Athens-Clarke County Democratic Committee Bylaws
1 The name of this organization shall be the Athens-Clarke County Democratic Committee, hereafter to be referred to as The Committee. All members, officers, and subdivisions of the Committee are subject to these Bylaws and to the Charter and Bylaws of the State Committee of the Democratic Party of Georgia, hereafter to be referred to as the State Committee.
2.1 Duties of the Committee shall be:
- To elect State Committee members in compliance with State Committee Bylaws, Article II, Section 1.
- To determine Party Districts and Apportionment as directed by State Committee Bylaws, Article VII, Section 1 and to file changes with the State Party Chair and the Athens-Clarke Co. Election Superintendent
- 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 raise funds for the above purposes, and
- To perform such other duties as may be required by the State Committee
Membership and Party Districts
3.1. County Apportionment Plan. District lines shall coincide with Athens-Clarke County Commission Districts 1 through 10 with 7 members elected from each District for a total elected Committee membership of 70. In addition, there will be 2 alternate members from each district who may act in the absence of a regular member from that district and be counted toward achieving quorum. In the event that all members from a given district are in attendance for a meeting, alternate members may participate but will not vote nor be counted toward achieving a quorum.
3.2. Challenge to the County Apportionment Plan. Challenges must be made in accordance with State Committee Bylaws Article VII, Section 2.
3.3 Registered Voter. All members, including Ex Officio and Emeritus, must be registered to vote in Athens-Clarke County.
3.4. Designation of Posts and Terms. The Committee shall designate one half of the elected Committee Posts to be elected in Gubernatorial election years and one half to be elected in Presidential election years. Where elected, Committee members shall take office shall take office on the first day of the first month after their elections.
Elected Committee members shall serve 4-year terms except where terms are affected by reapportionment, in which case all terms shall be terminated.
3.5. Election Procedure. Posts that are declared open due to the expiration of members’ terms will be ?lled through a general caucus to be held within 45 days after the initial primary election. All members and supporters of the ACCDC will be noti?ed of the time and place of the caucus through the public posting of a notice in the county organ of record and by other means aimed at reaching potential participants.
While anyone seeking election or re-election to an open post is strongly encouraged to attend the caucus, he or she may self-nominate in absentia prior to the caucus or, with their permission, be nominated by someone else in attendance. Posts on the committee are apportioned among the 10 Athens-Clarke County Commission Districts. All serving members must be a voting resident of the district within which they are chosen to serve.
Once the caucus has been declared open by the Chair of the ACCDC or, in his/her absence, by another designated ACCDC of?cer, nominations for open posts within a district will be solicited from those in attendance and will be added to any previously submitted nominations for posts in that district. All present for the caucus who are registered to vote in Athens-Clarke County shall have the right to vote regardless of their current membership in the ACCDC .
Should the slate of nominees within a district be less than or equal to the number of open posts for that district, the Chair will entertain a motion that all nominees in that district be elected by acclamation. Should there be more nominees than open posts for that district, the list of nominees will be presented to the meeting, and all nominees will have up to 2 minutes to make their case for election. Members will then be elected by secret ballot. Each person in attendance will have as many votes as the number of open posts in that district. The nominees will then be ranked by the number of votes cast for them with the top vote-getters deemed to have won membership.
3.6. Ex Officio Members. The Committee shall also include as voting members, members of the State Committee and the Democratic National Committee, the Congressional District Chair(s), and elected state officials who reside in and are registered to vote in Athens-Clarke County. One Ex Officio member representing any affiliate with a duly recognized chapter chartered in Athens-Clarke County may also be included. One Ex Officio member representing any local affiliate issued a charter by The Committee may be included.
3.7 Emeritus Members. The Executive Committee may submit names of members who are at least 55 years old and have at least 10 years of continuous active membership on the Committee to the Committee membership to be elected to Emeritus status. Election to Emeritus status will be by simple majority of members present at the meeting in which the names are submitted. Such Emeritus members shall be full voting members but shall be exempt from dues and any other obligations of Committee membership.
3.8. Dues. The Executive Committee is empowered to set reasonable dues for members, to be determined upon election of the new officers. Dues shall be payable each year. No member will be denied participation for failure to pay.
Election of Officers and Executive Committee
4.1. The Committee shall elect officers no later than December 31 of even numbered years, to take office beginning at the close of the meeting at which they are elected. 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, a Secretary, a Treasurer, and the following Vice Chairs: Vice Chair for Affirmative Action, Vice Chair for Candidate Development, Vice Chair for Communications, Vice Chair for Community Engagement, Vice Chair for Fundraising, Vice Chair for Membership, and Vice Chair for Special Projects. 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. The Committee may elect two members to co-serve in any position listed herein.
4.3. The Officers shall serve 2 year terms.
4.4. The Executive Committee shall consist of the duly elected Officers listed in paragraph 4.2 above, the immediate Past-Chair of the Committee, any Emerita Past Chair, any Emeritus Past Chair, and the Committee’s appointed Liaison to the County Board of Elections.
4.5. All other officers of the Committee and all members of subcommittees, elected or appointed, shall serve at the pleasure of the Committee.
5.1 Poll Officers. In accordance with Georgia Election Code and State Committee Bylaws, Article VII, Section 7, poll officers to conduct primaries and elections shall be recommended by the Committee to the Athens-Clarke County Election Superintendent.
