bylaws

UPDATED APRIL 6, 2024

The name of this organization shall be the “Libertarian Party of Delaware” (LPDE), a Political Party registered in the State of Delaware.

The purpose of the LPDE is to

give voice to libertarian principles;
promote membership in the LPDE;
promote and coordinate affiliate organizations throughout the State of Delaware;
enter into political information activities;
build single-issue coalitions around libertarian ideas;
nominate Libertarian candidates for federal, statewide, and local elections in Delaware;
support Libertarian candidates for political office in Delaware with a focus on state and local office.

A.  The LPDE is affiliated with the National Libertarian Party (LP National), although we reserve the right to act independently, develop our own bylaws, and create our own political platform.

B.  The LPDE may affiliate as a member of a national Region in accordance with LP National bylaws.

C.  County Affiliates

i.  Members in each of the three Delaware counties may organize County Affiliates of the LPDE.

ii.  These County Affiliates shall either adopt the Bylaws of the LPDE or develop their own Bylaws which must meet the following criteria:

a.  They do not conflict with any LPDE governing or operating documents;

b.  They provide an equitable method for selecting representatives from the County Affiliate to the LPDE State Committee (State Board); AND

c.  The county chair may not concurrently be the secretary or the treasurer.

iii.  In the event of conflicting bylaws between a County Affiliate and LPDE, the LPDE bylaws shall supersede.

iv.  There shall not be more than one County Affiliate in a single county.

v.  Affiliation of a County must be approved by the Executive Committee by majority vote, or by Members at a Convention by majority vote.

vi.  If any County Affiliate is unable to internally resolve a question of its rightful powers, duties, leadership, all questions under these Bylaws, compliance with these Bylaws, or legal obligations, the matter shall be submitted to the State Board for investigation with a petition signed by one-third (1/3) of Members in the County. After investigation, the State Board may, by a two-thirds (2/3) vote, call a special convention for the County Affiliate within fourteen (14) days so that the Members in the County may resolve the dispute.

vii.  Dissolution of a County Affiliate shall only occur by either:

a.  The vote of a majority of Members residing in that County; or

b.  The vote of three-fourths (3/4) of the State Board for cause. The representatives to the State Board from the County Affiliate in question shall not vote and shall not count toward the voting threshold.

viii.  A County Affiliate that has been dissolved shall transfer all resources, and a list of outstanding duties and obligations, to the State Board to be held in trust until the                   outcome of a Special Convention. No County Affiliate may transfer its assets preceding its dissolution with an eye towards avoiding this requirement. Nothing in this section          requires the State Board to assume any liabilities of dissolved County Affiliates.

ix.  If a County Affiliate is to be dissolved, the State Board may, within fourteen (14) days, alternatively choose to call a Special Convention for that County Affiliate, in accordance with these Bylaws, to remedy the issue(s) which triggered dissolution. Otherwise, that County Affiliate is dissolved.

A.  Members, in Convention, are the supreme authority of the Party.

B.  Membership is uniform throughout the LPDE and all County Affiliates. No County Affiliate may create, alter, or delete membership requirements.

C.  Any person meeting the following criteria, for at least the previous 60 days, is a member of the LPDE:

i.  Resides in Delaware;

ii.  Is not registered to vote in another state;

iii. Has agreed to abide by these bylaws; AND

iv.  Must have met at least one of the following criteria:

a.  Is registered to vote as a Libertarian in Delaware; OR

b.  Is a sustaining member of LP National and is eligible to register to vote in Delaware.

D.  Other Membership Waivers

i.  Applies to Article IV.C.iv.a. – A waiver shall be granted by the State Board, or by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Members at the LPDE Annual Convention, if a Delaware resident submits a timely voter registration change to Libertarian to the appropriate Delaware authority. The change request must be submitted at least one week prior to any deadline, and, through no fault of that resident, the Delaware authority fails to properly process the registration. The burden of proof shall be on the resident to prove timely submittal of the voter registration change.

ii.  Applies to Article IV.C.iv.b. – A waiver may be granted to Delaware residents unable to legally register to vote, because they have been convicted of a felony, upon approval by the State Board or by 2/3 of membership at the LPDE Annual Convention.

E.  Any person meeting the criteria in Article IV.C. is a Member of a County Affiliate if they reside within boundaries of the County Affiliate.

