Each of the political parties that have obtained ballot status must have a County Committee. Each Party is governed by committees of citizens who are registered for the Party, from the national level down to state and community-level. County is the most local level of party governance in New York. Each city or town is divided into Election Districts (or ED). Each ED has 2 seats in the general membership of the county committee. Unfortunately, a vast number of these are left unfilled, undermining our goal of broad participation in county decision-making.
What is the County Committee supposed to do?
- Choose local judicial candidates
- Choose the Party’s nominee in special elections
- This one is particularly important, since 1 in 3 current New York state legislators was chosen in a special election!
- Help create the party platform
- Organize local neighborhoods
- And more!
What has the County Committee actually done?
- Until we act? Show up once every two years and hand power over to the party boss. 🙁
What’s #RestoreRepYourBlock and how can I join?
- How can I get on my Party’s County Committee?
Getting on a ballot requires petitioning — collecting a minimum number of signatures from eligible voters. Petitioning season ran from February to March 2020 the next time to run will be in the February to March 2022 season. You must use specific forms and collect signatures only from Democrats who are registered in the Assembly District (AD) where you live. The minimum requirement is to collect signatures from 5% of the registered voters of your party in your Election District (ED). As the number of voters in each ED varies, the number of signatures required varies by each ED.
We’ll make it easy for you: we will calculate the number of signatures you need to collect and give you voter lists, petitions, and any other tools you need to get started.
If you collect the necessary signatures, but face a primary challenger for your County Committee seat, you will be on the ballot in your Election District on the June 2022 Primary Day for that cycle. You will need to canvass once more and ask your neighbors to vote for you in the primary! Mark your calendars, locate your polling place, and read up on races and candidates in your area.
- What does a County Committee member do?
The main responsibilities of a County Committee member are to cast a vote for the Executive Committee, including Chair, of your Party and to vote on any resolutions proposed to the entire County Committee, including the passage of the Party budget. Well-organized groups of County Committee members can even advance resolutions! Most importantly, a County Committee member may be called upon to choose among candidates seeking your Party’s ballot line in a special election. Special elections are called when a midterm vacancy in an elected office occurs for any reason (such as when an elected official resigns to take a different office, or is indicted).
- Where is my Election District?
Each Assembly District (AD) is composed of smaller Election Districts (EDs) to find out what your ED number is, enter your address in New York State Voter Lookup, and save that list! Then you’ll know the numbers of all the overlapping legislative and judicial districts you live in. For the purposes of County Committee, you need to know your AD and your ED.
Who can run
- Is someone already representing my Election District on County Committee?
Maybe! But odds are they do not reside in your ED and do not truly represent your fellow Party members’ of your ED interests.
- What do I do if my seat is already filled?
You should plan to run anyway! Because County Committee is a two year term, nobody is automatically put back on County Committee. Every seat is open and if you want to put in the work to get on, you should!
- If the seat is currently empty, can I just be added right now?
No, unfortunately, the best way to get on County Committee is with your own two feet (or however you get around your neighborhood!).
- My neighbors and I all want to run. Will we have to run against each other?
No. Members of the county committee only have to live in the same Assembly District as the Election District (ED) where they’re registered to vote. We’ll coordinate our candidates to be sure there are no unnecessary head-to-head match-ups between our allies. Ultimately, you (or your neighbors) might end up representing the ED across the street or around the corner from you.
- If multiple people run for the same seat, could I have an election?
We’re careful to avoid that, but yes, it is possible that somebody else will petition for the same Election District (ED) as you. If that happens, it’s important that you take your time collecting petitions and have conversations with the other Party members in your ED so that they will want to vote for you! We will provide you with a plan for how to run an effective (and tiny!) campaign for your ED.
We will also coordinate with everybody signed up for #RestoreRepYourBlock to make sure you are not running against each other.
- Can you help me find a running mate?
Yes! If you don’t have anyone in mind to run with you, leave the referral field on the sign-up page blank. If we have another solo candidate in your Assembly District, we can pair you up.