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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.

 
REPORT SECTIONS

CAUCUS MEETING

Page 1

CONVENTION

Page 4

DELEGATE

Page 5

CITIZEN OUTREACH

Page 6

TECHNOLOGY

Page 7

ADDENDUMS

​Page 9

CAUCUS MEETING RECOMMENDATIONS

Subcommittee members: Brandon Beckham, Mac Sims, Joel Coleman


ACCESSIBILITY

  • 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.

    • Options:

      • 2nd-3rd week in Jan

      • 2nd-3rd week in Nov

    • Pros:

      • 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


MEETING OPERATION

  • 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


TECHNOLOGY

  • Implement “Precinct Portal” online resource

    • Caucus Information and Rules

    • Precinct location and maps

    • Caucus Booklet

    • Precinct member information

    • Public Office Candidate information

    • Current Precinct Officers information

    • Precinct Candidate information

    • Vote tallies

  • Create redundant workarounds in the case of temporary inaccessibility during caucus meetings


CAUCUS BOOKLET

  • 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


ELECTED POSITIONS

  • 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

    • Fundraising

    • 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

    • Fundraising Coordinator

    • Youth Coordinator

    • Membership/Get Out the Vote Coordinator

      • (Decide if these positions are appointed or elected or combined w/ state delegate positions?)


FUNDRAISING

  • 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


CONVENTION RECOMMENDATIONS

Subcommittee members: Brad Green, Helen Redd, Don Guymon


CONVENTION

  • 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.

NOMINATION PROCESS

  • 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


DELEGATE RECOMMENDATIONS


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.



TECHNOLOGY RECOMMENDATIONS

Subcommittee members: KanaMarie Poulsen, Mac Sims,

Brad Gree, Kara Toone, Nicki Brammer


Overview

One of the biggest hurdles in running effective Precinct Caucuses and Nominating

Convention is gathering, communicating and managing all the data.


CAUCUS MEETINGS

Needs

  • 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.

Proposed Solutions

  • 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

DELEGATES

Needs

  • A way to digitally gather new delegate information and complete the Delegate Agreement at the precinct caucus.

Proposed Solutions

  • 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.

CONVENTION

Needs

  • 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

Proposed Solutions

  • Party portal software

CITIZEN OUTREACH

Needs

  • Survey software to gather the opinions and attitudes of everyday Republicans.

  • Video production services to create outreach videos.

Proposed Solutions

  • 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.


ADDENDUMS

 

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

fundraisers.


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

    • Candidate Filings

    • Caucus Meetings

    • State & County Conventions

    • Primary Election

    • General Election

  • How to find your precinct and caucus meeting location

  • How to find the date & time of Caucus Meetings

  • How to register to vote

  • Precinct Portal

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

  • Pre-Caucus Preparation

  • Caucus Rules

  • Precinct Portal (if implemented)

  • Conducting the meeting

    • Check-in and credentialing

    • Welcoming attendees

    • Recognizing new participants

    • Agenda

    • Nominations

    • Balloting

    • Reporting

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

  • Chair

  • Vice-Chair

  • State Delegate

  • County Delegate

  • Fundraising Coordinator

  • Youth Outreach

  • Membership/Get-Out-The-Vote Coordinator

  • Poll Watcher

BASIC REQUIREMENTS TO BE A PRECINCT OFFICER

  • Contact information - Valid email and phone

  • Memorandum of Understanding (regarding contact from candidates & party)

CONVENTION

  • What, when, where, who

  • Special Convention Activities

  • Credentialing

  • 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?

  • Robert’s Rules

    • Brief overview

    • Link to full book

IMPORTANT ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

  • How to register to vote

  • How to connect to find your elected officials

    • State House

    • State Senate

    • Governor

    • Attorney General

    • US Representatives

    • US Senators

  • Utah GOP Platform

  • Utah GOP Organization Chart

  • Declaration of Independence

  • US Constitution

  • Utah Constitution


 

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

roles.


The responsibilities of the precinct chair include:

  • Business Operations

    • Data gathering, verification, and database entry

    • Fundraising (w/ Fundraising Coordinator)

    • Host and convene bi-annual precinct caucus meetings

  • Political Operations

    • 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

  • Campaign Support

    • 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

Delegate Subcommittee

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:

  1. 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.

    1. You can find the UT Republican Party’s constitution, platform, and bylaws here: https://utgop.org/governing-documents/

    2. You can find the SLCo Republican Party’s platform and bylaws here: https://www.slcogop.com/documents.html.

  2. 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.

    1. You can find the UT Republican Party’s calendar here: https://utgop.org/calendar/

    2. You can find the SLCo Republican Party’s platform and bylaws here: https://www.slcogop.com/calendar.html.

  3. Reach out to your Precinct Chair.

    1. Make sure you have your Precinct Chair’s contact info if you don’t already.

    2. Update your Precinct Chair if you change your email or phone number.

    3. 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.

  4. Check your email inbox and spam folders regularly during the election and convention seasons.

    1. Make sure you know how to navigate your email folders.

    2. Keep an eye out for campaign emails and invitations to Candidate “meet and greets” during election season.

    3. Keep an eye out for your call to the Organizing and Nominating Conventions.

    4. Make it a habit to check your emails periodically to keep up with updates and news sent from the party.

  5. 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.

  6. ENJOY THE PROCESS AND HAVE FUN!!!


 

CONVENTION - CONSTITUTION & BYLAW CHANGES

Convention Subcommittee

Subcommittee members: Brad Green, Helen Redd, Don Guymon


ARTICLE I

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


ARTICLE VII

COUNTY PARTIES

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”.


ARTICLE XII

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.

E.

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

convention.


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

convention.


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

Utah Code.


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:



 

UTGOP Caucus-Convention Advisory Committee Report
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