F.  Discipline of Members shall be governed by the parliamentary authority.

A.  Executive Committee

i.  Nomination and Election

a.  The Executive Committee (Officers) shall be nominated from the floor by, and elected in the order of State Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, by vote of Members at the LPDE Annual Convention. All Officers shall be Members in good standing and registered to vote as Libertarian in Delaware. All Officers shall be elected in odd numbered years at the LPDE Annual Convention, shall take office immediately upon the close of the Convention at which they were elected, and shall hold office for a term of two (2) years OR until their successors are elected. For clarification: Officers may be removed from office at the pleasure of the Members as provided in the parliamentary authority.

ii.  The LPDE Executive Committee shall be comprised of the following Officers:

a.  State Chair, an officer who is responsible for presiding at all meetings of the Executive Committee and State Board, being the primary spokesperson for the LPDE, and signing contracts approved by the Executive Committee or State Board on behalf of the Party.

b.  Vice-Chair, an officer who is responsible for assisting the chair, performing the duties of the Chair when the Chair is unable to perform those duties, and performing the duties of the Secretary when the Secretary is unable to perform those duties. If the office of Chair becomes vacant, the Vice-Chair shall immediately become the Chair. If the office of Treasurer becomes vacant, the Vice-Chair shall immediately become the Acting Treasurer for up to ninety (90) days or until a Treasurer has been appointed.

c.  Secretary, an officer who is responsible for preparing an agenda for LPDE meetings, maintaining all records of the Executive Committee and State Board (except financial transactions), recording the minutes of all Executive Committee and State Board meetings, and performing the duties of the Vice Chair if the Vice-Chair is unable to perform those duties or the Vice-Chair is vacant.

d.  Treasurer, an officer who is responsible for receiving, expending, and accounting for all LPDE finances, and for preparing and submitting campaign finance reports as mandated by law.

iii.  Quorum shall be a majority of active Executive Committee members; vacancies and suspensions from office shall not count toward determining quorum.

iv.  The Executive Committee will also be responsible for any other duties applicable to their offices as prescribed by the parliamentary authority adopted by the LPDE.

v.  Upon resignation of an Office by an Officer, the State Board may fill the vacancy.

B.  State Committee

i.  Between annual conventions, the LPDE shall be governed by the State Committee (State Board), functioning as the Board of Directors, empowered to collect and expend funds, operate day-to-day tasks, and act on behalf of Members as specified in, and limited by, these Bylaws. The State Committee is the regularly organized and constituted statewide governing authority of the LPDE.

ii.  The State Board shall be comprised of the Executive Committee and no more than two representatives from each County Affiliate. The County Affiliate representatives may be selected based on rules and procedures established by the individual County Affiliates as long as those rules and procedures do not conflict with these Bylaws, and their election may take place either at a County Affiliate meeting or at a caucus of the members from an individual County Affiliate at the LPDE Annual Convention. Any vacancies of County Affiliate representatives to the State Board may be filled by the County Affiliate to complete the existing term.

iii.  Quorum shall be a majority of active State Board members; vacancies and suspensions from office shall not count toward determining quorum.

iv.  Order of Succession

a.  Upon the Office of Chair being vacated, including a suspension from Office, the following ranking order shall be utilized in determining the acting Chair. If the ranking State Board member has been vacated, including a suspension from Office, the next ranking State Board Member will become the acting Chair. If no Officer from the list below is available to serve as acting Chair, a Special Convention, in accordance with Article VI.B.iii, shall be called within 30 days and held within 60 days.

(i).  Vice Chair

(ii).  Secretary

(iii).  Treasurer

C.  Proxies

i.  Each State Board Member shall have the right to appoint a Proxy no more than three (3) times per calendar year for State Board meetings.

ii.  If an Officer appoints a Proxy, the Proxy must be a Member.

iii.  If a County Affiliate representative to the State Board appoints a Proxy, the Proxy must be a Member of that County Affiliate.

D.  Absences

i.  If an Officer is absent from a State Board meeting four (4) times in a calendar year, that Officer’s voting rights on the Executive Committee, State Board, and any subcommittee shall be automatically suspended. The State Board shall have the authority to reinstate the Officer by a two-thirds (2/3 vote) at the fourth (4th) meeting from which the Officer is absent. Upon reinstatement of the Officer, each subsequent absence from a State Board Meeting shall be treated in the same manner as the fourth (4th) absence. If the State Board does not reinstate the Officer, the Office shall be considered vacant, and the State Board shall call a special convention for the purpose of the Members electing a new Member to fill the vacancy.

ii.  If any other State Board Member is absent from a State Board meeting four (4) times in a calendar year, that State Board Member’s voting rights on the State Board shall be automatically suspended. The County Affiliates shall be responsible for resolving any issues with their representatives to the State Board.

