View Full Version : So, exactly WHAT does a delegate DO?

12-06-2007, 05:42 PM
If one is chosen as a delegate after voting in the primary, what exactly do they DO from that point? There are many threads with a lot of text on the subject of delegates, so can someone familiar with the process spell it out in simple English?

12-06-2007, 05:45 PM
In my state a delegate gets to vote on behalf of thousands of people. Your vote counts for many.
In some states, the delegates are the only ones who votes count.
Understand now why its so important?

12-06-2007, 05:53 PM
You become a delegate to your Senatorial (or County) convention which is composed of all the precincts in that region. Then, in all those conventions they choose delegates to go to the Texas state GOP convention. From there, they choose delegates that go to the National GOP convention- which select the GOP nominee.

You want to plan on being a part of the Senatorial (or County) convention- but it may be hard for the state. You still want to plan on going to the state convention (in Houston this round) to show support, etc, even if you aren't a delegate.

12-06-2007, 05:56 PM
Your local meet-up organizers should have all the details. Seek them out, they can point you in the right direction. We are on conference calls nightly to organize nationwide.

We are really going to win this thing! We are more organized than our opponent. And that makes us more effective.

12-06-2007, 07:02 PM

Matt Collins
12-06-2007, 09:58 PM
I think we are supposed to drink and party while at the convention.

12-06-2007, 11:15 PM
I'm gonna drink OR party, depending on who wins.

Become a delegate candidate! There will be voting going on at every convention level (not just for voting on who become a delegate).

This is info at what happens during the first meetings (precinct and district). I got the info from the state GOP website:

"Anyone who votes in the Republican primary election (either in early voting, voting by mail, or
at the polls on election day) is eligible to attend his or her precinct convention. Your convention will
take place at your precinct’s election day polling place within two hours after the polls close at 7:00 p.m.
The time and place of your precinct convention must be posted at each poll during primary election day.
Expect anywhere from one to well over 100 participants to attend."


"At the precinct convention, attendees decide by majority vote who gets to be delegates and
alternates to the county/senatorial district convention. Often, everyone who attends becomes a delegate
to the next level. However, if a large number attend, decisions will need to be made as to who will be a
delegate and who will be an alternate."

It's important that we show up in large numbers so we can get voted in to the next stage! Make sure many Ron Paul supporters are in each precinct convention.

12-07-2007, 08:08 AM
Thanks for the info. I'm going to do everything I can when the Texas primaries come around.

But just so I understand - if I become a delegate, I need to plan on going to Houston at some point to vote again? And possibly elsewhere as things progress?

Sorry for the noob questions - I've never cared much about any candidates before so all this nonsense meant very little to me in the past.

12-07-2007, 10:26 AM
If you manage to become a delegate, that is a very big thing. So it is worth it to take the time to go to Houston if you become a delegate.

But heck, you can just go to the precinct meeting and vote on other Ron Paul delegates if you feel uncomfortable being a delegate yourself.

12-07-2007, 02:31 PM
In my previous precinct (Brazos County, Republican stronghold) - it was relatively easy to be a delegate to the county convention, noticeably harder to be a delegate to State.

After a couple of times at county, I could have gotten on the list for State.

As it was, at my first county convention I took the floor and forced them to add the "We fully support the US Constitution and Bill of Rights" back into the platform - I had put it in the Precinct platform, and the county platform committee had thrown it out, even after I met with them.

One delegate CAN make a difference.

12-09-2007, 05:03 AM
Tom, I'm hoping to be a delegate in Brazos county. If you could into more detail on your experience I'd greatly appreciate it.

12-09-2007, 05:05 AM
Oops, Double post.

12-10-2007, 11:01 PM
Unless you have an unusual precinct, getting to the Brazos County Convention should be easy:

Go to the polling station in your precinct.

Get your card stamped "Republican"

Vote for Ron Paul.

Find out where your precinct convention will be (generally in the same building, just after the polls close)

Show up for the precinct convention. DO NOT BE LATE.

The precinct convention is generally pretty relaxed, and there are more than enough delegate slots to go to County. For my precinct, we never filled even half the slots.

If your precinct is short on slots, you may politely insist that the slots go to those physically present first - there are usually slots which they want to give to hard-working party members who are off doing other things.

Be relaxed. Be friendly.

If you need to, be firm.

