The 2012 Democratic National Convention takes place this September, and the proximity of its Charlotte, NC location has many active Democratic voters in South Carolina eager to attend as national delegates.
Interested persons should take note of one key caveat, however: they can’t be a national delegate if they vote in the upcoming Republican Presidential Primary election on Jan. 21.
According to Section V, A:1(a) of the South Carolina Delegate Selection Plan:
“No one may be elected as a Delegate or Alternate to the National Convention who did not both vote in the 2012 Democratic Presidential Primary and attend his or her 2012 precinct meeting.”
The Democratic Presidential Primary actually takes place at each county’s precinct meeting, too. March 3 is the scheduled date for the precinct organizational meetings of most county Democratic parties, including those in the greater Charleston region.
And since voters are not allowed to partake in the primary races of more than one party, anyone voting in the Republican Presidential Primary on Jan. 21 cannot participate in the vote at their county’s Democratic Party precinct meetings. That lack of vote on March 3 would thus exclude a delegate wannabe.
It wouldn’t just affect individuals personally, either; in fact, it could lower the state’s ranking in the order of presidential primary races for 2016.
Amanda Loveday with the South Carolina Democratic Party told the local Patch, “It can definitely hurt our chances of being the ‘first in the South’ Democratic primary in 2016,” if active Democrats don’t take part in their own party’s primary election at the March 3 meetings.
Without having that early primary status, South Carolina would be void of the huge flow of press it ordinarily gets for that event, and would miss out on the very high spending the election and its candidates do in the state.
South Carolina has a total of 62 national delegates at the upcoming Democratic National Convention, 37 of which are elected from the congressional district level.
Counties in the greater Charleston region are included in Congressional Dist. 1, which gets four national delegates, and Congressional Dist. 6, which is represented by eight. Each of these districts receives one alternate delegate, too.
No district may have more than half its number of delegates from a single county, either, thus improving the odds for smaller county residents to be elected despite the larger populations in other district counties. For example, a Dorchester County resident was elected national delegate in 2008.
Almost all county precinct organization meetings, where votes are cast in the Democratic Presidential Primary and county delegates are selected, are set for March 3.
March 19 is the scheduled date for the biennial DCDP convention, where state delegates are selected.
The annual state party convention, where national delegates are elected by state delegate attendees, is scheduled for May 12.
And don’t forget – active Democrats interested in becoming national delegates can’t vote in the Jan. 21 Republican Presidential Primary.