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To ensure that the Onondaga County Democratic Committee provides a fair and equitable process for all candidates seeking designation,  the Executive Committee has officially adopted the following procedures:





Any interested person, including currently elected officials, wishing to be considered as a candidate for

any state or local elected office in the County of Onondaga and who seeks the designation of the OCDC

shall be required to submit the following to the County Chair:


  1. A letter of intent and,

  2. A current resume


Candidates may email their submissions to:


Such correspondence can also be hand-delivered or mailed to:

Max Ruckdeschel, Chairperson

Onondaga County Democratic Committee

615 W Genesee Street

Syracuse, NY 13204


Submissions must be received by OCDC by 5:00 PM on January 2nd 2024.





The Chair, with the assistance of the Executive Committee, will review and evaluate the eligibility of

each prospective candidate, on a rolling basis, once submissions are received. Candidates must meet all state and local requirements to be a candidate for the office for which they are seeking. Candidates duly

enrolled in the Democratic Party will receive first consideration.


After being deemed eligible, OCDC will provide each candidate:

  1. a list of local Chairs and Democratic Committee Members within the electoral region for their race, including contact information and weighed vote totals,

  2. a copy of the Onondaga County Political Subdivision Chart,

  3. a list of all declared candidates,

  4. a schedule of dates, including the date for designating convention, and

  5. contact information for the Board of Elections (BOE will provide mailing labels to candidates upon request at a cost determined by BOE).


OCDC shall provide all members of the Executive Committee and all Town and Ward Chairs a

consolidated list of all candidates deemed eligible, including their contact information and the office

they seek, along with a copy of the political subdivision chart.



The City Chair and Towns Chair will coordinate with all local Town and Ward Chairs to schedule

candidate interview dates, inviting all candidates from the Chair’s consolidated list who seek offices

elected by each individual town or ward. Committee Chairs are encouraged to jointly conduct these

interviews based on overlapping geopolitical boundaries. 


It is the responsibility of the Town and Ward chairs to give adequate notice to all candidates regarding

date and times of interviews. If there is a joint meeting with several towns or wards, one chair should be

selected to provide notice to the candidates regarding date, time, and place of interview, as well as to

serve as the point of contact for any follow-up inquiries from the candidates.


To avoid scheduling conflicts for interview dates, Chairs will consult the City or Towns Chair and the OCDC Calendar. Chairs will inform OCDC of all interview dates as soon as they are set, and they will be added to the countywide calendar. Dates will be posted on the OCDC website ( with regular updates.




Candidate designation shall take place via confidential mail-in ballot. Pursuant to the rules of OCDC,

there will be no proxy voting.


Mail-in ballots must be RECEIVED at OCDC in the envelope provided, no later than 5:00 p.m. on Friday, February 2, 2024. The office will be open until that time for late arrivals on the 2nd. Mailed ballots must have been received by then. Ballots are date-stamped and logged-in upon receipt. OCDC provides a secure submission box to drop ballots if the office is closed. Instructions printed on the mail-in ballot and the ballot envelope need to be followed. Both the mail-in ballots and the back of the envelope must be signed in the spaces provided and the envelope sealed when returned to OCDC. Sealed ballots will be opened and tabulated by the independent auditors.


On February 8th at 6:00PM, a Countywide Designating Convention will be held to take up official committee business, conduct any required run-off elections, and announce designation results. Only eligible committee members, elected officials, candidates and selected guests will be permitted to attend.

All motions for the designating meeting will be written and pre-filed on a form provided by OCDC.

Only duly qualified members of the OCDC are eligible to cast votes. Official notice of the meeting, along with the adopted voting procedures will be provided to all Committee members and eligible candidates at least five (5) days ahead of the meeting, in accordance with OCDC rules.




  • All nominations and first ballot vote tabulations shall be performed prior to the convention. There will be no in-person first round voting.  Nominations shall be by form and approved by the Chair.

  • All motions will be pre-filed and recorded.

  • Vote tabulations will be conducted by independent auditors, and auditors will retain all ballots.

  • Per OCDC rules, 1/3 of eligible committee member ballots in a town/ward constitutes quorum. 


The independent auditors will calculate quorum by town/ward and tabulate weighted votes for all candidates. When the quorum is met, the eligible non-cast votes will be distributed in the proportion to the cast votes in the respective town or ward. An eligible vote is one from a filled committee slot.  In the case that a town or ward does not meet quorum, only cast votes will be counted.


The results will be provided to leadership prior to the convention. If runoff elections are necessary, the affected candidates and committee members will be notified (up to 48 hours prior to the convention) of the need for an in-person runoff election.  Runoff elections will be held in person at the February 8th convention.  For members not in attendance, mail in ballots will carry forward to run-off elections for affected candidates.


All voting will be by weighted vote.  Members may split their weighted votes between candidates or choose to award their votes to one candidate. 


Candidates must receive 50% plus one vote to become the nominated candidate.   In the case where multiple seats are open for the same office, a plurality will suffice. For example, in the case of two positions for Councilor-At-Large being nominated (open), with three candidates being considered, the two candidates receiving the most votes will be the nominated candidates. In races where plurality determines the nominees, no candidate may receive more than the committee member’s total weighted vote.


Per a court ruling, an eligible committee member has the right to vote for a candidate seeking the nomination for an office that represents the election district they represent, which may not necessarily be in the district where they reside.


Runoff Elections - Second Round Voting:

In the case that multiple candidates are seeking a single position, there may be a necessity for a runoff election.  If no candidate reaches the 50% plus one threshold, all candidates are eligible to participate in a second round of voting.  If no candidate receives 50% plus one vote in the second round, a third and final round of voting will be required. Mail in ballots will carry forward.


Runoff Elections - Third Round Voting:

If no candidate receives 50% plus one vote in the second round of voting, the top two candidates shall move forward to a third and final round of voting. Mail-in ballots will carry forward. 


The Chair shall deliver all results to the convention.


The OCDC Chair may recess the convention to reconvene at a later date, if needed. The convention continues after the recess and remains the same meeting until the OCDC adjourns.  



2024 OCDC Candidate Designation Timeline


January 2nd | Declaration of candidacy due to OCDC at close of business (5PM)


January 4th | Candidate Interviews may begin


February 8th | OCDC Countywide Designating Convention (runoff elections may be necessary)


February 27th | Start date for petitioning.

Committee members are required to carry petitions for all designated candidates


March 20th | Completed petitions due at OCDC Headquarters

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