Online Meeting Rules
Emergency 36thLD Rules
At a special meeting held on May 31, 2020, a quorum of Elected and Appointed PCOs voted unanimously to add the following article to the bylaws:
Article XVII – Meetings and Voting During Emergencies
During a pandemic, natural disaster, or other emergency where meeting in person is not possible or safe, these provisions apply:
Section 1. A “meeting” in these bylaws can include live gatherings of members by electronic means, such as a conference call or video conference, where all members can participate in organization business in real time.
Section 2. Organization business may be conducted by electronic vote without a meeting, so long as procedures are otherwise consistent with these bylaws.
Section 3. The membership may adopt, by majority vote, rules providing procedures for decisions made under Sections 1 and 2 of this article, including under what circumstances each method is used. Such rules may be adopted by electronic meeting or electronic vote following procedures adopted by the Executive Board.
Procedures for Adopting Emergency Rules
In accordance with Article XVII, Section 3 of the bylaws, on June 3, 2020 the Executive Board voted to approve these procedures for adopting emergency meeting and voting rules.
- Emergency meeting and voting rules will be adopted by electronic vote of members without a live meeting. A majority of total votes cast is required to adopt the rules. At least 20 total votes must be cast to meet the quorum requirements under Article V, Section 6 of the bylaws.
- All members will be notified by email of the proposed rules, how to vote electronically, how to request assistance with electronic voting if necessary, and the deadline for completing the electronic vote. The deadline to vote on proposed rules shall be no less than 72 hours after voting commences.
- The procedure, software, or program used for electronic voting will be decided by the Chair or Chair’s designee.
- Any member who is unable to successfully vote using the chosen electronic means must request assistance following the instructions in the email under section 2, above. A member who requests assistance prior to the voting deadline may have their vote recorded by email, phone call, or other means if necessary as an alternative to the standard electronic voting procedure.
- To be eligible to vote on the rules, one must become a “voting member” under Article III of the bylaws by the time the electronic voting period starts. Individuals who become members during the middle of the electronic voting period will not be eligible to vote.
- If adopted by majority vote, rules become effective immediately after the deadline for completing the electronic vote.
- Once adopted, emergency meeting and voting rules are amended per the following procedure: a. Any member may request an amendment to emergency meeting and voting rules by contacting the Chair.
- The Executive Board shall discuss any rule amendment requested by a member at or before its next meeting.
- The Executive Board may propose an amendment to voting rules by majority vote. If proposed, the amendment is adopted through the procedure described in sections 1 through 4, above.
General Rules for Virtual Meetings and Electronic Voting
- Under normal circumstances, organization business is required by the bylaws to be conducted at in-person membership meetings.
- During a pandemic, natural disaster, or other emergency where meeting in person is not possible or safe, the Executive Board may by majority vote convert a regular or special membership meeting to a virtual meeting, to which these rules, and any other adopted emergency meeting and voting rules, will apply.
- The Executive Board may only convert an in-person regular or special membership meeting to a virtual meeting with at least 10 days’ notice. If the Executive Board determines an in-person meeting is not possible or safe less than 10 days prior to said meeting, then the meeting will be cancelled and no business will be conducted until the next meeting.
- When a meeting is converted to a virtual meeting, business may be conducted during a live gathering of members by electronic means, such as by conference call or video conference, where all members can participate in organization business in real time. Business may also be conducted by electronic vote without a meeting, so long as procedures are otherwise consistent with the bylaws. The membership can adopt additional emergency meeting and voting rules that indicate which method of conducting business shall be used for different categories of business (e.g. endorsements, officer elections, resolutions, PCO appointments, etc.).
- When business is conducted by virtual meeting, these procedures apply:
- Unless otherwise provided by rule, business conducted by virtual meeting should simulate an in-person meeting as much as is practical.
- Voting and vote tabulation during virtual meetings may be conducted through any fair and accurate method chosen by the Chair or Chair’s designee.
- Members must be instructed how to request assistance if the member has difficulty using the technology or method chosen for conducting business.
- Members who request assistance but are ultimately unable to participate using the chosen technology or method shall be provided alternative ways to participate as practical.
- When business is conducted by electronic vote without a meeting, these procedures will apply: a. The threshold necessary for a decision to be made (e.g. majority, two-thirds, etc.) will be the total yes votes cast divided by the total of all votes cast electronically. For votes where only Elected and Appointed PCOs may vote, at least 15 Elected/Appointed PCOs must cast a vote to reach a quorum. For votes where the entire membership may vote, at least 20 members must cast a vote to reach a quorum.
- All eligible voters will be notified by email of the decision to be voted on, how to vote electronically, how to request assistance with electronic voting if necessary, and the deadline for completing the electronic vote. The deadline to vote on any decision shall be no less than 48 hours after voting commences.
