Election of Delegates to the California Democratic Party, 2021-2022

By Connie Sullivan —

In January of every odd-numbered year the California Democratic Party (CDP) elects delegates to their annual conventions for a two-year term.  These elections are held in each Assembly District and are called, logically, Assembly District Election Meetings (ADEM).  Until this year, they were held in person but COVID-19 has imposed a change and the elections will be conducted exclusively by mail.

Registered Democrats in each Assembly District elect seven “self-identified females” and seven “other than self-identified female” delegates.  Also, the voters elect one of these 14 delegates to be the Executive Board member from the Assembly District.  This person attends the conventions and two more Executive Board meetings each year of the two-year term. The election of the Executive Board member was changed this year to be the highest vote-getting delegate from the 14 elected delegates.  This year the CA Democratic Convention will be held in April.

If you wish to run as a delegate or wish to register to receive a vote-by-mail ballot, go to https://adem.cadem.org/ for details; note there is a $30 candidate fee.  The deadline to register to run as a delegate is December 15, 2020.  PV Dems President Kathy Bradford has registered to run as a delegate.  We’d love more club members to consider running as well.  After the December 15th deadline, we’ll be able to provide you a list of all the delegates who are running.

The deadline to register to receive a ballot is January 11, 2021.  The https://adem.cadem.org/ is the place to go to register to receive a ballot.  Once you register, you will be emailed a Voter Registration ID and will be mailed a ballot.

These new procedures were developed in response to COVID-19, but they are also expected to make the process more accessible to more voters than the in-person ADEMs.  And that’s a good thing.  Interest in these elections has grown tremendously in the last few years.  In 2013, 90 people voted in our Assembly District 66 election, in 2015 the number was about 200, in 2017 almost 400 voted, and in 2019, 635 showed up at Hesse Park to cast ballots.  It will be interesting to see how many vote this time with these new procedures.

Here’s more information from the CDP website about the CADEM Delegates’ roles.  Together, CADEM Delegates vote and conduct Party business at the yearly State Convention and Executive Board meetings, including:

  • Election of CDP Officers: Chairman, two Vice-Chairs, Secretary and Controller (in odd-numbered years after presidential elections)
  • Election of 16-25 Regional Directors who function as liaisons between the California Democratic Party, County Central Committees, and Democratic Clubs in regions comprised of 3 to 5 Assembly Districts (in odd-numbered years)
  • Vote for the Endorsements of the California Democratic Party for partisan legislative and statewide offices in California
  • Vote for Positions on Ballot Propositions (as needed)
  • Establishment of the official California Democratic State Party Platform (in even-numbered years), and CDP Resolutions


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