THE PARTY STRUCTURE
Precinct Committee Officers form the grassroots base of the Republican Party. The precinct is the starting point or the basic building block of the WSRP’s political unit. Without an organized precinct, county parties and the WSRP would not be able to function effectively. In a party structure, party members working at the precinct level connect the precinct to the county and state-level party organizations.
The County Central Committee is comprised of all elected and appointed PCO’s. Typically, you will meet in December or January of alternate years to elect the officers (County Chairman, Vice Chairman, State Committeeman and State Committeewoman, etc.). These county officers will be in charge of leading the county organization for the next two years and will represent you as members of the Republican State Committee.
The 117 voting members (County Chairs, State Committeeman and State Committeewoman) of the Republican State Committee elect a State Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Washington State Republican Party. The State Chairman is the party’s Chief Executive Officer and manages the party’s business on a daily basis. State Party officers serve two-year terms. The State Committee members also meet by Congressional District to elect two people from among themselves to serve on the State Executive Board. The State Executive Board, consisting of the 18 Congressional District members, National Committeeman, National Committeewoman, Vice Chairman and Chairman, oversees implementation of State Party programs on behalf of the State Committee, develops party policy, reviews the party’s finances and conducts other official party business on behalf of the State Committee.
The Republican National Committee consists of three representatives from each state and territory These representatives are the National Committeeman and National Committeewoman-elected by the State Committee in the year of each Presidential election and the State Party Chairman.
PCO Authority & Duties
“Your hard work and dedication to accomplishing the following tasks will help build a stronger, better and more effective county, state, and national party”
The Precinct Committee officer is the official representative of his precinct to the Republican Party. This is a partisan office established to represent the voters within a specific geographical area. The PCO’s duties and responsibilities are set forth in state law and the WSRP’s bylaws.
Below are the legal responsibilities specified in the Revised Code of Washington (RCW):
1. Legal Duties (RCW 29A.80.030)
a. Organizing your County Party by electing officers of the county’s Central
Committee including the County Chair, State Committeeman and Committeewoman
b. Responsible for interviewing and selecting (up to) three final candidates to present to the county commissioner(s) so they may appoint a candidate of the same party to fill vacancies in other elected partisan offices such as County Commissioner or State Legislator
c. Serve as a voting member of the County Central Committee.
d. Call and conduct precinct caucus, as directed by the County Chair.
2. PCO Eligibility –Must be a registered voter in the precinct you live
a. Be a registered voter in the precinct
b. Serve a two year term starting December 1st following the November (even year) election
3. PCO Appointment (RCW 29A.28.071)
a. Appointment for open precincts must be after the county organization meeting.
b. Eligibility: must be a member of a major political party, registered voter in the
precinct, no filing fee is required.
c. Appointment is made by the County Chair and may require approval of the County
4. PCO Captain (WSRP Bylaws)
• If the County Chair cannot find a person with a precinct to serve as a PCO, then he or she may appoint a precinct captain. This individual acts as a PCO but does not live within the precinct.
a. Same eligibility and process as a PCO appointment except appointee may live outside precinct to which he or she is being appointed Captain.
A strong and effective party relies on its PCO’s to perform the tasks below.
• Represent the views of precinct voters to the Republican Party; and represent the party and
its candidates and officers to the precinct voters.
• Attend County Party and Legislative District meetings, help formulate policy, assist in
recruiting party candidates and volunteers.
• Build relationships and identify Republican voters in your precinct. This will greatly
increase Republican turnout. Assist the County Party in updating your precinct voter list by participating in voter identification and voter outreach programs.
• Support ALL Republican candidates after the Primary Election.
• Assist with fundraising events when possible.
• Volunteer on various campaigns.
• Doorbell your precinct before each election with our candidates.
• Stay involved and remain active in the community.
• Notify County Party officials and Republican candidates when Democrat activity is spotted
in your precinct (e.g. direct mail pieces, doorbelling, TV ads, newspaper ads, polling, etc.)
• Assist the County Chair by leading your precinct caucus in each even-numbered year. This participation designates you as an automatic delegate to the County Convention.
A few hours a month is all it takes to create a strong and vibrant precinct.
These few hours will allow you to build a relationship and rapport with your neighbors. By doing this, your neighbors will seek your advice on leading political issues and candidates. Since you will be able to provide them valuable information, they will contact you as they are preparing to vote or write to their representatives in government. In many cases, you will be the only direct contact a voter has with our candidates and elected officials! So remember to be positive and always put your best foot forward.
Remember the tasks of the PCO are spread out over the year, which will make each vital task easier to execute. Unfortunately, if tasks are put off you’ll find that activities will pile up. After being elected as a PCO, we recommend you sit down with your County Party and work on a long-term plan for your precinct which will make your job much more effective and easier. Should at anytime you find yourself falling behind significantly on your assignments, call your county organization immediately so they can assist you with your tasks.
Furthermore, you will find your work as a PCO very rewarding as you meet volunteers and friends from your precinct and county, have the opportunity to attend many events and fundraisers, and work directly with our stellar candidates who are proud to wear the Republican label.
Step 1 – Identifying Our Republican Voters
Plainly put, our goal as a party is to elect Republicans. The first step in accomplishing this goal is to identify and register Republican voters in your precinct.
The four major components to identifying and registering new Republican voters are:
1. Knowing your precinct
2. Obtaining voter lists
3. Canvassing your precinct
4. Registering Republican voters
1. Knowing the Precinct: Obtain a map of the precinct from the County Chair, County Clerk, or elections administrator. Drive around the precinct and walk through the neighborhoods to learn its geographical boundaries and characteristics. Knowing your precinct allows you to plan precinct activities, including canvassing, locating convenient meeting places, deciding where to distribute literature, registering voters, etc.
