Party Bylaws

CARTER COUNTY DEMOCRATIC PARTY BYLAWS

ARTICLE I. – NAME AND OBJECT

SECTION 1: The name of this organization shall be the Carter County Democratic Party.

SECTION 2: The object of the organization shall be to promote the ideals and principles of the Democratic Party and to aid in the election of Democrats and Democratic nominees for public office.

ARTICLE II. – MEMBERSHIP

SECTION 1: Eligibility.   All residents of Carter County, Tennessee, who are registered to vote in this county and who believe in the ideals and principles of the Democratic Party are eligible to become members of the Carter County Democratic Party.

SECTION 2: Nondiscrimination. Membership in the Carter County Democratic Party shall not be denied because of race, color, sex, religion, age, gender, disability or ethnic origin. The governance and direction of the affairs of the Carter County Democratic Party shall not be denied because of race, color, sex, age, disability or ethnic origin.

ARTICLE III. – POWERS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

SECTION 1: Governance. The governance and direction of the affairs of the Carter County Democratic Party shall be vested in the Carter County Democratic Executive Committee (the “Executive Committee”) and in Officers of the Carter County Democratic Party, as hereinafter set forth in these bylaws, subject to the laws of the state of Tennessee and such rules as may be established by the Tennessee State Democratic Executive Committee.

SECTION 2: Party Responsibilities. The Carter County Democratic Party shall have the following responsibilities:

a)       Planning and conducting all county meetings and convention.

b)       Keeping and maintaining records of all Democratic Party meetings and business.

c)       Supporting the duly selected nominees of the Democratic Party.

ARTICLE IV. – EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

SECTION 1: Membership.   The Executive Committee shall be composed of the Officers (see Article VIII) and at least eleven (11) Representatives elected at-large from among Carter County Democrats, and up to eleven (11) Alternate representatives.  The alternate member shall not have voting rights unless one or more elected member of the Executive Committee is absent from the meeting.  Representation should be balanced, if possible, between men and women.

SECTION 2: Manner and Date of Election. The Executive Committee members shall be elected at a County Convention called for the purpose of electing Officers and Executive Committee members at a date determined by the State Democratic Executive Committee.

SECTION 3: Resignation.  The resignation of any member of the Executive Committee shall be made in writing and shall take effect at the time specified therein, or if no time is specified, then it shall take effect upon receipt of such resignation by the Chair or Secretary.

SECTION 4: Vacancies.  A vacancy shall be filled by nomination from the membership.  Any vacancy occurring in the Executive Committee may be filled by the affirmative vote of a majority of the Executive Committee members present at any regular meeting, even though less than a quorum of the Executive Committee exists.  In the event of a vacancy, whether resulting from a resignation or expulsion, the remaining members of the Executive Committee in attendance at any  subsequent meeting may fill those Executive Committee positions from members of the Carter County Democratic Party who meet the same requirements of a duly elected member as prescribed in Section 1.

SECTION 5: Attendance. An Executive Committee member who fails to attend two (2) consecutive meetings of the Executive Committee, without an excuse satisfactory (as prescribed in Section 7, part b, ii) to the majority of the members of the Executive Committee in attendance, may be removed from the position and the position shall be declared vacant.

SECTION 6: Manner of Acting. The act of a majority of the Executive Committee members present at any meeting with a quorum shall be the act of the Executive Committee, unless a greater number be required by law or by these bylaws.

SECTION 7: Sanctions or Expulsion

(a)     Notice and Opportunity to be heard. The Executive Committee may vote to impose sanctions on, or expel a member, but only if written notice is given that the issue will be taken up at the meeting prior to the meeting on which such action is voted. The member in question must be given written notice, and an opportunity to be heard.

