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How to run for office of precinct committeeman

by Lisa Schaff/SPECIAL TO THE PRESS
| February 23, 2022 1:00 AM

The non-partisan organizations, League of Women Voters of Kootenai County and Civic Engagement Alliance, are hosting a non-partisan public Elections Workshop 101.

It is free and open to community members residing in Kootenai County. No pre-registration is required, but room capacity is limited to 40 people. CDA Fire Station No. 3, 1500 N. 15th St., Saturday, 10 a.m. to noon.

Within that effort, I would like to broaden the public awareness about the candidate filing process for the office of precinct committeeman.

The title of the elected position is office of precinct committeeman, open to both men and women to be elected to this position every two years in the May Primary Election, per Idaho Code 34-624.

The Kootenai County Elections Department does have a list of the current seat holders available. Keep in mind, with the new precinct maps being updated as a result of the 2020 Census, there are new positions totaling 73 precinct committeeman seats (up from 70) for each the Kootenai County Democratic and the Republican Central committees. Each seat may be challenged, so if you feel committed, RUN for office! Let your neighbors have a choice of who best represents them in this capacity.

Understanding elections and how important dates cross over can be like finding the right on-ramp in a complicated clover-leaf highway interchange. Get it wrong and you cannot run for office! In the case of office of precinct committeeman, candidate filing for the May Election opens Monday, Feb. 28. Once you are affiliated with the appropriate party, you can file the precinct committeeman declaration of candidacy. Here‘s how the KC Elections Department instructs:

With the exception of signature, completely fill out a declaration of candidacy form, including precinct and affiliation information.

Have completed declaration of candidacy document properly notarized, completing signature portion in the presence of the notary public.

Fill out candidate contact information sheet (not required, but highly encouraged).

Bring completed declaration of candidacy and contact sheet to the Kootenai County Elections Department during normal business hours, within the candidate filing window of Feb. 28 to March 11, 2022.

When changing your party affiliation to run for this position is when it gets complicated.

Currently only the Democratic and Republican parties have formed County Central Committees, so precinct committeeman offices only exist for these two parties. A precinct committee candidate must be affiliated with the party in which they are seeking to run prior to filing their candidacy paperwork.

Eligible dates for filing a declaration of candidacy form are between Feb. 28 and March 11. Please note voter registration is closed until March 9 for the March 8 School Elections (Kellogg Joint School District No. 391 - district is shared with Shoshone County and Plummer-Worley Joint School District No. 44 - District is shared with Benewah County).

Any voter registration forms turned in will be held until March 9 and then entered into the system.

If you are in need of changing your affiliation, you can deliver the voter registration card promptly to the KC Elections Department and it will be held until they are allowed to process it. Once your new voter registration is processed, you may see above for how to file declaration of candidacy form. That allows March 9, 10, and 11 to change/confirm affiliation and file declaration of candidacy.

Find those forms here: https://www.kcgov.us/304/Forms-Downloads. KC Elections Department has forms available for the individual candidates as well. The C-4 or C-8 forms are available for pick up, but get turned in to the Secretary of State, not KC Elections Department.

You may ask for party central committee rosters. Please note that these rosters utilize the old precinct numbers, as those are the precincts for which they were elected to office in 2020 (or appointed since then), not the new precincts. The prior count was 70 and the 2022 count will be 73 positions for each party. With the change in precinct numbers and boundaries, there is opportunity for a reset. This may be your chance to form a new freshman committee.

A new, colored precinct map is available for purchase for $6 (cash or check only). The newly updated precinct map can be viewed on the Kootenai County Elections website: https://www.kcgov.us/31/Elections

The Polling Place Look-Up tool can be utilized to check which of the new precincts an address is contained within: https://www.kcgov.us/321/Polling-Place-Look-Up

All other forms for candidate filing, including for county offices, can also be found and printed from here: https://www.kcgov.us/304/Forms-Downloads.

Please note that state offices have different forms and all filing for those offices is done with the Secretary of State.

More information will be available at the Elections Workshop 101.