A.  Executive Committee and State Board Meetings

i.  Meetings of the State Board shall be held at 7pm on the fourth Sunday of each month, unless otherwise changed by the State Board.

ii.  State Board meeting shall be broadcast electronically to allow remote viewing.

iii.  State Board meetings may be held electronically.

iv.  Except as specifically outlined in these Bylaws, all meetings and actions taken by the Executive Committee and State Board shall be open to all Members for attendance, but not necessarily for participation or comment. Meetings shall be advertised, except in an emergency, to encourage transparency, provided, that the Executive Committee and State Board may close meetings to the public for an Executive Session. The purpose of the Executive Session shall be made public, and Executive Session shall be limited to:

a.  Deliberations on the future acquisition or sale of real property by the LPDE, when publicity would be likely to affect the price.

b.  Discussions of proposed or pending litigation against or on behalf of the LPDE, or to otherwise receive confidential legal advice.

c.  Discussions or hearings which might lead to appointment, discipline, or dismissal of a particular Member, employee, or contractor.

d.  Discussion of electoral strategies in support of nominated candidates for external political office, or other matters related to confidential political strategy.

e.  Meetings which federal or state law specifically require to be conducted privately.

f.  Discussion of information technology infrastructure which would compromise the security of Party operations.

v.  In the case of an emergency, where the regular notice requirements would extend beyond a deadline specified in these Bylaws, State Law, or State Regulations, an emergency meeting may be called. All members must be notified by text message and email of the timing and topic. The draft minutes shall be published within twenty-four (24) hours.

B.  Conventions

i.  Voting Procedures

a.  Election of party officers, standing subcommittee members, delegates to the national convention, and nominations of candidates for public office shall be by a majority of votes cast.

b.  “None of the Above” (NOTA) shall always be a candidate.

c.  If there is not a majority, the candidate with the least number of votes shall be dropped (except for NOTA) and a new vote shall be taken. If there is a tie vote for the last two candidates, there shall be a ten-minute recess and the vote shall be repeated.  This procedure shall continue until the tie is broken.

ii.  LPDE Annual Convention

a.  The State Board must annually call a convention of all Members, known as the Annual Convention.

(i).  Notice of Annual Convention must include the date, time, and location of the Convention being called. The State Board shall provide notice for the Annual Convention for the State Party at least thirty (30) days prior.

(ii).  Members may call the Annual Convention, as set forth in the requirements for calling a Special Convention in Article VI.B.iii. in order to ensure deadlines for nominations and elections are met.

b.  Annual Convention Agenda

(i).  Agenda to be set by convention committee, with state board approval, published 2 weeks prior to convention.

iii.  Special Convention

a.  A Special Convention must be called with a specific purpose and agenda, and that purpose and agenda made public as part of the notice of the Special Convention. No other activities may occur at a Special Convention other than those properly noticed to the Voting Members and no suspension of the rules may be made to the contrary.

b.  A Special Convention of the LPDE may be called by the State Board, and with at least thirty (30) days’ notice to the Members. A Special Convention called by the State Board shall not be called more than twice annually. Any authority of the State Board to call a Special Convention outside of Article IV.B.iii. shall not count toward this limit.

c.  A Special Convention may be called by petition of one-third (1/3) of the Members. Such a call shall be in writing at least forty (40) days prior to the convention date, signed by those members, with notice given to the Chair and Secretary. The Chair shall provide notice to the Members within five (5) days of receipt of the petition. No Member shall be permitted to sign more than one such Special Convention petition more than once per calendar quarter. If a Special Convention is not successfully called, a Member’s signature shall not be counted toward that limit.

d.  A Special Convention may be canceled by petition of one-half (1/2) of the Members of the Party. Such a cancellation shall be in writing at least fourteen (14) days prior to the convention date, signed by those members, with notice given to the Chair and Secretary. The Chair shall provide notice of the cancellation to the Members within five (5) days of receipt of the petition.

iv.  National Convention

a.  Only Members shall be eligible to be delegates to the LP National Convention.

b.  The Delegate List shall be a prioritized list of Delegates to the National Convention, numbering no more than the maximum number of Primary Delegates from Delaware, as determined by LP National, times two (2). The Delegate List shall be vacated upon the LPDE Annual Convention, which immediately precedes the LP National Convention, being called to order.

c.  The Delegation Chair shall receive the first position. If no Delegation Chair exists, then Primary Delegates who have checked-in shall elect a new Delegation Chair from amongst themselves.

(i).  They shall be responsible for submitting the Delegate List to LP National prior to the deadline set by LP National.

(ii).  They shall be responsible for calling upon Primary Delegates to participate in national convention business.

(iii).  When applicable, the Delegation Chair is responsible for ensuring all paperwork necessary for filing Libertarian Party candidates for President and Vice-President is completed on-site at the LP National Convention and shall promptly deliver that completed paperwork to the State Board Secretary.

d.  The remainder of the Delegate List shall be prioritized by order of election, starting with the second delegate, by nomination and election from the floor of the LPDE Annual Convention immediately preceding the LP National Convention.