Optionally (and I did this) - bring items to put into the party platform of your precinct. You should have several printed copies of each one (I brought over a dozen.) What should the Republican Party stand for? Don't be hurt most will be ignored by the county-level platform committee (they meet several times BEFORE THE COUNTY CONVENTION to push the platform they want, with the wording they want.)

You want to be involved in the nominations committee at the County level, and you want to be nominated as a delegate to State. For a good shot at this, you should become known (in a good way) to the hardcore folks at the party office. Go volunteer your time (at least a bit) - be enthusiastic. Be involved BEFORE THE COUNTY CONVENTION. As above, the nominations committee will likely be meeting several times before the county convention. Back-room deals and all that.

I never had the vacation time to go to State, so I never pursued being a delegate past County. By my third convention, I was well-known enough to be approached about going to State (likely as an alternate, possibly as a delegate.)

I mostly focused on platform issues. After the committee dropped my "We fully support the US Constitution and Bill of Rights" sent up from the Precinct level party platform as "understood" "implied" "not needed" - I forced a floor vote at County (had a second ready) - had my say, and got it back into the County level party platform.

Know your Roberts Rules of Order. Hardly anyone does, and knowledge is power. You also have to know your audience - rules can't win anyone to your side, they can just help you be heard.

Coordinate with other Ron Paul supporters if at all possible.

12-11-2007, 01:08 PM
We have a pretty good sized Meetup group, and we are working on a strategy to become delegates. Thank you so much for sharing, and if you have any other comments on it please share.

12-11-2007, 01:09 PM
I'm going to forward this info to my meetup group as well.

12-11-2007, 06:17 PM
Ask me any questions you have...

12-11-2007, 06:23 PM
Will I be smeared by the man if I run for delegate? Will they call my mom and talk bad about me?

12-11-2007, 10:49 PM
I doubt it.


12-12-2007, 01:48 AM
Tom, I'm hoping to be a delegate in Brazos county. If you could into more detail on your experience I'd greatly appreciate it.

Same here, brazos county is where it is at :D

12-17-2007, 12:46 PM
If the delegates will decide who gets the nomination (in Texas). Why are the people voting in the first place? In my area I will vote, then try to become a delegate? then my vote can technicaly trump thousands of other votes? That doesn't seem democratic.

12-17-2007, 09:10 PM
If the delegates will decide who gets the nomination (in Texas). Why are the people voting in the first place? In my area I will vote, then try to become a delegate? then my vote can technicaly trump thousands of other votes? That doesn't seem democratic.

Delegates are only meaningful if there is NOT a clear winner in the election. If the popular vote is a runaway success for Ron Paul, delegates don't mean much.

If one candidate gets 51% of the vote, they get* all of Texas delegates to the National convention. If there is no majority winner, each candidate over 20% gets a fraction of the Texas delegates to the National convention.

If there is not a clear majority (3-way split - heck, a 5-way split) in the straight-up vote (per state) - how else would you decide it at the national level? Delegates become very important.

For example, if Ron Paul has 27% of the votes, Giuliani has 21%, Huckabee has 20%, Romney has 20% and everyone else is single digits - how else do you decide?

Instead of having runoff after runoff, each neighborhood (precinct) elects delegates to represent the interests of that neighborhood at the County or senatorial district level.

Those delegates at County get together to select individuals to represent their interests at the State level.

Those delegates at State get together to select individuals to represent their interests at the National level.

Of course, "The Machine" largely controls the process - unless we get enough delegates representing our interests.

*"Get" meaning they are "bound" to that candidate for the first 3-4 votes of the National convention. If there is no decision, delegates are released to "vote their conscience" - whomever they REALLY want to support.

12-17-2007, 09:41 PM
Also it's a good way to become more established within the Republican Party, which is something we should do if we want to kick the neocons out.

12-17-2007, 09:43 PM
Tomtx, thank you for you time and explaining this to me. I appreciate it greatly.

12-17-2007, 10:02 PM
No problem.

I know the process can seem rather arcane the first time you really dive into things beyond the "vote on election day" level.

We are excited about delegates because this time, they might really matter.

Popular vote is still more important - without a big chunk of the popular vote, you go nowhere.

So organize your precinct - canvass and find other Ron Paul supporters! Encourage them to put on a bumper sticker, or a couple of yard signs to show the support in your area! Let them know about your local Meetup and rallies.

Make sure they all show up and vote by Election Day. Early voting is even better (I already voted for Ron Paul! How about you?)