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ELECTION NEWS: Democratic Nomination Method for County Offices, 15th House and 26th Senate District

June 11, 2011

As promised, we have details on the method of nomination for the Democratic Party. Shenandoah County Democrats will hold a caucus on August 3rd to select nominees for the offices of Commissioner of Revenue, Commonwealth’s Attorney, Sheriff and Treasurer, as well as Board of Supervisor seats in the 2nd, 3rd and 6th Districts. Additionally, that same night they will host the caucus for the 26th and 15th Districts. Candidates have until July 15th to apply to run for the nomination. Between then and the 19th a nominations committee will meet and decide on the acceptance of candidates. If a Caucus is required, then public notice will be issued on July 20th. Between the 25th and the 3rd individuals may declare that they intend to attend the Caucus (note that caucus-goers may sign such a declaration at the door). The Declaration certifies that the individual is a Democrat, eligible to vote in the district or county for which nominations are being held, believes in the party’s principles and will not support any candidate opposing a Democrat in the general election.The caucus, if necessary, will be held at 7p.m. at the County Government building.

Two notes. One, you may be asking yourself–just what is a caucus? Well, a caucus is pretty much the Democratic equivalent of the GOPs mass meetings. Any eligible individual who shows up may cast one vote in each race, the meeting is run according to parliamentary procedure and the party’s rules, and voting occurs at roughly the same time. Conventions, on the other hand, use a system of delegates elected by a lower tier and are weighted according to the party’s relative strength in that given geographic area. Because a county has a specific vote, a delegate representing a locality that sends fewer delegates than its share of the vote may end up throwing multiple votes towards a candidate, or if the locality sends more delegates than it has votes delegates may end up casting a fraction of the vote. Primaries (state or party run) utilize all the trappings of a general election-secret ballots, cast by individuals across the course of several hours, after which the results are tabulated and he with the most votes wins.

It should also be pointed out that three seperate process are being held that evening (if needed)–a caucus for county offices, a caucus for the 26th district, and a caucus for the 15th district. Again, only those individuals who are eligible to vote in that particular area may participate in that area’s nominating caucus.

Now go out there and participate in the process of your choosing, R or D!

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