DOUGLAS COUNTY DEMOCRATIC COMMITTEE
By-Laws Amended May 2022
1.1 The name of this organization shall be the Douglas County Democratic Committee, hereinafter to be referred to as the “County 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, hereinafter referred to as the “State Committee.” Where the Committee and State Party bylaws are in conflict, the State Party bylaws shall prevail.
Governing Authority and Duties
2.1 The Committee shall be the governing authority of the Douglas Democrats County Committee of the Democratic Party of Georgia herein after referred to as “DCDC.”
2.2 Duties of the Committee shall be:
➢ To promote a positive image of the Democratic Party in the local community,
➢ To promote the 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, and
➢ 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 Douglas County, and who shall declare himself or herself to be a member of the Democratic Party, shall be entitled to membership in the DCDC.
3.2 Any member of the DCDC, who is current on annual dues and registered to vote in the County for at least one year, is eligible to be elected to the County Committee but no one shall be denied participation for failure to pay. .
3.3 The County Committee shall consist of Four Districts relating to the County Commission Districts of Douglas County. Each County Commission District shall be allocated six (6) elective members, numbered (1) through (6). Each member of the County Committee, either elected or otherwise appointed, shall be a member of the applicable County Commission District in which he or she resides except at large members. The County Committee shall have two (2) voting members at-large, who may reside anywhere in the County serving a four (4) year terms. These members-at-large are voting members and count toward a quorum.
3.4 County Committee members are to be elected by Party District Caucus.
3.5 Public notice of the election shall be given by publishing the same in a newspaper or public organ of general circulation in the County at least two weeks preceding the election, by posting all information on the web, and by electronic communication to known Democrats in the County.
3.6 Only DCDC members who reside in a particular County Commission District may nominate or vote for a Member from that District.
3.7 The County Committee Chair shall appoint chairs of Party District Caucuses.
3.8 One half of the district committee posts (odd numbered) shall be elected in gubernatorial election years and one-half (even numbered) shall be elected in presidential election years. Election shall be by secret ballot of party members of each respective district.
3.9 Such Caucus shall be held within 45 days following the General Primary. If the Committee does not officially set a time and place, the Congressional District Chair shall set the time and place of the Caucus.
3.10 The candidate receiving the highest number of votes shall be elected without the necessity of a run-off.
3.11 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.
3.12 Ex Officio Members. Elected County Democratic officials, who Qualify through the County Committee and contribute annual dues, shall serve as ex-officio members of the Committee but no one shall be denied participation for failure to pay.
3.13 Douglas County shall elect State Committee Members at a time designated by the State Democratic Party. The State Democratic Party, pursuant to State Bylaws, determines the number of State Committee Members for each county. A majority is required for election of State Committee members. A person does not have to be a County Committee member to be elected to the State Committee.
3.14 Executive Committee shall select members from the County Committee to be sitting members of the Board of Elections and Registration to present to the full County Committee for a final vote. There are two positions available for selection.
3.15 Dues shall be $40.00 per year. A member may be a Post Seat Holder without being current on dues, if a pauper letter is submitted to Treasurer and Chair, but no one shall 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, at least two Vice-chairs, a Secretary, and a Treasurer. When possible, at least one of the Vice-Chairs shall be of the opposite gender of the Chair. The Committee may from time to time expand the number of Vice-Chairs. The officer elections require a majority vote and may not be conducted by secret ballot. If there is no majority, the candidate with the least number of votes is eliminated and the Committee votes for its choice of the remaining candidates. On the first ballot, the vote is taken again after removing the candidate with the least number of votes. This process shall continue until a majority is reached.
4.3 Only County Committee members are eligible to vote for officers.
4.4. Officers shall serve 2-year terms. County Committee members elected by primary ballot or caucus shall be 4 years.
4.5. The Executive Committee shall consist of the officers and shall act on behalf of the County Committee between County Committee meetings. The Executive Committee shall meet monthly at least ten (10) days prior to the monthly party meeting at an established time and place for the purposes of collectively establishing and setting the agenda for the monthly party meeting and to conduct such other business as may be required.
4.6 The Executive Committee shall prepare a budget on an annual basis for approval by the County Committee no later than December 31st. The budget shall include the anticipated receipts and expenses on a timeline. Approval by the County Committee is required for the budget and for any modifications to the budget during the calendar year.