2. Obtaining Voter Lists: You can obtain a list of the registered voters in your precinct by contacting your county auditor
3. Canvassing the Precinct: Voter Identification/List Maintenance/Voter Registration
There are two components to canvassing your precinct:
• Door-to-Door canvassing
• Phone calls
A precinct canvass is similar to a political census. You will be visiting or phoning every household in the precinct. Your goals are to:
• Verify that people categorized as a 1 or 2 still self-identify as Republican.
• Identify those voters with no party affiliation.
• Identify people who are not registered but would probably support Republicans.
• Update lists by correcting or adding voters’ phone numbers.
*Find volunteers who will help with the campaign.
If you are walking your precinct:
Identify yourself with a name badge or hat with the Republican Logo
*Name badges can also include your precinct number
*Identify every registered voter
*Verify that people categorized as a 1 or 2 still self-identify as Republican.
*Identify people who are not registered but would probably support Republicans,
And register those who are not registered to vote
“Hello, I am ________________ your elected Republican precinct committee officer. Are you___________? We are bringing our precinct records up to date and would like to ask a few short questions”
The script should always be as follows:
“Looking back over the past few elections, would you say you voted (1) only for Republicans (2) more Republican than Democrat (4) more Democrat than Republican or (5) only Democrat
Note: NEVER ask if an individual is an (3) Independent voter. An ‘Independent’ voter is someone who offers that answer without prompting, or says they vote for Republicans and Democrats equally or vote for the person…not the party.
If someone refuses or is undecided mark them as a (6). DON’T TRY TO CONVINCE THEM
“My name is ____________and I am your elected Republican Precinct Committee Officer. I’m walking our neighborhood to introduce myself and to let you know I am happy to be your voice to the local Republican Central Committee”. Hand them a card with your phone information on it only!
Telephone Calls: If you cannot walk your precinct your walking list also contains phone numbers. Follow the same steps outlined for canvassing your precinct. Calling is another great way to identify and register new Republican voters. You can use the same scripts as above.
Check the identification code for each voter.
1 = Strong Republican 5 = Strong Democrat
2 = Leans Republican 6 = Undecided/Refused to say
3 = Independent 0 = Unidentified
4 = Leans Democrat
Step 2 – Get-Out-The-Vote (GOTV)
The second and major step to electing Republicans is participating in the WSRP’s GOTV program.
Each county party, legislative district party, club and PCO must do their part for the overall campaign effort to work effectively.
Without votes even the best Republican candidate can’t win. Therefore, the Get-Out-The-Vote (GOTV) drive after ballots drop and on election day is one of the most important jobs you have as a PCO. The best GOTV efforts typically include door-to-door and phone calls.
GOTV BEGINS 21 days PRIOR TO ELECTION DAY
The County Republican Central Committee, coordinating with the candidates’ Victory campaigns should have a system which includes:
• Telephone banks during the 21-day window for ballots to be mailed
• Volunteers to take incoming calls regarding drop box locations
• Official Ballot Drop site watchers in some counties
Precinct leaders should have full instructions from the candidates’ headquarters and the County Chairman. PCO’s should know their assignments and how to perform them.
Phone scripts will be given to each county by the WSRP/Candidates.
During the last five days before the deadline to mail and or deliver ballots to ballot drop sites or the County Elections Office, PCO’s and block workers will have contacted the favorable voters to determine if we can be of any assistance.
Election Day – Ballot Chase
Getting out the vote consists of comparing the list of voters who have voted (this list will come to each county via candidate/WSRP) with the identified Republicans in the Data Center. After obtaining this list, call all Republicans who have not yet voted and remind them of the importance of the election and encourage them to turn out.
ON ELECTION DAY, EACH FAVORABLE VOTER WHO HAS NOT YET VOTED SHOULD BE CALLED AGAIN.
DOCUMENT YOUR CALLS DURING THE 21 DAYS OF VOTE BY MAIL for entry into the data center provided by the candidate/WSRP.
Thank Your Workers!!!
Remember to thank all the people who have worked with you to turn out the Republican vote. Make sure volunteers are invited to victory celebrations. Be sure to write every one of them a personalized thank you note. It is important to take the extra steps to recognize and appreciate everyone’s hard work and dedication.
The Republican Precinct Caucus is traditionally the biennial (every two years) meeting of the Republican voters who reside in the precinct. During the meeting the process of electing delegates to the County, State and National Conventions begins. In addition, the caucus is an excellent opportunity for voters in your precinct to discuss candidates for elected office, issues, and other matters that may be of interest. Prior to the caucus the WSRP will give to each county Chair/State Committeeman and State Committeewoman a packet with instructions and information on how to conduct your caucus in accordance with the Rules of the WSRP.
It is your responsibility as a PCO to:
• Establish a location for the caucus and notify the County Chairman
or confirm your precinct location if your county uses pooled locations.
• Conduct the caucus.
The meeting structure is very flexible and may be as formal or informal as attendees would like. All voting should be done by paper ballot, and the results of the election shall be announced at the caucus in the presence of the voters and certified to the County Republican Central Committee by the chair and secretary of the caucus. Each precinct will be allotted a certain number of delegates and alternates to the county convention by the County Central Committee. As a PCO, if elected or appointed a sufficient time in advance of the caucus, you will be an automatic delegate to the county convention and need not stand for election.
Legislative District Caucus/County Convention
Delegates who are elected at the precinct caucus attend a Legislative District and/or County Convention, where delegates are elected to attend the State Convention.
Delegates to the State Convention adopt our State Party Platform and, in presidential election years, also elect delegates to the Republican National Convention.