Bylaws and Standing Rules

 

BYLAWS

of the

CALIFORNIA DEMOCRATIC PARTY

STATE CENTRAL COMMITTEE

RURAL CAUCUS

These Bylaws passed by ⅔ majority of a quorum of Rural Caucus members meeting during the California Democratic Party (CDP) Convention Meeting on February 23, 2018 in San Diego and replace the Bylaws as last amended on 11/17/2017 at the Rural Caucus meeting during CDP Executive Board in Millbrae.

ARTICLE I

NAME AND PURPOSE

SECTION 1: NAME

The name of this organization shall be the Rural Caucus (herein referred to as “The Caucus”) of the California Democratic Party (CDP),  or simply, “The Party.”

SECTION 2: PURPOSE AND MISSION

  1. PURPOSE. The purpose of The Caucus shall be to promote Democratic rural values, identify, discuss and address rural issues,  accurately represent the needs of rural Democrats, and to elect Democratic candidates in rural areas at all levels of government.  
  2.  MISSION. To achieve the established purpose The Caucus will engage in a program to recruit rural Democratic members to assist the party in:

1) identifying rural values and issues;

2) identifying issues and solutions including legislative;

3) identifying viable candidates to help achieve those resolves and solutions, and  

4) using Rural Caucus resources (when applicable) to support this mission.

  1. AUTHORITY OF BYLAWS.   These Bylaws shall govern the organization, operation, and function of The Caucus.   
  2. FOUR-YEAR ANNUAL WORK PLAN.   The 4-year annual work plan included in the CDP Certification of The Caucus, voted on by majority vote (more than half) of the Officers and ratified by the Members, shall provide additional guidance as to the operations and direction of the Rural Caucus.  
  3. ACTS.   The Caucus shall elect officers and shall conduct such other business as the policy and program of the Caucus may require.
  4. ENDORSEMENT PROHIBITIONS. The Caucus is prohibited from taking independent positions on such matters which are contrary to the positions of the CDP and may not  take a position on a ballot measures or endorse candidates for partisan or nonpartisan offices unless a candidate has received an official endorsement of the CDP as provided in its bylaws, the caucus may recommend for endorsement any statewide office to the California Democratic Party (CDP).
  5. CAUCUS FOR ALL THINGS RURAL.   The Caucus prohibits discrimination on the grounds of race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disabilities as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 or economic status.

 

ARTICLE II
MEMBERSHIP

SECTION 1: QUALIFICATION FOR MEMBERSHIP.  

All persons who are i) registered Democrats , pursuant to the laws of the State of California, or (ii) ineligible to register as Democrats due to Election Code, but who have expressed an intent to register as a Democrat upon becoming eligible are eligible for membership in This Caucus, have an interest in identifying rural issues and promoting rural Democratic values  of California, subscribe to the purposes of the Rural Caucus and have paid dues, or has had dues waived, shall be a “Member in Good Standing” with full voting rights.

SECTION 2:  CERTIFICATION OF ELIGIBILITY.  

Prior to being considered for membership, a prospective member shall sign an application for enrollment affirming self as either a (i) registered Democrat pursuant to the laws of the State of California, or (ii) ineligible to register as Democrats due to Election Code but who intends to register as a Democrat upon becoming eligible, and has an interest in identifying rural issues and promoting rural Democratic values of California and subscribes to the purposes of the Rural Caucus.  

SECTION 3:  MEMBER BENEFITS & COMMUNICATIONS.   

In enrolling, the Member who does not provide an email address consents to waiving largely digital based benefits and communications  through the Caucus Facebook page, website and email communications. Members may opt in to email notifications at any time by contacting the Chair.

SECTION 4: MEMBER ELIGIBILITY SOURCE DATA.  

Eligibility is verified based upon review of the application declaration indicating that the filer is registered as a member of the Democratic Party  and evidence of dues payment or waiver.   

SECTION 5: MEMBER NOTIFICATION

  1. LIMITATIONS.  Notifications to Members of the Rural Caucus are limited to those described in this section. Members who provide an email address at which they can be contacted do consent to send, receive and consider valid all notices via electronic means, including email. otherwise U. S. Postal First Class mail delivery, or hand delivery with signed member receipt, is considered notification.  Members are obligated to inform the Chair of This Caucus in writing of any change in address or email address or change when opting out of or into email delivery of Notifications.
  2.   WEBSITE POSTING.  Publication of any Rural Caucus notice via website posting will be considered valid if written notice (of the type specified in Section 5 (A) of this article provides a link to such posting and the person(s) entitled to individualized notice of the information in question is/are afforded the opportunity to request that a copy of the text thereof be mailed to him/her via U.S. Postal Service mail. The opportunity to make such a request must be explicitly referenced in any individualized notice provided to such person
  3. INITIAL NOTIFICATION.  Upon verification of eligibility and payment of dues by the Member, but no later than 30 days after enrollment, the Chair of The Caucus shall send to new members a notification of their Membership  in The Caucus with full voting rights.  The Notification  shall state the date and place of the next regular or special meeting of The Caucus and shall inform the Member that meetings are concurrent in time and place with CDP Conventions and CDP Executive Board meetings. The Chair of The Caucus shall attach or enclose with the initial  notification a copy of these Bylaws, any available agenda for the upcoming meeting, and other documents that require notice (i.e., bylaws changes) and a reminder of when to pay dues.
  4.  REGULAR NOTIFICATIONS.  After initial notification of membership as provided in Section 5 (C) of this article, any paper “notification” to those with no email address is limited to 1) regular or special meeting notifications along with the proposed agenda and current approved bylaws, if revisions have been approved at the previous meeting, and 2) any other documents that require notice (i.e. bylaws changes), 3) a reminder to pay dues if dues are late as noted in Section 5(E) of this article.
  5.  TIMELINESS OF NOTIFICATIONS. Timely notification of agendas shall be considered 10 days prior to a regular or special Meeting except when agendas include proposed changes in the Rural Caucus Bylaws, then timely notice is 30 days with both a copy of the current bylaws and the proposed bylaws attached.  A reminder to pay dues shall be sent with the agenda for the convention meeting of The Caucus.
  6.  PRIVACY.  In providing contact information to The Caucus, Members waive privacy rights only to the extent that they allow  their  email address to be placed on a serve-list for communication by officers and members to members of The Caucus.

