Precinct caucuses begin the political year for Emery County
Mark Tanner conducts the caucus meeting in Orangeville.
By PHIL FAUVER Guest Writer
What is a precinct caucus? It is usually a group of neighbors gathering either in a home or a public building every two years in March to select officers and delegates to the upcoming county and state political party nominating conventions. Precinct caucuses are held statewide. The location of the Democrat and Republican precinct caucuses are usually published in the local newspaper.
Prior to the precinct caucus the County Party Chairman calls a meeting of all the current precinct chairman and vice chairman for training about how to properly conduct a precinct caucus. The precinct caucus is usually started with a prayer and a pledge of allegiance to the flag of the United States, the party platform is read and agreed to by those attending. In the case of Republican caucuses only registered Republicans may nominate or vote in the selection of officers or be elected to an office within the party.
In Democrat caucuses, you do not have to be registered as a Democrat to participate, be elected to a party office or run for a county office as a Democrat. Three candidates currently running for county offices are not registered as Democrat voters.
The precinct chairman, vice chairman, secretary and treasurer are elected for two years. The responsibility of the chairman is to conduct a precinct caucus meeting and notify the county party chairman where the meeting will be held. After the precinct caucus the chairman notifies the party chairman, who attended and who were elected delegates and who were elected as officers of the caucus. In the precinct caucus county delegates are elected, and serve for two years. They will be expected to attend one nominating convention and one organizing convention to vote for those running for county elective offices. The state delegates will attend the state nominating convention and state organizing convention to vote for candidates applying for state and national offices. In the second year of a delegates term, the county delegates will vote for county party officers and state delegates will vote for state party officers such as the state party chairman, vice chairman, secretary and treasurer.
The public is invited to attend precinct caucuses to learn how the process works and to participate in the selection of political officers and delegates. To fully participate in the process registration forms are available, if you want to become a registered voter of a political party.
If one wishes to become elected to any of the above offices, they should bring four or five friends to the precinct caucus who will nominate and vote for the person wanting a particular office. In the case of candidates for county, state or national offices, the candidate will contact county and state delegates and invite them to vote for him or her in the upcoming nominating conventions.
At the county nominating convention county delegates will only vote for candidates for county offices. State delegates will go to the state party nominating convention and vote for candidates for state and national offices.
There are other political parties, in Emery County, other than Republican and Democrat that also meet and select delegates and candidates.
The Republican county convention will be April 21 at Huntington Elementary School. It starts at 6 p.m. At 5 p.m. is the get acquainted with the candidates time. The Emery County Democrats will be holding their county convention and dinner on April 16 beginning at 6 p.m. at the Museum of the San Rafael (96 North 100 East, Castle Dale, Utah). All interested people are welcome to attend. County party officers will be elected and local and state party leaders will speak. Dinner, entertainment and prize drawing will also be provided. Tickets will be available at the door.