CAUCUS-CONVENTION ADVISORY COMMITTEE REPORT
UTAH REPUBLICAN PARTY STATE CENTRAL COMMITTEE
April 8, 2020
Overview: In November 2020, Chairman Derek Brown formed a special committee of
12 SCC members to review the caucus-convention process and make recommendations to improve and modernize. The Caucus Committee was chaired by Party Vice-Chairman Robert Axson and included the following members: Brandon Beckham, Joe Coleman, Mac Sims, Nicki Brammer, Shellie Giddings, Brad Green, Amelia Gardner, Kara Toone, Don Guymon, KanaMarie Poulsen, Helen Redd, and Dan McCay.
The committee was divided into subcommittees covering these five areas: Caucus
Meeting, Convention, Delegate, Citizen Engagement, and Technology. Subcommittees
met on their own and then report back to the whole committee on a regular basis over
four months. This report outlines their recommendations for the Chair to bring to the
entire SCC body for consideration.
CAUCUS MEETING RECOMMENDATIONS
Subcommittee members: Brandon Beckham, Mac Sims, Joel Coleman
Consider moving meetings to earlier in the year. Currently, the four weeks between Caucus and State Convention is too short for congressional and other statewide races and isn’t conducive for the orientation and training of new delegates.
2nd-3rd week in Jan
2nd-3rd week in Nov
More time to train and prepare new delegates for their job
Delegates can pay closer attention to legislators' in session
More time for candidates to campaign before the convention
Allow meetings on Saturday and allow county parties discretion on the start time
Make it easier to do early/same-day voting
Allow for virtual participation for those who need it
Allow for voting via some type of digital means during the meeting
Do not require platform reading, play 7 min. party made video instead
Provide a digital copy of the platform, encourage posting of the platform
Maybe a short platform statement
Have nominations early in the meeting
Floor nominations should always be allowed
Provide a uniform ballot format across the state
Counties print ballots
Implement ranked-choice with delayed tallying, allow for multiple rounds
Include simple top issues survey for caucus attendees “Your Voice Survey”
Examples: What are the top issues for Republicans? What should be the focus of the Utah GOP currently? The support level for elected officials?
Gives additional value to Caucus for attendees to be heard.
Data can be used for GOP candidates that go through the caucus and for the party leaders to better administer the Party.
Balloting should be open for at least 2 hours after the start of the meeting
Attendees can come and vote anytime during the “balloting window”
Allow virtual participation and digital balloting with these key principles:
Anonymous ballot, Secured against fraud, Compatible w/ tabulation method used
Require a functional email and mobile phone numbers to participate
Implement “Precinct Portal” online resource
Caucus Information and Rules
Precinct location and maps
Precinct member information
Public Office Candidate information
Current Precinct Officers information
Precinct Candidate information
Create redundant workarounds in the case of temporary inaccessibility during caucus meetings
One-stop-shop for knowing everything from caucus to convention
Given to all Republicans, precinct officers, leg chairs, etc.
Definition, What, Where, When, etc.
History, principles, and advantages of the caucus-convention process
Manual for how to run caucus meetings
Job description and duties for elected precinct positions
GOP Platform and other Important Documents
Downloadable from UTGOP website and Precinct Portal
See Caucus Booklet Outline in Addendums
Redefine and enhance the role of the Precinct Chair. This position is much more than merely running a meeting every other year. “CEO of the precinct”
Most important position in the party
Key defense and eyes and ears
Strengthen the party
Recruit and Educate the neighborhood
Host town halls for elected officials
Responsible for preventing voter fraud
Keepers of the data
Provide campaign infrastructure
See Precinct Chair Duties in Addendums
Remove the elected positions of Secretary and Treasurer
Add the following key positions
Membership/Get Out the Vote Coordinator
(Decide if these positions are appointed or elected or combined w/ state delegate positions?)
