Lowndes County Democratic Committee Bylaws
Adopted February 1991;
Revised May 1992, April 1999, August 2000, March 2008, June 2011, August 2012.
1.1 The name of this organization shall be the Lowndes County Democratic Committee.
Governing Authority and Duties
2.1 The Committee shall be the governing authority of the Democratic Party in Lowndes County.
2.2 Duties of the Committee shall be:
To promote development of Party organizations and activities,
To seek and encourage qualified candidates for public office,
To support Democratic nominees,
To perform such primary and election functions as required by law,
To maintain appropriate records,
To promote and add logistical support to the State Affirmative Action Program,
To perform such other duties as may be required by the State Committee,
To elect State Committee members,
To determine Party Districts and Apportionment.
To raise funds for the above purposes,
Membership, Committee Districts, and Election of Members
3.1 Any person over the age of 18, who resides in and is registered to vote in Lowndes County, and who shall declare himself or herself to be a member of the Democratic Party, shall be entitled to membership in the Lowndes County Democratic Party (LCDP).
3.2 Any member of the Lowndes County Democratic Party is eligible to be elected to the Committee.
3.3 The Committee shall have five (5) districts and one at-large district coinciding with County Commission districts, with four (4) Members per district.
3.4 Election of Committee Members.
3.4.1 One half of the district committee posts and one-half of the at large posts shall be elected in Gubernatorial election years and one-half shall be elected in Presidential election years. In the very first election after organizing, all the posts shall be elected. One-half the posts shall end in the next Gubernatorial election year, and the other one-half shall end in the next Presidential election year.
3.4.2 Committee members are to be elected either by a General Primary Ballot or a Party District Caucus. If elected by General Primary Ballot, the Committee may set reasonable fees for qualification.
3.4.3 Whether the election of regular members shall be by primary election or caucus shall be decided in the odd numbered year preceding the election. If the Committee fails to officially select a method, then the Caucus shall elect regular members.
3.4.4 Where the Caucus method is selected, such Caucus shall be held within 45 days following the General Primary. If the Committee does not officially set a time and place, the County Chair shall set the time and place of the Caucus.
3.4.5 Where the General Primary ballot method is selected, the same procedures and rules as those for other county elected officials shall prevail, except that the Committee may set reasonable fees for the qualification of Committee candidates.
3.4.6 Whether the election is by Caucus or General Primary ballot, the candidate receiving the highest number of votes shall be elected without the necessity of a run-off.
3.4.7 Whether the election is by Caucus or General Primary ballot, public notice of the election shall be given by posting the notice in a prominent place in the County Courthouse and by publishing the same in a newspaper of general circulation in the County at least once a week for the four weeks preceding the closing of qualifications for such office.
3.4.8 Only Lowndes County Democratic Party members who reside in a particular County Commission District may vote for a Member from that District.
3.4.9 The County Committee Chair shall appoint chairs of Party District Caucuses.
3.5 Members shall take office on the 1st day of the 1st month after their election, and shall serve for 4 years, unless affected by reapportionment.
3.6 Ex-Officio Members.
All currently serving elected Democratic officials who represent all or part of Lowndes County are Ex-Officio Members of the Lowndes County Democratic Committee. All members of the State Committee who reside in Lowndes County are also Ex-Officio Members of the Lowndes County Democratic Committee. Ex-Officio Members have the same rights as Elected Members, but will not be counted in determining a quorum.
3.7 Dues shall be $25 per year for individuals, $40 for families, and $15 for seniors, students, and military. No member will be denied participation for failure to pay.
Officers and Executive Committee
4.1 The Committee shall elect officers no later than December 31 of even numbered years, to take office January 1 of the following year, or immediately following the election, whichever is earlier. The new Chair shall immediately upon taking office notify the State Committee Chair and appropriate Congressional District Chair of his/her election.
4.2 The Committee shall elect from its membership a Chair, 3 Vice-chairs (for Elections, for Qualifying, and for Membership), a Secretary, and a Treasurer. When possible, at least one of the Vice-Chairs shall be of the opposite gender of the Chair. The person receiving the majority of votes for election to an office shall be declared elected.
4.3 Officers shall serve 2-year terms.
4.4 The Executive Committee shall consist of the officers and shall act on behalf of the Committee between Committee meetings.