(b)     Automatic Expulsion. A member of the Executive Committee shall automatically forfeit his/her membership in said committee (and the position shall be declared vacant) for the following reasons:

  1. In the event he/she qualifies for political office as an Independent or representing any political party other than Democratic Party and opposes a duly qualified Democratic nominee.
  2. If he/she has two (2) consecutive unexcused absences during a term.  An absence is excused if notice is given to the Chair or the Secretary prior to the start of the meeting and the reason for the absence is one of the following:
  3. illness;
  4. family illness or death;
  5. business; or out of town

(c)     Discretionary Sanctions or Expulsions. A member may be expelled at the discretion of the Executive Committee if a pattern of non-attendance is established, even if such absences are excused.  Sanctions may be imposed against a member, or he/she may be expelled in the discretion of the Executive Committee, for demonstrating disloyalty to the Democratic Party, either in the form of a public announcement of support of a candidate of another party in a pending election, or by working for or giving financial support to any such candidate running against a duly nominated candidate of the Democratic Party.  The Executive Committee shall not impose discretionary sanctions or expel a member, unless and until such a member is given an opportunity to be heard and three-fourths (3/4) of the membership present and voting concur in a discretionary sanctions or expulsion.

ARTICLE V. – MEETINGS

SECTION 1: General. All meetings of the Carter County Democratic Party or of the Executive Committee shall be well publicized in area media at least seven (7) days prior to the date of the meeting.  All meetings shall be held at convenient times and locations, and shall be open to the general public and media representatives (except where legal counsel otherwise indicated based upon a legal need for a closed meeting).

SECTION 2: Regular Meetings.   Regular meetings of the Executive Committee shall be held on the second (2nd) Saturday of March, June, August, and October and when called by the Chair or by one-third (1/3) of the Executive Committee members.

SECTION 3: Special Meetings. If more than sixty (60) days have passed since the last previous meeting, and if the Chair has not called a meeting, any fifteen (15) members of the Carter County Democratic Party may call a meeting by notifying all members at least seven (7) days prior to such a meeting.  If fewer than sixty (60) days have passed since the last previous meeting, twenty (20) members may call a special meeting provided seven (7) days prior notice is given by mail to the membership.  Any notification of a meeting must include time and location.

SECTION 4: Quorum. Fifty percent (50%) of the members of the Executive Committee shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at a meeting of the Executive Committee. If less than a quorum is present at a meeting of the Executive Committee, a majority of the members present may adjourn the meeting.

SECTION 5: Convention Meeting. A regular meeting of the Executive Committee shall be held without other notice than this bylaw immediately after, and at the same place as, the convention.

ARTICLE VI. – CONDUCT OF CONVENTION

SECTION 1: Convention.  The provisions for the holding of the county convention shall be as follows:

(a)     The convention shall be well publicized in the local news media.  At least fourteen (14) days prior notice must be given.

(b)     All members of the Carter County Democratic Party who are registered voters, and who attest they are bona fide Democrats by execution of affidavits or affirmations to that effect, are eligible to vote at the convention and to be candidates for the Executive Committee.

(c)     The Chairperson, prior to voting, shall appoint an adequate number of Sergeants-at-arms to assure that only bona fide Democrats are present for the voting process.  The Secretary or duly appointed representative shall verify the affirmations of all attendees.

(d)     Separate elections shall be held for each Executive Committee position.

(e)     The convention shall be called to order by the incumbent Chair of the

Carter County Democratic Executive Committee.

(f)      The Chair shall accept nominations from the floor for Officers.  Election of Officers shall be by a simple majority of the members present at the convention.  In the event a majority is not achieved, a runoff election shall be held until a majority prevails with the low vote getter being dropped from the next ballot.

(g)     The Chair shall accept nominations (including self-nominations) from the floor for at-large Executive Committee positions. If possible, nominees should include equal numbers of men and women.  If the number of nominees is greater than 11, those in attendance will vote on the nominees, and the 11 nominees with the most votes will become the members of the Executive Committee.  Up to 11 other nominees with the next highest number of votes will be Alternate representatives to the Executive Committee.  In the case of a tie, a runoff between those tied shall be held to decide the winner.

(h)   The convention shall then adjourn, as its business has been completed.

(i)  A complete list of all Officers and Executive Committee members shall be forwarded to the Chair of the Tennessee Democratic Party within ten (10) days after their election.

ARTICLE VII. – PROXIES

SECTION 1: No Proxies Allowed. No proxy shall be allowed at the convention or at any meeting of the Executive Committee.

SECTION 2: Unit Rule. No voting by the unit rule shall be allowed at any meeting of the Executive Committee

SECTION 3: Open Voting. All votes shall be public and shall not be by secret ballot.

