Want a Say in Government? It’s Up to You

Every two years the Republican Party of Shelby County gets together to elect new officers. For any citizen the process is the most grassroots event in politics.

It is at this level that citizens get a chance to represent their neighborhood and through the leadership picked, get a say in the governing of their very neighborhood. It is about as basic as democracy gets.

Here’s how it works: First there are caucuses that meet at a specified location. Each precinct in the county gets a caucus. Then, the caucus delegates are chosen. The number of delegates each precinct gets is based on the number of Republican votes cast in the presidential election. One delegate is given for every 200 votes. So, last time my precinct in Central Gardens had 1,000 votes cast for John McCain and we were apportioned five delegates.

If there are under 200 Republican votes cast, a precinct still gets a delegate.

Once the delegates are determined, the next step is the convention.

At the convention, delegates from all the precincts show up and then the chairman, vice chairman and all other offices of the Shelby County Republican Party will be up for the vote. Usually a slate is presented, but others can be nominated as well. The vote is taken and the officers announced.

It’s a fairly simple process. It is also a very important one.

At the Midtown Republican Club meeting last night, two officials from the SCRP, Richard Morton and Tim Beacham, showed up to discuss the process.

The election in 2014 will be “the largest ballot in Shelby County history,” explained Morton. “Every office – mayor, assessor, state house seats, judges (except for one, General Sessions Court Clerk) – will be up for grabs.” Also, any ballot initiatives or special issues such as taxation and schools, will be on the ballot.

“We have a lot at stake,” added Beacham. “Some of our finest judges will be under attack. We have to extend our party across the ballot and the first step is to show up at the caucuses. If Midtown wants a voice, residents should show up.”

If you don’t know what district and precinct you are in, you can find out at shelbyvote.org. There is a place there where you can enter your address and receive all the pertinent information.

The tentative times for the caucus and convention are Monday, Feb. 25, at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, March 24, at 2 p.m. The location will be established shortly and will be announced on this site.

If you have a desire to see our city, our state and our country run the way you feel it needs to be, consider attending these events. What happens in city and county government will effect you in one way or another and you want it to be the right way.

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