Vacancies and Removal
5.1 All vacancies in County Committee Posts or Officers shall be filled by election by the remaining Committee members, provided at least three such members remain.
5.2 County Committee members and officers may be removed by the County Committee for cause, with reasonable notice, and with the opportunity to be heard, by a 2/3 vote of the County Committee provided a 40% quorum of elected members is met.
5.3 Any person subject to removal shall receive written notice of the alleged reasons for removal.
5.4 The removal procedure shall be conducted by a subcommittee appointed by the County Committee Chair. Where the Chair is the subject of the removal procedure, the subcommittee shall be appointed a majority of the other County Committee Officers.
5.5 The person to be removed shall have the right to be informed of all persons who will be witnesses against him/her and who will testify in support of the charges against him/her, at least ten days before a hearing on said charges before the full County Committee.
5.6 The person to be removed shall have the right to counsel and to present all witnesses, documents and arguments in support of his/her position. The subcommittee which has tendered the charges may likewise have counsel and present witnesses, documents, and arguments in support of its position.
Committee Functions, Records, and Certification
6.1 The Committee shall maintain records of all financial transactions, kept on a calendar year basis, and a list of unpaid obligations. Financial records shall be audited each year with a report provided to the Committee no later than the March meeting following the end of the organization year.
6.2 In meeting filing requirements, the Committee shall report directly to the State Chair. The County Committee shall file with the State Chair a list of membership, all rules, regulations, bylaws, and charters of affiliates, an annual report of activities or minutes, the location and signatories of Committee bank accounts, and certification by the County Committee Chair that the Committee duly constituted and organized, and is following sound financial operating procedure. The procedure for certification of officers and membership of the County Committee shall be to file the bylaws and names and addresses of officers and committee members with the Supervisor of Elections with signed and dated copies sent to the State Chair.
Meetings and Voting
7.1 Regular Meetings.
The Committee shall meet regularly at least once each quarter. The Committee Chair may call special meetings. Where meetings are not held in a previously designated time and place, all members shall be provided written notice at least 10 days in advance.
7.2 Emergency Meetings.
Emergency meetings may be called by the Chair upon 5 days notice.
A quorum for conduct of Committee business shall be 20% of the regular Members, unless otherwise required in these Bylaws.
7.4 No person shall be entitled to more than one vote. Secret ballot shall be permissible only when electing Committee members and State Convention Delegates.
7.5 All meetings of each body of the Committee shall be open to the public unless the Committee votes to go into Executive Session.
7.6 Unless otherwise provided for, Robert’s Rules of Order most recently revised shall govern the conduct of all meetings.
8.1 The Committee shall provide for an Affirmative Action Subcommittee, chaired by the Vice Chair for Membership.
8.2 The Chair or the Committee may establish any other committees either deems necessary.
9.1 There shall be no discrimination in the conduct of Committee affairs on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, race, religion, color, handicap, national origin, or age.
9.2 The Committee, and affiliates, are prohibited from supporting a Democratic candidate who has opposition during a primary or Democratic opposition during a special election.
9.3 No Committee member shall use his or her office to support (1) any Democratic candidate in a contested Democratic primary election or (2) any candidate who has Democratic opposition in a special election.
9.4 No Committee member shall publicly support another candidate other than the Democratic nominee in a General Election.
9.5 The endorsement of, support of, or contribution to a candidate of another party or to an opponent of the Democratic nominee may result in the expulsion of such person from the Committee.
9.6 Any contributions to a candidate for public office shall be accompanied by a cover letter, which shall state “This contribution is made on the express condition that, after election, you remain a member of the Democratic Party. Your acceptance and/or use of this contribution is your acknowledgement and contract that should you win election yet at any time prior to the end of your term change parties or leave the Democratic Party, you will repay these amounts.”
9.7 The Committee shall seek reimbursement of any contribution, whether real or in-kind, made to a candidate who qualifies for office as a Democrat and, after qualification, switches to another party.
9.8 The Committee may recognize and allow affiliation of such county organizations as it deem appropriate.
10.1 These Bylaws may be amended at any Committee meeting by a 2/3 vote of those present, provided at least 10 days written notice of said amendments has been provided to all Members.