“The most important job I ever held was that of precinct committeeman.” -President Harry Truman
Precinct Chairs are the backbone of the Dallas County Democratic Party. A Precinct Chair is the local representative of the Democratic Party and its candidates at the neighborhood, grass-roots level in each voting precinct. Each of Dallas County's 775 voting precincts can have its own Precinct Chair (though many have few or even no voters, and are covered by their neighbors).
The primary job of a Precinct Chair is to increase the number of people voting Democratic in their precinct.
Good ones can make an enormous difference. When you look at the election returns you can tell which precincts have active Chairs, by comparing them to ones next door with the same demographics but which just don't turn out as well.
Yes, if you are open, honest, and positive about who and what you are for. Many voters who are or would be Democrats have never had a live person knock on their door or call them to ask for their votes, and are glad to be contacted. Those who are Republicans or uninterested you can simply cross off your list and not bother with again. Very few are actually rude (and those are usually either Republicans or just political hermits). You’ll meet many interesting people and make new friends out of voters and fellow precinct chairs. And you get to know you are helping make a better world for all (yes, even for the ones who disagree with us).
Precinct Chairs have a number of resources available from the Dallas County Democratic Party. We will provide training and lists from or access to our online database of voters. With this tool, Precinct Chairs can identify other known Democrats in their precinct who may be interested in helping identify other Democrats or persuade neighbors to vote for Democratic candidates. This is the core of grassroots politics; neighbors talking to neighbors to persuade them to vote in elections and choose candidates representing the values and platform of the Democratic Party.
The poet John Donne famously said "No man is an island." This is especially true when it comes to political activism. The first thing any new Precinct Chair should do is speak with and meet the Precinct Chairs of areas that border their Precinct. Precinct Chairs have a wide range of experience, and may be able to help get a new Precinct Chair started without having to re-invent the wheel.
The Dallas County Democratic Party also hosts Precinct Chair Training classes periodically during the year to help new Precinct Chairs get started, and also provide new information to existing Precinct Chairs. Please check either the Community Calendar or contact the DCDP offices to find when the next upcoming training class will be held.
Precinct Chairs are also members of the Executive Committee of the Dallas County Democratic Party. The Executive Committee meets every quarter and is responsible for reviewing and approving party activities. They also fill vacant Precinct Chair positions.
Candidates for public office, in the Primary or the general election, or even in non-partisan elections such as city councils and school boards, may ask Precinct Chairs for their support and endorsement. Precinct Chairs are free to endorse, as individuals, any Democrats in partisan races, or in the Primary, or any candidate in non-partisan elections, but they need not do so. The endorsement and support of very active Precinct Chairs can greatly help a candidate.
They can be, and many are, but they are not required to be. Many people cannot get off work all day to do this, are physically unable, or just prefer not to. Many smaller precincts are grouped together into single polling locations, so there may be several Precinct Chairs in the precincts voting at one place, but there can only be one Election Judge.
It is important to have good Democratic Election Judges (or Alternate Judges, in a heavily Republican precinct where the other party gets to pick the Judge), but the party can send Judges from other precincts; only a resident of the precinct can be Precinct Chair. The party may ask a Precinct Chair if they wish to be the Election Judge, or if they know someone else who would be interested if they do not, but there is no automatic appointment of Precinct Chairs to be Election Judges or Alternates. A Precinct Chair that does not serve as Election Judge does not get to pick the Election Judge for their precinct; the Election Judges are nominated by the parties and subject to approval by the County Commissioner's Court.
Any registered voter with some time, energy, and commitment to helping elect Democrats to office can become the Precinct Chair in the voting precinct where they live. A person can be elected in the Democratic Primary, or chosen to fill an open spot by the DCDP Executive Committee.
The voters in the Democratic Primary elect Precinct Chairs for a two year term, which starts after the Primary Runoff. Most candidates for Precinct Chair have no opponent in the Primary. You may place your name on the ballot for Precinct Chair in the next Democratic Primary by submitting the official state filing form. The filing form may be downloaded and printed from the Secretary of State's Election Division (see the link after this paragraph); insert the word "Precinct" before "Chair", and, of course, "Democratic" before "Primary".
There is no fee for filing. The form will need to be notarized; the DCDP usually has a notary at the office.
For the 2020 Primary, filing for Precinct Chairs begins on Tuesday, September 10, 2019, and ends on Monday, December 9, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. The Primary is scheduled for Tuesday, March 3, 2020. Contact the DCDP for details. You can mail in the form during the filing period, but it must be notarized first. You can also fax in the form during the filing period, but once again it must be notarized first.
If the position of Chair for your precinct is currently vacant, you may apply to fill a mid-term vacancy. The DCDP Executive Committee can elect persons to fill vacancies at their quarterly EC meeting.
(The CEC usually meets on Mondays, which would make the deadline Noon of the Friday before.)
Below is a list of current Precinct Chairs that represent the Dallas County Democratic Party. If you are not sure what Precinct you live in, you can find your Precinct at this website.
NOTE on contact information. The following was adopted at the June 2019 CEC meeting:
The identity and contact information (including name, precinct number, street address, email address & phone number) of precinct chairs shall be posted on the DCDP website, unless a precinct chair makes a written request to the DCDP Administrator to eliminate certain contact information. Upon request, the DCDP staff is authorized to distribute only the names and contact information that is listed on the DCDP website.
Precinct Chair Info xlsx (under construction)
Precinct Chair Info pdf (under construction)
If you are a Precinct Chair who wants to modify what is available on the website, please contact the party office at 214-821-8331. Thanks.
Specific Information regarding the 2020 - 2022 Precinct Chair List is under construction