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What is a PCO?

The Precinct Committee Officers hold the legal authority of the party. They are elected to a two-year term of office through public primary elections held in August of even-numbered years. They take office on December 1 and become the Central Committee of the Jefferson County Democrats. At the re-organization meeting of the local party in December of even-numbered years, they elect the Chair, Vice Chair, and a man and a woman to represent the local organization on the Washington State Democrats Central Committee.

Our PCOs also form the Central Committee of the 24th Legislative District Democrats, which is another party organization that includes Clallam County and part of Grays Harbor County.  JCD’s elected PCOs elect the Chair, Vice-Chair and Washington State Democrats Central Committee representatives of the 24th Legislative District (much like they do for our local party.)

Every two years, the Washington State Democrats Central Committee meets to elect a state chair and other positions.

Another statutory duty of the Jefferson County Democrats Central Committee is to nominate people to fill county offices held by Democrats when they become vacant. The PCOs interview potential replacements and put forward three names. The Board of County Commissioners then choose an appointee from those three names.

If a PCO position is vacant, the Chair can appoint people to fill the role, with preference given to residents of the district.

Those are the basics. PCOs have other responsibilities under the bylaws as well: voter registration, canvassing precincts, and Get Out the Vote (GOTV).

While the statutory authority of the party resides with the PCOs, and many board members are PCOs, the executive authority is with the Chair and the Executive Board. Board members, whether PCOs or not, do most of the organizing work of the party.