Have every precinct fundraise $300-500 per year in small donations
Precinct chair oversees effort with the Fundraising Coordinator
Leg Chairs follow up with Precinct Chairs on fundraising progress
County Chairs follow up with Leg Chairs every quarter
Have a standing Fundraising Committee that coordinates with SCC/Chair
Provides an additional $660,000 - $1,100,000 in funds for the state party
A percentage should go to county parties as well
Subcommittee members: Brad Green, Helen Redd, Don Guymon
Make conventions a two-day event that separates elections and party business. This will eliminate the stress, fatigue, and frustration of trying to get through all the elections and bylaw/constitutional proposals in a truncated time frame. It will be conducive for a better experience for delegates and candidates.
Give the Party the ability to protect its brand by restoring autonomy to our candidate selection process. Currently, the state government controls primary elections and therefore they have the power to permit candidates on to the ballot that were not elected by the Party’s chosen nomination process (via the delegates). Instead of conventions for nomination, we change to conventions for endorsement. See Convention-Constitution & Bylaw Changes in Addendums
Subcommittee members: Amelia Powers-Gardner, KanaMarie Poulsen, Nicki Brammer
Republican delegates are the lifeblood of our party. We are grateful for their
service and dedication, and we want them to feel successful for having fulfilled their
duties. Our subcommittee felt the best way to improve the delegate experience was to
clarify the expectations the party has of its delegates, as well as how party leadership or
candidates can seek recourse in the event that a delegate becomes unresponsive or no
longer wishes to fulfill their term of service. We created the “Delegate Agreement” to
clarify these expectations.
Furthermore, we recommend that the Technology Committee review the “Delegate Agreement” and decide which platform would be best to deploy it across all caucus meetings so that newly-elected delegates can electronically fill out the “Delegate
Agreement” with their contact information, which would then populate into the party’s
delegate data without multiple hand-offs of paper copies and potential for handwritten
errors. The party could create the “Delegate Agreement” as a Google Form that
populates directly into Google Spreadsheets at no-cost, and this is how party data is
currently shared across the state and counties. Delegates would further receive an
emailed copy for their review, and in case they become unresponsive, precinct leaders
or party leadership would be able to use the electronic paper trail to show that they have made an honest effort to connect with delegates over time before replacing them.
This “Delegate Agreement” has been written for UTGOP State Delegates. We
recommend that a bylaw be written and approved by the SCC to make the Agreement
enforceable. We further recommend that counties use this Agreement as a template for
their own county delegates, and then create a bylaw to further enforce the Agreement
within their own county party bylaws. Furthermore, party leadership will need to train
precinct leaders and county leadership how to properly use the “Delegate Agreements”
(i.e. define an unresponsive delegate in terms of time, how to use email records, how to
train new delegates to vet candidates, what is the process for replacing a delegate, etc.)
See Delegate Agreement in Addendums
Finally, we have left some flexibility in the expectations laid out in the Agreement.
We hope that county leaders will provide guidance and further instructions according to
their county’s circumstances and needs. County party leadership might recommend
“Best Practices” to support official GOP candidates to harness the power of the party in
tough elections; they also might provide educational opportunities to better understand
the party platform and vet candidates accordingly. We have further included a “Delegate Best Practices” document to help guide a brand-new delegate through their first foray
into party service. See Delegate Best Practices in Addendums
CITIZEN OUTREACH RECOMMENDATIONS
Subcommittee members: Kara Toone, Shellie Giddings, Dan McCay
The purpose of the Citizen Engagement Subcommittee is to get people to caucus night
through education and outreach efforts. The messaging directed at potential caucus
attendees ought to be informed by what they do or do not know about caucus night and
how they feel about engaging politically through the caucus/convention system. To learn
the thoughts, opinions and attitudes of potential caucus attendees, the subcommittee
turned to Utah Foundation, a local public policy research and analysis non-profit.
“What we hope to learn” questions from subcommittee members were submitted to Utah Foundation
A discussion on scope of possible survey efforts took place between Peter Reichard and Shawn Teigen (Utah Foundation President and Vice-President/Research Director), GOP Party Chair Derek Brown, Vice-Chair Rob Axson and subcommittee member Kara Toone on March 19, 2021
An agreement was reached for Utah Foundation to submit a two-phase survey effort proposal for review by the subcommittee; at this writing, the proposal has not been received
The subcommittee recommends review of the proposal from the Utah Foundation. If the
subcommittee feels to approve the proposal, survey efforts will move forward and
education/outreach messaging will be aligned with survey responses. If no final
agreement with Utah Foundation is reached, the subcommittee may pursue other
survey research options or move forward with education/outreach efforts based on our
best approximation of citizen thoughts, opinions and attitudes.
