BYLAWS ARTICLE VII
SECTION 1. PARTY DISTRICTS AND APPORTIONMENT PLAN
BL7.1.1 Each County Committee shall determine the Party Districts and Apportionment of a County Committee, and include such determinations in the Bylaws of that Committee. Newly organized Committees may designate their county as a single District for the purpose of organization. Changes in Party Districts or Apportionment shall be filed promptly with the State Chair and the County Election Superintendent. Information to be filed shall include the designations and boundaries of Party Districts, the approximate number of persons residing within each such district, the number of County Committee members to be elected from each district, and any reasons for unequal districts if such districts are designated. For purposes of these Bylaws, a County Committee shall only be considered “new” if no County Committee for the County accepted filing fees and acted as the qualifying agent for local County elections for the most recent such local elections held in such County.
BL7.1.2 In establishing Party Districts and allocating Committee Posts, the County Committee shall make a good faith effort to ensure that all segments of the population, including the minority population, are fairly and evenly represented on the County Committee. Where practicable, the County Committee shall apportion each Party District substantially equal on the basis of population; unless impractical, each Party District shall be represented by an equal number of Committee members, and where representation is unequal, such districts shall be apportioned as nearly as practicable to population.
BL7.1.3 Within 12 months of organizing pursuant to Section 7.1.1 above, each county of 10,000 or less population must have two or more Party Districts and counties of over 10,000 population must have at least one additional Party District for each 10,000 population; provided however, that counties containing at least 4 State House Districts, located wholly within the county, may elect to apportion Party Districts on the basis of House Districts or portions thereof.
BL7.1.4 Each County Committee shall establish Party Districts and allocate Committee positions following any census at which reapportionment of the General Assembly is mandated, within a time designated by the State Chair. A County Committee may also establish Party Districts as necessary, provided the Committee does so in an odd numbered year. Furthermore, the County Committee may, at any time, vote to change the number of posts allocated per Party District.
BL7.1.5 An individual who voted in the most recent Democratic Primary and who is a member the State Party shall have standing to challenge the drawing of Party District lines or the allocation of County Committee positions on the grounds that such districts or allocation preclude or substantially diminish fair representation for significant segments of the population.
SECTION 2. CHALLENGE TO THE COUNTY APPORTIONMENT PLAN
BL7.2.1 Challenge of the Apportionment Plan may be made by executing a petition, setting forth the objections, and by filing the petition with the Chair or Secretary of the County Committee.
BL7.2.2 The petition may be filed at any time, provided, however, that after a primary election held by the Democratic Party of Georgia, the relief granted in the case of any successful petition may take into account the fact that the petition was filed subsequent to the date on which members of the County Committee were last elected (if they were elected in a primary election) insofar as the relief may be prospective rather than retroactive, and thus allow elected members to continue to hold their office until the next election.
BL7.2.3 The County Committee shall have forty-five (45) days from the date of receipt of a validly-filed petition to meet thereon and rule and/or act upon such petition. If the County Committee does not rule and/or act upon the petition within said time, the State Democratic Party’s Compliance Review Committee (CRC) shall have full jurisdiction to hear the challenge, as set forth in Section 7.2.4 below.
BL7.2.4 If the response by the County Committee to the petition is unsatisfactory to any petitioner, or if the County Committee fails to act within the forty-five (45) day period set forth in Section 7.2.3 above, he/she may file an appeal in writing to the CRC at State Party Office within thirty (30) days from the earlier of (1) the date of the decision by the County Committee or, (2) in the event of failure to act on the petition on the part of the County Committee by the expiration of the forty-five day period set forth in Section 7.2.3 above, the expiration of such forty-five (45) day period. The CRC shall thereafter have sixty (60) days from receipt of the notice of appeal to hear the matter and render a decision and/or fashion appropriate remedies.
BL7.2.5 In acting on such challenge or appeal, the CRC shall have authority to (1) appoint such fact-finding body as it considers necessary and appropriate and may act on the basis of such facts as determined by such fact-finding body, and (2) to render any decision and/or fashion appropriate remedies including, without limitation, expulsion of or expansion of the County Committee through the appointment by the CRC or by local caucus of additional members, the establishment of a redistricting plan to provide for the election of County Committee members at a special or other election or any combination of such relief. Copies of any such decisions of the CRC shall be delivered by the CRC to the State Chair, the State First Vice-Chair, the Executive Director, and the General Counsel, and such rulings shall not become effective for thirty (30) days thereafter, during which time any one or more of the aforesaid officers and officials of the Party may refer the matter to the Executive Committee, which shall review the ruling as provided in Section 7.2.6 below. No ruling of the CRC pursuant to this Section 7.2.5 shall become final if the same is pending before the Executive Committee, until the Executive Committee rules thereon.
