In the state of Kentucky, the Republican party is organized at the state, county and preinct levels. Electing people to serve starts at the precinct level and moves up.
How does it work?
There are 120 counties in the state of Kentucky. Each county is represented by 5 county officers. Those officers are:
- County Chairman
- County Vice-Chairman
- Youth Chairman (a person 40 years of age or younger)
The first two officers are VERY important as those two officers become VOTING members of the "Republican Party State Central Committee".
On a statewide basis, IF all the county officer positions were filled for all the counties, there would be 240 county officer members of the state committee (120 X 2). If all 240 positions were filled, that group would constitute the majority voting block at the state level. There are others who are part of the state committee, but they are NOT elected by this process.
How do County Officers get elected?
County Officers are elected by the precinct officers in their respective county. Counties are broken down into voting precincts. Each precinct has the possibility of 3 officers called "captains":
- Precinct Captain
- Precinct co-Captain
- Youth Captain (a person 40 years of age or younger)
Example: In Jessamine County (where I live) there are 36 precincts. Each precinct is allowed to elect 3 precinct officers. 36 precincts X 3 precinct captains means that Jessamine County would have, in a perfect world, 108 precinct officers.
In Jessamine County those 108 precinct officers become the "County Committee". The County Committee, by majority vote, elects each of the officers of the county.
Precinct officers are elected by getting the majority of votes of the Republicans from that precinct. Of course these are the Republican voters who bother to show up on the date and at the location of the precinct election.
Where and when are those elections held?
Wait, there's a BIG problem…
Imagine an election where no one knows there is going to be an election and where no one knows where and when it is being held. It's worse, they don't even know what the election is for.
Now before you start laughing or shaking you head, most counties only have a fraction of the precinct officers that they are allowed. Why? Because only a small group of Republicans understand how this process works. The people who do know when and where these elections occur are very few and even fewer show up. The few who do show up end up deciding the whole outcome of their county's elections. As a result, a small group of people end up deciding the county officers who serve at the state level.
Example: Imagine if only 24 people showed up for ALL the Jessamine County precinct elections. Remember, 108 precinct officers can be elected. The entire group of 24 could nominate themselves as their own precinct officers, and then vote themselves into those precinct offices. Once the precinct elections are over, those 24 people (now precinct officers) would go on to become the County Committee and those 24 people would elect the County officers.
That's pretty much what happened 5 years ago, the last time Jessamine County had its precinct and county elections. And I would venture to guess that some counties in Kentucky are even worse. So the entire leadership makeup of the state Republican committee is being determined by very small groups of Republicans who know what's going on. As long as they can keep these elections a secret, and no one shows up, they control the party.
Folks, this has been going on for decades.
Are you ready for a change? Are you ready to participate? Will you stand as a precinct officer?