We’ve gotten a lot of questions about our convention next Sunday, March 23, and we’ve put together a short list of some of the most frequent ones. If this is your first convention, or if you have any questions, please read below. If you have any questions not addressed here, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
HOW LONG WILL IT LAST?
It all depends on how smoothly things go and the number of ballots needed to decide on the endorsement for 64B. If you look at the agenda, you can see that there are a number of items we need to accomplish before we get to the 64B endorsement. But don’t let that scare you! Many items such as the election of officers and directors should go fairly quickly because we propose and adopt the nominations as a slate. We’re adopting changes to the SD64 DFL constitution to conform to the state DFL constitution. Other items have the potential to take longer, such as subcaucusing for state delegates. We have some suggestions below on what you can do to help make the day go smoothly.
If things run smoothly, we hope that we can get through the first portion of the agenda (up through the endorsements in 64A and 64B) in two hours. After that, the 64A House Seat is up for endorsement. Erin Murphy is running for re-election. Her name will be put in nomination and unless there is a challenge, 64A will vote on her nomination by acclamation – meaning no balloting. She may then give a short acceptance speech.
After that we move to the B-Side election. We anticipate that Michael Paymar may give a short speech before we begin the process. Then each candidate will be nominated, which means someone that the campaign has selected will stand up and say “I nominate X for House of Representatives 64B.” The candidate will give a speech accepting the nomination. We will do that for each candidate running. Then there is a 30 minute Q & A. After that we vote. The process is described below in more detail. This process could take several hours, or it could be relatively short if everyone coalesces around a candidate.
WHAT CAN I DO TO MAKE THINGS RUN SMOOTHLY?
Review the materials that we will be covering
Read through the agenda and through these FAQs. Look at the materials that we’ll be discussing, such as the proposed rules, and the proposed changes to the SD64 DFL constitution. If you’ve never subcaucused before, look at the information on that process (see below).
Ask your questions in advance
If you have questions regarding the agenda, changes to the constitution, the process, or anything else, let’s try to get those answered in advance. Please contact us at email@example.com and we’ll help you understand the process.
Volunteer to help at the convention
We need lots of volunteers to help the convention run smoothly! If you can help on the day of, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHAT SHOULD I BRING?
This could be an exciting, but long day, especially for the B-side. There will be downtime so you may want to bring something to read, to knit, or to otherwise entertain yourself while ballots are being counted. We are excited that the good folks from Trotters will be there to sell food and coffee and some girl scouts will be selling cookies, so bring some money. Note that food will not be allowed in the gym.
Bring a pen or two for filling out resolutions ballots and ballots for the 64B endorsement. We also ask that you consider bringing cash or a check to make a donation to the Senate District. Conventions are very expensive to run. We have to rent the space and the equipment and we pay for printing and supplies. We will be spending several thousand dollars to put this event on and it’s all funded by donations. Your donation of up to $50 can be refunded to you through the state PCR program. If you would like a receipt for the program, please donate by check or credit card, or bring cash in a sealed envelope with your name, address, and email on there so we can get the PCR form to you.
HOW DO I GET ELECTED TO BE A STATE DELEGATE? HOW DOES SUBCAUCUSING WORK?
SD64 DFL will be electing 26 delegates and 26 alternates to the State DFL Convention, which will be held in Duluth, Minnesota May 30 – June 1. The purpose of the State Convention, among other things, is to endorse state-level candidates, such as governor, secretary of state, U.S. Senator, etc. All delegates and alternates to the State DFL convention will be automatic delegates to the Fourth Congressional District Convention, which will occur on April 26 in St. Paul, where we endorse a candidate for the U.S. House.
Elections typically take place through subcaucusing. This 2008 video by Team Franken might give you a feel for the subcaucus process. The video is a few years old and was originally meant as a guide for caucuses, but the same principles apply to this year’s convention (the part on electing delegates and subcaucusing starts at about 1:30 in the video).
HOW CAN I MAKE SUBCAUCUSING RUN MORE SMOOTHLY?
If someone nominates a subcaucus with a candidate (or issue) that interests you, consider joining their subcaucus. Although you can still form your own, the more subcaucuses we have the longer it will take. You don’t need to nominate your own subcaucus to become a delegate.
To make things run more smoothly, we suggest you limit the length of your subcaucus name to five or fewer words. Remember the first word must be a candidate name or uncommitted. For example “Franken – Healthcare” or “Dayton – Labor.” Additionally, per the DFL Call the name of a sub-caucus “must not be readily confused with the title of a previously nominated subcaucus.” If you call a sub-caucus, keep the name short, clear, and easily distinguished. The Convention Chairs may rename your sub-caucus for clarity or even reject those that violate the Call.
