A delegate to the Democratic National Convention has a huge responsibility. He will be voting on behalf of thousands of people in his party from a particular district on who will be the presidential candidate. The delegate is morally obligated to represent the candidate his district supports. However, he is not legally required to do so. Many times delegates start out as representatives with in the county level and are then chosen to the state and lastly the national level. Under the national Democratic Party rules, each state decides on the procedures for choosing its delegates to the Democratic National Convention. The state Democratic Party’s delegate selection plan describes that state’s process.

Register to vote if you have not done so already. You cannot be a delegate to the Democratic National Convention unless you are a registered voter. In some states, you will have had to have voted in the presidential primaries. However, you do not have to be registered as a Democrat; you can be unaffiliated.

Contact by phone, email or letter your state’s Democratic Party for information on the specific process to become a delegate. Any registered Democrat or unaffiliated voter can become a delegate for the party. Ask for the deadline date for filing an application. Also, you may be required to include a petition signed by registered voters. The number of signatures needed varies from state to state.

Check the delegate map of states to be sure of the boundaries of your district. The boundary lines of districts are moved from time to time.

Decide which type of democratic delegate you wish to apply to become: a district-level delegate, an at-large delegate, party leaders and elected official delegates, an add-on delegate or an alternate delegate. To become a district-level delegate, an application called a statement of candidacy must be filed with the state Democratic Party within the period of time your state requires. You would then run in an election in your district for this position. To become an at-large delegate, a statement of candidacy must also be filed. These delegates are often chosen by the district-level delegates. Democratic Party leaders are automatically confirmed as delegates, and others may be considered, including city mayors, state-wide elected officials and county and local elected officials. This type of delegate is chosen by a party committee of the state convention of the state or quorum of district-level delegates. Add-on delegates may be chosen even if they have not filed a statement of candidacy. The state Democratic Party decides how to choose the add-on delegates.

Complete all requirements according to your state’s selection plan. File your statement of candidacy, petitions, letters or any other needed documents. Keep informed and involved in the Democratic Party.

Tip

  • You must follow the delegate selection rules for your state precisely. If you are not chosen to be a delegate, you may become a volunteer and still play an important part in the Democratic National Convention.