By Chris Hotchkin

At the recent meeting of the Central Committee of the Democratic Party of DuPage County, in addition to approving changes to the DPDC Bylaws, we were privileged to hear from Kristina Zahorik, President of the Illinois Democratic County Chairs Association. Kristina described the key roles of a precinct committeeperson.

Kristina acknowledged that precinct committeepersons, being Democratic activists, are often called upon to volunteer in various campaigns. This is fine and we can all choose to which campaigns we might want to volunteer our time and experience. However, Kristina emphasized that the primary role of a precinct committeeperson is to serve your precinct, to develop relationships with the voters in your precinct, and most importantly of all, to identify Democratic voters.

How do we identify Democratic voters in our precincts? By having honest discussions with voters. You can simply ask them if they identify themselves as a Democrat. Ask them what issues are concerning to them. Ask them what they would like to see changed or improved in our nation, state, and county. Ask them which candidates appeal to them and why. Away from the door or during the phone call, jot down some notes on what they say and record any voter identifications on Vote Builder or report them to your township chair.

Another key role of a precinct committeeperson is protecting election integrity. As a precinct committeeperson, you are entitled to appoint Democratic election judges. Often, we contact judges who have served previously, but it is always good to be on the lookout for new Democratic election judges. Another role is to serve as a poll watcher in your polling place and get trained as a poll watcher. We know that Republicans love to suppress the vote. We need to make sure our voters know their rights. You should encourage your voters to check their registration status before they go to vote. They can do that at ova.elections.illinois.gov. There are pamphlets in our office at 908 Curtiss in Downers Grove that explain the voting process and voter rights. Please share these pamphlets with voters in your precinct who may need this voter education.

While we are all enthusiastic supporters of our Democratic candidates, we need to remember that as Precinct Committeepersons, whether elected or appointed, our duty is to serve the Democratic voters in our precinct, to identify voters who are likely to vote for Democratic candidates, and to educate our Democratic voters about how to vote and why voting is so critical in 2020.