- The procedure, software, or program used for electronic voting will be decided by the Chair or Chair’s designee.
- Any eligible voter who is unable to successfully vote using the chosen electronic means must request assistance following the instructions in the email under section b, above. A member who requests assistance prior to the voting deadline may have their vote recorded by email, phone call, or other means if necessary as an alternative to the standard electronic voting procedure.
- Unless otherwise provided by rule, to be eligible to vote on a decision one must become a “voting member” or a PCO under Article III of the bylaws by the time the electronic voting period starts. Individuals who become members during the middle of the electronic voting period will not be eligible to vote on that decision.
- If the decision obtains the required threshold of votes, then the decision is considered effective immediately after the deadline for completing the electronic vote, unless otherwise provided by rule.
Emergency Resolution Rules
- All proposed Resolutions shall be sent to the Chair no later than 12 days prior to the membership meeting.
- The Chair shall distribute notice and copies of proposed resolutions in their meeting notice to the membership, as well as contact information for the resolution’s author.
- Any member who wishes to suggest amendments to the resolution shall contact the author no later than three days prior to the membership meeting. The author shall review changes and send the final version to the Chair for distribution no later than two days prior to the membership meeting.
- The Chair shall distribute the final proposed resolution to the membership no later than one day prior to the membership meeting.
- The Chair shall invite people to sign up to speak for or against the resolution (a maximum of three speakers on each side).
- Speakers for and against the Resolution shall address the membership at the electronic meeting. 7. Consideration of resolutions shall, to the extent possible, use Robert’s Rules, except that:
- a) A person making a motion, including proposing a resolution, may accept a proposed amendment as friendly without approval of the rest of the body; and
- b) No motion, point of privilege, or other action can be taken by any person without that party being recognized by the Chair.
- Voting shall occur electronically during the meeting using a combination of electronic voting tools and voice vote. Passage of a proposed resolution shall require a simple majority of present and voting members.
- Any resolution submitted to the Chair later than 12 days prior to the membership meeting, but no later than 2 days prior, shall be distributed to the membership. Any such resolution will only be considered during the meeting if the 10-day notice rule is suspended by two-third vote per Article XII, Section 1 of the bylaws.
- Any resolution submitted to the Chair later than 2 days prior to the meeting will not be distributed and will not be placed on the agenda.
Emergency PCO Appointment Rules
- Individuals seeking appointment as an Appointed PCO or Acting PCO should contact the PCO Recruitment Coordinator to start the application process.
- PCO applications can be signed by electronic signature, which can include a statement by email agreeing to the contents of the application.
- In every membership meeting, announcement of PCO applications shall be an item on the agenda.
- It is recommended that a completed, signed PCO application be submitted to the Political Director no later than 1 day prior to the membership meeting at which the prospective PCO will be considered.
- A completed, signed PCO application must be submitted to the Political Director prior to the announcement of PCO applications during a meeting.
- Prospective PCOs who have submitted their completed, signed application shall be announced by the Chair at the membership meeting.
- As soon as practical after the meeting at which prospective PCOs are announced, the Chair or the Chair’s designee shall commence an electronic vote to appoint the prospective PCOs.
- All current Elected and Appointed PCOs are eligible to vote on PCO appointments.
- In the event there are no contested PCO appointments, they may be appointed as a slate in one up-or-down vote.
- If there are one or more precincts for which there are applications received for two or more prospective PCOs, then each precinct shall be voted on separately. A PCO candidate is appointed if they receive a majority of the vote. In case of a tie, the winner will be determined by lot. If there are three or more candidates for a single precinct, ranked-choice voting may be used, or a series of runoff elections in which the candidate receiving the fewest number of votes is removed after each election (with ties determined by lot).
- Prospective PCOs who win election under section 10, above, shall be considered an Appointed or Acting PCO, and a voting member, immediately after the deadline for voting.
Emergency Officer Election Rules
- Article VII of the 36th District Democrats Bylaws governs who is eligible to serve as an officer of this organization.
- Officer vacancies shall be announced by the Chair in a membership meeting or in a notice to the membership as soon as possible after the Chair becomes aware of the vacancy.
- The Chair shall notify the membership of an officer election at least 10 days prior to the meeting at which the officer election will be considered.
- Members who are interested in being elected as an officer are encouraged to contact the Chair to express their interest.
- Interested candidates must self-nominate by sending an email to the Chair prior to the beginning of the meeting at which the officer election will be considered. Nominations will not be taken from the floor during the meeting.
- At the meeting, the Chair will announce the self-nominated candidates. Each candidate may give a one-minute speech at the membership meeting or submit a statement for the Chair to read.
- As soon as practical after the membership meeting at which the candidates for a vacancy are announced, the Chair or the Chair’s designee shall commence an electronic vote to elect a candidate for each vacant officer position.
