MA Civics 101: How do I run for delegate at my caucus?


Step 1: Find your caucus.  You can use this website from MassDems and we will also try to keep them on our ATMA calendar.

(if you missed your caucus you can apply to be an Add-On Delegate, future post on that coming soon)

Step 2: Talk to other people who will go to your caucus and ask them to vote for you for delegate.  Sometimes there are more seats available than people to fill them, and sometimes the competition is quite fierce to be voted in.  You can ask people who have been to your Democratic Town Committee meetings before to get an idea of how full it will be.

Step 3: Prepare a 2 minute speech about why you want to be a delegate.  You may use it, or you may not.  In some small towns last year, first time attenders walked in, said they wanted to go to convention and that was it, but it isn’t always that easy.  Be prepared to talk about things that give people an idea of what your values are, so they know why to support you.  If you already know which candidates you will be supporting, say so.  If you haven’t made up your mind you can talk about the issues you are watching them most closely on.

Step 4: Show up a little early.  Sign in and register that you would like to run.  You need to be a registered Democrat living in your town, need to be 18 by Sept. 2018, and cannot have opposed the Democratic nominee in the last election (honor system on the last requirement).  You can change your party registration to Democrat right there if you are currently registered as something else, or unaffiliated with a party.  Organizers are required to be there 30 minutes before the published start time to allow for sign ups, and then to wait 15 minutes after published start time to be sure everyone who wants to be nominated has time to sign in.  Then wait and say hello to people around you, last minute networking!

Step 5: Listen while required documents and letters are read, then nominees for delegate will give their intros. Then voting starts.  The gender breakdown of delegates is assigned by Mass Dems.  You can look up the number of male and female delegates for your area here.  (If you identify as non binary you may want to go as an Add-on Delegate representing LGBTQ, more info on that in a separate post).

Voting:  They vote for delegates one gender at a time and decided by ranked choice voting (If you have 3 female slots they go to the three women with the most votes).  After results for both genders are announced towns/wards with odd-numbered delegations vote on one spot which could go to either gender. Alternates are voted on in the same way.  Alternates are ranked by vote total to determine order of replacement, or by lot if elected by acclamation.  If you are not elected as a delegate or alternate you might be able to apply to be an Add-On Delegate.

AFTER: If you have been elected to be a delegate or an alternate, congratulations!  The fee is $50 for seniors or students and $75 for everyone else. Do not let this stop you from running.  Applying for a fee reduction or waiver is easy!  Apply or send your participation form in immediately, there are late fees if you wait too long.  And post in ATMA that you are going – we will help as we can with carpools, logistics, answering questions, and scheduling a meet up.