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News & Updates

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

2021 Pre Convention AoA Report

The AoA Committee recently released a report including recommendations for a slew of amendments to the AoA that have mostly been dispensed by the State Board in an ad hoc session over the weekend of April 16-18th. That report included a few proposals that were intended for the 2021 Convention taking place on June 5th but were tabled for further consideration rather than evaluated as they stood at the time of the prior report. Those proposals have been edited and considered for recommendation and notification here. An additional item was added as a consequence of one of the previous amendments which inadvertently implies a limitation on the State Chair's ability to convene an ad hoc meeting of the State Board at a discrete fixed time, and seeks to redress that oversight.

The meeting below took place on 4/28/2021. Only two of the members of the AoA Committee were present, Bill Hinds and Will McVay. As an advisory committee, quorum is not required to release the following proposals for notification. The recommendations of each member are denoted below where they differ.

  1. Codify Committee Process
    1. Establish Committee Process
    2. Technology, Social Media, and Marketing Committee
    3. AoA Committee
    4. Convention Committee
  2. Adjust Membership Requirements
    1. Allow National Membership
    2. Qualified National Membership
    3. Require National Membership and Registration - Withdrawn
    4. Require Dues or Registration
    5. Allow with National Membership and Dues or Registration - Withdrawn
    6. Require National Membership and Dues or Registration - Withdrawn
    7. Require Dues and Registration - Withdrawn
  3. County Representation Changes
    1. Proportional Representation - Withdrawn
    2. Bonus Representation (Numbers/Growth)
  4. "Regular" Ad Hoc Meetings

While Item #4 can be taken up by the State Board Ad Hoc, the remaining items are more substantive changes to the structure of the party, its governance, and its membership requirements and should be considered by the convention rather than implemented by the State Board.



Codify Committee Process

The State Board has established a number of committees to aid in the fulfillment of its duties. These committees are not well known within the party and the State Board’s authority to delegate to committees that have no mechanism of accountability to the greater membership is murky. These committees and the authority to create them should be clarified, with temporary committees not included in the AoA automatically ending after two years unless their usefulness has been ratified by a full convention by amending the AoA. The first proposal is intended to establish overarching rules for all committees while the follow-up proposals establish particular committees that have been operating on an ad hoc basis up to this point. - Recommend to Convention (Recommended by both committee members.)

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Establish Committee Process

Amend Article VI, appending a new paragraph at the end:
The State Board shall form such committees and hire contract staff or volunteers to assist in the performance of its duties as it sees fit. No committee or other individual shall enter into agreements or expend funds for any purpose on behalf of the LPD without the permission of the State Board, and no contractual obligations except those to the LPD relating to confidentiality and non-disclosure shall extend for more than two years.
Further create a new Article VII and renumber subsequent Articles:
Article VII: Committees

Any member of any committee that is selected for membership by the State Board shall be selected at the first quarterly meeting following an odd year convention unless otherwise specified. All Committees shall select their own chair within one month of the State Board finalizing their membership unless the State Board chooses by majority vote to select a chair for them. The chair of a Committee shall be responsible for providing a quarterly report on the Committee’s activities to the State Board. Any Committee member eligible for committee membership by virtue of holding a title in the state party or a county affiliate may designate a member of the LPD to exercise their membership rights on their behalf and at their discretion. No member of any Committee may cast more than one vote on any matter before a committee by virtue of holding two positions granting eligibility for membership on that committee. All Committees shall conduct their business in a publicly viewable internet forum and provide reports on all votes for publication to a public email list.

1. Ad Hoc Committees

The State Board may create ad hoc committees for any purpose it deems necessary. No ad hoc committee shall continue for more than two years without being presented to an annual convention for ratification by delegates for conversion to a Regular Committee through an amendment to these AoA. Any funds dedicated to an ad hoc committee that is not ratified by the convention shall be returned to the general fund. The State Board shall make reasonable efforts to ensure such funds are expended consistent with the originally intended purpose as fiduciaries of the donors.

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Technology, Social Media, and Marketing Committee

Amend new Article VII to add:
2. Technology, Social Media, and Marketing Committee

A Technology, Social Media, and Marketing Committee shall be composed of the three affiliate county chairs, the secretary, an at large member of the LPD selected by the State Board, and a webmaster hired on contract with the State Board. The webmaster shall be responsible for maintaining the passwords and administrative accounts of all State Party internet resources and shall be responsible for updating any permissions as needed to comply with State Board policies following any change in leadership.

The Technology, Social Media, and Marketing Committee shall receive a monthly budget determined by the State Board as well as any donations designated by the donors for their use. This budget shall be managed by the Treasurer at the direction of the Committee. The Committee shall be responsible for developing and implementing:

  • Rules of conduct for LPD social media communities
  • Branding and advertising for the LPD
  • Marketing strategies and training for use by candidates and county affiliates
  • Technological solutions for achieving party goals as set forth by the Board
  • Storage of CRM type data related to the party’s activities

The Committee shall provide a quarterly report to the State Board detailing any funds expended as well as the current reach and engagement insights for any social media or other internet communities under their purview to the extent they are made readily available by the platform.

