Bylaws

ARTICLE I – MISSION AND PURPOSE

The Apache County Democrats (ACD) exists as an official branch of the Arizona Democratic Party, serving Apache County. The purpose of the Committee is to provide an organization dedicated to recruiting candidates, raising funds, registering voters, and participating in events and other activities. It is primarily dedicated to electing Democratic candidates for public office, and secondarily to educating the public about Democratic positions and ideals.

ARTICLE II – MEMBERSHIP

1. The Apache County Democrats consists of elected and appointed Precinct Committeepersons (PCs).

2. Non-voting participants are welcome. Non-voting participants include Democrats who are not PCs but support Democratic principles.

ARTICLE III – OFFICERS

1. Officers: ACD has these officers: A Chair, a First Vice-Chair, a Second Vice Chair, a Secretary, and a Treasurer with the added possibility of one or more Board Members at Large. Only elected precinct committee members (following even-year elections and prior to the reorganization meeting of the ADP) and elected or appointed precinct committee members thereafter are eligible to hold office.

2. Election of Officers: Election of officers shall be conducted as follows: in every even-numbered year, the Chair or Acting Chair shall call for nominations for all officer positions. The elections shall be held preferably in December, but in any event no later than two (2) weeks prior to the ADP Reorganization meeting in January. Elected officers shall take office on January 1st or at the close of the January meeting if applicable. Any member present at the December/January meeting can nominate any elected precinct committee person for office. A person nominated may decline the nomination. If there is only one nomination for a position, the Chair shall call for a voice vote-by-acclamation. If there are multiple nominations for a position, voting shall be done by secret handwritten ballot among those PCs at the meeting and the ballots shall be collected and counted by the Chair and First Vice-Chair, with the other officers replacing either of them if they are not present in the order Secretary, Treasurer.

If there are three or more candidates for the position, and one of them secures an outright majority of the votes cast, then that person will be named as the newly elected officer for that position. If there are three or more candidates and none of them secures a majority of the votes cast, then the candidate with the lowest total will be removed from the list of nominations and the election re-run among the remaining candidates. This procedure will be repeated until one candidate emerges with a majority.

Tie-breakers: If there is a tie between two candidates for a position, or among two or more candidates for the least number of votes (for elimination from a list of nominees) then an immediate revote shall be taken among those candidates who are tied, either for the position or (in the case of determining which candidate has the lowest level of support) for removal from the list of nominees. If this fails to break the tie, the candidates involved will be allowed up to five minutes to meet with each other privately and attempt to break the tie. If that fails to break the tie, then the Chair will break the tie based on his or her perception of which candidate would be the best fit for the position.

3. Terms of Offices: The Terms of officers shall be two years.

4. Duties of Officers:

  1. Chair: The Chair of the ACD shall

1) Represent the ACD in state party meetings and serve as a member of the State Committee.

2) Submit names of Precinct Committeepersons to the Board of Supervisors (see article V).

3) Ensure that all election guidelines are followed and work with the county elections department to ensure that all election guidelines are followed.

4) Submit names of poll observers and hand counters to the elections department.

5) Create the agenda for meetings and notify members about such meetings and preside at the meetings.

6) Count all votes cast in elections for officers or removal of officers.

7) Appoint a communications liaison to maintain contact with the media outlets and the State Committee Media Coordinator. The communications liaison must be a member of the ACD but need not be an elected officer.

8) Perform other duties as required by the Arizona Democrats or by the Apache County Democrats.

b. First Vice-Chair: The First Vice-Chair of the ACD shall serve as a member of the State Committee if there are at least two positions on this Committee designated for Apache County, be available to perform duties as assigned by the Chair and serve as parliamentarian during meetings. If the Chair does not attend a meeting or carry out other duties of the Chair, or if there is a vacancy in the position of Chair, then the First Vice-Chair shall serve as acting Chair during the time that the Chair is unavailable. If the Secretary is not at a meeting, then the First Vice-Chair will take notes during the meeting, unless the First Vice-Chair is acting as Chair. The First Vice-Chair will confirm and verify the accuracy of counting of votes done by the Chair in elections for officers of removal of officers.

c. Regional and Special Vice Chairs: The regional vice chairs will further the work of the Democratic Party in their region and represent the interests of their region at meetings of the Executive Committee. The special vice chairs will be members of the Executive Committee and care for the special duties assigned by the chair.

