What is a Precinct Committee Person,
What Do They Do and How Do I Become One?
Locally the Democratic Party is organized as The Stephenson County Democratic Party, (SCDP). We maintain an office year-round in Freeport, IL, but it is not staffed full-time. A Precinct Committee Person, also called a PCP, is our representative in each voting precinct within Stephenson County. PCPs serve as a point of contact between the voters in a precinct and our political party. An effective PCP is not limited by financial or physical abilities due to the variety of methods of communication today.
PCPs are elected every two years. In order to be an elected PCP, you gather signatures on a petition to be on the ballot of the Primary Election. In Illinois, these primaries are typically on even years in the spring. If there is a vacancy in a Precinct at any time, the SCDP Chair can appoint to fill any vacancies. You can be appointed to a Precinct outside of your residence if there is no elected PCP in that precinct.
Committee people have core responsibilities to help get out the vote and assist at the polls on Election Day. Most PCPs communicate with their party and their constituents throughout the year.
In addition, the SCDP has various committees: communications, economic justice, membership, events, and more. Typically PCPs participate in committees that interest them.
Yearlong responsibilities include but are not limited to:
• Attending SCDP Central Committee monthly meetings. These meetings
are a crucial part of our organization during which committees give
updates, votes are taken and decisions are made. SCDP Committee
Meetings are currently held monthly, on the second Tuesday, at 6:30
p.m. either with Zoom or in person at our office in Freeport.
• Assisting with voter registration drives.
• Circulating nomination petitions for SCPD’s candidates.
• Giving voters information about upcoming elections.
• Distributing absentee and mail-in ballot applications before an election.
• Participating in events, both ours and the community.
On Election Day and the weekend before the elections:
Getting out the vote. By using lists of registered voters, you can help
make sure that as many people as possible come out to vote in your
• There are many, many volunteer needs & opportunities in the weeks
leading up to an Election and on Election Day.
Are you interested? It's also a great service to your community and the Democratic Party. It can be fun and an opportunity to meet new friends. It's a wonderful chance to make a difference.
In addition, we came across an interview by Jim Nolan that might help you decide to get involved. In this interview, Nowlan discussed his new book "Politics: The Starter Kit - How to Succeed in Politics & Government" and two of his earlier books, “Illinois Politics” and “Fixing Illinois.” Nowlan received his BA, MA, and Ph.D. degrees in political science from the University of Illinois. In addition to a distinguished career in government and politics, Nowlan has taught at the University of Illinois and Knox College. He has also written more than 600 newspaper columns, many about the challenges confronting Illinois. Here's that interview.