Minnesota DFL Party Moves Conventions to Online Ballot
What this means for SD64:
- We will no longer be having a virtual convention. The DFL State party will be handling all balloting online. We will only be conducting essential party business: electing delegates, conferring endorsements, and passing resolutions. Electing new officers and all other SD64 leadership will be done at our first SD64 Central Committee Meeting after the State Convention.
- All ballots will be sent via email unless you request to have them sent via mail. If you would like a mail ballot please email: email@example.com OR call Diana at: 651-402-7925.
- Balloting will occur over a 10 day period: Saturday, April 25 – Monday, May 4. If you choose to receive a mail-in ballot it must be mailed to the senate district NO LATER than Friday, May 1. This will ensure we receive the mail-in ballots and can enter them online before balloting closes on Monday, May 4. The ballots should be sent to:
SD 64 DFL
P.O. Box 4154
Saint Paul MN 55104
- If you want to become a delegate to the Congressional District 4 Convention and State Convention please fill out this form no later than Thursday, April 16: State Delegate Form. At this time, the state convention is still scheduled to happen in person in Rochester from May 30-31.
Parking at Central High School
Delegates to the SD64 DFL convention should enter the gym (west-facing) entrance to Central High School on Marshall Ave (labeled “Door 13”) even though the address is listed as 275 N. Lexington Ave. The gym entrance has stairs and a sloped ramp leading to the entrance door. Other handicap-accessible entrances are door 2, on the ground level to the right side of the main stairs on the south face, and door 8, by the north parking lot (see attached map).
Parking on site is limited, so if you do not live in the vicinity of Central, we highly recommend carpooling or the use of public transportation (Central High is on bus route 83, a half mile south of the Lexington Ave exit from the Green Line). The front lot near the south entrance is expected to fill quickly, so delegates could use the back (north) lot or the single line of parking spots by the gym entrance (west side). There is street parking and some overflow parking at both the Dunning Rec Center to the west and Oxford Community Center to the east on the other side of Lexington. As both Marshall and Lexington are very busy, please be careful walking to the convention!
What Happens at the Convention?
The DFL Party uses conventions to endorse candidates and to debate and set the issues the Party will stand for. The convention process sets the framework for the DFL Party by helping shape the platform and Action Agenda, selecting candidates who will receive endorsements, electing party leaders, and voting on the party constitution and bylaws. These meetings are a great way to get involved in the democratic process and make your voice heard—even if you’ve never attended before.
General Tasks at the Convention:
- Election of local party leaders
- Election of delegates and alternates to the next level of conventions in the DFL structure
- Discussion of proposed resolutions to the DFL platform and Action Agenda
- Endorsement of Candidates
- Deliberation of party unit constitutional changes
For further information on DFL conventions in Minnesota, please see the MN DFL caucus/convention info page.
Frequently Asked Questions
We’ve put together a short list of some of the most frequently asked questions about SD 64 conventions. 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?
If things run smoothly, we hope that we can get through the agenda in a few hours. Many items such as the election of officers and directors should go fairly quickly because we propose and adopt the nominations as a slate. 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.
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. 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, 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?
The snack bar will not be open, please bring a sandwich and a drink in case proceedings go long.
Bring a pen or two for filling out resolutions ballots. 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.
How do I get elected to be a state delegate? How does subcaucusing work?
SD64 DFL will be electing 31 delegates and 31 alternates to the State DFL Convention, which will be held in Rochester, June 1-3. 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 elected will also become delegates to the Fourth Congressional District Convention, which will occur on May 6, 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 precinct 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).
You may also find our subcaucus calculator helpful for following the action, but be aware that the only calculation that will count at our convention will be whatever is being done by the chair and those managing the convention.
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.
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. 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 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.
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.
These committees do the behind the scenes work before and at the convention. Feel free to peek in on their work!
- Arrangements. This committee organizes the logistics and helps run things the day of the convention. If you need a table or a room at the convention, these are the people to ask. Also look here for rules applying to campaigns.
- Credentials. This committee enters the data from the caucuses, prepares the list of eligible delegates, and hands out voting credentials at the conventions. If you think you should be on the list or that something is wrong with your contact information, get in touch with credentials.
- Nominations. This committee screens candidates who are running for SD64 DFL office and proposes a slate of candidates for the convention. Become a part of our long-term success by stepping up to a leadership position!
- Resolutions. This committee compiles all the resolutions adopted at the precinct caucuses and administers the voting at the SD64 convention.
- Rules & Constitution. This committee decides the rules that govern the SD64 convention and reviews and proposes revisions to the constitution of SD64.