The subcommittee recommends inclusion of Lynda Cox, state party Communications
Director, in any caucus messaging efforts. Ms. Cox has already proven helpful in
preliminary discussions on possible videographers, cost estimates and campaign
creation that will align with the party’s existing communication strategy.
Subcommittee members: KanaMarie Poulsen, Mac Sims,
Brad Gree, Kara Toone, Nicki Brammer
One of the biggest hurdles in running effective Precinct Caucuses and Nominating
Convention is gathering, communicating and managing all the data.
The ability for precinct members to announce their candidacy for a precinct position before the precinct caucus meeting.
The ability to post information about the upcoming precinct caucus meeting.
The ability to post educational information about precinct caucus meetings:
What is a precinct caucus meeting?
What are the precinct positions, and why are they important?
What is needed to participate in the precinct caucus meeting?
How is the meeting run and how do you vote?
Software to tally Ranked Choice Vote elections at the precinct caucus meeting.
The ability to electronically submit the election results to county and state parties.
The ability to post the election results for precinct members to see.
We propose finding or building an online software solution that can provide a portal for each precinct that can provide for all the needs listed above and more.
Additional functionality could include:
Communicating to precinct members: Email and/or SMS
Precinct info: leadership, delegates, maps
Party information: Legislative District, County and State leadership, SCC members, etc
Elected official info: House, Senate, County, State, Federal
A way to digitally gather new delegate information and complete the Delegate Agreement at the precinct caucus.
Ideally, an integrated party portal would be used to report precinct election results and fill-out Delegate Agreements, but before then use a standard Google Form.
The ability to gather and manage delegate lists
The ability for precinct, LD and county leaders to easily make delegate changes
The ability for candidates to communicate with delegates, without the party sharing the delegates' personal contact information with candidates.
The ability for the party to communicate with delegates via email and/or SMS
The ability to easily and quickly credential delegates as they check-in at convention
The ability to easily create a credentials report
Party portal software
Survey software to gather the opinions and attitudes of everyday Republicans.
Video production services to create outreach videos.
Partner with Utah Foundation, who could fund a high quality, professional survey that would provide rich data and insights. Otherwise, we could use Qualtrics, at a price, or Google Forms for free with more manual labor.
Seek party members with video production experience that would be willing to volunteer, or hire out video production services.
UTGOP CAUCUS BOOKLET OUTLINE
Caucus Meeting Subcommittee
Brandon Beckham, Mac Sims, Joel Coleman
This information would be available on the UTGOP site and Precinct Portal with a PDF
download option. The Party could also print booklets for special events, conventions, or
The Caucus Booklet serves as the all-in-one go-to for everything about caucus
meetings and the state convention. It provides everything from historical background to
directions on how to run a caucus meeting.
WHAT, WHERE, WHEN?
Definition (Party chose to use this method)
Timeline & key dates of Utah’s election process
State & County Conventions
How to find your precinct and caucus meeting location
How to find the date & time of Caucus Meetings
How to register to vote
HISTORY, PRINCIPLES, & BENEFITS
From the 1700s in Boston to Utah present day
Constitutional principles of freedom and self-government
Benefits of Caucus-Convention System
HOW TO RUN A UTAH GOP CAUCUS MEETING
Precinct Portal (if implemented)
Conducting the meeting
Check-in and credentialing
Recognizing new participants
HOW TO RUN FOR PRECINCT POSITION
File for the position - nominate self or someone can nominate you
Create a flyer of information about your candidacy
Canvass precinct and invite to the caucus meeting
Call caucus attendees from last year
DUTIES OF ELECTED PRECINCT OFFICERS
BASIC REQUIREMENTS TO BE A PRECINCT OFFICER
Contact information - Valid email and phone
Memorandum of Understanding (regarding contact from candidates & party)
What, when, where, who
Special Convention Activities
Races and Candidates
Candidate & Organization Booths
Agenda items and adoption procedures
Voting, RCV, Multi-Round Balloting, Tabulation
Resolutions, Bylaws, and Constitutional changes
How to submit these?
