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Newton Democratic Caucus to elect delegates to the State Convention

  • Newton South High School 140 Brandeis Road Newton, MA, 02459 United States (map)

On March 6 at Newton South High School the NDCC is hosting a caucus for all Newton wards to elect delegates to the 2016 Democratic State Convention on June 4 in Lowell

We are proud to announce that Sheriff Peter Koutoujian and (likely) Treasurer Deb Goldberg will headline a short rally right before our caucus. 

The timeline is as follows:

2:30 pm - doors open for the convention caucus

2:50 pm - short "rally" with Sheriff Koutoujian and (possibly) Treasurer Goldberg.

3:15 pm - doors close/convention caucus begins

ALL those who are registered to vote as Democrats in Newton are welcome and encouraged to participate in the 2016 caucus to elect delegates to the Democratic State Convention on June 4 in Lowell, MA.  Wondering if you should attend, or what happens? Please see the caucus Q&A below.

Caucus information:

On Sunday, March 6th, Newton Democrats - meaning any person who lives in Newton and is registered to vote here as a Democrat - will caucus to elect delegates to the 2016 State Democratic Convention.

The caucus is a fun event involving Dems from all across the city, scores of candidates for statewide office, local elected officials and (during election years) most of all and appeals for support from all corners from people who apsire to represent you in State Government. 

The NDCC encourages all registered Democrats to participate as voters, candidates for delegate or just curious onlookers. This Q&A will give you more information about how and why you can be involved.

What is a caucus?

Basically, it's a political gathering where something is decided by a vote of eligible participants.

What is the purpose of THIS caucus?

The purpose is to elect Democratic delegates to the 2016 Democratic State Convention on June 4 in Lowell, MA. 

What do delegates do at the State Convention?

They decide who gets on the Democratic primary ballot, and who doesn't. During election years they vote to place candidates for statewide office on the primary ballot. During non election years they focus on issue activism and education. Always, they are treated to lots of great political speeches by inspiring leaders!

Why are statewide candidates interested in the caucus during election years?

Because they need the votes of 15% of delegates at the Democratic State Convention in order to get a place State Democratic Party primary ballot during an election year. If a person is campaigning for statewide office as a Democrat and they don't get 15% of delegate votes at the convention, then their campaign is over. This happened to Marisa DeFranco in 2012 who was running for U.S. Senate as a Democrat alongside Elizabeth Warren. So, candidates will organize their supporters to run for delegate so they can be assured of meeting the 15% threshold at the convention.

What happens at the caucus - how are delegates elected?

Voting at the caucus takes place by anonymous, paper ballot. Candidates are nominated and seconded. Each ward has a specific number of delegate spots and each attendee may cast that specific number of votes. So for example, if a ward has five slots for men, then a caucus voter may vote for five men. If there are five or fewer candidates who are men, then everyone gets elected. If there are more, then the top five vote getters get elected. Same for women - there are equal numbers of slots for men and women.

I'm interested in running but never have before - am I eligibe to run?

If you are registered to vote in Newton as a Democrat by January 31, 2016, yes!

Also, do I have a chance of getting elected?

Absolutely. Many voters at the caucus are open to being inspired by and voting for a candidate for delegate be it a veteran or a first-timer. Committment to the Democratic Party is key, as well as perhaps the statewide candidate you'd like to support at the convention. If you're interested in running, you should run! Bring friends (who are Dems) and don't be afraid to ask people at the caucus for help. You'll likely be welcomed and fed lots of information by dedicated activists who love to talk politics. 

How many delegate slots are there?

Each of Newton's 8 wards is allocated a certain number of slots. It varies slightly from ward to ward, but basically there are about 8 to 10 slots in each ward split 50/50 between men and women.

When is the convention? Do I have to be able to go to the convention to participate?

Saturday, June 4, 2016, all day long in Lowell, MA. If you are running for delegate, yes, you should be able to go to the convention. That's the whole point of being a delegate! But if you want to attend the caucus just to watch, or to vote, then no you don't need to be able to attend the convention. 

I can't make the caucus in person. Can I still vote or run for delegate?

Yes - during non-election years you may run for delegate without attending the caucus by submitting a letter of interest to the appropriate ward chair. Absentee candidates are only considered during non election years AND if there are not enough candidates for delegate physically present at the caucus. 

  1. Caucus to Elect Delegates to March 26 Conference (following first caucus, registration closes 15 minutes after time meeting is called.)

  • PURPOSE: To elect delegates to a special conference in our state Senate district on Saturday, March 26, where they will elect a new member of the Democratic State Committee. Newton Democrats Jay Harney and David Albright are running for the seat.

  • WHO MAY BE ELECTED DELEGATE?: Any voter registered as a Democrat in the ward.

  • WHO MAY NOMINATE SOMEONE FOR DELEGATE?: Only members of the Democratic ward committee.

  • WHO MAY VOTE?: Only members of the Democratic ward committee.

  • MAY PEOPLE NOT PRESENT BE ELECTED?: Yes.

I have other questions - who should I contact?

Contact Shawn Fitzgibbons at (617) 997-2577 or shawn@newtondems.org

Earlier Event: March 3
Newton Dems general meeting