SECTION 6: DUES

  1. TIMELY PAYMENT.  Dues shall be paid by The Caucus’s members at the time of initial application for Membership and thereafter shall be considered timely for the year  if paid prior to (or in line to pay during) the first hour of  the Rural Caucus meeting at the annual CDP Convention. After processing all those in line to pay during the first hour, the registration table will close and no more ballots or voting credentials will be issued for that meeting.     Payment of dues or obtaining a waiver is required  of the Member prior to issuance of a voting credential. Dues are payable to “California Democratic Party.” The membership by majority vote establishes and may change the time, manner and amount of the payment of Dues.
  2.  NON PAYMENT.  Membership lapses when dues are not timely paid.   Membership is suspended if dues are not paid or waiver is not received. Voting privileges are suspended when dues are late.
  3.  MINIMUM DUES. LEVELS OF SUPPORT. The dues for each annual membership period shall be a minimum of $20 effective January 1, 2016.  Dues may be paid at higher levels of support under a tiered structure that may be established by the Officers.  No extra benefits or voting rights are provided to those  paying dues at higher levels, however recognition from the Chair may be given to those choosing to pay dues at higher levels than the minimum.
  4. WAIVING OF DUES.  The Dues of The Caucus may be waived on an annual basis upon request and appeal of hardship made to the Treasurer/Enrollment Official at the time of enrollment or renewal.  
  5. USE OF FUNDS RAISED BY DUES.  The Caucus shall neither raise  funds other than nominal  dues, nor disburse funds other than standard or routine costs of regular meetings (such as postage, and other costs associated with notice, as well as the cost of meeting rooms).  The Chair may pre-approve any eligible expense up to $200.  These costs shall be promptly accounted for and processed according to the rules promulgated by the Finance Committee of the CDP.

ARTICLE III

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

SECTION I:  OFFICERS

  1. COMPOSITION OF COMMITTEE.  The officers of The Caucus shall be the Chair, 10 Regional Chairs, one of whom will be voted by the other Regional Chairs as “Vice Chair,” a Secretary, a Treasurer, and a Communications Officer.  
  2. POWERS AND AUTHORITY:  Together, the Officers shall be the Executive Committee and will have the power to conduct any business which cannot be delayed until the next scheduled meeting. As the Executive Committee is representative of the membership, no vote may be taken by secret ballot. Any such action must be reported at the next caucus meeting for concurrence and how each officer voted. The Executive Committee may meet and cast votes electronically, including by telephone, web chat,  and/or email.
  3.  BUDGET:   Following the Regular Election, the new Officers shall propose a budget for the two-year election cycle and notify The Caucus members 30 days in advance of their vote to establish said proposed budget at the first CDP Executive Board meeting following the Regular Election.  The budget requires a ⅔ majority vote.

SECTION 2: QUALIFICATIONS  

Officers shall meet the following qualifications:

  1.  The Caucus Chair and Caucus Vice Chair must be a member (“delegate”) of the Democratic State Central Committee when nominated for the Officer position prior to the Rural Caucus Regular Election Meeting. .
  2.  The Caucus Vice Chair must also be an elected Regional Chair.
  3.  Regional Chairs must have their primary residence within the region for which they are elected.

 SECTION 3:  REGIONS

The Titles of the Regional Chairs and the Ten (10) Regional Jurisdictions identified by specific counties as follows:

Region 1 Northern Coastal Chair​ – Del Norte, Humboldt, Trinity, Mendocino, Lake, Sonoma, Napa, Marin;

Region 2 Northern​ ​Chair​ – Siskiyou, Modoc, Shasta, Lassen, Plumas, Sierra, Nevada;

Region 3 Northern Central​ ​Chair​ – Tehama, Glenn, Butte, Colusa, Yuba, Sutter, Yolo, Sacramento;

Region 4 Bay​ ​Area​ ​Chair – Solano, Contra Costa, Alameda, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara;

Region 5 Gold​ ​Country​ ​Chair​ – Placer, El Dorado, Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, Tuolumne;

Region 6 Central​ ​Chair​ – San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced;

Region 7 Central​ ​Coast​ ​Chair​ – Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura;

Region 8 South​ ​Central​ ​​Chair​ – Mariposa, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare, Kern;

Region 9 Southern Coastal ​Chair​ – Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego;

Region 10 Inland​ ​Empire/Desert​ ​Chair​ – Mono, ​Inyo, San Bernardino, Riverside, Imperial.

 

SECTION 4:  DUTIES

Officers shall have the following duties and responsibilities:

