The best way to make a difference in a community is to get involved in some organization outside your home or work. Be it a charity, a religious group, another volunteer enterprise — to make a difference, you must take action to some degree to be the difference!
In our organization we will focus on just a few:
– Precinct committeeperson: Precinct committeemen or women represent a political party to members of the public. They do this, in part, by relaying the wishes of the community on social and economic issues to those running for office. The Republican and Democratic parties employ these committee leaders as a way to build a relationship between those who hold public office and those who vote at the polls. Duties of a committee leader can include promoting party views, marketing candidates, organizing and attending meetings, and recruiting volunteers.
AND THAT, is why this position is our front line, “boots on the ground” grass roots operation. Thats how we spread information about our candidates & party. To be elected, you must run in the precinct in which you live & gather at least 10 signatures (9 + you) on a petition, which is filed like other candidates. To be appointed, you contact the party chair & after appropriate investigation and review, you can be appointed to an open precinct ANYWHERE in the county.
Precinct committeemen or women distribute information to voters in their precinct and discretely in small church groups. Networks of small groups circulate candidate petitions before Primaries. PC's help get voters out for each election (GOTV), — you make the job what you want, and the more you can do, the greater your impact can be!
There are really only two differences between elected and appointed PCs (other than residency). Elected PCs are in office after the primary election and vote for the leaders of the Central Committee at the county convention (held 29 days after every primary). Appointed PCs take office upon appointment and completion of forms, but not until after the county convention.
– Election Judges: Every precinct must have a least three election judges on election day (at least one from each main party). An election judge may be selected by the party chairman, upon recommendation by PCs or others, and receive credentials from the election authority (County Clerk outside Rockford, Board of Election inside Rockford). Judges are paid, but also serve a very long day — from before the polls open until final tallies at the precinct are made. This is a very important position, as it serves to ensure voter integrity at the election and GOOD judges address issues that arise without prodding (in one prior election, at least two people voted without signing their voter card, a clear error).
– Poll Watchers: Every precinct should have at least one Poll Watcher. This person can be a PC or another solid Republican, who is credentialed like election judges but not paid. A Poll Watcher remains close enough to the check-in process to observe voters as they obtain their ballots, can NOT touch election materials, and records those who also vote on our list over the day. Poll Watchers report unusual activity to the party, and sometimes the States Attorney, including intimidation, electioneering or sign posting violations. Later in the day, the list can then be used to contact our voters who have not voted to “get out the vote” for our candidates. Poll Watchers are often sent where we expect high turnout or have concerns as to voter integrity.
Those are three areas of involvement with our organization, two at which are primarily on election day. We also have opportunities year-round, volunteering at the HQ, working on our media committee (letters to the editor, social media, radio), helping with fundraising or events, even finding more volunteers. If you have an interest, contact HQ by email or phone or mail!