d. Secretary: The Secretary of the ACD shall take minutes of regularly scheduled meetings of the County Committee. These minutes will include the names of those in attendance (whether or not they are members of the Apache County Democrats), the starting and ending time of the meeting, a record of what was discussed, and of all agenda items. They should also include a record of all motions made and voted upon, and the results of votes. These minutes will be presented at the meeting following that for which they were made and voted on or amended and voted on. The Secretary shall maintain a record of minutes for two years (24 months) after a meeting. The Secretary shall be responsible for general correspondence and shall keep copies of same for a minimum of two years (24 months).

e. Treasurer: The Treasurer of the ACD shall maintain the financial records of the County Committee. The Treasurer shall give a report at each ACD meeting detailing how much is in the County Party account, how much was spent since the last meeting, on what it was spent, and how much was collected since the last meeting. The Treasurer shall request each year dues from members of the Committee, which shall be done in the form of a motion. The Treasurer maintain a record of finances for a minimum of two years (24 months). The Treasurer shall be responsible for completing and filing all financial reports required by the Secretary of State.

f. Members of State Committee: Other members of the State Committee shall be elected by the Committee if there are positions available. Members of the State Committee shall attend meetings of the State Democrats or shall provide proxies as required by the State Committee.

5. Resignation of Officers: An officer may resign from his or her position if (s)he feels unable to carry out the duties of the position due to relocation, extended absence, health or other reasons. To resign that officer should submit a letter of resignation to the Chair (or to the First Vice Chair if that member is the Chair). It is the duty of the Chair to notify members of the ACD immediately, distribute the letter and announce that the officer has resigned at the next meeting. The member who has resigned should remain, if possible, in the position until a special election to fill the vacancy is held. If the resignation takes place less than one week prior to a scheduled meeting, then the Chair (or acting Chair) may delay the election until a following meeting.

6. Removal of an Officer: The Chair (or Vice-Chair, if the officer in question is the Chair) may entertain a motion for removal of an officer due to serious misconduct, failure to carry out the duties of the office (including extended vacancy, defined as being at least three consecutive missed meetings of the ACD), the endorsement of or work for a candidate who is running as a member of another party in a contested election, or other serious breach of responsibility. If such a motion is made and seconded, the officer named (or any member who wishes to speak on behalf of the officer) may speak for up to (collectively) twenty minutes against the motion. After this time, there shall be an open discussion. A second motion may be made to table the discussion and vote until the following meeting. If this second motion is not made, fails, or has succeeded during the previous meeting and the motion has been placed on the agenda for the present meeting (in which case the motion may not be made again at this meeting), then a quorum call (see section IV) shall be made, and if a quorum is present, a vote shall be taken by secret ballot. Two-thirds of those voting shall be needed to remove the officer. If the Chair or the First Vice-Chair is the officer named in the motion, then they shall be barred from the counting of ballots and be replaced in that duty by the Second Vice-Chair. If the vote is to remove the officer, then it shall be effective immediately and the Chair or acting chair shall declare a vacancy (see section 7)

7. Temporary Suspension from Duties: An officer may request to be suspended temporarily, for a period not to exceed six months, from duties of the office, for reasons of health, maternity, to care for a family member, military or other service (including by a family member), extended absence, or to clear his or her name if (s)he has been accused of any conduct that might lead to the removal of an officer. If the latter is the case, then the Chair (or acting Chair if the officer is the Chair) may accept this as a reasonable accommodation or may still request that a motion for removal of the officer be made. If the officer is a member of the State Committee, then (s)he still has a duty to supply proxies if unable to attend State Committee meetings (and if (s)he stands accused of misconduct, should always supply proxies and should not attend State Committee meetings while suspended from duty). If the officer in question does not return within six months (or a lesser time if agreed upon at the start of the suspension), then the position shall be considered vacant and a new election shall be held. If the period during which the officer is requesting a suspension includes or would end within ninety days prior to a November general election, then the officer should resign from the position instead.

If the Officer under suspension is the Chair, then the First Vice-Chair shall be the Acting Chair until the Chair resumes his or her duties. If the Officer under suspension is not the Chair, the Chair shall appoint an acting officer to fill the duties of the position until the officer under suspension returns, or the position is declared vacant. The acting officer may be any member of the County Committee (including any other elected officer), except the Chair.

8. Disqualification and Forfeiture of Office: An officer automatically forfeits office if, at any time during the term of that office, (s)he is not a registered Democrat, is not an appointed or elected precinct committeeperson, or endorses or openly supports a candidate from an opposing party.