BL7.2.6 Any party to a proceeding under this Section 2 of Article VII who is not satisfied with the ruling issued by the CRC pursuant to Section 7.2.5 above, may, within thirty (30) days of the date of such ruling, file an application for discretionary review with the Executive Committee of the State Committee, which may, if it desires in its sole discretion to do so, review the CRC ruling and render a final decision thereon.
BL7.2.7 This Section 2 of Article VII shall not be construed to require or constitute the implementation of any quotas, and the failure to have a certain number of minority members on the County Committee shall not be deemed in and of itself to set forth a conclusive ground for a challenge. Such under representation shall, however, constitute proof of violation of Article VII, Section 1, however, in the absence of a countervailing showing that sufficient efforts were made to comply with the requirements of Article VII, Section 1.
BL7.2.8 Whenever this Section 2 of Article VII requires that an act be done within specified period of time, such period of time may be extended by mutual consent of the parties to the subject proceeding.
BL7.2.9 Any notices required to be given pursuant to the provisions of this Section 2 of Article VII shall be required to be either hand delivered or mailed by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested to the appropriate opposite party, and shall be deemed to be delivered as of the date of receipt of any hand delivery or the date of the signed receipt for the registered or certified mailing.
SECTION 3. DESIGNATION OF POSTS AND TERMS
BL7.3 Each County 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.
SECTION 4. SELECTION OF METHOD OF ELECTION
BL7.4 The method of election of the members of County Committee may be selected by each Committee provided that the selection of the method takes place in an odd numbered year, and that the method selected is either General Primary Ballot or a Party District Caucus. If by caucus, elections for County Committee members shall be held within 45 days following the General Primary. The method and time of qualification and election of members of County Committees shall be set forth in the Bylaws of each County Committee.
SECTION 5. ELECTION PROCEDURE
BL7.5.1 County Committee members shall take office on the first day of the first month
after their elections.
BL7.5.2 Where members of the County Committee are to be elected on the General Primary ballot, the same procedures and rules as those for other county elected officials shall prevail, except that the Committee may set reasonable fees for the qualification of Committee candidates, and except that each candidate receiving the highest number of votes shall be elected without the necessity of a run-off.
BL7.5.3 Should a County Committee decide to elect its members by public caucuses, the time, place, and method of such caucuses shall be set by the County Committee.
SECTION 6. ELECTION OF OFFICERS
BL7.6.1 Each County Committee shall elect its officers by majority vote, no later than December 31 of the appropriate year. The new chair shall immediately upon taking office notify the State Chair and appropriate Congressional District Chair of his/her election.
Amended April 21, 2006. See BL10.3.3
Amended December 15, 2009. See BL10.3.8
BL7.6.2 Each County Committee shall elect from its membership a Chair, two or more Vice-Chairs, a Secretary, and a Treasurer. Where available, at least one of the Vice Chairs shall be of the opposite gender to the Chair. In addition, the County Committee shall elect such other officers as deemed necessary. A person receiving a majority of votes for election to an office shall be declared elected.
BL7.6.3 Each Committee may provide for the election or appointment of such subcommittees as they may be deemed necessary.
BL7.6.4 The Chair, Vice-Chairs, Secretary, and the Treasurer of the Committee shall serve 2 year terms, beginning at the close of the meeting at which they are elected. All other officers of the Committee and all members of any sub-committees, elected or appointed at any time and shall serve at the pleasure of the Committee
Amended April 21, 2006. See BL10.3.3
BL7.6.5 All County Committee reports, records, and files must be promptly turned over to newly elected officers.
Added by amendment December 15, 2009. See BL10.3.9.
SECTION 7. ELECTION DUTIES AND FUNCTIONS
BL7.7.1 In Counties where municipal primaries are held, the County Committee shall be responsible for holding such primaries. The County Committee may delegate this responsibility to a Municipal Executive Committee as provided for in the Georgia Municipal Code. Such Municipal Primary Committee shall be composed of three or more citizens from the municipality and shall be empowered by such designation to perform all the duties and responsibilities required by the Georgia Municipal Election Code in connection with the conduct of a Municipal Primary. It shall be the responsibility of the County Committee, at the time it certifies its members and officers with the State Committee, to file with the City Clerk of each municipality concerned, the Secretary of the State of Georgia, and the State Party Office, the names and addresses of the members and officers and other information required in the Georgia Municipal Election Code for each such Municipal Primary Committee, or to certify that the County Committee will serve as such Municipal Primary Committee. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the provisions of the Georgia Election Code shall control the responsibilities provided herein and the County Committee shall see that it complies with all such provisions.
