State and local party organizations help to raise funds, attract volunteers, and publicize their candidates for all these state legislative, city council, county treasurer, and other elected posts. State and local party organizational power has shifted markedly over time. In the late 1800s, many urban party organizations functioned as political “machines,” which controlled city governments by bringing lots of new immigrants to the polls to vote for their party. Most states reflect the traditional American suspicion of political parties by extensively regulating their party organizations. State laws often tell parties how they must choose their candidates, who can sign a party’s petition to get on the ballot, even the types of public buildings in which parties must hold their conventions. Most precinct committeemen and women are chosen at local party caucuses or in primary elections. Party caucuses are meetings in the precincts and wards that are open to any voters in the area who consider themselves affiliated with the party.