Mason County Democrats
The purpose of this organization is to foster and promote the principles of the Democratic Party, to promote the efficiency of government, to further the success of the Party in all national, state, and county elections, to educate our own members and the public in the principles of the Party, to support elected Party officials, and to bring prosperity, happiness and security to all people.
We establish these bylaws under the Charter and Bylaws of the Democratic Party of the State of Washington.
ARTICLE 1 – NAME AND MEMBERSHIP
Section 1: Special Terms
“Associate Member” means a person who is a Member, but not a PCO
“Approved Budget” means the two-year budget approved or amended by the Governing Body in accordance with Article 8.
“Mason County Democrats” means the Governing Body and all Members.
“MCDCC” means the Mason County Democratic Central Committee
“Member” means any person who is a member of the Mason County Democrats regardless of whether an elected PCO, an appointed PCO, or an associate Member; Membership in the collective
“Party” means Democratic Party
“PCO” means Precinct Committee Officer; “PCOs” in the collective
“State Committee Members” is the collective term for the State Committeewoman and State Committeeman
“State Party” means the Democratic Party of the State of Washington, its Charter and Bylaws
Section 2: Name
The official name of the organization is the Mason County Democratic Central Committee.
Section 3: Governing Body
In accordance with Article VIII of State Party Bylaws, the Governing Body consists of all elected and appointed PCOs.
Section 4: Members
Any resident of Mason County who declares themselves to be a Democrat may become a Member upon payment of annual dues. Members who are not PCOs are associate Members. The right of associate Members to vote vests thirty (30) days after the payment of dues. Thereafter, each Member shall renew membership by payment of dues in February of each year. Renewing Members who pay dues by March 1 are not subject to the thirty day vesting period. The Governing Body shall establish the amount of annual dues by the January regular meeting of each calendar year. The Chair or Treasurer may waive payment of dues for any Member, if the Member is unable to pay.
ARTICLE 2 –PRECINCT COMMITTEE OFFICERS
Section 1: PCO Duties
The duties of PCOs are as prescribed by the State Party and law, including but not limited to, Chapter 29A.80 RCW, as amended. Additional duties of PCOs are: (1) attend all organization, regular, and special meetings and participate in and conduct of the organization’s affairs; (2) identify the location for, notify the public of, convene and chair the biennial Party precinct caucus in accordance with state law and the Party charter; (3) attend all Legislative District caucus meetings in the Legislative District in which they reside, and through their participation elect a District Chair, Vice Chair, and two representatives to the State Central Committee; (4) recruit and recommend to the Chair the names of persons willing to serve as Election Board workers; (5), and perform activities such as canvass, doorbell, arrange coffee hours, poll watch to help elect Democrats;
Section 2: PCO Vacancies
In accordance with state law, the Chair may make appointments to fill precinct vacancies subject to approval by the Governing Body. Prior to appointment the proposed PCO must make a personal appearance before the Executive Committee, unless excused for a bona fide reason. No appointment shall be made less than thirty (30) days before an election, nominations, or recommendation to fulfill a vacancy in office. All elected and appointed PCOs shall take the oath of office.
Section 3: Deputy PCOs
A PCO may designate, in writing, a Deputy PCO to carry their proxy and assist in fulfilling PCO duties. The name of the Deputy PCO shall be filed with the Secretary and will remain in effect until revoked by the PCO. The qualifications to be Deputy PCO shall be the same as the qualifications of the PCO under law and these Bylaws. A Deputy PCO may carry the proxy for any vote unless otherwise prohibited by law, the State Party, or these Bylaws.
ARTICLE 3 – OFFICERS
Section 1: Identification and Election of Officers
The officers are the Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, State Committeeman, State Committeewoman, Parliamentarian and Sergeant-at-Arms. The Chair and Vice Chair shall be of opposite sexes in accordance with RCW 29A.80.030, as amended. All officers shall be elected at the organizational meeting held in accordance with Article 6, Section 1 of these Bylaws and shall serve until the time of convening the next organizational meeting. Any Member may hold office.
