You Want To Run For Office?
THE ELECTION PROCESS - PART I
all across America candidates are working on their campaigns for
election to their chosen office. How did they get there?
promoted them? What does "running for office" entail?
my son many years ago said;, "Mother, you should get involved
with the County Central Committee; it’s the most influential
group you can join," I had no idea what he was talking about.
What was it, who was it, why was it so influential? I found out!
few years later I was appointed to organize a campaign to get
members elected to the local County Central Committee (CCC)!
some minimal instructions from the one who appointed me I went to
work. What did I learn?
came the realization that I had to find folks who were willing to
run for office to become a member of the County Central Committee
(CCC). None of us even knew what that meant-yet! But we were
willing. We were told (here’s where the "influence"
part comes in) that we would be "an influence for good in our
community." And we wanted to be a good influence.
Some of the
things we’d be responsible for as members of the CCC would be
the discussion, making of suggestions, and voting on the party’s
platform as well as helping to elect good candidates at the state
level. That’s pretty impressive. All we knew then is that we’d
be "influential for good." As Christians we wanted that.
members elected to a County Central Committee, being an influence
in politics by that method didn’t sound like the method our
Founders had in mind when they set up our republican form of
government. However, the structure of the CCC follows that of a
republic: persons chosen to represent others who will fill the
offices designed to carry on the business of the county (or state
or federal government). We will be discussing the several methods
used to choose folks for the position of County Central Committee
member. The first way is to elect the members.
when you go to the polls to vote try to imagine all the things it
took for me to get a candidate’s name on that ballot. To help
your imagination I will tell you what I had to do. (Keep in mind
that these things are similar to those that must be done in order
for folks to run for other offices on the local, state and federal
candidates had to "take out their papers" at the County
Clerks Office. Each candidate must then take the "oath of
solemnly swear (affirm) that I will support and defend the
Constitution of the United States of America and of the State of
California against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will
bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of the United
States and the Constitution of the State of California; that I
take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or
purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge
the duties upon which I am about to enter.
the papers they "took out" they then had to pay a sum of
money or obtain the signatures of forty registered members of our
party in order to be a qualified candidate (forty being the number
required to guarantee that at least twenty of them were valid!).
Some of these or another group of people had to sign a paper that
indicated they were "endorsing" the candidate. Now the
candidate and the members of the CCC are ready to campaign in
order to get the candidate elected. You are no doubt aware of some
of the things this requires: things which cost time, effort and
you have some idea of how one goes about to get a candidate on the
ballot. But does this tell you what goes on with the County
Central Committee? No. Tune in to the next article which,
hopefully, will clear up that question.
more thing must be addressed: the alternative ways by which folks
can become members of the CCC. There are two: both by appointment.
Because a new party comes into existence or a party has not yet
created a CCC in a particular county a new County Central
Committee may be started. In this event the State Central
Committee Chairman may appoint a county chairman who may then
appoint members who can act as officers of the new CCC. These
appointed officers then may appoint other folks to complete the
number needed to fill the remaining vacancies.
The second way is used when there are fewer candidates running in
an election than there are vacancies or "seats" in that
district. (Each county has one or more districts, each of which
has a specified number of seats.) For instance, in a certain
district there may be four seats or offices, but only two people
file papers for those seats.
is obvious that, if only two people file, they would be elected so
they are not put on the ballot. They are simply declared the
winners. After the election, the CCC, made up of those who won,
may then appoint others to fill the empty seats. This is an
effective way to control CCC’s when no one pays any attention to
what is going on in their home town! Those in control are
"influential" but may not necessarily be for good.
was our problem; the present makeup of the CCC guaranteed there
would be many more ungodly decisions made in the future if these
continued in office.
has taken a long time to change the composition of our County
Central Committee so that godly decisions could be made. The
battle still goes on. Would you like to know why? Keep
What does the word "poll" mean and why do we use it in
regard to elections?
Answer: The word "poll" comes from a Dutch or Belgic
word for head. It refers to the fact that we are individuals-we
each have a head! When one votes at "the polls" during
an election, one vote per person is cast. The "poll,"
therefore, is the place where each person casts one vote that
represents himself and his beliefs. "Polling" means the
casting, counting or recording of votes cast. It has many
applications other than its use in elections. (The above
information came from Numbers 3: 47, Noah Webster’s 1828
Dictionary of the English Language and Webster’s Collegiate
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