  1. Chair: The Chair of the Caucus is the CDP Executive Board Representative and shall preside over all meetings.  In the absence of the Chair the Vice Chair shall perform the duties of the Chair.  In the absence of the Chair and the Vice Chair, the chair will delegate the duties to another officer.  The Chair, in consultation with the Officers, establishes the agenda and shall distribute to the Members and the Secretary of The Party, the agenda of any regular or special meetings along with the Bylaws (as provided in Article II, Section 5), ten days prior to the meeting or delegate this function to any appointed member of The Caucus. The Chair presides generally over the function and activities of The Caucus.  The Chair appoints the Election Officials who are ratified by a majority vote of the Executive Committee.  
  2. Regional Chairs (10): Regional Chairs must convene at least one properly noticed teleconference or in person Regional meeting between Rural Caucus meetings.   All Rural Caucus members and County Central Committee chairs within the respective region shall be invited.  Notice of the meeting will be sent by email.  Failure to convene a regional meeting claiming contact lists were not provided, exempts the Regional Chair from the vacancy rule.
  3. Vice Chair: The Vice Chair shall represent the Rural Caucus at CDP Executive Board meetings in the absence of the Chair and perform other functions as delegated by the Chair. In the absence of the Chair, the Vice Chair shall preside over meetings and perform other functions as delegated by the Chair or as voted on by ⅔ of the Regional Chairs.
  4. Secretary/Parliamentarian:  The Secretary shall take minutes at all regular, aboard and executive committee meetings of The Caucus and provide a draft copy of minutes to the Chair and/or post them online for review within three weeks after each meeting. Once reviewed by the Chair they will be posted online for review by the membership prior to the next scheduled meeting.  Each time the Caucus convenes, the Secretary should also have, at each meeting, a list of all standing committees, and such special committees as are in existence at the time, as well as copies of these bylaws and minutes from prior meetings.   The Secretary shall act as PARLIAMENTARIAN and upon dispute shall be called upon to cite rules, laws and procedures pertaining to the conduct of The Caucus meetings.  At the end of the term office shall release to the new Secretary all records and documents associated with the office of Secretary of the Caucus.
  5. Treasurer: The Treasurer of The Caucus shall i) submit status reports to the Caucus at its regular meetings.    ii) verify eligibility for enrollment, update the Member Roster, maintain enrollment applications, collect and deposit dues in The Caucus bank account and approves hardship waivers.  iii) be responsible for Member contact information and shall prepare a spreadsheet to be delivered to the officer’s monthly if updates have occurred.  iv) be the keeper of all Credential Cards and Provisional Credential Cards, assigned and blank and maintains said Credential Cards from meeting to meeting; v) be an authorized signer for all disbursements from the Caucus account vi) promptly account for all Caucus funds and prepare financial reports, as required by the Finance Committee of the Party.  vii)  at the end of his/her term release to the new Treasurer all records and documents associated with the office of Treasurer of The Caucus.
  6. Communications Officer:   The Communications Officers shall use member roster provided by the Treasurer to update the member and officer email server lists and other communication tools.  Provide technical and communication support to maintain social media, and the Caucus website as tools to inform members and the public of activities of the Caucus as directed by the Chair.

SECTION 5:  ELECTION OF OFFICERS

  1.   Each officer shall be elected for a term beginning when they are sworn in at the Rural Caucus Regular Election meeting and ending after the newly elected Officers are sworn in as an outcome of the election at the following Rural Caucus Regular Election.  
  2.  Officers elected mid-term at a Special Election shall complete the remaining term of the office
  3.  All Officers shall be elected by the entire membership of The Caucus, except the Vice Chair.
  4. The newly elected Regional Chairs shall elect the Vice Chair from among their number who qualify.
  5.  All voting for The Caucuses officers shall be by ballot.
  6.  Member dues must be paid or waived prior to voting.
  7. Except for the Vice Chair position, the election process shall be governed by “Election Rules and Procedures” adopted by the members and included as special rules in “Addendum 1” to these Bylaws.  
  8. No later than 30 days following the Regular Election, the Chair shall call a Vice Chair election meeting providing 7 to 10 days notice and will accept nominations from Regional Chairs to be included on the slate of candidates for the position of Vice Chair.  The Regional Chairs shall elect the Vice Chair by a majority vote from said slate.  The vote count shall be recorded specific as to how each Officer voted and published with the minutes.  

SECTION 6:  VACANCIES

In the event that an office becomes vacant, an election to fill the vacancy shall be called for the next Regular Meeting and the Executive Committee may appoint an acting Official until the vacancy is filled by election.  

A vacancy occurs when:

  1. An officer moves out of state
  2. A regional Vice chair moves out of the region represented.
  3. An Officer resigns or is removed.

SECTION 7:  REMOVAL OF OFFICERS

An officer of The Caucus may be removed from office for Party disloyalty such as endorsement or support of a non-Democrat in a partisan election, misconduct or neglect of duty in office.   Upon being given 30 days notice, an opportunity for a hearing before the Executive Committee and a concurring vote of ⅔ of the members, the removal is effective immediately.  

SECTION 8:  APPOINTMENTS

  1. The chair may appoint members of the Caucus for support roles after seeking input from the Executive Committee.
  2. Regional Chairs are encouraged to recruit and to appoint Regional Assistants to support regional outreach.
  3. Appointed Officials, appointed committee chairs and other members serving in the capacity of support roles shall have voice but no vote at Caucus Executive Committee meetings,
  4.  The Chair by ratification of the majority vote (more than half) of the Officers may establish Standing Committees.  Committee Chairs shall be appointed by the Chair and ratified by majority vote (more than half) of the Officers.  The Committee Chair shall establish the size of the committee and appoints members of the committee upon recommendation of the Chair.

  

ARTICLE IV

MEETINGS

SECTION 1:  PUBLIC MEETINGS

All public meetings of The Caucus shall be open to all members of the Democratic Party and members of the Press and invited guests regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, religion, ethnic identity, sexual orientation, persons with disabilities as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 or economic status.  Member enrollment processing shall be conducted at the entry door of all public meetings.    

SECTION  2: REGULAR ELECTION MEETING

The Caucus shall convene its first regular meeting for the election cycle term at both the CA DSCC Convention following the Presidential Election and the CA DSCC Convention following the Gubernatorial Election. This meeting shall be the “Regular Election Meeting” when Executive Officers are elected.

SECTION 3:  REGULAR MEETINGS.  

Caucus meetings shall be held at each Party convention and Eboard meeting.  The caucus meeting may be cancelled by a majority vote of the Executive Committee.

SECTION 4:  SPECIAL MEETINGS

The Caucus may have Special Meetings in any of the following ways: a) Upon call of the Chair; b)  Upon call of a majority vote of the Executive Committee of The Caucus; or c)  Upon the call of the Chair within 15 days after receipt by the Chair of a written request signed by a majority of the members of The Caucus.

SECTION 5:  PLACE OF MEETINGS

Regular meetings of the members will be held at a time and place,designated by The Party.  Virtual meetings of the members may be scheduled  by the Executive Committee.

 SECTION 6:  AGENDA

  1. The agenda for all regular meetings shall be determined by the officers of This Caucus.
  2. The agenda may include provisions for the adoption of amendments to bylaws, election of officers, endorsement of resolutions and legislation, and such other matters as may be deemed in the best interest of The Caucus.
  3.  All caucus members shall be notified no later than ten (10) days prior to the meeting.

