BYLAWS of the CALIFORNIA DEMOCRATIC PARTY
STATE CENTRAL COMMITTEE
These Bylaws replace the Bylaws last amended by 2/3 majority of a quorum of Rural Caucus members meeting during the California Democratic Party (CDP) Executive Board Meeting May 31, 2019 in San Francisco and need to be ratified by 2/3 majority during the CDP Convention in Long Beach November 15, 2019.
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
A. 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.
B. To achieve the established purpose, The Caucus will engage in a program to recruit rural Democratic members to assist the party in:
- identifying rural values and issues;
- identifying issues and solutions including legislative;
- identifying viable candidates to help achieve those solutions, and
- using Rural Caucus resources (when applicable) to support this mission.
C. AUTHORITY OF BYLAWS. These Bylaws shall govern the organization, operation, and function of The Caucus.
D. 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.
E. ACTS. The Caucus shall elect officers and shall conduct such other business as the policy and program of the Caucus may require.
F. 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).
G. ANTI-DISCRIMINATION POLICY: The Caucus prohibits discrimination on the grounds of race, color, creed, national origin, sex, gender identity, age, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disabilities as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 or economic status.
H. CDP CODE OF CONDUCT: The Rural Caucus acknowledges and agrees to adhere to the CDP Code of Conduct as part of our Bylaws. (See Article VII)
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, (iii) are of voting registration/preregistration age and 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
A. 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.
B. 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.
C. INITIAL NOTIFICATION. Upon verification of eligibility and payment of dues by the Member, 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 unless otherwise noticed. 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).
D. 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 or have them waived if dues are late as noted in Section 5(E) of this article.
E. 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 or have them waived shall be sent with the agenda for the Convention and Executive Board meetings of The Caucus to make sure all members are current and eligible to vote.
F. 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
A. 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.”
B. 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.
C. 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.
D. 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. Dues must be waived if economic hardship or legal or other objective impediment(s) to payment of dues is demonstrated by a written statement of the member.
E. 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
A. 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.
B. 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. The Executive Committee may meet and cast votes electronically, including by telephone, web chat, and/or email.
C. 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.
D. TERM OF OFFICE: The term of office is two years from convention to convention in the odd-numbered years.
SECTION 2: QUALIFICATIONS
Officers shall meet the following qualifications:
A. 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.
B. The Caucus Vice Chair must also be an elected Regional Chair.
C. 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:
A. 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.
B. 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.
C. 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.
D. Secretary/Parliamentarian: The Secretary shall take minutes at all regular, eboard 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.
E. 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 an authorized signer for all disbursements from the Caucus account v) promptly account for all Caucus funds and prepare financial reports, as required by the Finance Committee of the Party. vi) 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.
F. 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. The Communications Officer will 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
A. 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.
B. Officers elected mid-term at a Special Election shall complete the remaining term of the office
C. All Officers shall be elected by the entire membership of The Caucus, except the Vice Chair.
D. The newly elected Regional Chairs shall elect the Vice Chair from among their number who qualify.
E. All voting for The Caucuses Officers shall be by ballot.
F. Member dues must be paid or waived prior to voting.
G. 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.
H. 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:
A. An Officer moves out of state
B. A regional Vice Chair moves out of the region represented.
C. 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
A. The Chair may appoint members of the Caucus for support roles after seeking input from the Executive Committee.
B. Regional Chairs are encouraged to recruit and to appoint Regional Assistants to support regional outreach.
C. 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,
D. 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 Executive Board 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.
SECTION 6: AGENDA
A. The agenda for all regular meetings shall be determined by the Officers of The Caucus.
B. 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.
C. All caucus members shall be notified in writing of the agenda by no later than ten (10) days prior to the meeting where notice in writing shall be by email for those caucus members that have email and by physical mail for those that do not or who have opted out of email notifications.
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
The only proxies allowed to vote are actual delegate credential proxies; however, if the proxy is also a member of the Rural Caucus, he/she can only cast one vote.
SECTION 9: VOTING
A. 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.
B. 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.
C. 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: ELECTION RULES & PROCEDURES
SECTION 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.
A: ELECTION DAY. Election Day is the day established by the California Democratic State Central Committee (DSCC) for the Rural Caucus to meet at the conventions held biannually in the odd-numbered years.
B: 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 one whose eligibility to vote has not been verified prior to their seeking a ballot.
C: REGISTRATION, CREDENTIALING AND BALLOTING TABLES, Up to the space allowed, an adequate number of tables for the size of the expected attendance of the meeting will be set up outside of the meeting room for registration, credentialing, and receiving a ballot for the size of the expected attendance of the meeting
D: MEMBER ROSTER. Members and members in good standing shall be listed on the member roster maintained by the Treasurer. The roster shall contain the date of membership for each member. For online memberships, this will be obtained from records passed to the Caucus from the Party. For in person memberships, it shall be the duty of the Treasurer and their staff to record the date at time of payment and of the Treasurer to include these in the roster. The roster shall be used for registration of members, to record attendance, payment of dues and issuance of member credentials at each meeting.
