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Precinct Delegate Guide from the Michigan Democratic Party

List of 2014-2016 serving Precinct Delegates is here

Precinct delegate filing information for May 5, 2016 primary

  • Carolyn Bourland ( is co-ordinating precinct delegate recruitment for the Emmet County Democratic Committee.  Please contact her if you are interested..


Michigan Democratic Party
Precinct Delegate: Grassroots of the Democratic Party

What is a precinct?

The precinct is the smallest political unit in the country and all voters in a precinct vote at one location. The precinct is where elections are won and lost. It is your neighborhood. You know the people and you know what issue are most important to them.

What is a Precinct Delegate?

The role of a precinct delegate is one of the most important yet least understood of any elected office. It is the active precinct delegate who wins elections for the Democratic Party. Precinct delegates are elected directly by the voters of each precinct to serve as a bridge between voters and the Democratic Party in your neighborhood and you represent your neighborhood at Democratic Party meetings.

What do Precinct Delegates do?

• Help Democrats get registered to vote.
• Take information on issues and candidates to the voters in your precinct.
• Identify other Democrats, and recruit new Party members.
• Help turn out the Democratic vote in your neighborhood on Election Day.
• Keep Democratic leaders informed about the issues that concern voters.

How do Precinct Delegates get elected?

Precinct delegates are elected in the Democratic primary every 2 years in August. Only Democratic voters choose Democratic precinct delegates.

Each precinct is allotted a number of precinct delegates based on past Democratic voting strength. Your district or county chair will be able to tell you how many delegate positions have been allocated to your precinct.

Precinct delegate candidates file an Affidavit of Identity to get on the ballot. There is no longer a petition requirement for precinct delegate candidates. A precinct delegate candidate can file with the clerk of their county, city or township of residence. (Formerly, all precinct delegate candidates filed at the county level.) Your Affidavit of Identity must be notarized.

Candidates for precinct delegate must file their Affidavit of Identity form with their clerk. The filing deadline for precinct delegate candidates falls on the twelfth Tuesday prior to the August primary. A precinct delegate can be elected with just one vote. (Formerly a precinct delegate candidate needed a three-vote minimum.)

What are the responsibilities of Precinct Delegates?

They are the campaign leaders for the Democratic Party in their precincts. After the primary, those elected will be officially notified by the county clerk by mail. The notification will include the time and place of the district or county Democratic convention, which will be held in August after the primary.

Precinct delegates should take their official notification to the district or county convention to register with the convention credentials committee.

District or county conventions will elect delegates to the state convention held in August or September. These conventions may also debate or adopt resolutions for recommendation to the state convention’s platform committee.

The state convention will debate and adopt a platform, nominate candidates for Supreme Court Justices, State Board of Education and university boards, and select presidential electors.

What other functions do Precinct Delegates have?

After Election Day, precinct delegates have another responsibility. Precinct delegates will convene in district or county conventions to elect executive committees and officers to serve through the next general election. There they will also elect delegates to the February state convention where new state party officers and a new state central committee will be chosen to serve for the next 2 years.

Checklist to Become a Precinct Delegate

1. Obtain a precinct map from the county, city or township clerk’s office.
2. Find out the number of Democratic precinct delegate positions in your precinct.
3. File your Affidavit of Identity with your county, city or township clerk no later than 4:00 p.m. on the twelfth Tuesday before the August Primary, in May. Your Affidavit of Identity must be notarized. Find out how many candidates have filed for precinct delegate in your precinct.
4. If you have opposition, contact your neighbors, friends and family that reside in your precinct and ask for their support. Primary election day is in August. Remember to vote.
5. Get involved in your local Democratic Party immediately. Keep the Party informed about what your neighbors are talking about and keep your neighbors informed about what elected Democrats are doing form them.
The Democratic Party is here to help. Let us know if you need information or assistance. By working together, we can deliver Michigan for the Democratic ticket.

Don’t sit on the sidelines – run for Precinct Delegate and be a part of the political solution

Michigan Democratic Party, 606 Townsend Street Lansing, MI 48933
517-371-5410 · 571-371-2056 (FAX)

Paid for by the Michigan Democratic State Central Committee, 606 Townsend, Lansing, MI 48933
Not authorized by any candidate or candidate committee.

January 1, 2014 Rules of the Michigan Democratic Party

            A.        Apportionment of Precinct Delegates
On or before April 1 in even-numbered years, the Chairperson of the County Committee or District Committee considered a County under Section 592 of the Michigan Election Law shall forward by mail or deliver to the Board of Election Commissioners in each County, a certificate showing the number of delegates to the County and/or District Conventions to which each precinct of the County is entitled.  If  the Chairperson fails to have such a certificate forwarded by mail or delivered to the Board of Election Commissioners of any County by the day specified, then that Board of Election Commissioners immediately shall determine the number of delegates to the County and/or District Conventions that each precinct shall elect which is necessary for the appropriate implementation of these rules. The allotment of delegates to all precincts in the state shall be made to insure, as near as is practicable, equal apportionment based on the total vote cast for either the President of the United States or Secretary of State at the last general election when elections for those offices were held, whichever is later, but each precinct shall have at least one (1) delegate. The apportionment shall be based on the precincts as they exist one hundred eighty (180) days before the August primary election in even-numbered years.  As many delegates in each precinct as each precinct is entitled to, according to the certificate authorized by the Chairperson of the County Committee or the Board of Election Commissioners, shall be elected at the August primary in even-numbered years by direct vote of the qualified and registered Democratic electors in the precinct.

            B.        Precinct Delegate Election
                 1.         Qualifications
Any person, including a person holding a public office in this state or municipal subdivision thereof, may become a candidate for delegate to the County and/or District Conventions under the procedures and qualifications prescribed by state law.
                 2.         Election to Office
Election to delegate to the County and/or District Conventions, including write-ins, shall be conducted under the procedures prescribed by state law.
            C.        Duties
All precinct delegates will be delegates to all County and/or District Conventions during their term of office. In their precinct, delegates shall register Democrats to vote, identify other Democrats and recruit new State Party members, take information on issues and candidates to voters, help turn out the vote on Election Day and keep Party leaders informed about the issues which concern voters.          

            D.        Vacancies in Precinct
No delegate elected to any District or County Convention shall give a proxy to represent them at such a Convention. All vacancies occurring in any delegation to any County or District Convention may be filled by a majority vote of the delegation for that Convention only. That delegation shall not be permitted to fill any vacancy which may occur in its number by any person not a qualified and registered elector, and resident of the ward, district, county, township or precinct, as the case may be, from which the absent delegate was chosen.

              E.        Precinct Committee
Whenever appropriate the precinct delegates of each precinct or groups of precincts may be organized into a Precinct Committee and elect a Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson of opposite sex from their numbers. The purpose of this Committee shall be to promote the interests of the Democratic Party within the precinct or groups of precincts

            B.        Voting Privileges
In order to vote at any Convention, Caucus or meeting of any unit of the Michigan Democratic Party at any level, a person must be a member of the Michigan Democratic Party for at least thirty (30) days prior to that Convention, Caucus or meeting. A Party member must be a qualified and registered elector in order to vote on nominations for public office.

            C.        Holding Party Office
However, Precinct...must maintain membership during the term of Party office. If membership lapses while a Precinct Delegate Democratic...holds Party office, all rights and privileges of that office are suspended until membership is renewed, at which time all rights and privileges are immediately restored.

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