SECTION 7:  QUORUM

Ten percent (10%) of the membership of The Caucus including at least one officer shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. A Caucus meeting shall not be held if a quorum is not present.   

 SECTION 8:  PROXIES

No proxies allowed.   

SECTION 9:  VOTING

  1. OFFICER VOTING.   Minutes of all Executive Committee meetings with a record of how each individual Officer voted shall be recorded and kept by the Secretary..  Members have the right to know how individual Executive Committee officers voted on issues, policies and other matters impacting the Caucus.  Executive Committee minutes shall be made available to the membership upon review by the Chair.
  2.  MEMBER VOTING.  The Members preserve their right  to one member, one vote per race or matter, and a  secure, and counted secret ballot at the first determining step of the Officer selection process and the first level of participation at which an individual Member  expresses his/her personal and individual preference pertaining to Executive Officer selection.  All matters to be voted on, other than candidate races, shall be voted publicly by the member holding up the member’s own credential card to be counted.
  3.  ELECTION PROCEDURES.  Officer elections shall be governed by the “Election Rules and Procedures” established by the members and included as “Standing Rule No. 1” of these Bylaws.   The Election Rules and Procedures shall provide for an Election Committee which shall be a Standing Committee of the Rural Caucus.

ARTICLE V:   OBLIGATIONS UNDER
GENERAL PROVISIONS OF CDP BYLAWS

The Rural Caucus specifically recognizes its obligations to adhere to the General Provisions of the CDP Bylaws. In all cases not provided for by law, CDP Bylaws or by these Bylaws, the meetings of The Caucus shall be governed by the latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised (RONR).

ARTICLE VI:  AMENDMENT OF THE BYLAWS

SECTION 1: AMENDMENT These bylaws may be amended at any meeting of The Caucus, provided that the Caucus amends these bylaws in the following manner: a) The amendment must be submitted to The Caucus and filed with Secretary no less than thirty days (30) prior to the meeting at which the amendment is to be voted on;  b) a copy of the amendment shall be sent with the meeting notice to each member of The Caucus at least ten days (10 days) in advance of the meeting at which the amendment is to be voted on, and, c) Amendments to the bylaws shall be approved by two-thirds (2/3) vote of those members  present.

SECTION 2: EFFECTIVE DATE These bylaws or any amendment thereto shall become effective immediately upon their adoption.

(((((BYLAWS PASSED 11-17-2017 and Article III, Section 3 amended on February 23, 2018)))))

CDP Rural Caucus Standing Rule # 1:   

ELECTION RULES & PROCEDURES

ARTICLE I: DEFINITIONS

This Article defines the various components of  ballot voting at the Regular Election of the Officers of the CDP Rural Caucus and  credential voting by members with regard to other matters.

SECTION 1:  ELECTION DAY.  Election Day is the day established by the California Democratic State Central Committee (DSCC) for the Rural Caucus to meet at the  Convention following the Presidential Election and, or, the Gubernatorial Convention.

SECTION 2:   VOTER, PROVISIONAL VOTER.  A  Voter is a Member in Good Standing as defined in the bylaws whose dues are paid or waived prior to the convening of a meeting when an election will be held.   A Provisional Voter is an unverified member.

SECTION 3:  REGISTRATION, CREDENTIALING AND BALLOTING TABLES.  A Rural Caucus registration and credentialing  table shall be located in the credentialing area  (preferably the CDP Credentialing area or secondly, in the hall immediately outside the meeting room entry)  which shall be used for New Enrollments or Renewals, and Credentialing  of members who have already paid their dues for the year or have had their dues waived based on hardship.  A second table shall be established for members to receive their ballots outside the entry of the Regular Election meeting room.

SECTION 4:   MEMBER ROSTER.  Members and members  in good standing shall be listed on the member roster maintained by the Treasurer; the roster shall be used for registration of members, to record attendance, payment of dues and issuance of member credentials at each meeting.   

SECTION 5:  CREDENTIAL, PROVISIONAL CREDENTIAL.  “Credential” refers to a Rural Caucus Credential  issued to a Member in good standing at every meeting.  The Member is to sign and date the back of the Credential at every meeting.  The Member in Good Standing is entitled to be a Credentialed Voter; only one credential may be issued per member and this is tracked in the roster by the Credentialing Official..  A Provisional Credential is issued to Provisional Voters who sign and date the back.   Credential are to be used for voting during the meeting by openly raising the card up to be counted.   Credentials are returned at the end of the meeting.

SECTION 6:   BALLOTS AND VOTING INSTRUCTIONS, BALLOT ROSTER AND LOG
A. Ballots and Provisional Ballots  are issued for all Officer elections.   Provisional ballots shall be printed on a different color of paper than Ballots.

  1.  Both the Ballot and the Provisional Ballot will contain the same words printed in no smaller than 12 point arial or other easily legible font.
  2. Ballots list the contested offices, candidates names under each listed office, a line with blank space in the list of candidates for each office to be utilized by the voter for write-in candidates.
  3.  Ballots include voting instructions to effectuate the following:  In all races a space shall be provided before the name of each candidates and the voter shall be instructed to place a “1” by their first choice and a “2” by their second choice including any candidate that the voter elects to write-in.     A disclaimer shall state that only valid write-in candidates will be counted.
  4.  A Member Roster marked “BALLOT ROSTER” shall be used to track issuance of Ballots.   A notebook marked “ PROVISIONAL VOTER LOG” shall be used to track issuance of provisional ballots.  

SECTION 7:  BALLOT BOX.  All ballots, including provisional ballots shall be deposited in the slot at  the top of the   “BALLOT BOX,” The Election Official may make available a second ballot box in the event of an anticipated heavy voter turnout or a complicated multi-component ballot that might cause counting delays.  These are  kept at the end of the Officer table, or at a separate table in the front of the meeting room or carried by the Election Officer to the seated voter(s) for the collection of ballots. In the event that a second ballot box is used, it shall be kept on top the table with the first box but with the slot covered until the first box is taken to the count tables

 SECTION 8:   COUNTERS.   In addition to the Ballot Official and the Provisional Ballot Official, up to six counters may be appointed by the Chair in consultation with the  Election Official.

