February 11, 2016
There's been an uptick of interest in becoming an appointed Precinct Committee Officer (PCO) recently, and for good reason. A PCO has first dibs on running their March 26, 2016 precinct caucus. And there's a February 25 deadline for PCO appointments to be effective for the March caucuses.
But there's more to being a PCO than just the ability to chair your precinct's caucus.
Precinct committee officers are the building block of the Democratic Party. They are the grassroots organizing base for all of our activities.
What does a PCO do?
PCOs play an important role in electing Democrats. It’s their job to get to know their neighbors, educate undecided or swing voters, and make sure Democrats are registered to vote. Before Election Day, they work to turn out voters.
All this hard work adds up to precinct-by-precinct victories and the election of Democratic candidates. This is what grassroots politics is all about!
PCOs are also a central part of their local Democratic organization. In Spokane County, elected PCOs choose Party leadership for both the County Party as well as their legislative district, choose representatives from their LD and Spokane County to be members of the Washington State Democratic Central Committee (which meets 3x a year to set policy for the Democratic Party in Washington), and help fill vacancies in elected office. Elected and appointed PCOs lead their precinct caucus in presidential election years.
Becoming active with your local Democratic organization will make you a more effective PCO.
Expectations of PCOs in Spokane County include participating in many of these activities:
How to become an elected PCO
To become an elected PCO, you must be voted into office during the Primary Election in even-numbered election years. The next election of PCOs will be in August 2016. And the deadline for filing candidacy papers with the Spokane County Elections Office is around the third week of May 2016 during "filing week." There's no filing fee to be a candidate for elected PCO for your precinct.
You won't be able to run for PCO until August 2016. However, there are other ways you can serve as a PCO.
How to become an appointed PCO
If there is no PCO for the precinct that you live in, the Chair of your legislative district Democratic Party organization can recommend that you be appointed by the Chair of the Spokane County Democrats to serve as an "appointed" PCO.
If your precinct already has a PCO, the Chair of your legislative district Democratic Party organization can recommend that you be appointed by the Chair of the Spokane County Democrats to serve as an "acting" PCO for a precinct that you do not live in.
How to find out if there's a PCO in your precinct
If you live in Spokane County, simply use the Find Your Precinct tool on the 3rd Legislative District Democrats website.
If your precinct number begins with a "3" you're in the 3rd Legislative District (and that same webpage lists all the current PCOs in the 3rd LD.)
If your precinct number begins with a "4" you're in the 4th Legislative District (and if it begins with a "6" you're in the 6th LD, etc.) For folks living in the 4th or 6th LDs (or other LDs in Spokane County), a quick call to the Spokane County Democrats office (324-8525) will let you know if there's a PCO in your precinct.
Interested in learning more?
In the 3rd LD, send an email to David Green, Chair (email is listed here). For other LDs, call the Spokane County Democrats office (324-8525).