Several of my readers have thanked me for explaining the basics of mass meetings and local committees in earlier emails. [You can read my prior emails below.] Today I want to talk about our upcoming conventions.
At the same mass meeting where local Republicans elected your local chairman and local committee, they also elected delegates to the Sixth Congressional District convention and to the state convention. As a delegate to a convention you represent all of the Republican voters in your city or county.
At the District convention you will vote to elect a new chairman of the Sixth District. You will elect a regional vice chair, three members to the State Central Committee (which is what I’m running for), three delegates and three alternates to represent the District at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, and an elector. [If the Republican candidate for President wins Virginia in November, voters have actually elected Republicans to represent them in the “electoral college.” The electoral college actually elects the President in December.]
Now here’s an interesting thing. Delegates to the District and State conventions do not have equal votes. Each unit (city or county) gets a certain number of “delegate votes” based on how many people voted for Republican candidates for President and Governor in the previous election. So Rockingham County gets 157 delegate votes while Highland County gets 6 votes. But each unit can send up to 5 times the number of delegates as they have delegate votes.
As an example, Page County gets 40 delegate votes but they could have elected up to 200 delegates to vote those votes. They elected 24. If all 24 Page County delegates come to the convention, each of their votes would count for 1.67 “delegate votes.” If only 20 came, each delegate would vote 2.0 “delegate votes.” So the fewer delegates who attend from a unit, the more weight each delegate’s vote carries.
More importantly, if two candidates are running for one office and 12 Page County delegates voted for Candidate A and 12 voted for Candidate B, each candidate would get 20 “delegate votes.” But suppose half of Candidate A’s supporters decided not to come to the convention. Now instead of getting half of 40 “delegate votes” (20), Candidate A only gets one third or 13.3 delegate votes. That means that votes are calculated based on the percentage of delegates from a unit who actually attend the convention and cast a vote for a given candidate. One year only one delegate showed from one of our units. That one delegate cast every one of his unit’s “delegate votes.” The other delegates from that unit had no say in the decisions made that day because they did not come to the convention.
Several years ago the ballot for one office was so close that if one more delegate from Lynchburg had shown up to vote for the eventual loser, the loser would have won. Hopefully this helps you see how important it is for you to attend the convention(s) to which you have been elected as a delegate to represent the Republican voters of your city/county.
Steve “Doc” Troxel, Ph.D.
P.S. Thank you for taking the time to read and learn how the system works so that you can use the system rather than letting the system use you. Learn what you need to learn in order to make informed votes at the Sixth District Convention at Cave Springs High School in Roanoke at 10:00 a.m. on May 21st. You can find the address and a map by clicking the “How You Can Help” tab at the top of this page.