This explanation is intended as a framework for thinking about the process. Your House District Chairs will provide valuable information and training too, (and we encourage you to attend HD meetings).
At Caucus, each precinct elects two PCPs and a specified number of Delegates. Because they do different jobs (described below), the same person may be elected as both a PCP and a Delegate, but in both cases, only people eligible to participate at Caucus may be elected. In some rare cases, precincts may decide to elect people who are not present at Caucus if they’ve sent in a letter requesting one of these positions, provided that they would have been eligible to participate had they been present.
Who is Eligible to Participate at Caucus? A person may vote at the precinct caucus, be elected as a precinct committee person and/or be elected as a delegate from the caucus if they have been:
- A resident in the precinct by February 14, 2020, and
- Registered to vote as a Democratic voter in the precinct by February 14, 2020 (or pre-registered if they are 17 years old), and
- Are currently or will attain the age of 18 on or before November 3, 2020.
Precinct Committee Persons (PCPs) are duly elected members of the Colorado Democratic Party and their names are filed with the Secretary of State. At Caucus, each precinct elects two PCPs who serve a two-year term until the next Caucus. PCPs represent the Democrats in their precincts on district Central Committees which conduct the business of the Party, and on Vacancy Committees if needed to replace an elected official who leaves office before end-of-term. PCPs also organize and inform the voters in their precincts to help elect Democrats to office.
Assemblies are used to put non-presidential Democratic candidates onto the June Primary Ballot by having Delegates vote at various district assemblies. This year these are the US Senate and down-ballot races. Other Democratic Party work is also accomplished at assemblies.
Conventions determine the Democratic Presidential nominee by electing Delegates from Colorado to the Democratic National Convention in Wisconsin in July.
Delegates from Caucus to County Assembly. At Caucus each precinct chooses people (delegates) to represent them at County Assembly as follows. Each precinct is notified of the total number of delegates it may send. (The number of delegates is calculated from the number of that precinct’s Democrats who voted in a previous election multiplied by a formula in the County’s Delegate Selection Plan.) The precinct then conducts a Preference Poll to determine how the delegates will be divided among the US Senate candidates. Only the US Senate candidates ‘going through Caucus’ are part of the poll. Candidates who earn at least 15% of the precinct’s vote get a proportionate number of delegates (who favor them) equal to the proportion of votes earned in the preference poll, rounded to a whole person. The infamous “Caucus Math Worksheet” helps with this calculation.
Delegates elected at Caucus must be able to attend the Jefferson County Assembly & Convention scheduled for Saturday, March 21, at Bear Creek High School in Lakewood, CO. These Delegates become the voting members of the County Assembly and vote candidates onto June Primary ballot for districts that are wholly within the County (for example, County Commissioner races and most state house and senate races). These vote totals also determine the order the candidates will appear on the June Primary ballot. For races whose districts are not wholly within the County (for example Congressional Districts and Judicial Districts but also some state house and senate districts that cross boundaries into more than one county), the Delegates/voting members elect a new, smaller number of delegates to represent them at future Assemblies where votes are taken to determine who will make it onto the June Primary ballot for those mult-district races. (State Board of Ed and CU Regent candidates get on the ballot in future, multi-county assemblies too.) Delegates/voting members also elect another group of delegates to represent them at the State Assembly on April 18, where a vote is taken to put US Senate candidates onto the June Primary Ballot.
Delegates elected at Caucus to attend County Assembly also serve as Delegates during County Convention. County Convention takes place at the same time and place as County Assembly (by gaveling in and out of each). At County Convention, Delegates vote to elect people who want to attend the State Convention with the hope of being elected as a Delegate to the Democratic National Convention in Wisconsin in July. Democratic National Convention Delegates will also be elected from Congressional District Conventions.
Unlike PCPs whose term lasts two years, a Delegate’s duties end at the adjournment of the Assembly or Convention they were elected to attend. Of course, they may run and be elected to serve as a delegate to a future assembly.
People who want to become a Delegate to the Democratic National Convention in Wisconsin in July have several paths to that goal. The process technically begins at County Convention, however, they should attend Caucus and become Delegates to County Assembly/Convention if they want to be able to vote for themselves.