Rules for 31st Legislative District Democrats Reorganization Meeting
In the event that the in-person election of officers cannot be held due to a public emergency or natural disaster which makes the holding of an in-person election unlawful or impossible as determined by the Washington State Democrats Central Committee (WSDCC), and the 31st Legislative District Democrats, this set of rules shall govern all business that must be conducted at 31st Legislative District Democrats’ bi-annual Re-organization meeting.
2. Conduct of Business
Business shall be conducted via electronic means such as a Zoom meeting or an equivalent online meeting service. Individuals are to remain muted throughout proceedings unless unmuted by the Chair or the Chair’s designee after being granted the floor. To prevent debate that circumnavigates the standard speaking order or distracts focus from the recognized speaker holding the floor, any chat functions may be limited to direct 1:1 messaging to individual participants. The decision to limit chat shall be at the discretion of the Chair and/or the Sergeant-At-Arms.
To be recognized to speak a Member must first communicate their desire to be recognized and the purpose for which recognition is sought. If a member would like to be recognized for debate or to provide a motion, or a nomination during the election of officers, they may use the “raise hand” function in Zoom, or similar applicable function in the software being utilized, provided the Chair or Chair’s designee will be able to monitor all participants equally well and assure fairness in recognition. The Chair or the Chair’s designee will keep a running list of individuals who have their hands raised and the order in which they raised their hands to recognize them to speak.
If conducting debate, the Chair may bypass the next speaker to hear from additional individuals who have their hands raised to alternate debate between pro and con.
Requests for recognition to make a motion that requires interrupting the current speaker and requests for recognition when no other business is pending should be made by direct messaging the Chair or the Chair’s designee directly using the most suitable chat function available within the platform being utilized.
Debate will be limited to a maximum of one minute per speaker, and a maximum of two speeches pro and two speeches con, per motion.
3. Temporary Chair
The meeting shall be called to order by a Temporary Meeting Chair, who shall be either the Pierce County Democratic Central Committee (PCDCC) Chair or his/her designee. The Temporary Meeting Chair:
a) shall appoint a Credentials Committee to administer sign-ins for the District’s Precinct Committee Officers (PCOs); this committee shall be comprised of members of the 31st District Democrats, to the greatest extent possible;
b) shall also appoint, for the meeting, a Secretary, Parliamentarian, Sergeant-at-Arms, and Tally Chair and Committee; and
c) shall preside until a District Chair has been elected.
4. Adoption of Bylaws
After adoption of the Agenda and meeting Rules, the body may consider amendments to bylaws for the District Organization if it is the will of the body. Bylaws may be postponed, either to later in the meeting or to a subsequent meeting; however, until and unless such time as the District Organization amends bylaws for the 2021-22 biennium, its existing bylaws are acknowledged as remaining in effect.
5. Eligible Voters for Statutory Positions & Bylaws
Only District-resident PCOs elected at the August 2020 primary—including those elected by virtue of being the only candidate to file in a precinct— shall be eligible to vote on the adoption of bylaws or in elections for:
a) District Chair;
b) First Vice-Chair – Pierce (i.e., the office considered to be the Vice Chair of the organization for WSD Charter and Bylaws purposes, even if the actual title is different; e.g., “First Vice-Chair” or “Vice-Chair for Pierce County”);
c) Two State Committee Persons who will represent the 31st LD Democrats as members of the WSDCC, who must be of different genders;
d) One representative and one alternate to the King County Democrats Central Committee (KCDCC) Executive Board;
e) Three representatives to PCDCC Executive Board;
f) Second Vice Chair – King County.
6. Order of Elections
The order of election of officers may be modified by simple majority vote (e.g., to take into account positions created or removed per newly adopted bylaws) at any time prior to the election of the District Chair, provided that
a) the District Chair is elected first; and,
b) the proposed sequence includes election of all statutory positions persuant to Section 5, above.
7. Eligible Voters for non-statutory positions
All PCOs elected in 2020 are eligible to vote for non-statutory positions. In addition, non-PCO members of the District Organization in good standing may also vote on non-statutory officers, except the Second Vice Chair – King County, and any other district business, except the adoption of bylaws.
a) The Credentials Committee will issue voting credentials to non-PCO members who were members in good standing of the organization at the end of the 2020 calendar year and who paid dues in 2020 and renewed dues for 2021 no later than January 2, 2021; and
b) upon completion of the last statutory officer election and prior to those officer elections and subsequent business that non-PCO members may vote on:
i.) the meeting shall, if necessary, recess to allow credentialing for all non-PCO members present at that time, following which,
ii.) the Credentials Committee shall report on the non-PCO members, which shall include the total number of such members credentialed.
8. Nomination of Officers
The process for nominating and electing all positions shall include the following:
a) Call for nominations;
b) Closing of nominations;
c) One-minute nomination speech for each candidate, in which the order of speeches is determined by the order of nomination;
d) One-minute seconding speech for each candidate;
e) Speakers for all races may be PCOs, candidates, or other residents of the 31st Legislative District willing to publicly declare themselves as Democrats.
9. Amendments to the Bylaws
The process for adopting amendments to the Bylaws shall include the following:
a) Only elected PCOs may introduce amendments to the Bylaws;
b) Amendments to strike language shall require one second;
c) Amendments to add or change language shall require five seconds;
d) Amendments to amendments shall be out of order;
e) Amendments shall require a simple majority of PCOs present and voting to pass;
f) Amendments for housekeeping (grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc.) shall not require a motion or a second and may be accepted by the Chair provided there are no objections;
g) A simple majority of PCOs present and voting shall be required to adopt the Bylaws;
h) Failure to adopt the Bylaws as amended shall result in the previously existing Bylaws remaining in effect.
10. Voting for Officers
Uncontested candidates, excluding the Chair, may be elected by acclamation. In the case of a contested election, a majority of votes cast by eligible voters is required for election. In the event that no candidate achieves a majority, the candidate receiving the fewest votes will be dropped and another round of voting for the position will be held. For the election of the Chair and any contested elections of statutory officers, an electronic ballot is required. The Chair and/or a designated individual or tally committee shall create and compile an electronic ballot that meets the following requirements:
a) Each ballot shall be open for voting only upon the conclusion of all speeches for the respective position;
b) A ballot must contain the voter’s name, email address, and unique voting code to ensure the integrity of the election. Any ballot that does not have these identification criteria shall be considered spoiled and invalid;
c) Ballots must remain open for a minimum of fifteen (15) minutes;
d) Any member of the 31st LD Democrats in good standing shall be able to audit all ballots and election results upon written request to the Chair and/or another designated individual.
11. PCO Vacancies
Persons approved by the body to be appointed to fill a PCO vacancy do not become PCOs until appointment by the County Chair, and no such appointment shall be effective prior to adjournment of the reorganization meeting. Such persons shall be treated as members in good standing of the District Organization immediately upon approval and may vote on non-statutory officers and other District business.
12. Parliamentary Authority
In all matters not expressly covered by these Rules or the Bylaws of the 31st LD Democrats, or by the WSDCC Charter or bylaws, or by the RCW, Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised, latest edition, shall govern this meeting.