E: CREDENTIALS AND BALLOTS, “Credential” refers to a Rural Caucus Credential issued to a Member in good standing at every meeting or to a Provisional Credential provided to a Provisional Voter as defined above. The Member in Good Standing is entitled to be a Credentialed Voter; only one credential may be issued per member Credentials are to be used for voting during the meeting by openly raising the card up to be counted. Similarly, unless specified otherwise, the term “Ballot” refers to both Regular and Provisional Ballots.
F: BALLOTS AND VOTING INSTRUCTIONS, BALLOT ROSTER AND LOG,
a) Ballots are issued for all Officer elections.
b) Ballots will be printed in no smaller than 12-point Arial or other easily legible font.
c) Ballots list the contested offices and 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.
d) 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.
e) A Member Roster marked “BALLOT ROSTER” shall be used to track issuance of Ballots.
G: BALLOT BOX, All 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
H: COUNTERS. In addition to the Ballot Official, up to six counters may be appointed by the Chair in consultation with the Election Official.
I: 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.
SECTION II: ELECTION COMMITTEE, OFFICIALS AND DUTIES
A. THE ELECTION COMMITTEE. The Election Committee shall be the Election Official/Credential Official, the Enrollment Official/Treasurer, the Ballot Official.
B: 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:
a) Authorized to resolve disputes concerning election procedures, voter eligibility, or ballot counting. The Elections Official will announce when and where that resolution process is to take place.
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,
c) Authorized to provide relief to the other Election Officials when needed.
d) Authorized to oversee the management and security of Voter Rosters, Credentials and Ballots.
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.
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 and the Ballot Official.
g) Authorized to produced accurate and sufficient printed Ballots and secure the ballots prior to delivering of said materials to the Election Meeting Place one hour before the commencement of the Regular Election.
h) Responsible for security and transparency of the Ballot Boxes at all times during the election.
i) Authorized to prepare a tally sheet to be used for vote counting, supervises the tallying of the vote by the counters and then delivers the tallied results to the Chair.
j) Authorized to secures the voted Ballots, spoiled, surrendered and unused ballots and the tallies until 10 days after the CDP Executive Board meeting next succeeding the balloting or the resolutions of any challenge or appeal, whichever is later.
C: 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 provides a Credential Card for a new 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.
D: 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.
E: 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 list of Members in Good Standing to issue a new credential card to those in attendance at the meeting.
F: 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 to issue the 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 III: NOMINATIONS, ELIGIBILITY, CAMPAIGNING
A: 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 Rural Caucus members to 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.
B: DEADLINE FOR NOMINATIONS.
a) All candidates must submit their completed and signed nomination papers to the Secretary of The Caucus by the “DEADLINE” five 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. Nominations can be made from the floor so long as the person being nominated assents. Should it be later determined that a winning write-in candidate was ineligible, the next placing candidate shall be declared the winner.
b) 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 email list and other social media.
C: CANDIDATE QUALIFICATIONS
a) All candidates must be current (paid/waived) Members of the Rural Caucus at the time application is made. Members intending to run for office have an obligation to obtain the nomination form described above, complete it and return it to the Election Official.
b) 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.
c) 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 where the candidate is registered or pre-registered to vote.
D: ELIGIBILITY DETERMINATION AND SOURCE DATA FOR VERIFYING
Candidate eligibility is verified by the Secretary based upon:
a) review of the candidate application
b) review of the membership application
c) review of the roster of The Caucus showing membership, membership date and evidence of dues payment or waiver
d) the CDP database if DSCC membership is required; and proof of principal address, if regional residency is required for the position.
Candidates may campaign on the public social media of this Rural Caucus and may have access to the Rural Caucus email list. Additionally, candidates may distribute printed material at the meeting place subject to rules that may be provided by the Elections Officer.
SECTION IV: VOTING
a) THE RURAL CAUCUS CREDENTIAL. Meeting attendees must be given a new Credential at each meeting if they intend to vote during the meeting. The Enrollment Official may issue a Credential after review of eligibility and processing of the member application as described below. A Credential will be necessary to obtain a ballot at a Regular Election. The Credential will be held up publicly on any motion on the floor.
b) RURAL CAUCUS CREDENTIAL REQUIRED TO OBTAIN BALLOT. In order to participate in a ballot vote in the Officer candidate races, a Credential must first be secured and then displayed to the Balloting Official.
c) 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 aide, a form shall be filled out by the aide indicating who they are and which member they are assisting.