(i).  Delegates shall attend the National Party Convention and exercise their vote on the basis of individual conscience. They shall not be bound to vote for or against any particular issues or candidates.

(ii).  Any Delegate that either does not check in at least one hour prior to the opening of business, resigns from the role, or is absent for more than one-hundred twenty (120) minutes cumulatively during business may be removed from the Delegate List by the Delegation Chair. A Delegate is not considered absent if they are present at the venue but performing official functions or party business off of the floor.

A.  Standing Subcommittees

i.  Unless explicitly specified, all standing subcommittees shall have an odd number of subcommittee members, comprised of at least three (3) Members. Standing subcommittee members shall be elected for two-year terms, in even years, at the LPDE Annual Convention. Vacancies shall be filled by the State Board.

ii.  Bylaws Subcommittee

a.  The subcommittee shall be comprised of the LPDE Vice Chair as the subcommittee chair, plus at least two At-Large Members.

b.  The committee may recommend changes to the governing documents of the LPDE. Such recommendations shall be submitted to the Members for approval at the LPDE Annual Convention.

iii.  Credentials Committee

a.  The subcommittee shall be comprised of the LPDE Secretary as the subcommittee chair, plus at least two At-Large Members.

b.  The subcommittee shall be responsible for certifying that all Members of a Convention meet the membership criteria outlined in these Bylaws, and for reporting the names and numbers to the Members for approval.

B.  Ad-Hoc Directors and Subcommittees

i.  The State Board may create and populate ad-hoc Directors and subcommittees, the term for which shall end upon termination by the State Board or upon the LPDE Annual Convention being adjourned, whichever comes first. The function of a Director or ad-hoc subcommittee shall not overlap the authority or functions already defined for subcommittees or Directors.

a.  Directors may be appointed ad-hoc to execute a task or related set of tasks, provided the role does not overlap any Director or Standing Committee already defined, who shall serve at the pleasure of the State Board and directly report to the State Board Chair. The State Board Chair shall have the authority to suspend and temporarily replace a Director for up to thirty (30) days, subject to review and approval by the State Board. A Director shall not have more authority than what is granted under these Bylaws and authorized by the State Board Chair.

 

 

C.  To be a voting member on any subcommittee, a person must be a Member of the LPDE. Directors and subcommittees may appoint non-voting members, who report to and serve at the pleasure of the Director or subcommittee, respectively, as consultants to facilitate or operate any part of their duties.

D.  Subcommittee Meetings

i.  Subcommittee meetings may be conducted in person, electronically, or any combination thereof.

ii.  Meetings shall be held at the call of the Director or Chair of the subcommittee, with at least seven (7) days’ notice; unless waived by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the entire subcommittee in the event of an emergency.

iii.  Minutes or a recording of the meeting shall be kept for every subcommittee meeting and made available to the Members. Minutes shall be presented and approved within one month following a meeting. Upon approval, minutes shall be provided to the State Board Secretary within seven (7) days and posted to the LPDE website within fourteen (14) days.

iv.  Except as specifically outlined in these Bylaws, all meetings and actions taken by a subcommittee shall be open to all Members, and meetings shall be advertised, except in an emergency, to encourage transparency; provided, however, that the Subcommittee may close its meetings to the public for an Executive Session. The purpose of the Executive Session shall be made public, and Executive Session shall be limited to:

a.  Deliberations on the future acquisition or sale of real property by the LPDE, when publicity would be likely to affect the price.

b.  Discussions of proposed or pending litigation against or on behalf of the LPDE, or to otherwise receive confidential legal advice.

c.  Discussions or hearings which might lead to appointment, discipline, or dismissal of a particular Member, employee, contractor, or volunteer.

d.  Discussion of electoral strategies in support of nominated candidates for external political office, or other matters related to confidential political strategy.

e.  Meetings which federal or state law specifically require to be conducted privately.

f.  Discussion of information technology infrastructure which would compromise the security of Party operations.

v.  In the case of an emergency, where the regular notice requirements would extend beyond a deadline specified in these Bylaws, State Law, or State Regulations, an emergency meeting may be called. All members must be notified by text message and email of the timing and topic. The draft minutes shall be published within twenty-four (24) hours.

E.  Except as outlined, temporary or permanent vacancies on a subcommittee shall be filled by the State Board until the next Annual Convention or until a Special Convention called for that purpose.

A.  The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the LPDE in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws and any special rules of order the LPDE may adopt.

A.  These Bylaws shall only be amended by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of Members at a Convention as long as notice of the proposed changes was given by the Bylaws Subcommittee at least 30 days in advance.

B.  Proposed amendments may be submitted by any Member to the Bylaws Subcommittee for review.

 

LP Delaware