ARTICLE VIII. – OFFICERS

SECTION 1: Officers. The Officers of the Carter County Democratic Party shall be chair, vice-chair, secretary, communications director, and treasurer, all of whom shall be elected by the convention for a two (2) year term, or until their successors are duly elected and qualified.

SECTION 2: Election of Officers.  The Officers shall be elected by a simple majority of the members of the Carter County Democratic Party present at the convention (as in Article VI, section 1, f).

SECTION 3: Vacancies. Vacancies in any office for any reason may be filled by the Executive Committee for the unexpired portion of the term.

SECTION 4: Chair. The chair shall preside over any convention which may be called, and over the meetings of the Executive Committee.  He/she shall perform all duties incident to the office of chair and such other duties as may be prescribed by the Executive Committee members from time to time.

SECTION 5: Vice-Chair. In the absence of the chair or in the event of his/her death or inability or refusal to act, the vice-chair shall perform the duties of the chair, and, in so acting, shall have all the powers of, and be subject to all restrictions on, the chair.  He/she shall perform all duties incident to the office of vice-chair and such other duties as may be assigned to him/her by the chair or by the Executive Committee.

SECTION 6: Secretary.    The secretary shall:

(a)      keep the minutes of the Executive Committee;

(b)      keep the minutes of any conventions which may be held;

(c)      see that all notices are duly given in accordance with the provisions of law and these  bylaws;

(d)      be custodian of the records of the Executive Committee;

(e)      keep membership records and have general charge of membership books of the Executive Committee; and

(f)      in general, perform all duties incident to the office of secretary and such other duties as from time to time may be assigned to him/her by the chair or by the Executive Committee, or which may be required by law.

SECTION 7: Communications Director.  The communications director shall:

(a)  maintain and act as moderator for the Carter County Democratic Party website and/or any other web-based networking group;

(b)  see that notices of all meetings are published in local newspapers, email lists,  and other media outlets.

(c)  initiate a communication chain in advance of Executive Committee meetings.

(d)  maintain contact information on Carter Country Democrats.

SECTION 8: Treasurer. The treasurer shall:

(a)     have charge and custody of, and be responsible for, all funds and securities of the Party from any source whatsoever, and deposit all such monies in the name of the Carter County Democratic Executive Committee in such bank or other depositories as shall be selected in accordance with the provisions of these bylaws;

(b)     keep and maintain, open to inspection by any member of the Executive Committee at all reasonable times, adequate or correct accounts of the funds and transactions of the Executive Committee, which shall include all matters required by law;

(c)     disburse the funds of the Executive Committee as he/she may be ordered by the Executive Committee;

(d)     render to the chair and secretary, or to the Executive Committee, whenever it may require or request it, an account of all his/her transactions as treasurer, and a financial statement in form satisfactory to it, showing the condition of the Party;

(e)     register with the State Election Commission; and file any and all reports required by the State Election Commission (SEC) and Federal Election Commission (FEC)

(f)      in general, perform all of the duties incident to the office of treasurer and  such other duties as may be assigned to him/her by the chair or Executive Committee; and

(g)     if required by the Executive Committee, give a bond, to be paid for by  the Executive Committee, for the faithful discharge of his/her duties, in  such sum and with such corporate surety or sureties as the Executive Committee shall determine.

SECTION 9: Neutrality.  No officers shall openly support a candidate in a Democratic Primary, so that the officers present neutrality to maintain party unity.

SECTION 10: Officers Must Support Nominees of the Democratic Party.    No person shall be an officer or member of the Executive Committee if he/she shall not support nominees of the Democratic Party.  Failure to support the nominees of the Democratic Party shall be cause for removal.  Officers may be removed under this Section by the Executive Committee by a simple majority of those present at any regular meeting or any meeting called for that purpose after at least ten (10) days prior notice to all members of the Executive Committee.

SECTION 11: Resignations. The resignation of any officer of the Executive Committee shall be made in writing and shall take effect at the time specified therein, or if no time is specified, then it shall take effect upon receipt of such resignation by the chair or secretary.