SECTION 9:  OBSERVERS.  One Observer per Candidate per counting table will be allowed in the counting area to observe at each counting table and may stand behind the Counters but may not sit at the table with the Counters. 

ARTICLE II.

ELECTION COMMITTEE, OFFICIALS AND DUTIES

SECTION 1:  THE ELECTION COMMITTEE.  The Election Committee  shall be the Election Official/Credential Official, the Enrollment Official/Treasurer,  the Ballot Official, the Provisional Ballot Official  and the Sergeant-at-Arms.

SECTION 2:  ELECTION OFFICIAL.  The Election Official is a Member in Good Standing of the Rural Caucus who is not a candidate for office.   The Election Official shall Chair the Election Committee.  The Election Official shall be appointed by the Chair and the appointment must be ratified by majority vote (more than half) of the Officers. The Election Official is also the Credentials Official except at the Regular Election or when high member enrollment is anticipated.  The Election Official shall be:

  1. a)  authorized  to resolve disputes concerning election procedures, voter eligibility, ballot counting or provisional ballots, when that resolution process is to take place and whether and when there is any appeal within the Caucus from said resolution.   
  2. b) generally responsible for the overall operations and security of the election.  The Election Official will supervise  the overall process of credentialing, membership enrollment, collection of dues, and the issuance of credentials, bylaws and ballots  according to the procedures provided herein,
  3. c)  provide relief to the other Election Officials when needed.
  4. d)   shall oversee the management and security of Voter Rosters,  Credentials, Provisional Credential, Ballots, and Provisional Ballots at the meeting place.
  5. e)  responsible for overall arrangements of the Credentialing, Dues Payment, Enrollment and Elections tables and waiting line area once such provisions have been secured by the Chair.   
  6. f)  responsible for  setting  up the Member Credentialing, Dues Payment, Enrollment and Balloting table(s) at the entry door with the assistance of the Credential Official, the Treasurer/Enrollment Official, Dues Collector,  the Ballot Official and the Provisional Ballot Official ;
  7. g)  Shall cause to be produced accurate and sufficient printed Ballots and Provisional Ballots, and secure the ballots prior to delivering of said materials to the Election Meeting Place two hours before the commencement of the Regular Election. Prepares the valid  “write-in candidate” list and delivers it to the Balloting Table prior to opening of the poll.
  8. h)  Is responsible for security and transparency of the Ballot Boxes at all times during the election.
  9. i)  Prepares tally sheet to be used for vote counting, supervises the tallying of the vote by  the counters then delivers the tallied results to the Chair.
  10. j)  Secures the Voter log, voted Ballots, voted provisional ballots, spoiled, surrendered and unused ballots, the tallies and until 10 days after the CDP Executive Board meeting next succeeding the balloting or the resolutions of any challenge or appeal, whichever is later.  

SECTION 3:  ENROLLMENT OFFICIAL.  The Member Enrollment Official is the Treasurer or if Treasurer is also a candidate, the Chair shall appoint a Member in Good Standing who is not a candidate which appointment shall be ratified by a majority vote (more than half)  of the Officers.  The Member Enrollment Officer obtains from CDP Secretary staff the CDP member roster showing who has registered and paid Rural Caucus dues online and updates the Rural Caucus membership roster with the names of caucus members who pay at the door.   The Enrollment Official issues application forms, reviews applications, determines party eligibility, accepts dues payments, determines validity of waiver documentation and either issues a Provisional Credential Card or prepares a  Credential Card for a new Member in Good Standing by printing voter’s name on the back of the correct colored Credential Card, and making certain that the member signs and dates the credential before releasing it to the member.  The Treasurer/Enrollment Official will bring three (3) copies of the current roster to the caucus meeting for use by Election Committee except at the regular election meeting when a fourth copy shall be brought for the Ballot Official.

SECTION 4:  DUES COLLECTOR AND  ASSISTANT.  The Treasurer/Enrollment Official is also the Dues Collector however  when a large turnout or high enrollment is anticipated or experienced, the Provisional Ballot Official assists as  Dues Collector but during a Regular election, the Treasurer appoints a Dues Collector Assistant.   The Dues Collector Assistant shall be seated next to the Treasurer/Enrollment Officer and shall establish an additional line to accept the payment of dues from continuing members.  

SECTION 5:  CREDENTIALS OFFICIAL and ASSISTANT.   The Elections Official is also the Credentials Official and shall be assisted by the Ballot Official except at a  Regular Election when a Credential Official Assistant is appointed by the Election Official.   At every meeting, the Credentials Official shall receive  from the Treasurer/Enrollment Official the credential cards, and shall be responsible for their security until proper issuance to individual members by retrieving  the Members preprinted Credential for issuance to Members in Good Standing previously enrolled, making sure that the Member signs and dates the back.   When an election is called to a close, the Credentials Official moves to a position inside the meeting room at the door to assist the Sergeant-at-Arms with the collection of the Credentials Card and Provisional Credential Cards as voters exit.   At the close of the meeting the Credential Official retrieves from the Sergeant-of-Arms the surrendered Credentials Card and the Provisional Credential Cards  and returns all credentials to the Treasurer.

SECTION 6:  BALLOT  OFFICIAL.  The  Ballot  Official is not a Candidate and shall be a Member in Good Standing appointed by the Chair and ratified by a majority vote (more than half) of the Officers prior to the Regular Election. The Ballot Official receives from the Election Official the unvoted Ballots and guards their security.  The Ballot Official is seated next to the Credentials Official, reviews the credential while writing in the Voter Roster and on the Ballot the name stated on the credential, then returns the credential to the member, has the member sign and date the Voter Roster, and the back of a Ballot before  issuing said ballot.  At the close of the Election, the Balloting Official shall tally and return all spoiled, surrendered or unused ballots and return them along with the tally to the Elections Official.

