The precinct is the most “local” unit in American politics.
If you’re not familiar with it, put simply, a “precinct” is essentially your neighborhood. It’s a geographic area with specific boundaries, (usually defined by your state), that surrounds the place where you go to vote. The name of your precinct is listed on your voter registration card.
There are more than 203,000 precincts in the United States, each with an average of about 1,000 registered voters. Politically, they represent the building blocks of the entire American political and electoral system. Every political district in America, (whether school board, local council, state legislature or congress) is just a different combination of different precincts.
They are the pieces to the American political jigsaw puzzle.
Politics (and political power) is all about people
In American politics power flows from the bottom (the precinct level) up, because precincts are where the people are.
Bottom line? If you’re organized in the precincts you can have an influence on multiple elections at all levels.
It also helps in grassroots lobbying campaigns, since most incumbent politicians are interested in getting re-elected – and people who are organized in the precincts tend to get their attention.
Good grassroots organization emphasizes the important role that precincts play by focusing on individuals who are willing to identify, educate and organize others in their own neighborhoods. That goes for campaigns, grassroots lobbying efforts and gaining influence in the Republican Party.
No matter what issue you have a problem with, or what aspect of politics you’re interested in, having an impact at the precinct level means being able to have an impact further up the political food chain.
You could say it’s a case of “think globally, act locally”.
Have other ideas or thoughts? Share them in the comments section below.