BL7.7.2 In accordance with the Georgia Election Code, poll officers to conduct primaries and elections shall be recommended by each County Committee to the County Election Superintendent.
BL7.7.3 In accordance with the Georgia Election Code, two official poll watchers may be designated by the County Committee for each precinct for each election.
BL7.7.4 Vacancies in Party nominations for Federal, State, or County offices shall be governed by the provisions of Georgia Election Code. Vacancies in any Party nomination for Municipal offices shall be governed by the provisions of Georgia Municipal Election Code.
BL7.7.5 County Committees shall maintain a list of all financial transactions (kept on a calendar year basis), and a list of all unpaid obligations. County Committees shall also maintain records of information to be filed with the State Party Chair.
BL7.7.6 In meeting filing requirements, County Committees shall report directly to the State Chair. County Committees shall file with the State Chair 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 County Committee Chair that the Committee duly constituted and organized, and is following sound financial operating procedure.
BL7.7.7 Each County Committee shall meet regularly at least once each quarter. Special meetings may be called by the Committee Chair or as provided in the County Committee Bylaws. Where such meetings are not held at a previously designated time and place, all members shall be given at least 10 days notice. Emergency meetings may be called with 5 days notice upon approval of all Committee officers.
SECTION 8. COMMITTEES
BL7.8 Each County Committee shall provide for an Affirmative Action Subcommittee and such other sub-committees as the Committee may deem necessary.
SECTION 9. VACANCIES
BL7.9 All vacancies in County Committee Posts shall be filled by election by the remaining Committee members, provided at least three such members remain.
SECTION 10. REMOVAL PROCEDURE
BL7.10.1 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.
BL7.10.2 Any person subject to removal shall receive written notice of the alleged reasons for removal.
BL7.10.3 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 a majority of the other County Committee Officers.
BL7.10.4 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.
BL7.10.5 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.
SECTION 11. REIMBURSEMENT PROHIBITION
BL7.11 No member of a County Committee shall receive compensation for or be reimbursed for expenses in attending a County Committee meeting.
SECTION 12. AFFILIATES
BL7.12 Each County Committee may recognize and allow affiliation of such county organizations as it deem appropriate as provided for in the Charter and Bylaws.
SECTION 13. COUNTIES WITHOUT DULY CONSTITUTED COMMITTEES
BL7.13.1 In any county not having a duly constituted County Democratic Committee the appropriate Congressional District Chair(s) may appoint an Acting County Chair and an Acting County Secretary to receive declarations of candidacy and qualifying for nomination in the Democratic Primary and to certify such candidates to the appropriate authority. Such Acting County Secretary shall forward the County Committee portion of the qualifying fees to the State Chair to be held in escrow until released by the State Chair. Alternatively, the Chair may request the Election Superintendent of the County to receive declarations of candidacy and qualifying fees from candidates desiring to qualify for nomination in the Democratic Primary and to execute appropriate certifications of candidacies. Said Election Superintendent shall forward the County Committee portion of the qualifying fees to the State Chair to be held in escrow until released by the State Chair. If a duly constituted county committee is organized within sixty (60) days following the Democratic Primary, the funds shall be paid to the committee. If a duly constituted county committee is not organized within sixty (60) days following the Democratic Primary, the funds shall be used in the current election campaign on behalf of candidates of the Democratic Party of Georgia in that County. The Congressional District Chair shall certify at least two nominations for vacancies with the State Chair. Such nominations shall be made from among those who qualified in accordance with notice procedures, provided however, that an additional name or names may be added by the Congressional District Chair where less than two persons qualified for the vacancy. The State Chair shall choose the Committee member for each vacancy from among those so nominated.
BL7.13.2 Where there is no existing County Committee, the Congressional District Chair(s) shall call an organizational meeting, specifying the time and place, or name an acting County Chair to call such a meeting. In the event that the Congressional District Chair does not so act, any person may ask the State Chair to call such a meeting or name an acting County Chair.
BL7.13.3 At the organizational meeting, any persons who are registered to vote in that County and who profess their intention to abide by the State Party Charter and Bylaws may organize a County Committee and proceed to adopt bylaws.