4.7 Election of County Committee Executive Officers. In October of the end of an officer’s term, the Executive Committee may appoint a Nominating Committee. It shall be the duty of the Nominating Committee to call for nominations for and to determine which individuals whose names are submitted for nomination are qualified to fill County Executive Committee offices. Members of the Nominating Committee shall not be candidates for office. By appropriate notice to the members at least 10 days in advance of the election meeting, the Nominating Committee shall provide the names of qualified individuals nominated by the Nominating Committee. Nominations may also be made from the floor at the election meeting.
Duties of Officers
5.1 Chair: The Chair shall have over-all responsibility for County Committee affairs and shall be the official spokesperson for the County Committee subject to the provisions of the State Charter and these Bylaws and to such directives as may be given from time to time by the Executive Committee. The chair shall be the head of the County Committee and will preside at County Committee meetings and serve as an ex-officio member of all regular and special committees. The Chair shall have the specific responsibility to formulate each year, with the Executive Committee, a Strategic Plan and a budget for the Party for that year based upon projected revenues and expenses. The Chair also jointly with the Secretary have legal authority to sign all written contracts and obligations of the Committee. The Chair may sign checks in the absence of the Treasurer. The Chair shall be authorized to make an expenditure of funds up to the amount of three hundred dollars ($300.00), which was not expenditure in the budget adopted by the County Committee with the consent of one additional officer other than the Treasurer. The Chair shall select the Parliamentarian who will be a non-voting advisory member of the Executive Committee.
5.2 Secretary: The Secretary shall be responsible for taking minutes at all
County Committee and Executive Committee meetings and for presenting those minutes at the succeeding meetings of those respective groups. The secretary will maintain current membership rolls, records of all official correspondence and will oversee Publicity and Membership activities.
5.3 Treasurer. The treasurer shall be responsible for maintaining accurate up to date records of all expenditures and income to the party account and for depositing and disbursing funds in accordance with the budget and other approved expenditures. All funds received or dispersed must go through the County Committee bank account. The treasurer will provide a written report of such to the Executive Committee at scheduled meetings and to the County Committee at quarterly meetings. The treasurer shall have authority to disburse budgeted funds to authorized members consistent with the approved budget and the receipt of funds consistent with projections. The Treasurer shall provide receipts for all income and shall require and maintain receipts for all expenditures and provide open and transparent access to this information to Committee members. The Treasurer will be a member of the Finance Committee.
5.4 First Vice chair: The First Vice Chair shall act as Chair in the absence of the Chair and shall have the authority, powers and duties of the Chair. She/he shall ensure; compliance with the State Party Charter and Bylaws; compliance and updating of County Bylaws; parliamentary procedure in all business conducted by the County Committee; and lead the fundraising effort.
5.5 Second Vice chair for Field Activities shall be responsible for all outreach to the community in the form of canvassing, recruiting poll watchers, voter registration and contact, phone banking, campaign materials, GOTV, etc. This will include maintaining a strong community presence and increasing the positive visibility of the party.
5.6 Third Vice Chair (where possible) for Candidate Recruitment and Support will identify opportunities to recruit, develop and assist Democratic candidates for office.
5.7 Upon expiration of term, all officers shall deliver to their respective successors within (10) days after the election of the latter, all records, monies, and other materials pertaining to the Committee. All funds will be audited prior to the transfer of finances.
Vacancies and Removal
6.1 All vacancies in County Committee or Officers shall be filled by election by the remaining Committee members, provided at least three such members remain.
6.2 County Committee members who have three consecutive unexcused no call / no email absences from regularly scheduled meetings of the County Committee shall have his/her seat declared provisionally vacated by the Chair at the third such meeting. The Secretary shall send a written notice to the absent Member that his/her seat has been vacated because of absences. The notice shall also state that the Member may be reinstated automatically by simply attending the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Committee. Should there be no response from the absent Member the County Committee shall proceed to elect a replacement Member by nomination from the floor, provided the replacement is a resident of Douglas County and the Commission District of the absent Member. Should the absent Member be an Officer, the Committee shall proceed to elect a replacement Officer from among the Members of the Committee.
6.3 A member may resign by written notice to the Chairperson, and such resignation shall be effective immediately. An elected member who shall cease to have his principal residence in the district in which he or she was elected shall be deemed to have resigned effective upon his or her change of principal residence; unless such person is a County Committee Executive Officer or an “at large” member of the County Committee.