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AoA Committee

Amend new Article VII to add:
3. Articles of Association Committee

The Articles of Association Committee shall be composed of the three affiliate county chairs, the secretary, and an at large member selected by the State Board. They shall generate and evaluate proposed changes to the Articles of Association whether originated from the Committee members themselves or presented to them by LPD members in forums designated for that purpose by the State Board. All proposals shall then be distributed through all permitted notification channels, as well as emailed to members with known contact information, within one month along with any recommendations of the Committee pertaining to the proposals. Any minority reports shall automatically be heard when the proposed amendment is considered.

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Convention Committee

Amend new Article VII to add:
4. Convention Committee

The Convention Committee shall be formed before the end of the Q1 meeting each year with members selected by the State Board and augmented with additional volunteers as the Committee and the Board deem appropriate. The Committee shall be responsible for planning the annual convention, presenting a budget recommendation to the State Board for approval, and performing all duties required to conduct the annual convention.

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Adjust Membership Requirements

Prior to the current AoA being adopted as a full rewrite of an earlier document, the membership requirements of the LPD allowed for sustaining members of the National Party to be considered members of the LPD without requiring registration as a Libertarian with the CoE. This was removed in response to concerns that National membership was too low of a bar to prevent a flood of “members” who were not registered Libertarians to hijack the party’s leadership apparatus and suppress or otherwise damage our ballot access. Later revisions would then add the requirement to abide by the AoA in order to qualify for membership, which serves that purpose more effectively and guarantees a continuity of leadership for the LPD under AoA with a record of being properly amended and adopted by the membership. Furthermore, by restricting membership only to those who are registered with the Commissioner of Elections as Libertarians, we are unnecessarily constraining our freedom of action to engage in electoral politics under Delaware election laws through activism in other political parties that may serve our interests. As a final point, sustaining membership in the National Party is one of two criteria used to determine how many delegates can be sent from Delaware to the National conventions, so the LPD has an interest in expanding the sustaining membership base of the LP that resides in our state.

To address these issues, the following proposals present a number of options to reclassify LPD membership by including membership in the National LP and/or donations to the LPD as a qualifying criteria and rewriting the article to facilitate easier amendment in the future.

It is also of note that the National Party is in the process of establishing a framework for “joint” memberships, so any of the proposals below which suggest the collection of dues, so long as those dues are in excess of $25 per year, could be utilized to participate in this framework such that members paying dues to the State Party could automatically become members of the National Party in the process and therefore advance our goal of expanding the convention delegation.

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Allow National Membership

This option allows membership or registration to qualify without regard for ballot access requirements, similar to the prior language. This could put our ballot access at risk. - Recommended by Bill Hinds

Replace Article VII to read:

Any person who agrees to abide by the terms of these articles is a member of the LPD provided they have met at least one of the following criteria for at least 60 days:

  1. Is a registered Libertarian according to the Commissioner of Elections.
  2. Is a sustaining member of the National LP.
Instead of:

Any person who is currently registered to vote in Delaware as a Libertarian and agrees to abide by the terms of these articles is a member of the LPD. For any member to exercise voting privileges in any official forum (i.e. State Board meetings or State Conventions), that member must have been registered as a Libertarian for at least 60 days prior to that voting forum with the following exception:

  1. Individuals who are currently registered with another political party in Delaware for the purpose of competing for office in that party's primary or general election may retain voting privileges with a vote of 3/4 of members present at a meeting of the State Board.
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Qualified National Membership

This option would require registration, though national membership would be sufficient as long as registrations are sufficient for ballot access. This requires no commitment to the LPD beyond securing ballot access. - Recommended by Bill Hinds

Replace Article VII to read:

Any person who agrees to abide by the terms of these articles is a member of the LPD provided they have met at least one of the following criteria for at least 60 days:

  1. Is a registered Libertarian according to the Commissioner of Elections.
  2. Is a sustaining member of the National LP, so long as the most recent Commissioner of Elections report shows at least twice the required number of registered Libertarians to secure ballot access for the party.
Instead of:

Any person who is currently registered to vote in Delaware as a Libertarian and agrees to abide by the terms of these articles is a member of the LPD. For any member to exercise voting privileges in any official forum (i.e. State Board meetings or State Conventions), that member must have been registered as a Libertarian for at least 60 days prior to that voting forum with the following exception:

  1. Individuals who are currently registered with another political party in Delaware for the purpose of competing for office in that party's primary or general election may retain voting privileges with a vote of 3/4 of members present at a meeting of the State Board.
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Require National Membership and Registration

This option would require national membership and registration. This would restrict our freedom of action. - Withdrawn

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Require Dues or Registration

