New Democratic PCO Handbook

Precinct Committee Officers (PCOs)

Elected PCOs are voted into office during the primary election in even-numbered election years to serve two-year terms. If no PCO is elected in a particular precinct, then a PCO can be appointed by the Skagit County Democratic Party Chair to serve in that precinct after the biannual reorganization meeting. For more information about the requirements for becoming an appointed PCO, send an email to our Chair, Lynn Campbell at

What does a PCO do?

PCOs play an important role in electing Democrats. It’s their job to get to know their neighbors, educate undecided or swing voters, and make sure Democrats are registered to vote. Before Election Day, they work to turn out voters. All this hard work adds up to precinct-by-precinct victories and the election of Democratic candidates. This is what grassroots politics is all about!

PCOs are also a central part of their local Democratic organization. They elect Party leadership, help fill vacancies in elected office, and lead their precinct caucus every two years. Becoming active with your local Democratic organization will make you a more effective PCO.


How do I become a PCO?

There are two ways to become a PCO – election by the voters in your precinct, or appointment by your local Democratic Party organization.


Democratic voters in each precinct will elect PCOs in August Primary. A candidate who runs unopposed will be automatically elected; contested elections will appear on the primary ballot.  PCOs elected in August will take office on December 1st. All candidates for PCO must file with their County Elections office. Filing week usually runs the third week in May, Monday to Friday at 4 pm. Online filing will be available 24 hours a day from 9:00 a.m. on Monday through 4:00 p.m. on Friday. Candidate Filing Mail Form on online form are only available during filing week at the Skagit County Auditor’s election pages. For more information, see the website of the Skagit County Elections office.


Local Democratic Party organizations have the right to appoint PCOs to fill any seats left vacant – either because no one filed to run, or because the elected PCO has stepped down. If your precinct is vacant, the Chair of your local Democratic Party organization can appoint you to serve as an “appointed” PCO starting immediately!

If your precinct already has a PCO, the Chair of your local Party organization can appoint you as a Captain for a precinct that you do not live in. Note that Captains do not have PCO voting rights. Any appointed PCOs living in those precincts replace the Captains of that precinct, if there is one.


For more information on PCOs: Washington State Democrats PCO Handbook