ARTICLE IX. – COMMITTEES

SECTION 1: Committees Appointed By Chair.   The chair may establish committees, to be composed solely of Executive Committee members or partly Executive Committee members and partly others, as it deems appropriate.

SECTION 2: Term of Office. Each member of a committee shall serve at the pleasure of the person or entity creating the committee, but no longer than until the next convention or until the committee is terminated.

SECTION 3: Removal of any Member of the Committee. Any member of any committee may be removed by the person or persons authorized to appoint such member whenever, in their judgment, the best interest of the Party shall be served by that removal.

ARTICLE X. -BUSINESS AT MEETINGS

The regular order of business at Executive Committee meetings shall be as follows:

  1. a. Call to Order
  2. b. Invocation (optional)
  3. c. Pledge of Allegiance
  4. d. Roll call
  5. e. Reading and approval of the minutes of previous meeting
  6. f. Treasurer’s report
  7. g. Reports of committees
  8. h. Resolutions
  9. i. Unfinished business
  10. j. New business
  11. k. Elections (if necessary)
  12. l. Announcements
  13. m. Adjournment

ARTICLE XI. – RESOLUTIONS

All proposed resolutions must be submitted to the chair at least one (1) week prior to a meeting. Emergency resolutions may be brought before the body by consent of a two-thirds (2/3) majority of those present.

ARTICLE XII. – CONTRACTS AND EXPENDITURES

SECTION 1: Contracts; Expenditures; Bill Retention.    All Executive Committees are urged to operate under an approved budget.  Except in the case of an emergency for items not designated in the budget, no expenditures or bills shall be made or contracts entered into which purport to obligate the Executive Committee unless such expenditures or contracts are authorized by a majority vote of those present at a duly called meeting at which a quorum is present, except that those expenditures for less than one hundred Dollars ($100) obligating the Executive Committee may be authorized by the chair of the Executive Committee.  The treasurer shall present a monthly itemized statement of income and expenditures to Executive Committee members.   All paid bills shall be retained by the treasurer for a period of two (2) years. All bills shal be paid by check and the check shall be retained.

SECTION 2: Audits. Auditors may be designated by the Executive Committee, who shall audit and examine the books of account of the Carter County Democratic Party and shall certify to the Executive Committee the annual balances of the books which shall be prepared at the close of the fiscal year by or under the direction of the treasurer.

ARTICLE XIII. – PARLIAMENTARY PROCEDURES

The current edition of Robert Rules of Order, Newly Revised, shall govern meetings of the Executive Committee in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with the bylaws and any special rules of order which may be adopted.

ARTICLE XIV. – AMENDMENTS

These bylaws may be amended or substituted by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the total membership of the Executive Committee at any meeting of the Executive Committee called for the purpose of amending these bylaws.

ARTICLE XV. – PRIMARY BOARD

SECTION 1: Primary elections:

(a) The Executive Committee is the governing authority of the Democratic Party of Carter   County, Tennessee, in respect to the county primary election.

b)       Fifteen (15) days prior to the filing deadline for an election, in the event one or more candidates have expressed their intention to seek the Democratic Party’s nomination for county office, the Executive Committee, in a meeting called for that specific purpose, shall determine whether there will be a party primary or a party convention to decide contests in question.

c)       When a party primary is not held, a Carter County Democratic Convention shall be held in sufficient time to place the nomated candidates on the election ballot.

ARTICLE XVI. – RULES

The Carter County Democratic Party is a constituent party of the Tennessee Democratic Party.  The Carter County Democratic Executive Committee is an organization created by the State Democratic Executive Committee, with the State Democratic Executive Committee having full authority in all matters over the Carter County Democratic Executive Committee.  Any conflict between the county bylaws and the bylaws of the Tennessee Democratic Party, the bylaws of the Tennessee Democratic Party bylaws prevail.

Amended Feb. 26, 2011

NEWLY ELECTED OFFICERS’ PLEDGE OF ACCEPTANCE FOR THE ADOPTED BYLAWS

We hereby witness the acceptance of the newly adopted bylaws of the Carter County Democratic Party.  We have agreed to abide by these bylaws while serving as an officer of the Carter County Democratic Party.  I also pledge to support Democrats while holding this office.

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