Have you ever voted in an election wishing you could do more to support Republicans on the ballot?
Well, the fact is you can. The Republican party is on the lookout for Americans for whom voting is not enough.
One way you can make a difference above and beyond your vote is to become a precinct delegate.
As a precinct delegate, you will have a say in choosing Republican nominees for lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, supreme court and governing bodies of the University of Michigan, Michigan State and Wayne State universities.
When you vote at the state convention, you will be one of about 2,175 people who choose the aforementioned Republican nominees. So your vote there counts for much more than your vote in the general election.
Precinct delegate duties also include helping get people registered to vote, taking information on issues and candidates to voters in their precincts, recruiting new party members, helping turn out voters on election day and keeping party leaders informed about the issues that concern voters.
Whoa, you say, I don’t want to get that involved! No problem. In the real world, we’re just happy to have people who want to be precinct delegates. No one is going to get after you for not performing all of those tasks.
Precinct delegates are technically elected officials, as they will be on the primary ballot in August of the election year in which they run. But usually there are more slots than candidates, so if you are on the ballot you will almost certainly be elected.
However, you should also expect to be expected to attend all county conventions during a two-year term. A county convention is a meeting of precinct delegates and elected officials. County convention participants elect a county party executive committee.
After that comes the state convention in August, where nominees for lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, supreme court and governing bodies for University of Michigan, Wayne State University and Michigan State University are chosen.
How many slots are there? It depends on how many votes there were in the last election for president or secretary of state. Generally speaking, this year it amounts to one delegate per 100 votes for President Trump.
Some 9,800 votes were cast for Trump in Gratiot County, which translates to 98 Republican precinct delegate slots.
If you would like to be a precinct delegate, you must fill out an “affidavit of identity” and file it with County Clerk Angie Thompson by 4 p.m. Tuesday, May 8. The requisite forms are available at the clerk’s office in Ithaca. That will put you on the Aug. 7 primary ballot. Usually there are more precinct delegate slots than there are candidates. So chances are that if you are on the ballot you will be elected.
The Republican Gratiot County convention will occur on Thursday, Aug. 16. Precinct delegates will meet with Republican elected officials from Gratiot County to choose who among them will represent Gratiot County at the Aug. 25 state convention.
Within 20 days after the Nov. 6 general election, county parties are required to hold a convention to elect their executive committees.
If you’d like to get involved (or get more information), please attend a Gratiot County Republican Party meeting at 6:30 p.m. on third Wednesday of each month in Alma Public Library.