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Friday, June 05, 2015

 11:22 AM 

Single ballot planned for Dem state chair with plurality winning office

Winning this weekend's state party chair race could take as little as 26 percent of the vote.

That's because a simple plurality is needed in the four-way race with only one ballot to determine the next chair.

"I can tell you it is a very high level of interest for the first time that anyone can remember going back 30, 40 years," outgoing Chair Mike Tate said during a recent WisPolitics.com luncheon.

Here is a short overview of how the race will be run and who's eligible to vote:

*Only delegates at the state convention who are in good standing are eligible to vote. County parties sent in the names of their delegates to DPW several weeks ago, and those who applied faced a deadline last month to make sure they were in good standing with the party, which includes making sure their dues are up to date.

*Each county is assigned a number of delegates to attend the convention based on results in the previous fall's election, and there is a maximum of 2,223 slots for delegates. If more party members apply to be delegates than there are slots available, each county can choose its own system to designate delegates. Those who are not named delegates can still attend the convention as alternates.

*Dane and Milwaukee counties -- by far -- have the largest allotment of delegates, according to a list from the state party. Dane County has a maximum of 305 delegates, while Milwaukee County has 299. Brown County is a distant third with 87, while Waukesha County has 77 and Racine County 74. Dane and Milwaukee counties account for more than one-fourth of the vote alone.

*If delegates do not show up at the convention, alternates who are present are elevated to delegates.

*Registration runs Friday and Saturday morning between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. Those in line to register by 11 a.m. will be allowed to vote. Open delegate slots will then be filled by alternates.

*The vote is scheduled to run from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. Each campaign is allowed four election observers in the room while votes are counted.

*The new chair takes office immediately after a victor is declared.

"The transfer of power is about 90 seconds long," Tate said, "which some question if that is the best modus operandi for handing over what is essentially a multimillion-dollar-a-year corporation, but that's how we do it."

Editor's note: This post has been updated to correct it's now a four-way race and 26 percent could win.

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