Section 2: Vacancy in Office
If any office becomes vacant, an election by ballot to fill the vacancy shall be held at the next regular meeting. If the office of Chair is vacant, the Vice Chair shall automatically assume the duties and serve as Acting Chair until an election is held. The Secretary must notify PCOs in writing of the vacancy and the forthcoming election.
Section 3: Conflict of Interest
With the exception candidacy for PCO, no (1) candidate for partisan office or (2) candidate for appointment to a vacancy in an elective partisan office may serve as an officer during the calendar year of the election or appointment. Within two (2) weeks of becoming a candidate, the candidate’s Executive Committee position will be considered vacant.
ARTICLE 4 – DUTIES OF THE OFFICERS
Section 1: Chair
The Chair shall preside over the Executive Committee and all meetings, unless otherwise prescribed by law or the State Party. The Chair shall maintain a position of impartiality while chairing meetings. Accordingly, the Chair shall not customarily vote, except – if the Chair is a PCO – on matters reserved to PCOs. The Chair shall be the chief executive and chief information officer.
Section 2: Vice Chair
The Vice Chair shall perform such duties as usually pertain to that office or as may be assigned by the Chair. The Vice Chair shall preside when the Chair is absent.
Section 3: Secretary
The Secretary shall keep a roll of all Members with contact information, a record of attendance, all minutes of each regular, special, and Executive Committee meetings, all correspondence received and sent, and official copies of the Bylaws, policies, and procedures. The Secretary shall provide notice when and in the manner required by these Bylaws. The Secretary shall be the chief administrative officer.
Section 4: Treasurer
The Treasurer shall keep complete books of account that accurately reflect the receipts, expenditures, assets, and liabilities of the organization, and make all reports required by State and Federal laws and regulations. The Treasurer shall prepare a budget for approval by the Governing Body in accordance with Article 8. All monies received by the organization shall be deposited by the Treasurer in a bank selected by the Executive Committee. Generally in accordance with the Approved Budget, the Treasurer shall receive and disburse funds. The books of the Treasurer shall be audited annually by a committee appointed by the Chair. An annual written financial report shall be provided to the Governing Body at the January regular meeting. The Treasurer shall be the chief financial officer.
Section 5: State Committee Members
The State Committeeman and the State Committeewoman shall represent the county at all meetings of the State Party and provide a report on the meetings to the Membership. These representatives may select an alternate from the Membership to carry their written proxy to State Party meetings. The State Committee Members shall be the chief policy officers.
Section 6: Parliamentarian
The Parliamentarian shall advise on matters of parliamentary procedures and call attention to any substantial error in the proceedings. The Parliamentarian shall maintain a position of impartiality. Accordingly, the Parliamentarian shall not customarily vote, except – if the Parliamentarian is a PCO – on matters reserved to PCOs. The Parliamentarian shall be the chief protocol officer.
Section 7: Sergeant-at-Arms
The Sergeant-at-Arms shall perform the ordinary duties of Sergeant-at-Arms and endeavor to improve the discipline, interest, enthusiasm, harmony, and good will of the meetings. The Sergeant-at-Arms shall record attendance, greet guests and new Members as they arrive at the meetings, and contact Members who have been absent according to the provisions of Article 9, Section 2.The Sergeant-at-Arms shall be the chief morale officer.
Section 8: Succession of Officers
At the conclusions of their terms in office, each officer shall turn over to the successor all minutes, records, and documents pertaining to the procedures, actions, and history of the organization.
ARTICLE 5 – COMMITTEES
Section 1: Standing Committees
Standing Committees are: 1. Executive Committee; 2. Sunshine Committee
Section 2: Ad hoc Committees
The Chair may create ad hoc committees and appoint Members to such committees. Ad hoc committees shall perform such duties as defined in their creation.
