Your Hunt County Democratic Party Precinct Chairs
What is a Precinct Chair?
Precinct Chairs are the backbone of the Hunt County Democratic Party.
A Precinct Chair is the local representative of the Democratic Party and its candidates at the neighborhood, grass-roots level in each voting precinct.
Each of Hunt County's 38 voting precincts can have its own Precinct Chair (though many have few or even no voters, and are covered by their neighbors).
What does a Precinct Chair do?
The primary job of a Precinct Chair is to get more people to vote Democratic in their precinct.
Do Precinct Chairs really help win elections?
Good ones can make an enormous difference. When you look at the election returns you can tell which precincts have active Chairs, by comparing them to ones next door with the same demographics but which just don't turn out as well.
Is it fun?
Yes, if you are open, honest, and positive about who and what you are for. Many voters who are or would be Democrats have never had a live person knock on their door or call them to ask for their votes, and are glad to be contacted. Those who are Republicans or uninterested you can simply cross off your list and not bother with again. Very few are actually rude (and those are usually either Republicans or just political hermits). You’ll meet many interesting people and make new friends out of voters and fellow precinct chairs. And you get to know you are helping make a better world for all (yes, even for the ones who disagree with us).
How does a Precinct Chair increase the Democratic vote?
Precinct Chairs have a number of resources available from the Hunt County Democratic Party. We will provide training and lists from or access to our online database of voters. With this tool, Precinct Chairs can identify other known Democrats in their precinct who may be interested in helping identify other Democrats or persuade neighbors to vote for Democratic candidates. This is the core of grassroots politics; neighbors talking to neighbors to persuade them to vote in elections and choose candidates representing the values and platform of the Democratic Party.
Recruit neighbors to help contact other neighbors
Walk your neighborhood to speak with other voters
Call other voters in your neighborhood
Speak with other Precinct Chairs
Becoming a Precinct Chair
The voters in the Democratic Primary elect Precinct Chairs for a two year term, which starts after the Primary Runoff. Most candidates for Precinct Chair have no opponent in the Primary. You may place your name on the ballot for Precinct Chair in the next Democratic Primary by submitting the official state filing form. The filing form may be downloaded and printed from the Secretary of State's Election Division (see the link after this paragraph); insert the word "Precinct" before "Chair", and, of course, "Democratic" before "Primary".
There is no fee for filing. The form will need to be notarized.
Who can be a Precinct Chair?
Any registered voter with some time, energy, and commitment to helping elect Democrats to office can become the Precinct Chair in the voting precinct where they live. A person can be elected in the Democratic Primary, or chosen to fill an open spot by the HCDP Executive Committee.
What else does a Precinct Chair get to do?
Precinct Chairs are also members of the Executive Committee of the Hunt County Democratic Party. The Executive Committee meets every month and is responsible for reviewing and approving party activities. They also fill vacant Precinct Chair positions.
Candidates for public office, in the Primary or the general election, or even in non-partisan elections such as city councils and school boards, may ask Precinct Chairs for their support and endorsement. Precinct Chairs are free to endorse, as individuals, any Democrats in partisan races, or in the Primary, or any candidate in non-partisan elections, but they need not do so. The endorsement and support of very active Precinct Chairs can greatly help a candidate.
Are Precinct Chairs the Election Judges in their voting precinct?
They can be, and many are, but they are not required to be. Many people cannot get off work all day to do this, are physically unable, or just prefer not to. Many smaller precincts are grouped together into single polling locations, so there may be several Precinct Chairs in the precincts voting at one place, but there can only be one Election Judge.
It is important to have good Democratic Election Judges (or Alternate Judges, in a heavily Republican precinct where the other party gets to pick the Judge), but the party can send Judges from other precincts; only a resident of the precinct can be Precinct Chair.
The party may ask a Precinct Chair if they wish to be the Election Judge, or if they know someone else who would be interested if they do not, but there is no automatic appointment of Precinct Chairs to be Election Judges or Alternates.
A Precinct Chair that does not serve as Election Judge does not get to pick the Election Judge for their precinct; the Election Judges are nominated by the parties and subject to approval by the County Commissioner's Court.
Precinct Chairs 2022-23
How can I get help?
If you need help getting started or tackling a difficult challenge, all you have to do is ask. That's part of the fun of working on a team!
Remember, it's not our first rodeo. We love helping new cowpokes get comfortable in the saddle and trading stories with old hands.
Top three things for a
Precinct Chair's to-do list
1. Walk a neighborhood with an experienced Precinct Chair. Ask lots of questions.
2. Partner up with another Precinct Chair and trade neighborhood walks. It's a great way to share ideas and hone your skills.
3. Bring treats to a neighboring Precinct Chair and ask her advice about:
+The nitty-gritty (finding volunteers in your precinct),
+The strategy behind the work (what's worked, what hasn't and why)
+Anything else that comes to mind.