Why Become a Precinct Chair/ Ward Chair/ Member of the Bernalillo County Central Committee?
Democrats were amazingly successful in the past two election cycles: We turned out to vote in record numbers, and Democratic candidates attracted many voters who declined to state a party preference. We elected more than a few energetic and talented Democrats to New Mexico House and Senate Districts seats traditionally occupied by Republicans.
Now, in 2021, we have important municipal elections and there is more work to be done. We must fill Ward and Precinct Chair positions and additional County Central Committee positions with energetic people who will become strong grassroots leaders.
- We need Chairs willing to organize at the local level by determining issues of concern to their Precinct members, and working to increase voter knowledge, empowerment, and turnout within their Wards and Precincts. They will work to connect communities with their elected representatives, and support the New Mexico Democratic Party Platform.
- We need leaders with energy, vision, and skill to move us forward. That means leaders who will:
- Be supportive of and responsive to the grassroots and the needs of all constituents.
- Welcome and be responsive to individuals and groups that have traditionally been marginalized.
- Work in coalition with community groups to increase voter participation and be ready to integrate technological advances into the day-to-day grassroots operation of the Democratic Party.
Democratic Party Structure: What are Wards and Precincts?
A precinct is a neighborhood-sized group of voters (~750 registered), with boundaries designed by the County Clerk, approved by the Secretary of State, and reviewed each odd-numbered year by the County Commission based on voter turnout in the previous year’s general election. After the latest adjustments to accommodate high vote totals, we have 607 precincts in Bernalillo County. Bernalillo County precincts represent about 33% of all registered voters in the state, so we exercise a lot of influence when we’re organized!
Wards, created by the Democratic Party, group together several neighboring precincts to act as a unit. We have 64 wards in Bernalillo County and they are numbered and divided according to state House districts. (For example, House District 18 is divided into four wards, 18A, 18B, 18C, and 18D.) There are usually two to four wards in each House district, and the number of precincts in a ward range from six to fourteen, with most having around nine.
The County Central Committee (CCC) is the governing body of the county Democratic Party. The CCC is made up of Ward Chairs, Precinct Chairs, additional CCC members in most precincts (all elected at the Ward and Precinct elections), and the County Chair and Vice Chairs. Ward Chairs and Precinct Chairs are automatic CCC members. The number of additional CCC members allocated to precincts is based upon the voting performance of those precincts.
Ward and Precinct Chairs, as well as additional CCC members, are elected for two-year terms in conjunction with Ward and Precinct meetings held in the spring every odd-numbered year. Anyone running for and elected to these positions must be a registered Democrat and reside in the precinct and ward.
Democratic Party Roles, Responsibilities, and Powers
For substantive information about the roles and responsibilities of Chairs, Committee Members, and Officers within the Party, please click here.
Ward/Precinct elections will be held virtually at different days and times. Meetings will last about 2 hours, and perhaps longer due to the virtual platform. See links below to check your ward’s meeting schedule.
Who can attend and participate: Registered Democrats may attend and vote in the Ward and Precinct in which they live and are registered to vote. You must be registered as a Democrat at least 30 days prior to your ward’s election.
Need info? Here are links to:
- Find Your Precinct
- Wards and Their Precincts
- Ward Apportionment
- Precinct Apportionment
- Meeting Schedules by Date
- Meeting Schedules by Ward Number
- Register as Elector/Voter
- Register as Observer
- Statement of Candidacy (Self-Nomination) for Precinct, Ward or CCC office
Note: You must register ahead, and your registration must be submitted no later than 11:59 pm two full days before your scheduled Ward and Precinct meeting.
If you have moved recently or are not sure you are registered as a Democrat, verify your registration using the New Mexico Secretary of State’s voter information lookup here.
How Do I Prepare If I Want to Run for Office?
To run for ward chair, precinct chair, additional offices such as vice chairs, member of county rules and resolutions committees, and additional County Central Committee member you will need to fill out a Statement of Candidacy. Full information and links to appropriate form(s) are provided in How You Can Get Involved.
If you have already submitted a Registration as Elector (Voter) form and have been credentialed, you are eligible to run for the positions listed above, and you can do so without having filled out a Statement of Candidacy form. However, by filling out your Statement of Candidacy form ahead of time, you can give voters a better idea of who they may want to vote for. Expect to be asked questions about why you want to run for that position.
- To maximize your chances of being elected, recruit Democratic friends/relatives in your Precinct or Ward who are willing to attend the meeting and vote for you.
- If you are running for office and are present at the meeting, you must be nominated. You may nominate yourself for office. If you are unable to attend the meeting, a supporter in attendance may nominate you. However, to be nominated from the floor in absentia, it must be clear you are eligible and that you would accept the position if elected, so you will need to fill out the Statement of Candidacy indicating your candidacy for the positions you are running for. You do not need to be present to be elected but you must be present to vote.
- If you are unsure whether a person you want to recruit to vote for you is a registered Democrat in your Precinct or Ward, ask that person to verify their registration using the New Mexico Secretary of State’s voter information lookup here (you cannot verify that information for them). Remember, if that person plans to come to the Ward meeting to vote for you, that person will still need to fill out the form for Registration As Elector (Voter).
- Only electors/voters who have registered in advance, certified, and attend their ward and precinct meeting will be eligible to vote.
What Will Happen at the Virtual Ward Election Meeting?
We’re still working out the details. Come back soon for full info about How Ward Elections Will Be Conducted. [in process]
What Happens After the Ward Elections?
The next key event in the calendar for the Democratic Party of Bernalillo County is the County Central Committee (CCC) Meeting. That’s when and where members of the County Central Committee will elect the County Party Chair and two Vice-Chairs and members of the State Central Committee.
Check back with our website for specifics of the CCC Meeting and elections.