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CALL TO CAUCUS
STAUNTON DEMOCRATIC COMMITTEE TO HOLD BIENNIAL REORGANIZATION MEETING 7 PM, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2017
- Authority. This call is pursuant to the Virginia Democratic Party Plan, as amended, including the notification requirements of Section 9.
- Purpose. The Staunton Democratic Committee will hold its biennial reorganization meeting at 7 pm Tuesday, December 12, 2017 in the City Council Chambers of Staunton City Hall, 116 West Beverley Street. The purpose of the caucus is to certify membership in the SDC and to elect the SDC Executive Committee for the two-year term 2018-2019. Nominees for the executive committee must pre-file by December 2, 2017.
- SDC Executive Committee Nominee Filing Procedures. Candidates for the SDC Executive Board may be nominated by the SDC Nominating Committee or by some other SDC member, or they can nominate themselves, by pre-filing. To pre-file, the name of the nominee is sent, with his or her consent, to the SDC vice-chair, Katie Cathey, by email stating the position being nominated for, and that the nominee has met the requirements of SDC membership and intends to serve the two-year term if elected. Katie’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org The deadline for pre-filing is December 2, 2017. The names of those pre-filing will be posted on the SDC website. If the posting does not occur the nominee should email again and/or call Katie at (540) 886-6450.
- Establishing Membership in the Staunton Democratic Committee. Section 18.3 of the Virginia Democratic Party Plan specifies that each person voting in a caucus must sign a form that he or she is a Democrat, a registered voter in Staunton (see also Sec 2.2); believes in the principles of the Democratic Party; and does not intend to support any candidate who is opposed to a Democratic nominee in the next ensuing election. Applicants for membership in the Staunton Democratic Committee who sign a form that these facts are true and provide whatever evidence is necessary will be accepted as members and will be given a ballot to vote in the reorganization meeting. The Membership Application (Caucus Participation Form) allows for additional member information and a Donation Slip. Annual dues are $20.00 a year per person. Payment by check is requested. Membership may not be denied for non-payment of dues. A Credentials Committee will set up tables outside the meeting room to process membership application forms, receive dues or donations, provide official ballots, and make a list that can be used at the door when the doors are opened. Doors will be opened at 6:45 and closed at 7:15 pm. Persons in line at 7:15 will be allowed to complete their forms and be processed.
- Election of Caucus Chair. If there is no objection the current chair of the Staunton Democratic Committee will serve as Temporary Caucus Chair to oversee membership processing by the Credentials Committee. When that is complete the Temporary Chair will call the meeting to order and request the nomination and election of a permanent Caucus Chair. The permanent Caucus Chair appoints a caucus secretary and calls for a report of the number of members present. The Caucus Chair appoints a Tellers Committee to collect and count the ballots and votes.
- Adoption of Voting Procedures — Election of SDC Executive Committee. The Caucus Chair will call for a motion to accept the proposed rules for the election of Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer, and Secretary (paras 7 and 8 below).
- Eligibility to vote for the SDC Executive Committee. — All those who established their membership in the SDC should have received an official ballot.
- Voting Procedures. Nominations are opened and closed for each position in turn. Nominations from the floor are allowed only in exceptional circumstances given the pre-filing requirement (para 3). Nominees are encouraged to provide biographic information and speak briefly about why they are running. Voting is by secret ballot. Only one vote may be marked for each position. The ballot will list in alphabetical order the names of the nominees who have pre-filed, opposite the position that they are seeking. The caucus chair reads out the names printed on the ballot for Chair (see para 3).
Election of the SDC Chair. The caucus chair asks if there are any nominations from the floor. For any person nominated from the floor the pre-filing requirement must be waived by majority vote. If the requirement is waived, the name of the nominee from the floor may be written in on the ballot. Nominations for chair are closed. The same procedure is followed for Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer. Then all nominations are closed and the vote is taken.
Obtaining a simple majority. If there are more than two candidates for a given position and no candidate obtains a simple majority of the voters present, the candidate with the fewest votes is dropped (or the two with the lowest votes) and a run-off vote is conducted for the remaining candidates; this procedure is repeated until one of the candidates wins by a simple majority of the caucus participants. If there is a tie, the vote is retaken. If there is still a tie the winner will be determined by the flip of a coin.
- Post-Election Activities. After the election results are announced and all pertinent documentation collected, the caucus will be adjourned. The newly elected SDC chair will call to order the 2018-2019 Staunton Democratic Committee. The new committee will determine where and when its regularly scheduled meetings will take place, when it will meet next, and other business as appropriate. The new committee will adjourn. The 2017 Executive Committee will carry out SDC responsibilities until the end of 2017. The 2017 chair will conduct the final meeting of the 2017 Staunton Democratic Committee, and adjourn.
We all deserve a break after this hard-fought election but the State Democratic Party requires that all local Democratic committees elect or re-elect their officers every two years — chair, vice chair, secretary, and treasurer. The rules require that the reorganization occur between Dec. 1, 2017 and Jan. 15, 2018. If there is, or is likely to be, more than one nominee for any position then a caucus is required. Our caucus will be held on Dec. 12.
Who can vote? SDC members who come to the Staunton City Council room before 7 pm on Dec. 12, 2017, who fill out a SDC membership application form satisfactorily, and pay $20 dues unless already paid in 2017 (but dues payment is not mandatory).
Who are the candidates? — Candidates will be listed alphabetically on an official ballot from nominees posted on the SDC website. A person can be nominated by another member with his/her consent, or nominate oneself, by sending an email to the vice-chair stating that the nominee is a member of the SDC and commits to taking the position for two years (2018-2019). A short statement of why running is optional. Nominees will be posted on the SDC website.
Nominations can be made any time between now and Dec 2.
See the Reorganization page for more details.