Cambridge and Somerville wards will be electing their delegates to the 2012 Democratic State Convention, which will take at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield, Massachusetts on June 2nd, 2012. This is sure to be an exciting convention where we will pick our nominee for the U.S. Senate to run against Republican Senator Scott Brown. Before a candidate can be placed on the September Primary ballot they have to get the support of 15% of the State Convention Delegates and 51% to get the endorsement of the convention. But in order to go to the convention, you need to be elected.
Here is everything you need to know about the 2012 Caucuses.
Find your caucus date and location here: http://www.massdems.org/caucus/
Read all about the rules at the Mass Dems website: http://www.massdems.org/2012-state-convention/
What happens at the Caucus?
Each person who wishes to run needs to be nominated. The Ward Chair will write the candidates’ names on a board. Each candidate can give a statement before the voting. If there is a suggestion that statements be waived, we recommend you object so that everyone running has a chance to introduce themselves.
Who can run as a delegate?
You do not have to be a member of the city or ward committee to run to be a delegate to the convention. You must be present at the caucus to get elected. You cannot be elected if you are absent. You must have been registered as a Democrat before December 31st in your ward to be eligible to run. (There will be a check in table at the Caucus where they will check your status on the voter lists.)
If you do not win a seat at the caucus or if you cannot attend the caucuses but still want to go to the convention, you can apply to be an Add-On delegate if you fall into one of 3 categories, Youth (under 35), Minority and Disabled.
What should you do if you want to run as a delegate?
If you would like to run, just ask the person sitting next to you to nominate you. Someone else will second your nomination. When you give your statement, give your name and perhaps where you live. If you are running committed to a particular Senatorial Candidate, you should state who you are supporting. Keep it very brief, but at least take the opportunity to introduce yourself.
If you want to run, it is helpful to bring people with you to vote for you. Some wards will have heavy turnout and more candidates than delegate spots. Some wards won’t have a lot of people show up and if you want to be a delegate you are practically guaranteed a spot.
How Many Delegates Get Elected?
Men and women are elected separately to ensure that there are an equal number elected from each ward. Each Ward is allowed a set amount of delegates - one of whom is the Chair of the Ward Committee at the time of the Convention - and alternates and an even number of male and female delegates and alternates for the remaining number.
For example a ward with 10 Delegates = 1 chair, 4 male, 4 female and 1 either. 3 Alternates = 1 male, 1 female, 1 either.
What happens if you are elected as a delegate?
If you are elected, you will be asked to sign consent to nomination form, a delegate certification form and be given a registration envelope to send in to the State Party. If you are not elected you may be eligible to apply to be an add on delegate.