What is a Precinct Committee and Why is it Important?

Precinct Committeeman

The popular view is that Precincts are something they have in Chicago with a Party boss that fixes parking tickets.

Not so.

Every county in every state has voting precincts where you cast your ballot and every one of those has or should have a Republican Precinct Committee.

There are roughly 90 precincts in Beaufort County. Less than a third have Republican Precinct Committees. We need to do better and you can help.

In Beaufort County each Precinct has boundaries drawn to include one or more neighborhoods with polling places located for voting efficiency and each contains approximately 1,500 registered voters.

I find that when I talk about Precinct Committees the listener’s eyes glaze over so let’s use an analogy.

Think of a Precinct Committee as a neighborhood political club of Republican friends that get together to discuss and learn about political matters, events, and Republican candidates in a social setting like a members living room or neighborhood clubhouse.

Ideally each club (Precinct Committee) would have at least one member from each neighborhood in the precinct and at least one member from each street in each neighborhood. These neighborhood clubs (Precinct Committees) might consist of a small group of 5 or 6 people or a larger group. There is no limit to the number of members. The size and level of activity depends entirely on the members.

While the clubs (Precinct Committees) may have common members and function cooperatively with the seven sanctioned Republican Clubs in Beaufort County, they are distinctly different. They are smaller, more numerous, and make up the most significant part of the Beaufort County Republican Party. They are not only the fundamental foundation or building blocks of the Party, they are the Party itself. They make the rules and the policies of the local party.

Each Precinct has a District Director responsible for coordinating and providing support for the Precincts. Beaufort County has three Districts each with about 30 precincts.

1) North – Beaufort and other precincts North of the Broad River.

2) Central – Bluffton, Sun City, and other precincts South of the Broad excluding Hilton Head Island.

3) South – Hilton Head Island and Daufuskie.

What does the neighborhood political club (Precinct Committee) do? It holds coffees, lunches, and other social activities to meet with neighbors and friends, to get acquainted, and become acquainted with matters that directly affect them. Matters like sales taxes and gas tax proposals are examples. Other local proposals like the proposal being considered by County Council to mandate garbage pickup and the closure of collection sites come to mind. Members discuss anything that is of concern to them in the political or governmental fields.

The neighborhood club (Precinct Committee) invites local officials and representatives to their homes or other meeting places to speak to its members and friends about what is happening in the political and governmental world and provides members and friends with an opportunity to give their own views on matters they think important. It is an opportunity to let officialdom know what you expect them to do. They work for you. You don’t work for them. If they are going to do their job they need to know what you expect and if they don’t do it you will find someone else to vote for.

They might take action on their concerns by coordinating with other precincts through their Party District Director for a call campaign to the responsible official or officials. They might bring a proposal for action to the Party Executive Committee. They might ask the official to speak to the club to explain their actions. They might even seek or support candidates that represent their views.

The neighborhood political club (Precinct Committee) operates not just during election years but every year and throughout the year. Keep in mind that the important stuff happens after an official is elected and goes off to a legislature, council, or office to work for you. They don’t always do a good job. We need to hold their feet to the fire and make sure they represent us or we’ll find someone else to do the job.

Each club (Precinct Committee) selects a member to act as its Executive to vote the members view on matters of policy and on actions before the monthly Beaufort County Republican Party Executive Committee meetings. Club members (Precinct Committee members) may and should attend those meetings as well. The Party needs to know what you expect and you need to hold it to account as well.

The neighborhood club (Precinct Committee) identifies those neighbors that may need an absentee ballot and help them get one. Some neighbors might need help getting to the polls and club members can help.

The club (Precinct Committee) through its activities seeks out like minded folks to participate. It is the Grass Roots of the Republican Party.

What does the Republican Party do for the group? It provides help, structure, resources, and coordination for the club (Precinct Committee).

The Precinct Committee is essential to the Republican Party. It benefits the members by providing information on political matters, provides members access to officials, politicians, and Party operations, it multiplies member’s influence in political matters and legislation through networking and cooperation, and strengthens the local Republican Party.

As the Precinct Committees grow, so does the Local Republican Party. As the Party grows, so does its strength and influence.

The Precinct Committee is the foundation of the Party. Without strong Precincts and active Precinct Committees, there is no effective local Republican Party. It’s that simple.

So –

If you are interested in being a Precinct Committee member or know of anyone you think might be interested, call:

Dick Foley – Beaufort and all precincts North of the Broad River at
843-838-2767
Email: foleydick7@gmail.com

Gail – Hilton Head Island and Daufuskie at
843-682-2756
Email: gailok@hargray.com

Jon Smith – Bluffton, Sun City, and all other precincts in the Middle at
843-707-7515
Email: Jon@BeaufortGOP.com

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Not Authorized by any Candidate or Candidate's Committee.