SECTION 7:  PROVISIONAL BALLOT OFFICIAL.   The Provisional Ballot  Official is not a Candidate and shall be a Members in Good Standing appointed by the Chair and ratified by a majority vote (more than half) of the Officers prior to the Regular Election. The Provisional Ballot Officer receives from the Election Official the unvoted  Provisional Ballots and guards their security.  The Provisional Ballot Official is seated next to the Ballot Official and reviews the provisional credential card while writing the name stated on the credential in the Provisional Voter Roster and on the Provisional Ballot  then returns the credential to the member, has the member sign and date the Provisional Voter Roster and the back of a Provisional Ballot before  issuing. At the close of the Election, the Provisional Ballot Official shall tally and return all spoiled, surrendered or unused provisional ballots and return them along with the tally to the Election Official.

SECTION 8:  SERGEANT-AT-ARMS.  The Sergeant-at-Arms is a Member who is not a candidate and is appointed by the Chair and ratified by the Officers.  The main responsibility of the Sergeant-at-Arms is to monitor the entrance/exit of the meeting room for forged Credentials and Ballots and collect Credential Cards and Provisional Cards as Members exit during and at the end of the meeting while verifying the current date and signature are on the back of each card collected.  During the Regular Election, the Sergeant-at-Arms may assist, or relieve,  the Elections Official at the credentialing table while the ballots are being counted The Sergeant-at-Arms returns all collected Credentials to the Treasurer at the close of the meeting room while assisting the Chair in clearing the room after the close of the meeting.   The Sergeant-at-Arms shall assist in keeping the peace as directed by the Chair and according to personal discernment. The Sergeant-at-Arms is responsible for the entrance and exit of the door and directs others to seek the facility’s security staff when necessary or calls 9-1-1 in the event of an emergency. 

ARTICLE III:   

NOMINATIONS, ELIGIBILITY, CAMPAIGNING   

SECTION 1:  NOTIFICATION OF RURAL CAUCUS REGULAR ELECTION.   At the last meeting of The Caucus prior to its Regular Election, the Election for Officers shall be announced and the nominations shall be open for Officer positions.  Within two weeks after the California DSCC Delegate appointment deadline for the Conventions following the Gubernatorial Election  and the Presidential Election, the Chair shall invite all  CDP delegates and Rural Caucus members to enroll or renew their membership and the Chair shall also notify them of the Rural Caucus Election, including the necessary nomination forms, the Bylaws and Election Rules and Procedures, the list of open positions and the specific deadlines for nominations or a reference to the Article and Section in the Election Rules and Procedures that explains the deadlines and process. Notification shall be subject to the limitations in Article II, Sec. 5 of the Bylaws.    

SECTION 2:  DEADLINE FOR NOMINATIONS.  All candidates must submit their completed and signed nomination papers to the Secretary of The Caucus by the “DEADLINE” 20 days in advance of the Regular Election, along with a Certification of their Delegate Membership in the Democratic State Central Committee when required for the position to which they are applying.  Any filing after the 20 day deadline is referred to as a “Nomination from the Floor” and the verified eligible nominee is referred to as a “WRITE-IN” whose  write-in name on the ballot may be considered a valid vote.  48 HOUR RULE:  Nominations from the floor made less than 48 hours in advance of the commencement of the election, including during the caucus election meeting, are not guaranteed an eligibility determination.    The write-in of names of nominations whose eligibility has not been determined is not considered a valid vote.

SECTION 3:  CANDIDATE QUALIFICATIONS

  1. NOMINATION FORMS.  A standardized “Candidate Intent/Nomination” form shall be issued to nominees for office which must be completed and signed before filing.   The application shall include space with a word limitation for the inclusion of a candidate statement and a waiver allowing the Rural Caucus Communications Chair to  post it on the caucus Google Group page and other social media.     Floor nominees do not have the benefit of a candidate statement published by the Rural Caucus
  2. QUALIFICATIONS.  All candidates must be current (paid/waived) Members of the Rural Caucus  at the time application is made.  
  3. DSCC DELEGATE REQUIREMENT FOR CHAIR AND VICE CHAIR. At the time of their nomination to the Rural Caucus Chair or Vice Chair position, the Rural Caucus member must also be a DSCC member in good standing (delegates) for the purpose of being eligible to vote at the DSCC Executive Board meetings.
  4.  REGIONAL RESIDENCY REQUIREMENT FOR REGIONAL CHAIRS. .  Proof of regional residency is required for Regional Chair candidates. Said proof must be of the principal residence of the candidate defined per IRS Publication 530 as wherein the candidate spends most of their time living.

SECTION 4:   ELIGIBILITY DETERMINATION AND  SOURCE DATA FOR VERIFYING

Candidate eligibility is verified by the Election Official based upon:

  1. a) review of the candidate application
  2. b)  review of the membership application
  3. c) review of the roster of The Caucus showing membership, membership date and evidence of dues payment or waiver
  4. d) the CDP database if DSCC membership is required; and proof of principal address, if regional residency is required for the position.

SECTION 5:  CAMPAIGNING

To avoid long speeches during the Regular Election meeting, Candidates may campaign on the public social media of this Rural Caucus and may have access to the Rural Caucus Google Group.   A list of members along with the contact information of those members who do not consent to email shall be provided to the valid nominees/candidates.

ARTICLE IV

VOTING

SECTION 1:   CREDENTIALING

  1.  THE RURAL CAUCUS CREDENTIAL. Meeting attendees must retrieve their personalized Credential or a Provisional Credential at each meeting if they intend to vote during the meeting.   The Credentials Officer releases the Credential after the Member signs the meeting roster and signs and dates the back of the issued card at each meeting.  The Enrollment Official may issue a Credential or Provisional Credential after review of eligibility and processing of the member application as described below.  A Credential or  Provisional Credential will be necessary to obtain a ballot or provisional ballot at a Regular Election. The Credential or Provisional Credential will be held up publicly on any motion on the floor AND shall be surrendered to the Sergeant-of-Arms upon exiting the meeting.   
  2.  RURAL CAUCUS CREDENTIAL REQUIRED TO OBTAIN BALLOT.   In order to participate in a ballot vote in the Officer candidate races, a Credential or a Provisional Credential must first be secured and then  displayed to the Balloting Official.   
  3.  NO VOTE BY PROXY.  PROVISION FOR VOTER ASSISTANCE.   Except in cases of voter aid and assistance, no member shall credential, obtain a ballot or deposit a vote for another member.  In cases of voter aid, a form shall be filled out by the aid indicating who they are and which member they are assisting.

