These Articles of Association and Bylaws were approved by the LPD Annual Convention on March 24, 2018, to take effect on May 1, 2018.
Articles of Association
Article I: Name
This organization shall be known as the Libertarian Party of Delaware, hereinafter referred to as the LPD.
Article II: Purpose
The Republican and Democrat parties dominate the exercise of electoral politics in the United States. The purpose of the LPD is to provide the voters of Delaware with an alternative political party. That alternative shall be based upon the principles of smaller government and greater personal freedom.
The goals of the LPD include, but are not limited to:
- Building LPD voter registration and maintaining ballot access
- Nominating candidates for political office
- Public education and outreach
Article III: Affiliation
The LPD is affiliated with the National Libertarian Party, however we reserve the right to act independently and develop our own by-laws and our own political platform.
Article IV: Leadership and Organization
The leadership of the LPD shall consist of a State Board to include an Executive Committee comprised 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 member of the State Board who is unable to attend a meeting of the Board may appoint a proxy. Proxies for a county representative must be chosen from among other members of that county. Under no circumstances may any one member of the State Board be allowed to cast more than one vote. The proxy shall possess all powers, rights, duties, and responsibilities held by the appointing member of the State Board. The proxy and all powers, rights, duties, and responsibilities inherent therein shall expire at the termination of the State Board meeting for which the proxy was appointed.
Meetings of the State Board shall be held quarterly. In addition, ad hoc meetings may be convened to address matters that, in the opinion of the Chairman, are too urgent to delay until the next quarterly meeting. Said ad hoc meetings may be conducted via email or social media platforms for convenience if a physical meeting is not practical.
A quorum shall consist of 40% of appointed members or their proxies. Unless stated otherwise a simple majority will be required to pass measures before the State Board.
Each of the three counties shall organize local chapters of the LPD. These county chapters may develop, if they choose, their own Articles of Association, By-Laws, and Political Platforms as long as they meet the following criteria:
- They do not conflict with any State LPD operating documents,
- They provide an equitable method for selecting members of the State Board, and
- Separate individuals must be Chair and Secretary.
Article V: Duties of the State Board
- Conduct fundraising, secure LPD resources, and make spending decisions.
- Complete required campaign finance filings with the Commissioner of Elections.
- Update Commissioner of Elections on current Officers of the Executive Committee.
- Recruit potential political candidates and submit nominating documents to the State.
- Coordinate activities with the National LP.
- Conduct an annual Statewide Convention to:
- Select National LP Convention delegates (even years),
- Nominate candidates (even years),
- Select LPD officers and board members (odd years), and
- Conduct other business.
- Establish rules for the convention including credentialing of attendees.
- Propose an agenda.
- Administer web pages and social media pages.
- Other day to day operations of the LPD.
Article VI: Membership
Any person who is currently registered to vote in Delaware as a Libertarian 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 exceptions:
- Individuals who register to vote in Delaware as Libertarians any time prior to these Articles of Association taking effect may vote at the 2018 LPD Convention even if they have not been registered the otherwise required 60 days.
- 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.
Article VII: Credentialing
The credentials committee for the LPD Annual State Convention shall be comprised of the county chairs of all three counties. They shall be responsible for certifying that all voting members of the convention meet the criteria outlined in the Articles of Association for membership in the Libertarian Party of Delaware and reporting the names and numbers to the convention members for approval.
Non credentialed individuals may attend the convention as guests, but will be required to be seated in a segregated area so as to insure the integrity of voting eligibility.
Article VIII: Voting Procedures
Election of party officers, delegates to the national convention, and nominations of candidates for public office shall require a majority of those voting. "None of the Above" shall always be a candidate. If there is not a majority, the candidate (excluding None of the Above) with the least number of votes shall be dropped 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. If "None of the Above" wins, the party office shall be vacated for the next year or no one shall be nominated for public office.
Delegates to the national convention shall be elected by each member writing their slate of desired delegates on a secret ballot and with the delegates receiving the most votes being selected.
Article IX: Notice
Many actions described in these Articles of Association and the accompanying By-Laws require notice of that pending action be provided to members. Any one of the following methods shall constitute proper notice:
- Posting on the LPD Facebook page
- Posting on the LPD webpage
- E-mail or other electronic communication delivered to all eligible voting members for whom we have contact information.
Article X: Amendment
These Articles of Association may be amended in either of two ways:
- A 2/3 vote of members present (quorum required) at a meeting of the State Board as long as notice of proposed changes was made at least 30 days in advance.
- A 2/3 vote of members present at a State Convention as long as notice of proposed changes was made at least 30 days in advance.
By-Law 1: Executive Committee Succession
The Chair shall have the power to fill vacancies on the Executive Committee by appointment. Such appointments shall last until the next election of party officers.
By-Law 2: Chairman Succession
If the Office of Chair is vacated, it shall pass to the Vice Chair. If there is no Vice Chair, the Chair shall next pass to the Chair of the County with the greatest number of members according to Delaware Commissioner of Elections lists.
By-Law 3: Convention and State Board Meeting Rules
- A Convention of the LPD will be held annually as per the Articles of Association.
- Conventions and State Board Meetings shall be conducted in accordance with Roberts Rules of Order except where superseded by these Articles and Bylaws.
- The Chairman of the State Board or his designee will serve as Chairman of the Convention.
- Voting for candidates, delegates, and officers of the executive committee will be by secret ballot.
- Further rules for conducting the convention may be designated by the Convention Chairman
By-Law 4: Disciplinary Action
From time to time it may become necessary for the Party to take disciplinary action against an individual member who has acted in a manner that harms or misrepresents the interests of the party.
For members at large, the State Board has the authority to sanction those members by a majority vote. The sanctions may take a number of forms from a simple warning to cease the offending actions, up to and including expulsion from the Party. To remain in effect any such sanction must be reviewed and confirmed at the next State Convention by a majority of the members present at the Convention.
For members of the State Board accused of misconduct, they may face a similar range of sanctions as those listed above for members at large and the additional option of removal from office. This may occur in one of two ways:
- By a vote of 4/5 of the members of the State Board confirmed at the next Convention by a majority vote to remain in effect, or
- At Convention by a motion to sanction and a vote of 2/3 of members present.
By-Law 5: Amendments
These By-Laws may be amended in either of two ways:
- A simple majority vote of members present (quorum required) at a meeting of the State Board as long as notice of proposed changes was made at least 30 days in advance.
- A simple majority vote of members present at a State Convention as long as notice of proposed changes was made at least 30 days in advance.
This version of the Articles of Association and the By-Laws is current as of May 1, 2018.