You can make a real and lasting impact this election season by becoming a Democratic Precinct Captain 

Precinct Captains and precinct organizers are crucial to the success of candidates–and Democrats don’t have nearly enough of them in Canyon County.

Precinct Captains gather information from voters in their local area that candidates at all levels need.     

Candidates start their campaigns by appealing to known Democratic supporters for donations and volunteer help. Then candidate teams work to persuade undecided voters to vote for them. Finally, as election day approaches, teams Get Out The Vote (GOTV) by making sure both original and newly-persuaded supporters get to the polls.  

Precinct Captains make it possible for candidates to know who the Democratic supporters and the undecided voters are. Without this information each Democratic candidate has to use their volunteer time and donations figuring it out on their own. Without good voter information, each candidate needs to knock hundreds of extra doors. This is a very inefficient way for Democrats to win elections. 

This problem is compounded because often candidates don’t share the information they find out about voters. For example, none of the information the presidential candidates figure out about Canyon County voters will be shared with the Canyon County Democrats or our local candidates. 

When precinct captains figure out which voters are which, every Democratic candidate – local, statewide, or federal – is able to use that information to help their campaigns. And the information will be available to candidates in future elections as well as this one. The information Precinct Captains gather this year will help Democratic candidates for years.

To be a good Precinct Captain you start by introducing yourself to the other known Dems in your area (we have lists). I promise that many of these Dems will be happy to hear from you. It is likely that they feel isolated, and you can show them that they aren’t alone. Some of these Dems will probably be interested in helping you and soon you’ll have a small team. 

The next job is to talk to some of the 100s of voters that we know nothing about. Information on which voters are Democrats, middle-of-the-road, undecided, or Republicans is incredibly helpful to every Democratic candidate. 

It also helps if Precinct Captains can discuss what issues matter to all of these voters. Are the people in your precinct mostly worried about their kids’ schools? Or their healthcare options? Or the environment? Knowing what voters care about helps Democratic candidates understand their constituents and makes it possible for them to connect with voters on the issues that matter. 

As a Precinct Captain you may also find yourself registering new voters, helping people with absentee forms, and driving people to the polls on election day. And you’ll help with GOTV efforts by making sure all the Democrats in your precinct actually get out and vote. 

Precinct Captains have other duties within the structure of the Democratic party. They elect the District Chairs and County officers who vote on the Idaho Democratic party leadership. (Between you and me though, no other duties are nearly as important as getting to know the Democrats in your neighborhood.) 

By becoming a Precinct Captain you can make an impact on Democratic campaigns this year and in the future. 

If you are even a little interested, email us at We can get coffee and talk more about your precinct. 

And do it soon. Ada County has invited Canyon County Precinct Captains and potential Precinct Captains to a training on Feb. 22. Even if you are just curious, you can attend this training to learn more. 

Politics: Be a Precinct Captain!

by Idaho National Committeeman Pete Gertonson

  1. The world is run by those who show up. If you are happy with the way the world is being run — on a local, state and national level — you can sit on your deck and enjoy another novel or cast another fly toward a waiting rainbow. If you have some concerns about freedom of the press or hope that your favorite trout stream will still be available to future generations — or that perhaps you owe something to your community, to your children and grandchildren and your neighbor’s children and grandchildren, then you need to find ways to show up and help manage the world.
  2. We are the people we have been waiting for. One can sit around and complain about the decision-making of our elected officials, whether school board members, county commissioners, state legislators, or members of Congress — but they and their friends and supporters showed up. If you would like to see changes made in Idaho and America — in education, the national debt, the war, our own health as a people and the health of our environment— guess who needs to get involved. If you let someone else manage your government — and there are plenty of others out there who are more than happy to do so — you probably aren’t going to like what you get. Our current state and national governments illustrate my point!
  3. America is a democracy — for at least a little while longer. You have the opportunity, as an individual citizen, to have a major impact on your local politics, to influence your state’s political decisions, and to be part of movements that will impact the national and world scene. If people like you don’t get involved, and we become governed (or continue to be governed) by such groups as international corporations and neo-cons, our democracy could in fact go away.
  4. The only answer to organized money is organized people. As usual, Bill Moyers gets to the heart of the matter. Politicans can be bought. National administrations can be bought. Ordinary citizens like you and me are hopefully harder to purchase. We are in fact the wildcards in this scene, and if we become organized and create political movements, we can offset even organized money.
  5. Political organization begins at the grassroots level. All over America the building block of political parties is the precinct, the local neighborhood. Granted, in Idaho some of our “neighborhoods” are physically rather large — up to 75 miles across — but the precinct remains the first line of political organization and action.
  6. You can have an impact. As a precinct captain, you can leverage your own concerns with those of your neighbors and translate those concerns into political influence and, most important of all, into votes in the voting booths of America.

Maybe it’s time for you to show up and help govern the world. If ordinary people don’t get politically organized, we could actually lose our American democracy. You can help change the world — and serve the interests of your loved ones, your community, and yourself — by becoming politically active as a precinct captain with the Idaho County Democratic Party.

You are the one you’ve been waiting for. You are the one we’ve all been waiting for. Please join us and help make the world a better place. Today.

Note from the 2C Dems:

Precinct captains are members of the Canyon County Central Committee which meets the first Wednesday of the month at 7 pm, usually at the Canyon County Administrative Building, 111 N 11th Ave, Caldwell.

They seek out Democratic supporters in their precinct and see that their concerns and interests are recorded in the VAN database. They work to identify possible volunteers and donors and to register new voters.

Captains are part of the team working on Democratic campaigns, events, and fundraising within the county. They help in election activities, including Get-Out-the-Vote, poll watching, and monitoring the vote count.

Precinct captains are the backbone of the Democratic Party.