How Precinct Delegates are Determined

March 3, 2016

We've been asked the question: "How is the number of delegates from a precinct determined?"

To answer the question, we have to go back in time to 2012. That's because the number of votes for President Obama in the 2012 general election in your precinct is the starting point for determining how many delegates are to be chosen from your precinct in the 2016 caucuses.

For every 75 votes that President Obama received in 2012, your precinct gets a delegate! And any fractions of a delegate are rounded up.

Here's an example: Assume that President Obama received 407 votes in your precinct in 2012. Divide 407 by 75, which yields 5.43 delegates. Round up to 6. And your precinct gets to send the same number of alternates to the next round of caucuses as it has delegates.

The State Party in Seattle gets to do all the heavy lifting on the calculations. Each precinct envelope comes already marked with the number of delegates (and alternates) that a precinct is allocated.

On Caucus Day, the presidential preferences in your precinct are recorded. And then those six delegates are allocated between the candidates and uncommitted. How those delegates are allocated will be the subject of a different post.

If Washington uses a caucus process in 2020, the number of delegates a precinct receives will likely be calculated based on the number of votes that the Democratic nominee for President receives in your precinct in the 2016 general election. So there's an incentive to "Get Out the Vote" (GOTV) for the 2016 general election!

Check out all the informative posts about the Caucus Day process on the 3rd Legislative District Democrats website.