We will have poster board available if you want to make a sign for your subcaucus, but feel free to bring your own pre-made sign.
HOW DOES THE 64B ENDORSEMENT PROCESS WORK?
Only delegates (or upgraded alternates) who live in 64B can vote on the 64B endorsement. When the ballot process begins, the precinct delegation chair will go to the front of the gym and get the ballots for your precinct. She/he will hand out one ballot to each person in your precinct. Please write the name of the candidate you support or the words “no endorsement”. If you write more than one name, if you write both a name and the word “no endorsement,” or if you write a random word such as “uncommitted” your ballot is considered “illegal” and will not be counted. After you have marked your ballot, please turn it over and sign it. YOU MUST SIGN YOUR BALLOT IF YOU WANT IT TO BE COUNTED. Sorry, it’s a state DFL rule. We didn’t make the rule, but we do have to enforce it.
After you have marked and signed your ballot, please hand it back to your precinct delegation chair. The Delegation Chair will take it back to the Head Teller or Deputy Teller at the front of the room. That person will bring the ballots back to the room for counting.
After the ballots from all 14 precincts have been counted, it is possible that a candidate (or two) may be eliminated from balloting for the next round. For example, if our draft rules are adopted, candidates may be eliminated if they do not receive 10% of the vote on the first ballot or 15% of the vote on the second ballot. We will announce the results of every ballot from the stage. If someone is no longer in the running, do not vote for them or your ballot will be illegal and not counted.
DON’T FORGET TO SIGN YOUR BALLOT!
WHAT IS THE NO-ENDORSEMENT THING?
Some people may believe that all of the candidates are wonderful and don’t want to pick one (or conversely, some may not like any of the candidates). If someone believes that the Senate District should not endorse a candidate, they can vote “No Endorsement.” Voting “No Endorsement” will increase the number of total votes in the count, and the total votes needed for an endorsement.
IF I AM AN ALTERNATE SHOULD I COME TO THE CONVENTION?
Yes! Alternates can still seek to be delegates to the state convention. And if you’re on the B-side, you may be upgraded to delegate and allowed to vote. Alternates will be upgraded after the first credentials report. The process to upgrade will be announced from the stage. Unseated alternates will be able to watch from the visitors’ area, and may be upgraded any time after the first credentials report if delegate spots become available.
WHO IS MY PRECINCT DELEGATION CHAIR?
Typically, the precinct chair elected at precinct caucuses on February 4 will serve as your delegation chair. If the precinct chair is not at the convention, then the vice chair will serve. If neither are at the convention, your precinct will need to select someone to serve that role for purposes of the convention.
WHAT’S WITH THIS RAMSEY COUNTY CONVENTION?
There are two conventions this weekend. The Ramsey County Convention is on Saturday, March 22, with registration starting at 8am. The SD64 Convention is on Sunday, March 23, with registration starting at 10:30am. If you were elected a delegate at the caucuses, you’re a delegate to both conventions. If you cannot attend one, we’d still love to see you at the other!
DO I NEED TO TELL YOU IF I CAN’T COME TO THE CONVENTION?
No. Because of how the registration and credentials process works, you don’t need to tell us if you are not coming.
WHAT IF I CAN’T BE THERE AT THE START OF THE CONVENTION?
If you’re not able to make it right at the start, please get there when you can. Keep in mind if you plan to participate in the election process for state delegate, you must be there when the process starts because we “freeze” the floor, which means no one can come or go from the part of the gym where we are doing the election process.
The same is true during the endorsement voting process. We will “freeze” the floor before each round of balloting and “unfreeze” it after all the ballots have been collected. During this time period NO ONE except delegates and upgraded alternates can be sitting in the floor area for delegates.
CAN I LEAVE AND COME BACK?
We understand emergencies happen and people need to leave early, or leave and come back. If you must leave, please notify your precinct delegation chair AND hand your credential badge into them or to the credentials table. If you come back, head straight to the credentials (registration) table for a badge. PLEASE DO NOT TAKE YOUR BADGE WITH YOU WHEN YOU LEAVE UNLESS THE CONVENTION IS ADJOURNED.
SPECIAL ROUTE ALERT
Summit Avenue will be closed on March 23 between Wheeler and Victoria Street from 11:30am – 3:00pm for a race. Intersections at Snelling Ave., Hamline Avenue, Lexington Avenue and Victoria Avenue may be closed so please plan accordingly. Routes to consider to avoid this section of Summit include Cleveland Avenue, Dale Street, or Ayd Mill Road.