B: SETTING UP THE REGISTRATION (may be modified for smooth, efficient processing)
a) MEMBERS IN GOOD STANDING AREA 1 The Credentialing Officers or Assistant Credentialing Officer and the Ballot Official or Assistant Ballot Official will sit side by side. The Credentialing officer will check the official roster and hand the credential to the Member. The Member will then show the card to the Ballot Official and receive a ballot.
b) OTHERS WHO NEED TO PAY DUES AREA 2 The Dues Collector/Treasurer or Assistant Dues Collector, and the Ballot Official or Assistant Ballot Official will sit together in this area. Potential members will begin in the Dues Collector/Treasurer line and at least 7 people at a time will be given clip boards with forms to fill in. The Dues Collector will review the form and collect the dues. The Enrollment Official shall verify eligibility for enrollment, collect and deposit member dues into a metal lock box; and accept written statements of economic hardship, legal or other objective impediments to payment of dues. The Enrollment Official shall: 1) update and keep current the member roster, with new enrollees’ names or members paying dues at the door; 2) print the amount of payment and the date of enrollment on the roster. 3) The Member will then show the card to the Ballot Official and receive a ballot.
c) EXPANSION OF AREAS 1 AND 2 These Areas can be repeated for the convention meetings as space allows.
C: 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.
D: 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 cutoff point.
E: 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.
F: CONFORMING VOTED AND UNVOTED BALLOTS. The total of voted and unvoted Ballots and Provisional Ballots should be equal to the total number of 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.
SECTION V: VOTING BY BALLOT
A: INSTANT RUNOFF VOTING. Marking and tabulating of votes shall be by Instant Runoff and as described in Robert’s Rules of Order 11th edition, Chapter XII, Section 45 (Candidate Preferential Voting) or successor provision.
B: 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.
C: 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.
SECTION VI: PROCESSING THE BALLOTS
A: TALLYING THE VOTE.
a) 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.
b) 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, including all Provisional Ballots, display the inside of the box showing members and counters that the box is empty. Each counter shall be given a set of ballots to count at a time. All ballots shall be counted. As described above, counting shall be done per Robert’s Rules of Order. After counting, each lot 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. The provisional ballots shall be resolved and included in the tally. The consolidated tallies and ballots are placed in a large clear zip-locked bag marked Counted Ballots.
B: 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 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.
SECTION VII: ELECTION RESULTS
A: 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).
B: ANNOUNCING THE RESULTS. The (current) Chair announces the results of each ballot race, including those races in abeyance due to questions of eligibility.
C: 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.
a) INTERNAL REVIEW. A committee to resolve election challenges shall be formed prior to the election, 3 officers not running for election, chosen by lot, and if there are not three, the Parliamentarian will fill any remaining committee position. Any challenge must be filed with this Committee by ten (10) days. The committee shall be charged with accepting testimony and evidence and reaching a decision to accept or deny the challenge in a time frame that still permits an escalation to the Compliance Review Commission should the plaintiff(s) so desire. As such, nothing in this Article shall prevent a Member of the California Democratic Party from challenging any aspect of the election by filing with the Compliance Review Commission of The Party under the processes defined in the in the CDP bylaws.
ARTICLE VI: 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 VII: CODE OF CONDUCT
SECTION 1: ADOPTION OF THE CODE OF CONDUCT OF THE CALIFORNIA DEMOCRATIC PARTY The Caucus hereby adopts the Code of Conduct of the California Democratic Party (hereinafter “CDP Code”) and incorporates the CDP Code, as it now exists or as it may hereafter be amended, as a part of these bylaws. A copy of the current CDP Code is appended to these bylaws and if hereafter amended by the CDP, the amended CDP Code shall be considered to: A. Have superseded the version appended hereto, and, B. Be operative as if appended hereto.
SECTION 2: APPENDING OF AMENDED CDP CODES At the earliest possible convenience, the current CDP Code shall be appended to these bylaws, without need for further action by This Caucus.
SECTION 3: VIOLATIONS Any violation of the Code shall be considered a violation of the Caucus bylaws and shall subject the officer/member to discipline under Article ___ of these bylaws. Such discipline shall be in addition to any disciplinary actions by the California Democratic Party or any of its constituent parts.
SECTION 4: AVAILABILITY Copies of the Code shall be:
- Made a part of the notices of any and all meetings of this Caucus by inclusion of an appropriate link, and,
- Made available to members attending any such meeting by the officer responsible for check in.
SECTION 5: FILING In addition to the process for the filing of any disciplinary charges under these bylaws, or under the bylaws of the CDP, the parliamentarian of this Caucus or, in their absence or when the conduct in issue involves the parliamentarian, any officer of this Caucus is responsible for and charged with receiving and ensuring the prompt processing of any com- plaint of violation of the Code. These two (2) tracks for processing such a complaint are not mutually exclusive and the failure to process a complaint under This Caucus’ bylaws shall not constitute a failure to exhaust administrative remedies barring initiation of any process under the auspices of the CDP Conduct Commission.
ARTICLE VIII: 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 on Friday, November 15, 2019 in Long Beach)))))))