9. Vacancy in an Office: The Chair (or acting chair) may declare an office vacant if the person holding that office is disqualified, deceased, incapacitated, has moved out of Apache County, or otherwise is prevented from continuing in the duties of that office until a replacement is elected. The Chair may appoint a member to that office until an election can be held. The acting officer may be any member of the ACD (including any other elected officer), except the Chair.

If an election is held for a vacancy and a member who is already holding another office is elected to that position, then an election shall be held immediately to fill the position which that officer previously held.

10. Executive Committee: There is an Executive Committee consisting of the elected officers as well as an elected representative of affiliated clubs who have been recognized as described in section (VI). The elected representative of a club must be an elected precinct committee member (prior to the January reorganization meeting of the ADP but following even year elections) and elected or appointed precinct committee members thereafter. The Executive Committee shall meet at the discretion of the Chair and shall automatically meet immediately following any meeting of the ACD in which a quorum call has been made (section IV) and a quorum has been found not present. The Executive Committee shall be empowered to conduct all routine business for the ACD. The Executive Committee shall decide when matters are sufficiently important as to require a meeting of the ACD and, given such a decision, the Chair shall call a meeting of the ACD. A quorum of the Executive Committee shall be a majority of the Executive Committee membership. Meetings may, in urgent situations, be held via telephone conference call or electronic mail. The agenda shall be prepared and sent via email by the Chair or acting chair to the ACD a week in advance of each meeting. Any member of the Executive Committee may request that an item be placed on the agenda, and the Chair shall honor such requests. Minutes of meetings shall be sent via email to the members of ACD.

ARTICLE IV – MEETINGS

Regular meeting: The ACD shall meet at least annually, in accordance with the Arizona Democratic Party bylaws, during the month of December or prior to the Arizona Democratic Party organization meeting in January. Other meetings of the ACD shall be called by the Chair or upon request of at least three members of the Committee. The Chair may call adhoc meetings as necessary.

2. Notification of meetings: The ACD shall meet only when a meeting is called by the Chair or Acting Chair. Notification may be made via email or, when necessary, by regular mail at least two weeks prior to any meeting.

3. Agenda items: Any member may request that the Chair place any particular item on the agenda for the following meeting, but such notification shall be made at least ten days prior to the meeting in order to allow time for the agenda to be sent out. The Chair may put the item on the agenda but is under no obligation to do so.

4. Conduct of Meetings: Meetings shall be conducted in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised 10th Edition in Brief. Meetings may be conducted informally if no member objects.

5. Quorum: A majority of members of the ACD present in person or by signed proxy shall constitute a quorum. A quorum shall be presumed to be present if a quorum call has not been requested. These active members shall be called ‘eligible PCs.

6. Voting: Voting is limited to members (Precinct Committeemen). A member unable to attend meetings may designate a proxy in accordance with State Committee procedures.

7. Attendance: Members of ACD-affiliated local clubs who are not Precinct Committeemen are welcome and encouraged to attend meetings of the ACD. They shall have the right to participate in discussions at such meetings, but shall not be allowed to vote on motions or in elections for ACD officers.


ARTICLE VThe relationship of ACD to other organizations

1. State and National Party organization: As the organization recognized by the Arizona Democratic Party and by the Democratic National Committee of the United States to conduct business for Apache County, the ACD, through its Chair or Chair’s designee, shall provide the names to the State Committee of all members of the ACD and State Committee and to notify the State Committee of any changes to this list.

2. Government organizations: The ACD, through its Chair or the Chair’s designee, shall provide a list of poll observers prior to election day, provide observers on election night to observe the counting of ballots as well as for any recounts, and if necessary, contest the results of an election. The ACD may recommend qualified persons to the Apache County Board of Supervisors for appointment as Precinct Committeepersons.


Article VI: Affiliated Organizations

. Local Groups: Each of ACD’s Local Groups shall, in order to become an affiliated and sanctioned arm of the official ACD, meet the following criteria:

a) Have approval by the majority present of the County Committee at a regular meeting.

b) Have lists of policies and procedures which do not conflict with the County or State Committee by-laws.

c) Have a liaison to report monthly to the County Committee on the activities and concerns of the Local Group and to the Local Group on activities and concerns of the County Committee.

2. ACD's Local Groups shall have a stated mission, activities, goals and purposes consonant with the overall

activities, goals and purposes of the ACD, ADP and DNC.

Recommended activities include:

Community Outreach

  • Propose and help implement voter outreach activities such as voter registration, Get out the Vote, and the recruitment of PCs and other volunteers.

  • Propose and help organize Democratic candidate forums or other educational events to inform and engage communities of interest.