Section 3: Executive Committee
A. The Executive Committee consists of the officers identified in Article 3; the Immediate Past-Chair, who shall be chief historical officer; a representative from the Mason County Democratic Women’s Club; and a representative of Mason County Young Democrats. The Executive Committee shall meet regularly prior to monthly meetings or at the call of the Chair.
B. Only officers identified in Article 3 may vote at Executive Committee meetings.
C. The function of the Executive Committee is to make recommendations to the Membership upon matters of concern and to perform such specified functions and duties as prescribed by bylaw, resolution, policy, or procedure. In emergencies, the Executive Committee may authorize business that normally would be subject to approval by the Membership.
D. All emergency authorizations by the Executive Committee require a quorum of the voting members of the Executive Committee.
Section 4: Sunshine Committee
The Sunshine Committee shall serve as the official liaison between the organization and its Members when a Member becomes ill or is otherwise incapacitated. The Sergeant-at-Arms shall chair the Sunshine Committee and the Chair shall appoint all other members.
ARTICLE 6- ELECTIONS AND RULES OF PROCEDURE
Section 1: Organizational Meeting
A. The organizational meeting shall be held every two years as required by the State Party and the law, including, but not limited to, Chapter 29A.80 RCW, as amended, anytime after certification of the general election (usually December 1) but before the second Saturday in January.
B. The meeting shall be held at time generally convenient to the elected PCOs at a place designated by the Chair. The Secretary shall notify members in writing of the meeting at least five (5) days prior to the date.
C. The only business to be conducted at the organizational is to elect a Chair Pro Tem, then to elect officers identified in Article 3. A quorum is a majority of the elected PCOs.
D. The organization meeting shall be called to order by the Chair, who shall preside until the election of a Chair Pro Tem. The Chair Pro Tem shall preside until all officers are elected.
Section 2: Regular Meetings
Unless otherwise determined by the Governing Body, regular meetings shall be held monthly at a place designated by the Executive Committee. The Chair shall prepare the agenda.
Section 4: Special Meetings
A. Special meetings may be called at anytime by the Chair, or in the Chair’s absence or incapacity, by the Vice Chair, or by a third of the Governing Body.
B. The person or persons calling a special meeting shall designate the location, date, and purpose of the meeting. No business shall be transacted or action taken that is not specified in such notice.
C. The Secretary shall notify the Membership of special meetings in writing at least five (5) days in advance.
Section 5: Who May Vote
A. At the organization meeting, only PCOs certified as elected may vote.
B. After the organization meeting, only the Governing Body may vote (1) to fill officer vacancies, (2) to elect representatives to other Party organizations, (3) to nominate persons for elective office, (4) to nominate replacements for vacancies in elective office, (5) to adopt or amend bylaws, (6) to adopt or amend the Approved Budget, and (7) on any other matter reserved to the Governing Body by law or the State Party.
C. The Membership may vote on all matters not otherwise reserved to the Governing Body. The Membership may make a non-binding advisory vote on any matter that is reserved to the Governing Body upon the motion of any Member.
D. Each Member shall have one vote, unless a weighted vote is required by law or the State Party.
E. Proxy and absentee voting are prohibited, except as otherwise authorized Article 2, Section 3, Deputy PCOs.
Section 6: Additional Procedural Rules
A. The current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order governs all procedural matters not specifically covered by these Bylaws.
B. The presiding officer shall recognize Members before recognizing non-members, though non-members shall be allowed to speak consistent with the rights to speak afforded Members.
C. The Secretary shall record the proceedings of all regular, special, and Executive Committee meetings in writing. In the absence of the Secretary, the presiding officer shall designate someone to record the minutes.
D. Notification in writing may include delivery by hand, electronic or postal mail.
E. Unless otherwise specified, all votes are subject to majority rule, which is more than fifty percent (50%) of the Members, Governing Body, or committee members (as appropriate to the vote taken) present at the meeting.
F. Unless otherwise specified, a quorum consists of Members, Governing Body, or committee members present as appropriate to the vote taken.
