Most voters are familiar with political offices like mayor, city council member or alderman, state representative, senators or president. However, a couple officials who often have significant influence in local affairs might not be so recognizable -- the county chairs of political parties. The details of their responsibilities may vary slightly from state to state, but they share some common duties across the nation.
The county Democratic or Republican chairperson represents her party in the entire county. She is the party's information source to the local media, and is responsible for writing press releases, editorial letters and other written material about the party's activities. Local organizations may also recruit her as a speaker, and she takes the lead in speaking to individual voters about the work of the party in the county. She also has the duty to keep state and national party officials informed of the standing of the party in her county.
The county chair serves as the head of the party in his county. He appoints members to committees, as necessary, and serves as an ex officio member of all party committees. He presides at quarterly meetings of the executive committee and preserves the minutes of the meetings, along with the official rosters of the committees. He also enlists and coaches the party chairpersons for each voting precinct in the county.
In addition to duties as party representative and executive, the county chair serves as the manager of the party in the county. She keeps important lists updated, including voter registration rolls, precinct maps and volunteer or contributor records. Another important duty is serving as a supportive source of information for local election candidates.
Party Election Chief
The most visible duty of the county political chair may be administering the party's primary elections in the county. As part of that task, he provides the names of the election judges and early voting board to the appropriate county official, recruits poll watchers and other election volunteers, and assists in maintaining the integrity of the ballot boxes. He also works with party volunteers to urge party members to vote, and it is his responsibility to organize precinct, county and senatorial district conventions within the county.
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