What is a Precinct Committee Person?

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Precinct Committee Persons (PCPs) are the heart and soul of the Oregon Republican Party. PCPs are the most basic level of elected partisan office in the state and form the backbone of the county Republican organizations.

PCPs get their name from the geographic boundaries known as “precincts” which are determined by the state and county. Prior to the existence of vote-by-mail in Oregon, precincts were the boundaries of an area in which voters could go to a polling place and cast their ballot.

For every precinct in the state, the Oregon Republican Party is entitled to elect at least two PCPs in the precinct. However, for many of the precincts in the state, the party can elect additional PCPs. The number of eligible PCPs for each district is calculated according to the number of registered Republicans living in each precinct. For every 250 Republicans or major fraction thereof, who are registered in the precinct as of January 31 of even numbered years, the party is entitled to an additional PCP position.

Why should I become a Precinct Committee Person?

As with any volunteer organization, the Republican Party in Oregon’s strength and influence comes from the people who make up the party. Our party is only as strong as our base and the PCPs serve as the base for the Oregon Republican Party.

PCPs are involved at all levels of the Oregon Republican Party from recruiting volunteers and determining leadership at the county level, to helping to set the party’s agenda in their communities, to selecting the state’s representation at the national level and especially helping Republican candidates across the finish line to victory.

With a strong roster of active and involved PCPs helping the party, we will have stronger county parties, a more influential state party and more Republican victories at the polls. These victories start with a good plan and engaged people to help execute it. That is the power of the PCPs in Oregon for Republicans and why their role is so important. Some of the reasons why people become PCPs are:

  • They care passionately about politics, current events and issues within their communities and government;
  • They recognize a need to do something about the leadership of their party and community;
  • They like to stay informed about issues and party events, as well as personally meet candidates and party leaders;
  • They enjoy participating in election activities and volunteering to help elect Republican candidates; and
  • They want to “put a face” on the Republican party in their neighborhoods and community, help elect local party leaders and set the agenda for the Republican party in their county.

How do I become a Precinct Committee Person?

To become an elected PCP, one must be elected during the May primary election of even numbered years. A person wishing to become a Republican PCP is required to have been a registered member of the Republican Party in their county for at least 180 days before the primary election or date of appointment.

Individuals are eligible to serve as PCPs for the precinct in which they reside or an adjacent precinct (as long as it is in the same county). The term of office for a PCP is from the 24th day after the date of the primary election until the 24th day after the date of the next following primary election.

Becoming an Elected PCP

A person must file the Oregon Secretary of State’s form SEL 105, “Filing of Candidacy for Precinct Committeeperson.”  This form is due by 5pm on the day of the statewide filing deadline for the Primary Election which generally occurs in early March. For the next PCP election in 2022, the filing period for the primary election on May 17, 2022, begins in January 2022 and ends in early March. For those candidates that submit the form by the deadline, their names will appear on the Republican primary ballots of voters in their precinct.

If a person wishing to become a PCP does not file the appropriate SEL-105 form by the deadline, they can still become an elected PCP in the primary election as a write-in candidate by filing the SEL-105D form by the end of Election Day. The same residency and registration requirements apply. In order to be elected via write-in, candidates must receive at least three votes on the ballot.

If a candidate is successful in being elected by having their name on the ballot or by write-in, the Polk County Clerk will mail a certificate of election to all newly elected PCPs within the county no later than the 20th day after the primary election. The clerk will also mail an “Acceptance of Office” form to each person elected by write-in votes that includes a statement to be signed by the person elected that the person elected is qualified to hold the office.

Becoming an Appointed PCP

In the event that eligible PCP slots are not filled by candidates or write-ins on the primary election ballot, the slots are declared vacant. Vacant PCP slots may be filled by the county central committee by appointment.

Any person who has been a registered Republican for at least 180 days, registered in the precinct in which the vacancy exists, or registered in a precinct within the same county adjoining that precinct is eligible.

The Polk County Republican Party accepts applications from eligible persons. Those applications are vetted by the Executive Committee, and then submitted to the central committee for an approval vote by a simple majority.

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