What is a PCO?
A Precinct Committee Officer (or PCO) is the elected Democratic Party official representing an electoral precinct under state law. Their primary responsibility is to represent their precinct in the 46th Legislative District Organization and on the King County Democratic Central Committee (KCDCC), and to make thoughtful choices as they vote on party governance issues.
We also rely upon PCOs to knock on their neighbors’ doors prior to each election, to remind them to vote and to provide them materials on our endorsed candidates. PCOs also serve as leaders and organizers for voters in their precinct.
All Democratic PCOs in the 46th Legislative District participate in electing the leadership of the 46th District Democrats and the KCDCC, including the chair, vice chairs, state committee members, treasurer, secretary, and other officers.
In short, Precinct Committee Officers are the backbone of our Party.
Who is my PCO?
We can provide you with the name of your PCO, or the fact that your precinct is vacant, if that is the case. You can find your precinct on the King County Elections website by entering your address, clicking Find, then taking note of the Precinct under My Voting Districts. Once you have that, please send your inquiry to pco-chair(at)46dems.org or click here for a list of all 46th District precincts and their current PCO status.
Information is accurate up to a reasonable timeframe, as there is a two-step approval process for PCOs in King County, under state law. There is customarily about a one month transition period between a PCO being appointed at a 46th district meeting, and the appointment moving through the KCDCC process.
Two ways to become a PCO:
Elected PCO: During the Primary Election of every even-numbered year, an individual may file with King County Elections to be elected as PCO for the precinct in which they are registered to vote. If more than one person files in a precinct, those names will be placed on the ballot and the Democratic voters in that precinct will choose whom to elect. If only one person files, they are automatically elected. They serve a two-year term beginning December 1st of the year they are elected.
Appointed PCO: A PCO can also be appointed to fill a vacancy. Just as with other elected offices, a vacant PCO office may be filled by the governing authority for the office and jurisdiction. Thus, the District Chair may appoint a PCO to a vacancy in their precinct. A second approval by the King County Dems Chair completes the process. These PCOs serve from the date of their appointment until the end of the two-year PCO term (November 30th of each even-numbered year.)
Becoming A PCO
If you are interested in filling a vacant precinct, please follow these steps.
- Contact our PCO Committee Chair at pco-chair(at)46dems.org, to confirm that your precinct has a vacancy.
- Once a vacancy is confirmed, fill out the PCO Application for Appointment form on the KCDCC website.
- At the next membership meeting for which notice of PCO appointment can be provided, the Chair shall introduce each applicant to the membership and entertain a motion to approve the appointment.
- If two applications come in the same month, we are required to hold an election with our membership between the two candidates.
- The names of the persons receiving the most votes or whose candidacy is approved shall be forwarded by the District Chair to the King County Democratic Chair for appointment to the office.
Special Voting Rights of Elected and Appointed PCOs:
Under state law and Party rules, Elected and Appointed PCOs have special voting rights on some issues and in some internal elections.
Reorganization Meetings: Elected PCOs play a special role at the biennial Reorganization meetings of the 46th District Democrats and the King County Democrats. Only Elected PCOs may vote for the Chair of these organizations, some other officers, and on bylaws amendments of each, under state law and the WSDCC Charter and Bylaws. The King County Democrats reorganization meeting occurs in early December of an even-numbered year, and the 46th District Democrats reorganization meeting occurs the following January.
Statutory Officer Vacancies and Bylaws revisions: During the course of a term, vacancies in statutory or representative offices of the district may occur. These offices are Chair, Vice Chair, the state committee members, and the KCDCC executive board representatives. These offices may only be filled by vote of the existing elected and appointed PCOs at the time of the vacancy. Bylaws revisions mid-term are allowed under the Bylaws, but must be by a two-thirds vote of the existing elected and appointed PCOs.
Legislative Vacancies: In the event of a vacancy in one of the three legislative seats in the middle of a term, a special meeting will be called by the Chair of the King County Democrats where Elected and Appointed PCOs will nominate three individuals to fill the vacancy. The King County Council will then appoint one of these three individuals to complete the rest of the legislative term.
Becoming an Acting Precinct Captain:
The District Chair may appoint persons to serve as Acting Precinct Captains in precincts without a PCO. Acting Precinct Captains must live within the District, but do not need to live within the precinct with the vacancy. Acting Precinct Captains cannot carry out any functions reserved exclusively to elected and duly appointed PCOs, and their voting rights are the same as regular members.
If you are interested in becoming an Acting Precinct Captain in the 46th District, please email pco-chair(at)46dems.org.
- Washington State Democratic Party Information
- PCO Handbook [English] [Spanish]
- King County Election Information
- Register to Vote
- VIDEO (5 minutes): Canvassing with MiniVAN
For additional information, please email pco-chair(at)46dems.org