with an emphasis on Denton County
What is it? How does it work? What is the
impact? Most likely you can be a delegate. Yes, you
can be a delegate! What it all means is a way to narrow
down the choices.
The primaries are separated by party so you may
also hear it referred to as the Democratic Primary or the
Republican Primary. The main purpose for the primaries is:
- To determine who will be on the final ballot for the general election
in November for elected positions from the County level to the
- Each party suggests propositions (from party groups and clubs) to be on
the November ballot. You get to vote on these. See
the end of the ballot.
- The season to organize and assign delegates for the political parties
which is usually done in party meetings and clubs.
The March Primary Election is
Important electoral races are often decided, for all
intents and purposes, by the end of the PRIMARY Election in the
Spring. This is partly because electoral districts are often
drawn in such a manner as to provide the Republican candidate or
the Democrat candidate with a distinct advantage in the General
Election. Upsets do occur, but they rarely come easy. In a
Republican district, the winner of the Republican Primary is
most likely to win in November. In a Democrat district, the
winner of the Democrat Primary is most likely to win in
November. If positive change is to occur, and real challenges
are to be brought against the incumbents, those challenges often
need to be brought in the PRIMARY Election to be effective.
Further, turnout in the Primary Elections in March is
almost always a TINY FRACTION of turnout in the General Election
in November, often in the range of only FIVE PERCENT of
registered voters. In this environment, with a small turnout, a
handful of energized and dedicated activists can have a MAJOR
impact on the outcome--a MUCH greater impact than they can have
in a high-turnout General Election.
BOTTOM LINE : The KEY Election is in March, NOT in
November. If you're waiting for November to get in the game,
you're likely to be disappointed with your options when you do.
SAMPLE BALLOTS: I
really recommended that you view your sample Ballot. See
the Denton County voting page where you can search for your
precinct number and see a sample of your ballot. Be sure
to read the propositions to vote on at the end of the ballot.
Early voting - In Denton
County Texas, you can vote early at any of the County Early
voting locations in Denton County. Both primaries for all
the precincts in Denton County will be held at each of the early
voting locations but this is not the case for the Primary
Election Day where the party primaries will have many different
locations for precincts. Early voting by personal appearance will be conducted
these dates and times ONLY:
The EARLY VOTING location in Lewisville will be at the
Lewisville Municipal Annex, 1197 W. Main Street, according to
Where to vote in Denton County
http://elections.dentoncounty.com and click
on the left menu
to see the Early Voting Locations and the Primary Election Day
Locations. Look at the precinct map and determine what
precinct you are in.
Vote by Democrat or Republican in
the Texas Primary?
For the Primary the answer is yes. You do not have a
choice for the Primary. Even if you consider yourself an
Independent. I do not want to confuse
people by trying to make this clear so please read what I am
saying here carefully. In November, you may vote for
whomever you wish, regardless of either how or even whether you
voted in the primary election BUT in the primary election you
have to choose republican or democrat.
For the Texas
Primaries, Texas is a two party State, however, Texans do not
register by party. A voter becomes “affiliated” with a
party by voting in a party’s primary. That is, you can only
vote in only one of the primaries - Democrat or Republican. Yes, you
have to choose one side or the other. You get a ballot
specifically written for your precinct which has the elected
officials and referendums (if any) to vote on..
When a voter casts a ballot in one party’s primary, they are
affiliated with that party for a year (Texas Election Code Sec. 162) which is actually the next two years
because party elections are every two years. Again, this does not affect a voter's ability to vote for
candidates of either party in a general or a special election.
Majority vs Plurality
Each race on the ballot is is determined by either:
Majority rule is a decision rule that selects candidates
which have a majority, that is, more than half the votes. If no majority,
it goes to a runoff of the top two.
Plurality (most votes) is often mistaken for majority
rule, they are not the same. Plurality makes the candidate with the
most votes the winner, regardless of whether the fifty percent threshold
is passed. This is equivalent to majority rule when there are only two
candidates. However, when there are more than two candidates, it is
possible for plurality to choose a winner that has fewer than fifty
percent of the votes cast.
Primary Runoff Elections: A
winner of a primary must have at least 50% of the votes or there
is a Runoff Election in the next few weeks. This
is to narrow down the Party choice to a specific candidate so
that the candidate will be on the General Election in November. A voter cannot
vote in primary or run-off elections for any other party.
For example, If you voted in the republican primary then you can
only vote in the republican primary runoff election. This does not affect a voter's ability to vote for
candidates of either party in a general or a special election.
How do Delegates fit into the picture? Who are the
Delegates? How to become a delegate?
Texas Republicans apportion all of their national convention
delegates among the presidential candidates based solely on the
primary election vote. For Republicans, the winner of the Texas
republican primary gets all 140 delegate votes.
Democrats apportion national convention delegates among the
presidential candidates based on both the results of the primary
election and a “caucus” system at local and state party
conventions. For Democrats, Texas is not a winner-take-all
explanation purposes, let's use Denton County as our reference
point and talk about the different levels of conventions and the
Democrats and Republicans choose delegates to their
respective state conventions through a two-step process that
begins at precinct conventions immediately after the
Republican Precinct Convention location is at the Primary
Election Day Voting location at about 7:15 PM)
for your precinct. It most likely will not be the early voting
location. Be sure to look it up. Anyone who voted in the primary election may/should attend the precinct convention.
The precinct convention may have a few people to hundreds and
may take a few minutes to several hours. Show
up to your precinct convention and start your journey to be a
National Delegate. I would like to point out that being a
delegate (or alternate) requires a commitment that you will show
up and vote at the conventions and expenses are at your own
Each precinct has a designated number of delegates and an equal
number of alternates that they can send to the Senatorial (County/District)
Convention. The precinct convention is just a short
meeting in most cases where voters show up to state they want to
be a delegate and then vote on who will be the precinct
Convention Chairman, Secretary, SGT at arms, and vote on
referendums. (Referendums are basically suggestions to the
National Party so that we can try to get them on the final
November ballot.) If there are more people wanting
to be a delegate than the allotted number, then the group will
vote on who should represent the precinct as delegates or their
alternates. Precinct delegates and alternates are asked to
attend the senatorial (county/district) conventions.
Please help - America Needs You!
That's the way I see it - John