ARTICLE 7 – ENDORSEMENT AND SUPPORT OF CANDIDATES AND BALLOT ISSUES
Section 1: Candidates
A. The Membership may endorse, approve, or oppose candidates seeking elected office with or without a request from the candidate.
B. The Membership may endorse only one candidate for each elective office at any one time. The Membership may (1) withdraw an endorsement and endorse another candidate or (2) endorse another candidate if the originally endorsed candidate’s campaign ends.
C. The Membership may approve as many candidates for elective office as it deems appropriate.
D. Paid campaign workers may not vote to endorse, approve, or oppose any candidate for the same office being sought by their candidate
E. The Executive Committee may screen candidates and recommend to the Membership whether to endorse, approve, or oppose any candidate. If a candidate is screened by the Executive Committee, the Membership may endorse, approve, or oppose any candidate by majority vote. If not screened by the Executive Committee, action to endorse, approve or oppose a candidate requires a two-thirds (2/3) vote.
F. Endorsed candidates may receive non-financial aid and financial aid in accordance with Article 8.
G. Approved candidates may receive non-financial aid only.
H. No action equates to no official support for or opposition to a candidate.
Section 2: The Membership may endorse or approve ballot issues.
No action equates to no official support for or opposition to a ballot issue.
ARTICLE 8 – RECEIPT AND DISBURSEMENT OF FUNDS
Section 1: Approved Budget.
At the first regular meeting following the organization meeting, the Governing Body shall approve the Approved Budget, which is a two-year budget that, among other things, establishes the organization’s spending priorities. The Governing Body may amend the budget at any subsequent regular or special meeting.
Section 2: Expenses
A. Expenditures shall generally conform to the amounts allowed for in the Approved Budget.
B. No person or committee shall incur any expenditure unless authorized to do so by the Annual Budget or the Governing Body.
C. The Membership may establish detailed expenditures within the categories in the Approved Budget.
D. In emergencies, the Executive Committee or Treasurer may approve expenditures that do not conform to the Approved Budget, provided notice is given to the Governing Body at the next regular meeting.
Section 3: Financial Aid to Candidates and Campaigns for Ballot Issues.
The Membership may grant any amount of financial aid to any candidate or ballot issue endorsed under Article 7, provided the amount complies with law and also provided, the entire amount of all financial aid granted to all candidates and ballot issues conforms to the Approved Budget.
Section 4: Override by Governing Body. The Governing Body may override any approval of expenditure made by the Membership under this Article 8.
ARTICLE 9 – RESIGNATIONS, DISMISSALS, AND RECALLS
Section 1: Voluntary Resignation
Any Member may resign by submitting a resignation in writing to the Executive Committee. PCOs seeking to resign from elective office must resign in accordance with law.
Section 2: Absence
When records show any PCO has been absent for three consecutive regular meetings without cause, The Governing Body may direct the absent PCO to be asked to attend meetings or submit formal resignation.
Section 3: Recall
Recall of any elected PCO is in accordance with law, including but not limited to, Chapter 29A.56 RCW
ARTICLE 10 – POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
The Membership may adopt or amend policies and procedures to further the aims of the organization and clarify business practices. Approval or amendment of policies and procedures is by majority vote, if thirty days advance notice of the proposal is provided. Without advance notice, approval is by two-thirds (2/3rds) vote. All policies and procedures must be consistent with the bylaws, platform, and policies of the State Party and the MCDCC.
ARTICLE 11 – COUNTY CONVENTION
The Mason County Democratic Convention shall be held in accordance with the State Party. The purpose of the convention is to adopt the county platform and elect state delegates. The Convention members or delegates shall be the maximum number allotted to each precinct and shall be chosen by election in precinct caucus.
ARTICLE 12 – AMENDMENTS
The Bylaws may be amended at any regular meeting by the Governing Body, provided that the amendment was submitted in writing at a previous meeting and written notice of the proposed amendment is given to the Membership five (5) days prior to the meeting at which the amendment is to be voted upon.
These Bylaws are complete as of the meeting held on December 8, 2010.