FAQs

What is a Democratic Town Committee? A DTC is the local arm of the Democratic Party and nearly every community has one. It supports the activities of the Democratic Party by interviewing and endorsing candidates for elected office and working to help those candidates – or the winner of the party’s nomination through a primary – run successful campaigns through canvassing, phone banking, Get Out the Vote, and other activities. A DTC also lends support to regional, state, and national elections and provides delegates to party conventions at every level. The DTC is not a legislative body – it does not pass town budgets or ordinances, nor is it part of municipal government. By bringing engaged Democratic voters together, it does allow for sharing of ideas and ideals to help guide policy for the betterment of the community. DTC members are endorsed, not elected, by their fellow registered Democrats and serve two-year terms.

What is canvassing? Canvassing, or knocking on doors, is the campaign activity of systematically going to voters’ homes and having a conversation. Face-to-face interactions are the most powerful way to persuade voters to vote for your candidate or to show up to the polls on Election Day. It’s also the best way for a candidate to carefully track the progress of convincing voters to vote for them.

What is phone banking? Another campaign activity, phone banking is about having brief chats with voters who have already been identified as being supportive.

What is “Get Out the Vote (GOTV)?” This is the last stage of a political campaign, when it’s time to follow up with all the people who have said they will vote for your candidate to actually get out to the polls on Election Day. It’s also a great time to ask voters if they will need a ride to the polls, which the West Hartford Democrats are happy to provide!

What is a primary election? Primary elections, also just known as primaries, are the pre-election process for constituents to select their preferred candidate for upcoming general elections at all levels of government. A primary is only necessary if more than one individual from the same party wishes to run for the same office in the general election. There are two kinds of primaries:

  • Open Primary: An open primary allows for any registered voter, regardless of declared political affiliation, to cast a vote.
  • Closed Primary: A closed primary is restricted to voters registered with the same party that has candidates running. Connecticut is a closed primary state. The decision to have an open or closed primary is a constitutional issue and not one made by any political party.

What is the purpose of a convention? In politics, a convention is a meeting of delegates of a political party at the local, state, or national level to select candidates for office. Conventions might also provide an opportunity to elect executive committees of the parties and adopt rules governing the party’s organization. In practice, they also act as rallies for the election campaigns that follow.