Link to full book
IMPORTANT ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
How to register to vote
How to connect to find your elected officials
Utah GOP Platform
Utah GOP Organization Chart
Declaration of Independence
REDEFINED PRECINCT CHAIR DUTIES
Caucus Meeting Subcommittee
Brandon Beckham, Mac Sims, Joel Coleman
In an effort to harness the power of grassroots organizing and to avoid top down control
and detrimental influences from special interests, the Utah GOP supports a reinvigorated focus on organization at the neighborhood level and a “bottom up”
approach to driving party policy and success in elections.
The Precinct Chair is the key leadership position in the party organization. No other
position in the entire party, including the state party chair, is more important than a
precinct chair. The precinct chair is essentially the CEO of the party within each
neighborhood precinct and is primarily responsible for the successful functioning of the
party at the grassroots level.
Strong precincts form the foundation and create the infrastructure of the entire party.
Ultimately, excellent precinct chairs are responsible for the execution of all precinct
tasks, data security, and the operations of the precinct - although other precinct members may be elected or appointed with delegated authority to assist in these critical
The responsibilities of the precinct chair include:
Data gathering, verification, and database entry
Fundraising (w/ Fundraising Coordinator)
Host and convene bi-annual precinct caucus meetings
Election security, poll watching, and fraud prevention
Youth (TARs and College Republican) recruitment (w/ Youth Coordinator)
Hosting town halls for elected officials and leading neighborhood identification and education efforts
Voter registration and Voter ID (w/ Membership Coordinator)
Primary and general election candidate support
Signage and literature distribution
Get out the vote efforts (GOTV)
DELEGATE BEST PRACTICES
Subcommittee members: Amelia Powers-Gardner, KanaMarie Poulsen, Nicki Brammer
How to be an Informed and Successful Delegate
We’re all busy and doing the best we can, from the chair of your county or state party
down to the everyday caucus attendee and voting citizen. Even with the best of
intentions and organization, communications may not always flow as you’d like.
Don’t rely on others. Educate and empower yourself!
Here are some best practices, ideas, and resources to help you be the best delegate
you can be:
Where applicable, become familiar with your party’s constitution, platform, and bylaws. Understanding these documents will help you know the party’s purpose, how it functions, and why your role is essential.
You can find the UT Republican Party’s constitution, platform, and bylaws here: https://utgop.org/governing-documents/
You can find the SLCo Republican Party’s platform and bylaws here: https://www.slcogop.com/documents.html.
Make it a habit to check your party’s calendar of events. Most of the main event and meeting dates are determined well in advance to aid you with your planning and scheduling.
You can find the UT Republican Party’s calendar here: https://utgop.org/calendar/
You can find the SLCo Republican Party’s platform and bylaws here: https://www.slcogop.com/calendar.html.
Reach out to your Precinct Chair.
Make sure you have your Precinct Chair’s contact info if you don’t already.
Update your Precinct Chair if you change your email or phone number.
Where possible, cultivate a working relationship. Your Precinct Chair is a good resource when you have questions that a black and white document cannot answer.
Check your email inbox and spam folders regularly during the election and convention seasons.
Make sure you know how to navigate your email folders.
Keep an eye out for campaign emails and invitations to Candidate “meet and greets” during election season.
Keep an eye out for your call to the Organizing and Nominating Conventions.
Make it a habit to check your emails periodically to keep up with updates and news sent from the party.
Talk with your neighbors. Take note of their concerns. Encourage them to be involved and invite them to help keep you informed. Ultimately, you’re elected to represent them through the caucus system.
ENJOY THE PROCESS AND HAVE FUN!!!
CONVENTION - CONSTITUTION & BYLAW CHANGES
Subcommittee members: Brad Green, Helen Redd, Don Guymon
NAME, PURPOSE AND MEMBERSHIP
B. General Purposes. The Party shall nominate endorse and support the election of
Republican candidates in partisan races for public office, promote the principles set
forth in the State Party Platform, and perform Party functions set forth in
A. Constitution and Bylaws.
4. If a county party does not adopt bylaws to govern its nominating candidate
selection process for partisan public offices in accordance with Utah Code State
Party Code, then the provisions of the State Party Constitution, Bylaws, and rules
applicable to the State Convention nominating process State Party Code shall
apply to that county convention and nominating endorsing process to the extent
necessary to comply with Utah Code State Party Code. The convention
nominating endorsing threshold percentages adopted by the county party shall
remain in effect.