- Per Article VI, Section 3 of the bylaws, only Elected or Appointed PCOs may vote on elections for the following offices: Chair, Vice-Chair, Delegates to the King County Democratic Central Committee (KCDCC) and Delegates to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee. Per KCDCC rules, only Elected or Appointed PCOs may vote on elections for KCDCC Alternate positions. All voting members under Article III of the bylaws may vote on all other officer positions.
- In the event there is only one nominee for a vacant officer position, voters may vote Yes or No on whether to elect the candidate.
- For vacant officer positions for which there are two or more nominees, a majority of the vote is required to be elected. In case of a tie, the winner will be determined by lot. If there are three or more nominees for a vacant officer position, ranked-choice voting may be used, or a series of runoff elections in which the nominee receiving the fewest number of votes is removed after each election (with ties determined by lot).
- A nominee who wins election under section 10, above, shall immediately take office and shall be eligible for all applicable privileges after the deadline for voting.
Emergency Endorsement Rules
- The Chair shall notify the membership at least 10 days prior to the meeting at which endorsements will be considered. The Chair shall distribute the list of Executive Board endorsement recommendations to the membership prior to the meeting.
- Endorsement business will be conducted live during the virtual membership meeting, including debate and voting.
- The Chair has the authority to create a slate of uncontested or likely-uncontroversial endorsement decisions for collective approval in one motion. A candidate may be removed from the slate for individual consideration by majority vote of members present and voting.
- For all other endorsements not considered in a slate, consideration will proceed one elected office or ballot measure at a time.
- In addition to Sections 1 through 4, above, the Endorsement Rules used for the last few years, below, are hereby adopted and will be followed as closely as practicable in the virtual meeting.
36th District Democrats Endorsement Rules
- Any 36th District Democrat defined as a voting member in Article III of the District Bylaws, is eligible to vote on motions to endorse.
- A motion to consider endorsement from the Executive Board shall be considered prior to any other motions to endorse (Article XIII, Section 3 of the Bylaws). If no action was taken by the Executive Board, motions from the floor are open for consideration.
- A motion to endorse an additional candidate or candidates is not in order following passage of an endorsement motion in a particular race (Article XIII, Section 4, Subsection a2).
Endorsement eligibility and interview process
- To be eligible for endorsement, a candidate must file as a Democrat or in the case of a nonpartisan race other than judicial positions or ballot measures, must identify as a Democrat. Judicial candidates must demonstrate Democratic principles.
- A candidate must complete the current King County Democrats Questionnaire (found at kcdems.org) and must interview with the Executive Board of the 36th District to be considered for Executive Board recommendation. In the case that a candidate may not be present physically for an interview with the Executive Board, a surrogate may be sent in their place.
- Interviews are open to the public. Video recordings will be posted on 36th.org. Where videotaping isn’t available, transcribed notes will be posted in their place.
- If a candidate or ballot measure received 2/3 of the Executive Board’s recommendation, that motion will be forwarded onto the voting membership for consideration. At least 55% of those present and voting is required to sustain an Executive Board recommendation.
- If 55% is not reached to sustain an Executive Board recommendation, the floor will then be opened to motions from voting members. At least 55% of those present and voting shall be required for the endorsement motions from the floor to be approved.
- To determine the order in which motions from the floor will be considered, the Chair will ask for all proposed endorsement motions to be made at the outset. For each motion receiving a second, there shall be a non-debatable straw vote. The motion receiving the most straw votes will be debated and voted upon first. If that motion fails, the Chair will ask for any additional motions to be added to the original list and a new straw vote will be held.
- Each motion on the floor shall have up to three speakers for the motion and three speakers against the motion, timed at one minute each, rotating in turn. For motions made from the floor, the maker of the motion is given preference as the first speaker in favor. Only voting members may make motions from the floor and speak for/against motions. Voting members may cede time to non-members.
- It is the prerogative of the Chair to move the agenda when it is apparent that various endorsement combinations (e.g., dual or triple endorsements) will not reach the 55% threshold necessary for an endorsement.
Use of 36th District endorsement
- Endorsed candidates and ballot measure campaigns may use the 36th District Democrats name and endorsement in any and all literature and voter contact materials.
- Endorsed candidates and ballot measures may also use district resources such as membership data and website to solicit volunteers and assistance on the campaign.
- The district endorsement is good through the current election season. If no endorsed candidate makes it past the primary, a new endorsement process for the remaining candidates shall be considered for the general election.
- Endorsed candidates and ballot measures shall be listed in the 36th District voter’s pamphlet, which will be provided to PCOs for distribution prior to the election.
- The district will not be distributing campaign literature to PCOs. Instead, endorsed candidates may include an “ad” in the district voter’s pamphlet for a donation amount to cover the cost.
Adopted by remote vote ending on June 7, 2020