SECTION 2:   THREE CREDENTIAL  LINES

To avoid congestion and to process member credentialing more efficiently, three lines shall be established at the table outside of the meeting room door:   a) FAST LANE (Prepaid Members)

  1. b) DUES LANE (Members not prepaid); c)  NEW LANE (New enrollees who need to sign up and pay).

SECTION 3:   SETTING UP THE LINES

  1.  CREDENTIALING TABLE.   The Treasurer/Enrollment Officer, Dues Officer  and  Credentialing Officer or their assignee shall bring the current member enrollment roster, credentials, provisional credentials,, member application forms, and copies of the Bylaws to the credentialing area and prepare the table for enrollment, dues payment, and credentialing.
  2.  BALLOTING TABLE.  The Election Officer shall bring the current member enrollment roster and the ballots both regular and provisional to a table set up outside the meeting room entry.  Together with the Ballot Officials the Election Official shall inspect the ballot boxes to determine that they are empty before sealing (except for the slot on top) prior to the opening of the poll.  In the event that a second ballot box is used, it shall be kept on top the Officer’s table with the first box but with the slot covered until the first box is taken to the counting tables by the Election Official who will at that time also uncover the slot of the second ballot box  so that voters may continue to deposit ballots in the second box which is to be removed to the count tables after the close of voting.

SECTION 4:  PROCESSING THE VOTERS

  1.  FAST LANE. (PREPAID MEMBERS)

Continuing Members who have pre-registered prior to the convention meeting may obtain their Credential and Ballot directly from the Credentials Officer by signing and dating the Pre-registered Member Roster next to their preprinted name and the back of their  Credential.    The Credentials Officer processes members in this line.

  1.  DUES LANE  (NOT PREPAID).  Continuing members who have not paid their dues must pay dues before obtaining their credential.    Unless Members are listed on the Pre-registered member roster along with the date(s) of their enrollment, they will need to enroll and pay their dues at the Dues Line.  The Treasurer processes members in this line.
  2.  NEW LANE (NEW UNPAID ENROLLEES)  The Enrollment Officer processes members in this line.  Applicants shall complete the form and file with the Member Enrollment Official.   The Enrollment Official shall verify eligibility for enrollment, collect and deposit  member dues into a metal lock box; and review proof of economic hardship to determine validity. The Enrollment Official shall: 1) verify eligibility for enrollment;   2) update and keep current the member roster, with new enrollees names or members paying dues at the door; 3)  print the name and DSCC delegate affidavit number and, or voter registration number as proof of Democratic Party membership, and 4) print  the amount of payment and the date of enrollment on the roster. 5) issue a copy of the Bylaws to the new member along with a credential; 6) issue a provisional credential and the bylaws to those persons whose membership eligibility cannot be verified due to time, lack of data or waiver authorization.

SECTION 5:  VOTING BY BALLOT

  1.  BALLOT LINE.  A fourth line shall be set up for issuing ballots.  The Ballot Official and Provisional Ballot Official shall be responsible for this line and may split the line or assist each other to rapidly process ballots but two rosters shall be kept, one for those member receiving ballots and one for provisional members receiving provisional ballots.
  2.   OBTAINING BALLOTS.  After receiving their credential or provisional credential, ballot  voters will commence to either the Ballot line or the Provisional Ballot line, respectively.

 1) The Ballot Official  shall: a)   find the name stated on the credential in the Ballot Roster.   b) If the name is not in the roster, the Ballot Official shall write the voter’s name on a blank line in the back of the roster; c)  have the member sign and date the Voter Roster; d) issue the ballot; e) tell the voter where the ballot box is located.       

2) The Provisional Ballot Official shall a) write the name stated on the provisional credential in the Provisional Ballot log along with the identification number printed on the provisional ballot; b) have the provisional member sign and date by his/her printed name in the log; c) issue a numbered provisional  ballot to the provisional member,  d) tell the voter where the ballot box is located.

  1.  WRITE-IN CANDIDATES.   A list of  valid write-in candidates if any, prepared by the Election Official shall be available at the Balloting Table.  

SECTION 6:  CLOSING ENROLLMENT.  When the enrollment of all desiring to pay dues are processed, the Enrollment Official and Treasurer count the contents of the dues box, verify the total against the enrollment forms received, sign and date a tally slip and deliver the slip, forms and funds  to the Treasurer prior to close of the meeting.

SECTION 7:  LAST CALL TO REGISTER The Chair shall announce  a “Last Call to Register” after the first 55 Minutes of the Regular Election Meeting giving 5 minutes to get in line to vote. Anyone not in line to be processed to vote at the point in time 5 minutes after “Last Call to Register” will be precluded from voting by the Election Official. The Election Official shall either  hand out numbered placeholder tokens to those who were in line before the cutoff (one hour after the commencement time of the meeting prescribed by the CDP) and, or,  position self or designee at the end of the line to mark the cut off point.

SECTION 8: CLOSING THE POLL. The poll is closed by announced order of the Chair  one hour after the meeting was scheduled to commence.  After all voters are processed,  a count shall be made by the respective Balloting Officials of the issued, unissued, spoiled, or surrendered  Ballots and Provisional Ballots. Totals are reported and unvoted ballots, the  totals and the spoiled/surrendered ballot log are surrendered to the Election Official.  

SECTION 9: CONFORMING VOTED AND UNVOTED BALLOTS.  The total of voted and unvoted Ballots and Provisional Ballots should be equal to the total number of Ballots and Provisional Ballots produced.  If the number does not conform, the Election Official reports the  ballot total discrepancy to the Chair along with the vote tally. For spoiled, surrendered or unused ballots, a log is kept by the two Ballot Officials with an explanation as to why the ballot was returned unused or deemed spoiled.

ARTICLE V

VOTING BY BALLOT

SECTION 1:  INSTANT RUNOFF VOTING.  On the ballot the Voter ranks the candidates in each race in order of preference.   Marking the ballot with more than one preference number by a candidate’s name (“stacking” or “cumulative voting”) will invalidate the ballot for runoffs and only the first choice will be counted.   No number by a candidate’s name shall indicate the voter’s intention to decline to vote.  The instructions shall remind the voter that valid write-in candidates are allowed to be listed by the voter and included in the voter’s numbered ranked choices.

