By Norman Machelor
Next week, between April 25 and May 3, the political parties, Republican, Democrat and Conservative, will each conduct a party caucus in the village. A caucus is simply a private meeting among the registered voters of a political party to decide which of several candidates for public office will be selected to appear on the ballot of their party for the village election of June 21.
Such caucuses are one of the oldest forms of democracy, as they require registered voters to appear in person to hear and vote for candidates for public office with a ballot that could be an open show of hands or a secret ballot; the form of which is determined, on the spot, by those in attendance.
A caucus is managed by Roberts’ Rules of Order, as nominations, seconds and individual speeches are given. There is no minimum or maximum number of voters. Those who show, vote. The winning candidates will have their names on the ballot on Election Day, with the party designation they earned at the party caucus.
The caucus voters can select anyone eligible, and candidates do not have to be members of the political party that selected them. So, a registered democrat can appear at a Republican caucus if a registered Republican nominates them and that nomination is “seconded” by another Republican. Once anyone is nominated and seconded, a vote must be held to determine the winner. This is how a registered Republican can appear on the ballot under the democrat line; and frankly, could easily appear on both the Republican and Democrat line.
A caucus is one of those few times that your actual registration to vote as a member of a political party matters. The other is during a primary election. In all other elections, you can vote for who you feel is the best candidate, regardless of party. Many people who vote in the general election, who are not registered in a particular party, miss this opportunity to actually select those who appear of the ballot.
The complete process usually takes less than two hours. If you are registered with a party, please avail yourself of the opportunity to participle in this democratic process.
Both the Republicans and Democrats have planned a caucus on April 27 at 6 p.m. at the Red Brick schoolhouse. The Conservatives will caucus on Thursday, April 28, at 6 p.m., again at the Red Brick.
Hope to see all registered voters there!
As submitted by the respective political parties:
•Conservative Party to caucus in Lewiston
The Conservative Party of Lewiston will hold a political party caucus on Thursday, April 28, in the Morgan Lewis Village Boardroom in the Red Brick Municipal Building, 145 N. Fourth St., for the purpose of selecting its endorsed candidates for the election to be held June 21.
Niagara County Conservative Party Chairman William (Bill) Ross has given the authority to hold this caucus for the registered Conservative voters in the village. He noted it has been years since the Conservatives have held a village caucus, and Ross hopes it will be a standard way for Conservative voters to ask those standing for public office their positions on conservative values and principles.
A press release said, “If you are registered as a Conservative, please take this opportunity to caucus with your fellow Conservatives in selecting the best candidates for village office.”
Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. People can begin to register. The caucus will begin at 6 p.m.
The press release said, “Please bring your ID. Only registered Conservative voters living in the Village of Lewiston will be admitted. The caucus chairman said he has a list of those eligible to vote, and that the entire process will take about an hour.”
•Village of Lewiston Democrats to caucus
A Democratic caucus to nominate candidates for the office of Village of Lewiston mayor (four-year term), and also for two four-year terms as trustee, will take place Wednesday, April 27, in the Morgan Lewis Boardroom inside the Red Brick Municipal Building, 145 N. Fourth St.
The event begins at 7 p.m. Candidates selected must reside in the Village of Lewiston. Those wishing to nominate or vote at the caucus are asked to bring photo identification. Only registered Democrats who reside in the Village of Lewiston are eligible to nominate and vote for candidates at the caucus.
Niagara County Democratic Party Chair Christopher Borgatti appointed resident Savana Bevacqua as chair of the caucus.
Attendees must comply with any public safety requirements put into place by the village, if any, on the date of the caucus.
The village election will take place Tuesday, June 21.
•GOP caucus in Lewiston
The Village of Lewiston Republican Party will hold an election caucus at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 27, at the Red Brick Municipal Building, 145 N. Fourth St. This caucus is open to registered Republicans living in the Village of Lewiston.
Residents will vote for mayor and two trustee spots in the June election. Each office holds a four-year term.
Those attending the caucus requiring any special accommodation or needing assistance attending can contact Chairman Karl Frankovitch at 716-998-0376 or [email protected]. He said, “We will make every effort to assist every eligible voter to attend and exercise their right to choose their governmental leadership in a fair and transparent manner.”