Saturday, August 18, 2012

On August 7th, I voted for myself

So did 181 other people. That's a big improvement over two years ago, when I was the only person who voted for me. The amazing thing was that I still won. How did that happen?

To answer that question, I have to tell you what office I ran for--precinct delegate. Ever since I became a Democrat in 2004, I noticed that there never was anyone running for precinct delegate any of the places where I lived, so I wrote myself in. Nothing ever happened, because I didn't know to do the critical step of submitting a notarized statement of identity, which would have allowed my write-in vote to count. That is, until two years ago, when I walked into the polling place, again saw that there was no one running for precinct delegate, and remarked to the poll worker that it was too bad I didn't know there was no one on the ballot, because then I could have filed a notarized statement. Her response was "I'm a notary public, at least for today, and I have a form right here." Of course, I filled it out. I then wrote my name in and waited. Two weeks later, I got the letter from the County Clerk saying that I was a precinct delegate. A week later, I went to the county convention. The next year, I went to the state convention. All of that just because I was in the right place in the right time with a big mouth and seized the opportunity.*

This year, I decided to do it the right way. I filed well in advance so that my name was on the ballot. I voted for myself, and expected only a handful of votes. Instead, I got 182. I came in second to a City Commission member who lives in my precinct, but since the precinct has three delegates, I won the office again. Sweet!

Of course, that means I have obligations, one of which is to go to the County (actually Congressional District) Convention. Fortunately, the meeting location is close enough for me to walk to, which I will. Hey, I like doing things sustainably, including my politics.

In case you're wondering what a precinct delegate does, here is the description of the position's duties, which I included in an article on County Conventions two years ago
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 their party.

Precinct delegates are elected directly by the voters of each local voting precinct to serve as a “bridge” between voters and the party organization itself. As a precinct delegate, the delegate represents their party in their neighborhood and represent their neighborhood at party meetings.

As a Precinct Delegate, one will:
  • Help members of their party get registered to vote.
  • Take information on issues and candidates to the voters in their precinct.
  • Identify and recruit new party members.
  • Help turn out the their party's vote in their neighborhood on Election Day.
  • Keep their party's leaders informed about the issues that concern voters.
Time to get to work!

*In a lot of ways, this is the story of my life. So far, it's worked out OK for me.

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