The American political system is the greatest in the world. The early framers created an inspired document which has stood the test of time. It has also become a beacon to the rest of the world. The framers did a wonderful job of creating a system of government. Abraham Lincoln described our government as “one of the people, by the people and for the people.”
In today’s political climate, many people wonder if the system is broke. Many even question if the government is still by and for the people. Career politicians fill the halls in Washington and high levels of State government. People claim many of these individuals have lost touch with the common man. They wonder about term limits and gridlock when things don’t seem to be getting done.
Additionally, many people wonder if their vote even matters. Per the FairVote website, during the 2016 Presidential elections, only 60% of American’s turned out to vote. For the 2018 mid-term elections that number dropped to around 40%.
In Idaho, those numbers were a little better. Per the Idaho Secretary of State, during the 2016 Presidential election, 75.9% turned out to vote. Then in the 2018 mid-term elections, 50% of registered voters turned out.
The right to vote can is the crown jewel of the American system of government. But, there are many other ways to impact the direction of the Country. Many people think that running for office is the only way to take part in the process, but there are other options.
Having An Impact on A Local Level
One of the easiest and most effective ways to impact local politics is to get involved in the local party. In Idaho, the Republican party is governed by a set of rules that operate the party. These rules cover everything from how the State Central committee operates down to how the local precinct chairman operates.
The Idaho Republican party leadership operates as follows:
State Central Committee. This is the governing body of the State’s Republican Party. It is tasked with setting functions and policies for the party at the State level. The Committee is made up of:
The State Executive Committee
- County Chairmen
- State Committeemen
- State Committeewomen
- State Youth Committee person
- Legislative District Chairmen
Chairman of the Central Committee. This is an elected position, that serves a two-year term. The Chairman has general administrative supervision over the party and its direction. They preside over all meetings and represent the party as a whole for the State. The Chairman may also appoint people to fill positions for committees like Finance, Rules or Resolutions.
First & Second Vice Chairman of the Central Committee. These are also elected positions. Their duties are assigned by the Central Committee and one of them may be called upon to fill in for the Chairman should the need arise.
National Committeeman/Committeewoman. This is an elected position, elected during the State Convention. Interestingly, this position is elected during the same year of the Presidential elections. These individuals represent the Idaho Republican party during the National Conventions. They serve as liaisons between the National Committee and Idaho.
The State Executive Committee. They the responsibility for administering the policies and programs set by the Central Committee. This committee is comprised of the following individuals:
- The State Chairman
- The First Vice Chairman
- The Second Vice Chairman
- The National Committeeman
- The National Committeewoman
- The Secretary of the State Central Committee
- The Treasurer of the State Central Committee
- 7 Region Chairmen
- State Finance Chairman
- The Young Republican State Chairman
- The President of the Idaho Republican Women’s Federation
- The President of the College Young Republicans
Regional Chairman, Vice Chairman and Secretary. These offices represent the counties and legislative districts within their region. They serve as the main liaison between the state and the county committees. They also coordinate many of the inter-regional activities.
County Central Committee. This committee is responsible for carrying out the policies and functions set forth by the State Central Committee. This committee is composed of:
- Precinct Committeemen
- Precinct Committeewomen
- The County Chairman
- Vice Chairman
- State Committeeman
- State Committeewoman
- State Youth Committee person
County Committee Chairman. The chairman makes sure the rules governing the Counties organization are in line with the Republican parties rules and Idaho’s Election laws. The County Chairman calls and chairs meetings. They help with recruiting county government officials. They also attend the State Central Committee meetings.
County Committee Vice Chairman. Fills in for the Chairman in case of emergencies or vacancy of the seat.
Precinct Committeemen and Committeewomen. These individuals come from the precinct they vote in. These are appointed through election by the County Central Committee. They canvass their neighborhoods to recruit potential candidates, promote the parties candidates. They help fill vacancies within Legislative District Committee and County Commissioners. They do this by nominating candidates and voting.
Precinct Committee Officers. The Precinct Committee Officer (PCO) is the official representative of the precinct to the Republican Party. This is a partisan office established to represent the voters within a specific geographical area. The PCO’s are the backbone of the party. Their responsibilities include:
- Assist in organizing your County Party by electing officers of the county’s Central Committee.
- Serve as a voting member of the County Central Committee.
- Responsible for electing replacements to fill vacancies in other elected partisan offices such as County Commissioner or State Legislator.
- Call and conduct precinct caucus, as directed by the County Chair.
- Serve as a primary point of contact for the party in their precinct.
- Assist with nominated campaigns and their efforts in their precincts.
- Assist in recruiting poll watchers and board workers in their areas.
As you can see there are plenty of opportunities for an individual to get involved and make a difference. Good people are always needed at every level. Contact your local committee today and see where you can help out.