5. “State Party Code”, as used in this Article, means “the provisions of the Utah
State Republican Party Constitution, Bylaws, and rules applicable to the State
Convention candidate endorsing process”.
CAUCUS AND CONVENTION PROCEDURES
Section 1. Precinct Caucuses
D. If any precinct fails to elect sufficient delegates to the county convention or state
convention, the County Central Committee may designate delegates to the county
convention from qualified members residing in the precinct, and the state delegate
positions may be filled from qualified members by the county convention. These state
delegates shall reside in the same districts as the precinct for each district for which
candidates are nominated endorsed at the state convention.
1. Pursuant to the requirements of Utah State Election Law, the following listings
shall be made available to the public by the State Party and each County Party
within the time frames specified:
e. All persons who have been nominated endorsed as Republican candidates for public office by that Party, within 7 days of their nomination selection or replacement.
Section 2. State and County Nominating Endorsing Conventions
A. The Party shall nominate endorse candidates for partisan offices by a nominating
endorsing convention and primary elections.
D. At the time and place set for the state and county nominating endorsing conventions,
the name of each person who has filed a declaration of candidacy may be placed in
nomination endorsed for the office for which the declaration was filed.
E. When the number of candidates filing declarations of candidacy is no greater than
the number of nominees required for the next general election, those candidates shall
be declared to be have the Party’s nominees endorsement for those offices and shall
not be required to run at either the nominating endorsing convention or nor the primary election.
I. A candidate for an office that receives 60% or more of the votes cast at any point in
the balloting process at the state nominating endorsing conventions shall proceed to the general election.
J. By 5:00 p.m. on the Monday after the convention, the secretary of each nominating
endorsing convention shall immediately certify to the county clerk or the lieutenant
governor, as appropriate, the names of the Party’s nominees endorsements.
K. Counties shall submit a current, updated, and final list of state delegates to the State
Party no later than 5:00 p.m., five days before the state nominating endorsing
Section 3. State Nominating Endorsing Convention
A. At least two days prior to the primary candidate certification deadline specified in the
Utah State Code, delegates to the state nominating endorsing convention shall convene
at a time and place designated by the State Central Committee in a state nominating
convention to nominate select candidates for endorsement for partisan elective office ,
and adopt a State Party platform.
B. In each presidential election year, the state nominating endorsing convention shall
also choose presidential electors and the delegates and alternates to the national Party
C. The gubernatorial candidates nominated selected by the state convention shall
nominate a candidate for lieutenant governor who meets the eligibility requirements of
the statutes and constitution. If the convention fails to affirmatively ratify the nominee for lieutenant governor, the gubernatorial nominee candidates shall nominate other
lieutenant governor candidates until the convention affirmatively ratifies a nominee.
D. The governor and lieutenant governor candidates nominated selected by the state
nominating convention shall run as a joint ticket in the primary and general elections.
Section 4. Nomination Selection of Legislative Candidates
A. When any partisan publicly elected office districts are identical or completely within
the boundaries of a single county, the candidates shall be chosen at the County
Nominating Endorsing Convention by the county delegates from within the respective
district. If any partisan publicly elected office district encompasses more than one
county, the 10 candidates shall be chosen at the State Nominating Endorsing
Convention by the state delegates from within the respective district.
Section 5. Primary Election
A. When two candidates are nominated endorsed by the state nominating convention
for the same office, both candidates shall run in a primary election in accordance with
Section 8. Candidate Vacancies
A. In the event that a Party candidate who is involved in a contested primary resigns,
dies or becomes incapacitated before the primary election the remaining candidate shall be designated as the Party nominee Party’s endorsed candidate.
B. In the event that a Party candidate resigns, dies or becomes incapacitated after
nomination endorsement at the state convention or at the primary election, the
candidate shall be replaced by the following method: