State Convention.
Who selects the members of the Credentials, Nominations, Platform/Resolutions and Rules Committees?
County Chairs (or Senatorial District Chairs) – with the advice and consent of the County or Senatorial District Executive Committees, or with confirmation of the convention, are responsible for appointing the members of the Committees.
What is a Tabulations Committee?
The Tabulations Committee is made up of at least 1 person from each presidential preference present at the Convention appointed by the Convention Chair to determine the number and percentage of votes received by each candidate in the presidential preference poll (sign-in).
What is next?
The delegates and alternates elected at the County/Senate District Convention then go to the State Convention. The State Convention will be held on June 8 and 9 in Houston, Texas. Delegates and alternates elected at the State Convention will go to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina which will be held September 3-6, 2012.
I’m not showing up on the voter registration list – can I still participate in the Convention?
Yes, you may participate as a provisional voter. Provisional voters may sign in, but they will not count in the initial allocation of delegates. However, a second allocation shall be made that includes provisional voters, so when provisional participants are subsequently deemed eligible, delegate allocations can be adjusted as necessary.
If I cannot come to the convention, can I still be a delegate?
Yes. You do not have to be present to be elected as a delegate. You can have another person submit your name to be considered for election as a delegate or alternate to the State Convention. However, you will have to sign an oath of affiliation and return the original document to your Permanent Convention Chair or Permanent Convention Secretary no later than 5 days after the convention. You may complete the form in advance of the convention by downloading it from our website at www.txdemocrats.org.
If I am not registered in time to be a delegate at the County or Senate District Convention, can I be elected as a Delegate or Alternate to the State Convention?
Yes, as long as you are registered on or before April 21st and sign the oath of affiliation. This includes registering to vote with a Deputy Voter Registrar at the convention. While you will not be able to participate in the votes taken at the County/SD convention, you may ask that someone place your name in nomination. Don’t forget that you may register to vote if you are at least 17 and 10 months old.
Who is in charge of the convention?
The first person to be in charge is the Temporary Chair. The Temporary Chair is usually the County Chair if holding a County Convention or the Senate District Chair if holding a Senate District Convention, unless that person is absent or the Chair position is vacant. If the Chair is not in attendance, any eligible participant can start the convention as the Temporary Chair. The first order of business after all convention attendees sign in is to elect a Permanent Chair, who runs the rest of the convention.
What do I need to bring to the Convention?
If you have your voter registration card, you should bring it. If you don’t have it, any form of
identification acceptable for voting will work (see ”What types of identification can be used”). A Calculator, pen/pencil and scratch pad are also helpful.
What if I sign in and leave before the Convention is over?
Once the convention has been called to order by the Temporary Chair and everyone has signed in for their presidential preference (or uncommitted), convention attendees may leave and their sign in will be counted towards the delegate allocation. However, those who’ve left before their caucus meets to elect delegates and alternates will not have the opportunity to participate in the election of delegates and assist with other Party business, such as resolutions.
What is a delegate?
A delegate is a person who is elected by their precinct caucus or by the convention as a whole to represent their area at the next level of convention.
What is an alternate?
An alternate is a person who is elected by their precinct caucus or by the convention as a whole to go to the next level of convention and if a delegate vacancy occurs, the alternate may step in.
What is the role of the secretary?
The Permanent Secretary is charged with keeping the minutes of the Convention.
What is the role of the temporary chair?
The Temporary Chair obtains the convention packet and calls the convention to order. The Temporary Chair also appoints the Temporary Secretary. Before any business is conducted, the Temporary Chair asks for the convention attendees to sign in on the sign in sheets with their name, address, presidential preference, etc. Finally, the Temporary Chair asks for nominations for Permanent Chair.
What is the role of the permanent chair?
The Permanent Chair is charged with overseeing the entire convention, facilitating the election of delegates and alternates and addressing any Party business. The Permanent Chair closes the roll and announces the allocation of delegates between the presidential preferences (or uncommitted). The Permanent Chair also handles any required reporting.
How do you elect the permanent chair and permanent secretary?
The Temporary Chair calls for nominations for the Permanent Chair; nominations are taken and convention attendees vote on the nominees. The Permanent Chair is elected by majority vote of the attendees. The Permanent Chair then calls for nominations for a Permanent Secretary. Nominations for the position are taken, and convention attendees vote on the nominees. The Permanent Secretary is elected by a majority vote of the convention attendees. Majority vote includes each precinct voting its full delegate strength.
