Thursday, September 21, 2017

FAQs

BPOU stands for Basic Political Operating Unit.  What that really means though, is that a BPOU is the lowest level of political organization.  In rural areas, a BPOU may be an entire county.  However, in urban areas, the BPOU encompasses only a particular Senate District or even a single House District.

The BPOU operates as a fairly independent group.  It has it's own leadership, membership, budget, etc.  During election years, each BPOU elects delegates at it's caucuses, those delegates then endorse candidates for office at that BPOU's convention.  During off-election years, it holds conventions to elect officers and other business.

However, a BPOU is also part of hierarchy.  Unless, the BPOU is a House District, it will have House Districts within it.  Each House District is represented in the state legislature by a Representative.  In addition, each BPOU encompasses quite a few precincts.  These precincts vary in size but are used to help organize votes and voting locations on Election Day.

A BPOU may contain an entire city, or only part of one.  It may contain several cities, or part of several.  A BPOU may encompasses an entire county, or only part of one.  It may also contain parts of several counties as well.  The point being is that there is no easy way to geographically define the boundaries of a BPOU.  

So who defines the boundaries? Well they are decided after each census by the state government.  The legislature draws the lines and then the governor signs off on them.  In reality though, this rarely works out and then the courts end up drawing the lines.

In the case of SD37, our BPOU encompasses Senate District 37, which comprises House Districts 37A and 37B.  While SD37 is entirely within Dakota County, it includes the cities of Apple Valley, Rosemount and portions of Burnsville.  In particular, it includes the all 16 precincts of Apple Valley, all 7 precincts of Rosemount, and 4 precincts of Burnsville.

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