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How are candidates for office chosen in the town of Cicero?

— Cicero Democrats use direct democratic method

By Deborah Gardner

Every two years, the voters of Cicero go to the polls to vote for their choice of, at a minimum, a town supervisor and two town councilors. Do you know how these candidates are selected?

The Cicero Democratic Committee uses a direct democratic method. The committee designates it candidates. There were 24 committee members as of June 2013 (out of a possible 52). The committee members designate their candidates at one of their meetings. These meetings are open to every registered Democrat in Cicero. The votes are weighted according to the voter population in a district. Therefore District 1 committee members have 139 votes each and District 12, 300 each. For each committee vacancy, the chair controls the votes. This year, because of the large number of vacancies, the acting chair could have cast the majority votes. As you can see, it is important that the Cicero Democratic Committee recruit members (no easy task) to help ensure greater participation.

Then between June and August, a caucus is held. This year it was held on June 11. The caucus is announced at least 10 days ahead of time. These announcements are posted in public places such as the libraries and the town hall, and they’re also published in local newspapers. It is open to every registered Democrat residing in Cicero.

Each person who attends has his or her name checked from a list of voters provided by the Onondaga County Board of Elections (BOE) to ensure party affiliation and residency. Each of these people may vote for the candidates. The committee's designated nominees are nominated; then nominations are taken from the floor. Anyone who meets the residency requirements can be nominated, regardless of party affiliation. Also, the nominees do not even have to be present; they can vote by absentee ballot.

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