Party Building

  • Propose and help implement activities to make the ACD more welcoming and relevant to the electorate, to Democratic PCs, and to State Committee members who identify with the goals of the Caucus or Council.

  • Build the County and State Committee membership.

  • Build the Party leadership, at the state and local level.

Candidates

  • Encourage Democratic candidacy for public office among people in the ACD and regional groups.

Fundraising

  • Co-sponsor fundraising events that highlight speakers or specific issues of importance to regional groups.

Local Groups are encouraged to conduct activities within at least 3 of the 4 categories noted.

3. Meetings

a. Each Local Group shall meet at least 6 times per year and report at quarterly ACD meetings.

b. Each Local Group will hold meetings, in person or remotely, as required to pursue its mission and

implement its goals.

c. Attendance must be taken at every meeting of a Local Group.

4. Reports

a. Submission and frequency:

Minutes of all Local Group meetings shall be submitted electronically to the ACD Secretary prior to the next ACD meeting.

b. Content:

All Reports will include:

  • Name of Local Group

  • Name of Leader and Co-Leader

  • Current roster of PC’s

  • Attendance at all meetings since previous report

Biennial Reports shall include a review of activities and progress since the last Biennial Report (or since Local Group establishment, when applicable).

5. Requirements:

Local Groups must:

1. comply with current policies and procedures of ACD.

  1. follow the bylaws of ACD and ADP.

  2. not endorse any candidate for public office during the pre-primary or primary period.

  3. not endorse or devote effort on behalf of candidates other than Democratic candidates.

6. Removal of Affiliation: The ACD may withdraw affiliation from a Local Group for cause and with the approval of two thirds (2/3) of the members present at the meeting at which the vote takes place.


ARTICLE VII: PRECINCT COMMITTEE PERSONS

. Precinct Committeepersons:

Precinct committeepersons may be elected at regular County elections, having satisfied all necessary requirements to appear on the Democratic primary ballot in any primary election in an even numbered year. In addition, the ACD may recommend persons to the Apache County Board of Supervisors for appointment as precinct committeepersons.

2. Duties of Precinct Committeepersons: The duties of a PC may include, but are not limited to:

a. Attending meetings of the ACD.

b. Attending Precinct Committeeperson training.

c. Contacting Democrats and others to

1) Distribute Democratic Party and/or candidate literature.

2) Assist Democratic candidates with campaigns by circulating petitions and obtaining $5 contributions for “Clean Election” candidates.

d. Contributing to the ACD, affiliated Club, and/or State Committees.

e. Encouraging early voting by mail.

f. Supporting Democratic candidates and officeholders.

g. Choose from among the following additional activities:

1) Registering Democrat voters.

2) Receiving email briefings from the State Committee as part of the Rapid Response team and pass along the information to others.

3) Learning to frame issues effectively and

a) Writing letters to the editor of his/her local or state newspaper.

b) Participating in radio programs to discuss (argue) political issues from a Democratic point of view.

4) On Election Day work:

a) As a precinct poll observer

b) As an information distributor

c) To Get Out the Democrat Vote.

d) As a poll worker

3. Precinct Organization

Each Precinct may, from its elective Precinct Committeemen select a Captain

ARTICLE VIIIReferendums, constitutional amendments, propositions, primary candidates, and other ballot measures

The ACD may endorse or oppose referendums, constitutional amendments, propositions and other ballot measures. The position of ACD may or may not concur with the position of the Arizona Democrats. In a contested Democratic primary election, the ACD may not endorse a candidate. Individual members of ACD may endorse any Democratic candidate before and/or after the primary election.

The ACD will not endorse, provide resources, or work on behalf of the election of any candidate who, while serving within the last five years as an elected Democratic officeholder, supports a candidate of another party in a contested election. Individuals who feel they have been subjected to this provision in error, can ask to be heard by the entire committee, and a vote of two-thirds of those present can lift this sanction. This sanction shall not be applied retroactively from the date it is passed (Dec. 6, 2008.)

ARTICLE IXProcedure for amending the by-laws

Any member(s) of the ACD may propose an amendment to these by-laws. The text of the amendment, as well as the section and paragraph where it should be placed, as well as the text of any language in the by-laws which the amendment is to strike, shall be sent by the proposing member(s) to the Chair at least fourteen days in advance of the meeting where the amendment is to be on the agenda. The Chair shall email or otherwise provide the amendment to all members at least seven days in advance in order to ensure that there is adequate time for members to read and contemplate the consequences of the amendment.