5.2 Poll Watchers. In accordance with Georgia Election Code and State Committee Bylaws, Article VII, Section 7, two official poll watchers may be designated by the Committee for each precinct for each election.
Committee Functions, Records, and Certification
6.1. Records. 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 Filing of Records. The Committee shall report directly to the State Committee Chair and shall file 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 Committee Chair that the Committee duly constituted and organized is following sound financial operating procedure. Such filing shall be in accordance with State Committee Bylaws, Article VII, Section 7.6.
6.3. Certification of Officers and Membership. The list of members and officers shall be certified in writing by two members of the Executive Committee.
Meetings and Voting
7.1 Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shall meet regularly at least once each quarter to establish an agenda for the regular Committee meeting and to transact other business in the Committee’s interest.
7.2. Regular Meetings. The Committee shall meet regularly at least once each quarter. Special meetings may be called by the Committee Chair. 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.
7.3. Emergency Meetings. Emergency meetings may be called within 5 days’ notice upon approval of the Executive Committee.
7.4. Quorum. A quorum for conduct of Committee business shall be at least 25 percent of the members including Ex Officio members, unless otherwise required in these Bylaws.
7.5. Voting. No person shall be entitled to more than one vote. Voting by proxy is not permitted. Secret ballot shall be permissible only when electing Committee members and State Convention Delegates in accordance with State Committee Bylaws, Article 1, Section 4.
7.6. All meetings shall be open to the public unless the Committee votes to go into Executive Session as provided in State Committee Bylaws, Article I, Section 4.
7.7. Unless otherwise provided for, Robert’s Rules of Order most recently revised shall govern the conduct of all meetings.
7.8 Nonpartisan Candidates Speaking at ACCDC Events Any non-endorsed nonpartisan candidate desiring to speak at any ACCDC event shall complete a provided affidavit attesting to being a Democrat and supporting Democratic principles and the ACCDC platform prior to being granted permission to address those assembled unless granted special permission by the ACCDC Executive Committee.
8.1. The Committee shall provide for an Affirmative Action Subcommittee as required by State Committee Bylaws Article VII, Section 8, which shall be headed by the Vice Chair for Affirmative Action.
8.2. The Executive Committee shall establish Standing Subcommittees, Ad Hoc Subcommittees, or Teams as considered appropriate.
8.3 The Subcommittee for Candidate Development is responsible for recruiting and vetting candidates, working with Democratic candidates and their campaigns to help win partisan and/or nonpartisan elected offices, and developing campaign volunteers. If more than one Democrat is running in the same race, the Committee can provide the same opportunities and resources to every Democratic candidate.
9.1. All vacancies in Committee posts shall be filled by election by the Committee for the remaining term of office. Posts shall be declared vacant for members who have not attended and/or requested excused absences for six consecutive monthly meetings.
9.2. Names of prospective Committee members shall be submitted in the form of nominations to the Vice Chair for Membership. Names of nominees shall be read at one meeting at which the nominees are in attendance and voted on at the next meeting of the Committee at which the nominees are in attendance, provided no more than four months have transpired, by secret ballot as described in Article VII, Section 5 of these Bylaws. Current committee members changing districts will be given priority and automatically moved into any vacant positions. Thereafter, alternates will automatically be moved into any vacant positions occurring within a district.
10.1. Committee members and officers may be removed by the Committee for cause, with reasonable notice, and with the opportunity to be heard, by a 2/3 vote of the Committee provided a 40% quorum of members is met, in accordance with the State Committee Bylaws, Article VII, Section 10.
10.2 Any person subject to removal from office shall receive a written notice of the alleged reasons for removal.
10.3. The removal procedure shall be conducted by a Subcommittee appointed by the Chair. Where the Chair is subject to the procedures, the Subcommittee shall be appointed by a majority of the other Executive Committee members.
10.4. The person subject to removal shall have the right to be informed of all persons who will witness against him/her and who will testify in support of the charges, at least 10 days before a hearing on said charges before the full Committee.
10.5. The person subject to removal shall have the right to counsel and to present witnesses, documents and arguments. The Subcommittee shall be afforded the same right.
11.1. No member of the Committee shall receive compensation for or be reimbursed for expenses in attending a Committee meeting.
Prohibitions and Contributions
12.1. The Committee is explicitly prohibited from supporting a Democratic candidate who has opposition in a primary or special election, nor shall a member use his/her office to support an opposed primary or special election candidate. No member shall publicly support another candidate other than the Democratic nominee in a partisan general election.
12.2. Any contributions made to a candidate who subsequently leaves the Democratic Party will be handled in accordance with State Committee Bylaws, Article I, Section 8.
12.3. In endorsement of candidates in nonpartisan elections, names approved by the Executive Committee will be brought to ACCDC members at a regularly scheduled meeting for possible endorsement through a two-thirds (2/3) vote. Should a member of the Executive Committee be running for office, he/she will recuse him/herself from any decision-making in this endorsement process. No candidate endorsements in nonpartisan elections will be made before the end of qualifying.
13.1. Any action by the Committee may be reversed by a 2/3rd majority vote of the membership of the State Executive Committee, in accordance with State Committee Bylaws Article VII, Section 14.
14.1. These Bylaws may be amended at any Committee meeting by a 2/3rd majority vote of those present, provided at least 10 days written notice of said amendments has been provided to all members including Ex Officio members.
Approved by the Athens-Clarke County Democratic Committee
July 26, 2018