SECTION 2:  TIMELY DEPOSIT OF BALLOTS.  The voter deposits the ballot  into the slot of  the tamper proof, sealed ballot box.    To guarantee that their vote gets counted, voters must deposit their ballots prior to the vote boxes being sealed just after the “Last Call to Vote” is  announced by the chair  during the meeting.

 SECTION 3:   LAST CALL FOR BALLOTS;  After the poll is closed, the Chair may allow additional time for those holding ballots to vote while speeches are being made before announcing  the “Last Call to Vote” bringing the voting to a close,,   Ballots will continue to be accepted and counted until the cutoff when the Chair announces “Seal the Ballot Box.”  The Election Official shall tape the drop slots shut then deliver the boxes to the counting table.

ARTICLE VI

PROCESSING THE  BALLOTS

 SECTION 1:  TALLYING THE VOTE.  

  1. UNSEALING THE BALLOT BOXES.  After the poll is closed the (remaining) Ballot Box will be removed to the counting table and processed according to Section 1B.  In the event that the Election Official has made available a second ballot box, the first box may be removed to the counting table and counting may commence of the ballots in the first box prior to the close of the poll but the second box must remain available on the Officer’s table in the front of the meeting room until after the Chair orders the sealing of the ballot box bringing the voting to a close.
  2.   TALLYING THE VOTE.  The count table(s) shall be unclothed, observable and situated in the meeting room but cordoned off from the member sitting area.   Only Counters will sit at the counting table.  The Election Official acts as inspector at the counting tables and defends against potential irregularities.    At the counting table the Election Official shall unseal the ballot box, remove all of the ballots, display the inside of the box showing members and counters that the box is empty, and  divide the ballots into lots of 25..  Each counter shall be given 25 ballots to count at a time. After counting, each lot of 25 shall be clipped together with the tally sheet for that lot stating when the count was completed and  the signature of the counter. The tally sheet and counted lot of ballots are handed to the Election Official for consolidating the tallies. The Election Officer consolidates the tallies.   After consolidating the tallies, the tallies and the ballots are  placed in a large clear zip locked bag marked Counted Ballots. A parallel procedure will occur for Provisional Ballots which shall be counted simultaneously but separately from regular ballots. One counter shall be assigned to the provisional ballots.
  3.  CONDITIONS AND PROCEDURES FOR COUNTING PROVISIONAL BALLOTS.  If the tally of the votes on the regular ballots indicates that the spread between the votes for a particular contest  is less than the number of provisional votes for that contest, then the provisional ballots shall be taken into consideration  with regard to that particular  contest however the outcome of the vote will be considered provisional until the eligibility of the Provisional Voter can be verified.   The vote of only those Voters determined to be eligible to vote shall be counted. An effort to resolve provisional eligibility issues by the end of the Rural Caucus meeting shall be made.   If all provisional voters cannot be determined on site, the Election and Ballot Officials shall declare the affected races to be in question and will have a period of one (1) month in which to resolve the eligibility issues and report back to the Caucus as a whole the results of their investigations and the final results of those races

SECTION 2: REPORTING  THE VOTE COUNT  AND BALLOTS.  After the votes are tallied, the Election Official delivers the tallied results to the Chair and secures the  Voter log, the tallies and the voted and and unvoted ballots until 10 days after the CDP Executive Board meeting next succeeding the balloting or the resolutions of any challenge or appeal, whichever is later.  Barring appeal or challenge, the Election Official shall be the only person with access to the voting materials after the election.  At the end of the above period, the election shall be declared certified and all balloting materials excluding membership application records shall be securely destroyed.

ARTICLE VII

ELECTION RESULTS

SECTION 1:  DETERMINING THE RESULTS.   Officers are elected by a majority vote (more than half).  Provisional voters that can be determined are taken into consideration in the vote count. Voting shall be tabulated in a series of one or more rounds, each conducted with the following steps.  Ballots are initially tabulated for each elector’s top choice. If a candidate secures more than half of these votes, that candidate is elected. Otherwise, the candidate in last place is eliminated and removed from consideration and the second choice votes on the ballots cast for the eliminated candidate are added to all the votes already counted for the continuing candidates. If a candidate secures more than half of the votes counted, that candidate is elected, otherwise this process repeats itself with the second choice votes on the ballots cast for the eliminated candidates being distributed to the continuing candidates, except if votes were cast for a candidate who has been eliminated, then the lower ranked choices shall be chosen in order until a non-eliminated candidate has been found or the ballot is exhausted.  If there are only two candidates remaining, the candidate with the most votes is elected.  If the vote is tied in any round for the candidate in last place, a coin is tossed for the last place position–the loser is eliminated. At any time in this process, a candidate may elect to step down and defer to the other candidate(s).

SECTION 2:  ANNOUNCING THE RESULTS.   The (current) Chair announces the results of each ballot race, including those races in abeyance due to questions of eligibility.  

SECTION 3:  CERTIFICATION OF RESULTS:  Following the announcement of the results of the election, any Member in Good Standing remaining at the meeting may move to certify the election by a vote approving the Chair’s ruled election results. Said general motion shall be declared out of order if there are races in abeyance, however a motion to ratify all resolved races shall be in order.  After a second is made, arguments challenging and in favor of the election result ruling shall be heard by the members prior to the Chair calling for the vote to ratify. After the vote or lack of motion, the Members may move to take other action (recount the vote, disqualify a candidate, call for a new election, and, or, bifurcate the results).  If the election for a particular contest is ratified, the newly elected Officer(s) shall be immediately sworn in.

SECTION 4:  CHALLENGES.  Nothing in this Article shall prevent a Member of the California Democratic Party from challenging any aspect of the election by filing with the Credentials Review Committee of The Party under the processes defined in the in the CDP bylaws.

 

 ((((((((((ELECTION RULES & PROCEDURES  PASSED  11-17-2017 )))))))))