6.4 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 is met.
6.5 Any person subject to removal shall receive written notice of the alleged reasons for removal.
6.6 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 by a majority of the other County Committee Officers. No hearing before the County Committee shall be held before thirty (30) days from the time charges have been received by the person to be removed. No member of said subcommittee may vote on the charges at the time of voting by the full county committee.
6.7 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.
6.8 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.
6.9 Should a Member’s seat or Office become vacant due to removal for cause, the vacancy shall be filled at the next scheduled meeting of the Committee after the meeting at which the removal was accomplished.
6.10 Should a Member’s seat or an Office become vacant due to death, illness or resignation, that seat or Office shall be declared vacant by the Chair and the vacancy shall be filled at the next scheduled meeting of the County Committee, provided the declaration of vacancy has been given at least ten (10) days in advance of the meeting. Any meeting called for the purpose of filling a vacancy must comply with the provisions in 8.5 and does not qualify as an emergency.
Committee Functions, Records, and Certification
7.1 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 reviewed by an independent reviewer each year with a report provided to the Committee no later than the March meeting following the end of the organization year. Reports of financial status will be made at each Executive Committee meeting and each County Committee meeting. An annual report will be submitted to the State Democratic Party and the State Ethics Commission where required.
7.2 All receipts and disbursements will go through the County Committee account. All expenditures will bear the signature of the Treasurer and one other authorized Executive Committee member. Every expenditure shall be accompanied by a voucher detailing expense amount, check number, authorization, and purpose.
7.3 Three copies of the By-Laws and officers’ names will be delivered to the County Board of Elections Clerk for stamp. One copy will remain with the Clerk, one with the County Party and one will be filed with the State Party.
Meetings and Voting
8.1. All meetings of the County Committee shall be open to the public unless a matter of business arises during a regular meeting that requires the Executive Committee to go into Executive Session by a three (3) member’s vote of Executive Officers.
8.2. Regular Meetings – Regular meetings of the County Committee shall be held on the date, time, and place previously determined by the Chair or County Committee. All members are afforded a maximum of three (3) minutes for remarks during the “public comment” time on the meeting agenda
8.3. The County Committee shall meet regularly at least once each quarter. 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.
8.4 If the Chair fails to call regular meetings of the County Committee, the Congressional District Chair shall call a meeting in the County for the purpose of reconstituting the County Committee.
8.5 The Chair may call special meetings at any time provided all members are given 10 days notice in advance.
8.6 Emergency Meetings – Emergency meetings may be called by the Chair upon 5 days notice to County Committee members.
8.7. Quorum. A quorum for conduct of County Committee business shall be 40% of the Members, unless otherwise required in these Bylaws.
8.8. No person shall be entitled to more than one vote. Secret ballot shall be permissible only when electing Committee members and State Convention Delegates.
8.9. All meetings of each body of the Committee shall be open to the public unless the Committee votes to go into Executive Session.
8.10. Unless otherwise provided for, Robert’s Rules of Order, most recently revised, shall govern the conduct of all meetings.
9.1. Membership of Standing Subcommittees shall be constituted from the membership of the County Committee members. The Chair of the County Committee may appoint any other person who is not a member of the County Committee as an additional member of a Standing Subcommittee, but not being a member of the County Committee, such person shall have no voting rights on the latter.
9.2 The County Committee shall provide for an Affirmative Action Subcommittee within the Hospitality Committee. The Affirmative Action Subcommittee shall encourage the full participation of all Democrats in Party affairs, pursuant to the standards of non-discrimination incorporated into the DNC Charter and Bylaws and the definition of Party affairs given in the same. The Affirmative Action Subcommittee shall from time to time recommend to the Executive Committee measures to facilitate and increase the participation of low and moderate-income persons in Party affairs.
9.3 The Chair or the County Committee may establish other Standing Committees it deems necessary including the following.
9.3.1 Finance and Budget. The Subcommittee shall consist of not less than three (3) persons who shall be charged with the responsibility of inspecting the books and records and shall assist and consult with the Chair in the preparation of an annual budget to present to the Executive Committee for approval in January of each year in addition to the plan or plans for financing said budget. After the adoption of the budget by the County Committee, the Subcommittee shall pursue such course of action, as may be necessary and proper for the raising of sufficient funds to support the Douglas County Democratic Committee Members of this subcommittee shall be appointed by the Chair and ratified by the County Committee. The subcommittee shall report its findings to the full County Committee.