What is the threshold?
A threshold is the number of convention attendees who must sign in on the sign in sheets on the precinct convention in support of a particular presidential preference (or uncommitted) in order for that preference to be eligible to be awarded delegates. The threshold for County/SD conventions is 15%.
Do we have to hold an election for each individual delegate?
No. One election is held for each precinct grouping. The highest vote-getters are the delegates, second highest are the alternates.
How many votes do I get in my caucus?
Each caucus member casts one vote.
What to do when there is a tie?
The winner will need to be determined by the flipping of a coin or drawing of straws.
I signed in for one candidate but changed my mind, can I change?
What are resolutions? Who can introduce a resolution for consideration?
A Resolution is a document used to help facilitate the business of the Democratic Party. A resolution is typically used to advocate for the adoption and support of certain public policies and to amend the Party Rules or Platform. The resolution can be introduced by any person participating in their convention. It is then referred to the Resolutions Committee and must then be voted on by the convention as a whole.
What happens if the Resolution passes (is adopted)?
If a resolution passes at the convention, a copy of the resolution is attached to the Convention Minutes and submitted to the State Party by the Permanent Convention Chair. This resolution will then be further considered by the Temporary Resolutions Committee of the State Convention.
What happens if the Resolution is not adopted?
The resolution may still be considered by the delegates to the State Convention if the sponsor collects signatures from at least 30% of the delegates present at the State Convention.
What does LGBT on the Sign-in Sheets stand for?
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered
Do I have to fill out the demographic information?
Yes. The Texas Democratic Party has Diversity Goals built into our Delegate Selection Plan. We are required by the Democratic National Committee to try to meet our representational goals. The demographic information helps us do this.
When and where is the State Convention?
June 7th, 8th and 9th in Houston.
When and where is the National Convention?
September 3rd-6th in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Do I have to pay my way to the conventions? How much does it cost?
Yes. The price varies depending on the convention. When budgeting to attend a convention, you will want to take into consideration such expenses as hotel, flight, transportation, meals and incidentals.
We do not have enough people at the caucus to fill all of the delegate positions. What should we do?
If there were people who signed in for your candidate who left early, try calling them and asking if they would like to be nominated as a delegate.
Also, if you know of someone who supports your candidate who would like to be a delegate who could not attend the convention, you may elect them without them being present. They will need to be nominated and elected at the end of the Convention before the convention adjourns and will need to sign an oath of affiliation and return it to the Permanent Convention Chair no later than 5 days after the convention.
If I am a delegate, do I get paid?
No, you do not get paid to be a delegate.
What are Superdelegates?
Superdelegates are automatic delegates to the Democratic National Convention by virtue of the office they hold (e.g. Members of Congress, DNC Members, State Party Chair and State Party Vice-Chair) and not because they pledged to a particular presidential candidate. Texas has 28 Superdelegates.
How many delegates are assigned to Texas?
Texas will send 288 delegates and 22 alternates to the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.
When does sign-in end?
Sign In ends when the last person present waiting to sign in has done so.
What types of identification can be used to participate in convention?
Voters who present a voter registration card shall be accepted for participation in the convention. Voters who do not have a voter registration card but appear on the voter registration list shall also be accepted for participation in the convention upon presenting identification or having their identity verified by at least 2 of the people responsible for the conduct of the convention or a party officer (i.e. Temporary or Permanent Chair, Temporary or Permanent Secretary, members of the Credentials committee or SDEC members). All forms of identification acceptable for voting under the Texas Election Code shall be acceptable as proof of identification for participating in the convention. Those
items include: a voter registration card, Texas driver’s license or personal identification card, passport, other government issued id, written communication from a government agency, utility bill, etc.
I moved from one SD to another SD in the same county and did not update my voter registration. Can I still attend our convention anyway and be delegate?
If it can be confirmed that you are registered to vote at an old address in the same Senate District, you may participate after you fill out a voter registration card with your new address. This will serve to re-register you at the new address. If your current registration cannot be confirmed, you may participate provisionally.
I moved from one county to another county and did not update my voter registration. Can I attend the convention in my new county and be delegate?
If it can be confirmed that you are registered at an old address in a different county, you may participate after you fill out a voter registration card with your new address. This will serve to re-register you at the new address. If your current registration cannot be confirmed, you may participate provisionally.