The starting point of all things party is the elected PCP. You must be elected, not appointed. Appointed PCPs do not vote in key party elections.
The organizational unit closest to the grass roots is the county Central Committee, consisting of the county's PCPs. In odd-numbered years, in late Spring or Summer, the elected PCPs vote for delegates to the State Convention. This is where the ORP Platform is created - it is done directly by the grassroots!
In even-numbered years, after the General Election in November, the elected PCPs vote for county officers and delegates to the next higher organizational unit, the state Central Committee. Each county is represented by its chair, vice chair and zero or more delegates according to the number of registered Republicans in that county.
Every Presidential year, in the Summer, the elected PCPs in each Congressional district assemble and vote for:
- District Officers (four-year terms) - the district chair and vice chair serve on ORP Central Committee and the ORP Executive Committee..
- Presidential Electors - these are the seven people who actually cast ballots for President and Vice President when we win the Oregon popular vote.
- Delegates to the National Convention - what is important here is that the delegation elects its representation on key convention committees such as platform and rules.
The ORP Central Committee, generally in January of odd-numbered years, elects the state officers (for two-year terms). The ORP Chairman is one of three members of the ORP's delegation to the Republican National Committee (RNC). At the first meeting in Presidential years, the ORP Central Committee elects the other two, the National Committeeman and the National Committeewoman, for four-year terms.
So why is all this organizational stuff so important?
- If you want to affect county party operation, become an elected PCP!
- If you want to affect the state platform, become an elected PCP!
- If you want to affect the ORP operation, become an elected PCP!
- If you want to affect the RNC operation, become an elected PCP!
- If you want to affect the national platform, become an elected PCP!
Each county is divided in precincts, managed by the county's election division. Each precinct has a variable number of "slots", typically one to six. Each slot consists of a man and women (who are not connected or related in any way). You can be elected in your own precinct or any adjacent precinct.
PCPs are actually elected during the Primary Election and you must file a form, Precinct Committeeperson Candidate Filing SEL 105, with the county clerk, here in Oregon available at, http://sos.oregon.gov/elections/Documents/SEL105.pdf
Typically many PCP slots are empty. To avoid unnecessary contested elections in crowded precincts, county parties typically ask that you send your SEL 105 to them, not the elections division. The county party then fills precinct slots on a first come basis, moving late filers to adjacent precincts. This ensures that everyone gets elected.
If this process makes you feel uncomfortable, file with the county clerk and then notify the county party immediately. That way the party may have time to make adjustments. Failing to do this has resulted in the past that some people were not elected.