9.3.2 By-Laws, Polices and Procedures. The By-Laws Subcommittee shall review and recommend to the Executive Committee and the County Committee such actions or revisions to the By-Laws, policies and procedures of The Douglas County Democratic Committee as are deemed necessary.
9.3.3 Hospitality. This committee has oversight of all County Committee activities that involves welcoming members and families into the Party. This committee provides refreshments for meetings, events, and activities. This committee shall also coordinate and maintain an outreach program to senior members, youth members, nursing home members, etc.
9.3.4 Candidate Recruitment, Development, and Speakers. The Candidate Development and Speakers Subcommittee shall seek out qualified people to run for public office on the Democratic ticket. The subcommittee shall hold candidate seminars to discuss campaign techniques, work with candidates in the area of issue development, and line up speaking engagements that will make the candidates better known in their respective areas.
9.3.5 Communications. Media, website, new releases, community forums, newsletters, email communication. The Communications Subcommittee shall prepare for release to the news media promptly after each meeting of the County Committee a statement of actions taken. The Chair of this subcommittee shall also be responsible for newsletter preparation and distribution, press and media relations, and promotion of special events.
9.3.6 County Policy and Legislative (ad hoc). The Policy and Legislative Subcommittee shall be responsible for recommending and developing the overall public policy of the Douglas County Democratic Committee. These positions must be submitted to the Executive Committee and then presented to the full County Committee for consideration and approval. Following adoption of policy positions by the County Committee, members of the Policy and Legislative Subcommittee may serve as the “action arm” of the Party to promote adoption of Party positions by appropriate governmental bodies. An additional function shall be to aid, when and where possible, elected Douglas County Democratic officials when they request assistance.
9.3.7 Voter Registration. The Voter Registration Subcommittee shall encourage all Democrats to register and vote. The Subcommittee shall conduct voter registration drives and shall review precinct boundaries and make recommendations as needed to assure convenient and speedy voting.
9.3.8 Special Events and Awards. This Subcommittee shall organize and execute such fund-raising events as are scheduled and shall be in charge of arranging town hall meetings and other such issue-oriented events. Also the subcommittee is to select those persons to be singled out for special recognition by the Douglas County Democratic Committee at a Banquet to be held at least biennially, or at any other time deemed appropriate by this Subcommittee. The criteria and process of selection for the awards shall be subject to final approval by the County Committee.
9.4 The Douglas County Democratic Committee may create Standing Committees or Ad Hoc Committees and delegate duties for certain tasks to the committee chairs and their members.
10.1 There shall be no discrimination in the conduct of County Committee affairs on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, color, handicap, national origin, or age.
10.2 The County Committee and affiliates are prohibited from supporting a Democratic candidate who has opposition from another Democratic during a primary or special election.
10.3 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. No County or State Committee member shall publicly support another candidate other than the Democratic nominee in a General Election or a Democratic candidate in a special election in which there are no other Democratic candidates on the ballot. Nothing herein shall prevent any County or State Committee member as an individual from making an endorsement in a Democratic primary, a nonpartisan election, or a special election in which more than one Democratic candidate is on the ballot. No state or county committee member who makes an endorsement as an individual in a Democratic primary, a nonpartisan election, or a special election in which more than one Democratic candidate is on the ballot may reference or incorporate their position or formal involvement with the state committee or any county committee, nor may they use any of the resources of the state committee or any county committee
A) in connection with any such endorsement,
B) on behalf of any such endorsed candidate, or
C) in opposition to any such endorsed candidate’s opponents.
10.4 No Committee member shall publicly support another candidate other than the Democratic nominee in a General Election.
10.5 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.
10.6 Any contributions by the County Committee to a candidate for public office shall be accompanied by a cover letter, which shall state in substance, “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 are 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.”
10.7 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.
10.8 The Committee may recognize and allow affiliation of such county organizations, as it deems appropriate.
11.1. These Bylaws may be amended at any Committee meeting by a 2/3 vote of those present, provided a quorum is met and at least 30 days written notice of said amendments has been provided to all Members.