This option would require either registration or dues as long as registrations are sufficient for ballot access. The State Board could choose to use dues to secure national membership. - Recommended by Will McVay

Replace Article VII to read:

Any person who agrees to abide by the terms of these articles is a member of the LPD provided they have met at least one of the following criteria for at least 60 days:

  1. Is a registered Libertarian according to the Commissioner of Elections.
  2. Has made a qualifying donation to the LPD as required by the State Board, so long as the most recent Commissioner of Elections report shows at least twice the required number of registered Libertarians to secure ballot access for the party. The State Board may not require more than $100 per year to meet this criteria.
Instead of:

Any person who is currently registered to vote in Delaware as a Libertarian and agrees to abide by the terms of these articles is a member of the LPD. For any member to exercise voting privileges in any official forum (i.e. State Board meetings or State Conventions), that member must have been registered as a Libertarian for at least 60 days prior to that voting forum with the following exception:

  1. Individuals who are currently registered with another political party in Delaware for the purpose of competing for office in that party's primary or general election may retain voting privileges with a vote of 3/4 of members present at a meeting of the State Board.
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Allow with National Membership and Dues or Registration

This option would allow anyone registered to qualify, or anyone with a national membership that also pays dues to the LPD as long as registrations are sufficient for ballot access. This has only weak incentives to expand our delegate allocation. - Withdrawn

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Require National Membership and Dues or Registration

This option would require national membership, as well as either registration or dues if registrations are sufficient for ballot access. This requires supporting the National party. - Withdrawn

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Require Dues and Registration

This is just adding dues to the membership obligations that already exist. This is a bad idea. - Withdrawn

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County Representation Changes

Each county currently receives a fixed number of representatives. A number of options are presented below to allocate representatives differently.

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Proportional

Base of one rep each with five additional reps allocated proportionally to the nearest whole rep. - Withdrawn

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Bonus Representation (Numbers/Growth)

Base of two reps with a bonus rep for most registered Libertarians and most growth in registered Libertarians from last election year. - Not recommended, but notified as an option

Amend Article IV, Paragraph One to read:

The leadership of the LPD shall consist of a State Board to include an Executive Committee composed of a Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary, and Treasurer; and further members as representatives from each of the three counties. The county representatives may be selected based on rules and procedures established by the individual counties, and their election may take place either at a county meeting or at a caucus of the members from the individual counties at the State Convention. All members shall be elected in odd numbered years for a two year term. Any vacancies may be filled by the county affiliate to complete the existing term.

Instead of:

The leadership of the LPD shall consist of a State Board to include an Executive Committee composed of a Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary, and Treasurer; and two further members from each of the three counties. The county representatives may be selected based on rules and procedures established by the individual counties, and their election may take place either at a county meeting or at a caucus of the members from the individual counties at the State Convention. All members shall be elected in odd numbered years for a two year term. Any vacancies may be filled by the county affiliate to complete the existing term.

Amend Article V, adding a new paragraph:
County Representation

The number of representatives from each county shall be determined based on the Commissioner of Elections party registration report from January immediately preceding the convention where elections will take place. Each county shall receive two representatives with an additional representative being allocated to the county with the most registered Libertarians and to the county with the largest percentage growth since the January report preceding the previous State Board elections.

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"Regular" Ad Hoc Meetings

The recently adopted change to Article IV regarding the Chair’s discretion to convene “ad hoc” meetings of the State Board was adopted since the previous language was effectively defunct and the Chair would always “convene” a meeting online whenever a motion was made. The change was intended to more or less codify that process and eliminate the possibility that a Chair could avoid or ignore a motion by refusing to convene a meeting. However, it has become all too common in recent months for the State Board to conduct what is in effect a “perpetual meeting” with business being conducted without respect for the schedules of some board members who have been less able to fully participate in motions that do not fit any reasonable criteria of an emergency and in a disjointed and haphazard way with some members being present and engaged while others are not in an unpredictable rotation of who is present when.

While it is still desirable to retain the option of conducting “emergency” business and it should not fall to any particular person to determine what is and is not an emergency, the prior amendment inadvertently eliminated the Chair’s authority to call a more formal meeting and make a more organized effort to have all members of the State Board present and engaged simultaneously. This authority should be restored, with provisions for serving adequate notice, and a failsafe for motions made and seconded that do not receive a timely response to the prescribed quorum call to be dispensed with in a timely manner. - Recommended Ad Hoc

Amend Article IV, Paragraph 2, to append the following:
Meetings of the State Board shall be held quarterly. In addition, ad hoc meetings may be convened upon the motion and second of any main motion by two members of the Board and the successful completion of a quorum call. Said ad hoc meetings may be conducted via email or social media platforms for convenience if a physical meeting is not practical. The State Chair may also convene an ad hoc meeting at their discretion after providing at least 48 hours notice and shall do so within one week if any motion is properly made and seconded but quorum cannot be reached within 48 hours. Any such motions must be on the agenda for any meetings convened in this manner.
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