Resources - State Level
Secretary of State
Secretary of State William Galvin's office is responsible for elections within the state. Town clerks are conduct the elections, and they report to the Secretary of State, not town government. The Secretary of State website is an oft-overlooked source of information on everything to do with voting and elections. Note that the 2020 presidential primary is March 3, 2020, Super Tuesday day. MA still has a long lead time to register for an election, and the 2020 primary registration deadline is Feb 12, 8pm.
Every deadline having to do with DTC member elections now through the Presidential Primary March 3.
State Democratic Committee
The State Committee provides most of the structure, guidance and help needed by town and ward committees. It sets the state Democratic Platform as well.
The State Committee has a charter, bylaws and elected officers. Several of its members are also members of the Democratic National Committee, thus providing a link to the national level. The committee has regular events such as member meetings, DTC chair meetings, and annual conventions.
The State Committee Action Center describes numerous opportunities to get regular information, participate in activities and even file your resume for a job.
An important function of the State Committee is the maintenance of a voter database. The tool to look at, and build filtered lists from the database is called Vote Builder. You have to apply for access. Candidates running for office use filtered lists from this database for canvassers and MiniVan and Hustle are two of the specialized interfaces to these databases. MiniVan is for door-to-door and Hustle is via texting, to which voters are more responsive than phone calls. Canvassers are assigned small sections, called turfs, of the database by a campaign official at each session.
The Annual State Convention
This vast meeting is held every year. It is difficult to portray the size and feel of this event. It’s quite similar to a rock concert with thousands of people all on the approximately same wavelength - but not as loud!
It is a chance for local delegates to participate in state business, such as updating the state party platform, and also to meet one another, unite around common goals, and, in election years, vote on candidates to forward to the state ballot.
The 2019 convention is September 14, at the Mass Mutual Center, Springfield.
The main purpose of town caucuses is to elect delegates to the next state convention. They are hosted and run by the Democratic Town Committee, but the agenda is strictly set by, and results returned to, the State Committee. In election years, candidates frequently use this event to come speak to townspeople and collect signatures to get on the state convention ballot, but this activity, while informative, is not part of the caucus itself.
All registered voters are invited to participate. Registration to vote and enroll in the Democratic Party may be done up to the point where Caucus instructions are read. The Carlisle DTC typically holds its Caucuses on Saturday morning and extending into the early afternoon if needed. The 2019 Caucus is Saturday May 18, with sign in and registration starting at 10:30. The venue is Hollis Room on the 3rd floor of Gleason Library….
Caucus rules vary from year to year. In 2019, which is not an election year, the state is opening up participation, including standing for election as a delegate, and voting, to pre-registered 16- and 17-year olds. To qualify, the sixteenth birthday must be by May 11, 2019. (May 11 is the date of the first possible caucus and establishes a common birth date for all caucuses.)