CHARTER OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF GEORGIA
as amended through April 21, 2006
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I NAME, DUTIES AND BYLAWS 4
1 Name 4
2 Duties . 4
3 Bylaws 4
II STATE COMMITTEE 4
1 Authority 4
2 Time and Call .4
3 Duties 5
4 Membership 5
5 Election and Term. 5
6 Officers 5
III STATE CONVENTION 6
1 Time and Call 6
2 Duties 6
3 Delegates 6
IV STATE PARTY OFFICERS 6
1 State Party Officers. 6
2 Duties of the State Party Officers. 7
3 Election and Term 7
V CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT CHAIRS 7
1 Duties of CD Chairs 7
2 Election and Term 8
VI EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE 8
1 Creation, Authority, and Duties 8
2 Membership 8
3 Officers 8
VII COUNTY COMMITTEES 8
1 Creation and Authority 8
2 Duties 9
3 Membership and Party Districts 9
4 Election and Term 9
5 Officers and Organizational Meeting 9
6 Bylaws 9
VIII NATIONAL COMMITTEE MEMBERS 10
1 Duties 10
2 Election and Term 10
IX AFFILIATES 10
X PRESIDENTIAL ELECTORS 10
1 Qualifications 10
2 Approval and Certification 10
3 Duties 10
XI BYLAWS AND AMENDMENTS 10
1 Bylaws 10
2 Amendments to the Charter and Bylaws 10
STATEMENT OF GOALS:
We, the members of the Democratic Party of Georgia, are committed to the establishment of a Party open to all Georgia Democrats. We believe that a Party which is to call forth the best in our State will have to embody the best of our State’s traditions and heritage. We are committed to the wisdom and efficacy of the will of the majority; to a belief in the merits of a two Party system of government which allows for diversity of groups and individuals and to the belief that our party will be strengthened by these differences. We believe in the value of the individual and that government, while protecting life, liberty, and property of individuals, must also be responsive to their collective needs and wills. To this end, we encourage full, timely, and equal opportunity for all segments of the population to participate in party affairs.
While pledging ourselves to an honest and open conduct of public affairs befitting the traditions of a people dedicated to a free and just society, we seek to protect and enhance political freedom of all people and to encourage the meaningful participation of all citizens within the framework of the United States Constitution and the laws of the United States and the State of Georgia.
We believe that this Charter and our Bylaws confirm a Party strengthened by its differences and armed by its devotion to the principles of a moral and ethical society.
CHARTER ARTICLE I
NAME, DUTIES, AND BYLAWS
SECTION 1. NAME
C1.1 The name of this organization shall be the Democratic Party of Georgia, which may hereafter be referred to as the “State Party.” All members, officers, and subdivisions of the State Party, and those seeking to participate in State Party affairs, are subject to this Charter and the State Party Bylaws.
SECTION 2. DUTIES
C1.2.1 The State Party, through the State Committee, shall assist in the election of Democratic candidates, adopt and promote statements of policy, provide voter education, and raise and disburse moneys needed for State Party operation. The State Committee shall also promote fair adjudication of disputes, fair campaign practices, encourage and support codes of political ethics that embody substantive rules of ethical guidance for all public officials and Party members, and assure that public officials shall at all times conduct themselves in a manner that reflects credibility upon the offices they serve.
C1.2.2 In carrying out its duties, the State Party, through the State Committee, shall afford all persons full, timely, and equal opportunities to participate without prejudice on the basis of gender, race, age, color, creed, national origin, religion, economic status, sexual orientation, ethnic identity, or physical disability.
C1.2.3 Participation in the State Party shall not be denied for failure to pay fees or poll taxes..
SECTION 3. BYLAWS
C1.3 Provisions for operating the State Party, and all bodies thereof, shall be provided for in the Bylaws.
CHARTER ARTICLE II
SECTION 1. AUTHORITY
C2.1 The State Committee shall be the highest authority of the State Party. The State Committee shall have general responsibility for the affairs of the State Party.
SECTION 2. TIME AND CALL
C2.2.1 The State Committee shall assemble at least once per year, at a date and time established in the Bylaws.
C2.2.2 Other meetings may be called by the State Chair, the Executive Committee, or the State Committee as provided in the Bylaws.
SECTION 3. DUTIES
C.2.3.1 The State Committee may adopt Party policy, legislative platforms, amend the Charter and Bylaws, nominate and elect State Party Officers and Congressional District Chairs, and act upon other matters it deems necessary.
C2.3.2 Any decision of any State Party Officer and/or the Executive Committee may be overridden by a majority vote of the State Committee, provided a 40% quorum is present.
SECTION 4. MEMBERSHIP
C2.4.1 The State Committee shall be composed of regular and ex-officio members.
C2.4.2 Regular members of the State Committee shall be the State Party Officers, all Executive Committee members, members elected by County Committees, divided as equally as possible according to gender, 30 members named by the State Chair, and one member of each approved Affiliate organization.
C2.4.3 Ex-officio Members of the State Committee shall be the most recent non-elected State Party nominees for the offices of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, State School Superintendent, Commissioner of Insurance, Commissioner of Agriculture, Commissioner of Labor, Public Service Commissioner, and United States House and Senate, and; if Democrats, Speaker and Speaker Pro Tem of the State House of Representatives and the President Pro Tem of the State Senate; the Democratic leader of both Houses of the General Assembly; a male Young Democrat and a female Young Democrat, both selected by the Young Democrats of Georgia; and an elected member of a municipal governing body and an elected member of a county governing body appointed by the State Chair.
SECTION 5. ELECTION AND TERM
C2.5.1 Election of State Committee members shall be held in Gubernatorial election years, as provided for in the Bylaws.
C2.5.2 Regular State Committee members shall serve terms of four years.
SECTION 6. OFFICERS
C2.6 State Party Officers shall be officers of the State Committee.
CHARTER ARTICLE III
SECTION 1. TIME AND CALL
C3.1.1 The State Committee shall assemble as the State Convention in Gubernatorial election years on a date between the Gubernatorial Primary and the General Election.
C3.1.2 If not established in the Bylaws, the time and place for the Convention shall be established by the Executive Committee.
C3.1.3 The Chair, the Executive Committee, or the State Committee may call a convention at such other times as either considers necessary.
SECTION 2. DUTIES
C3.2 The State Convention may adopt Party policy, legislative platforms, nominate and elect State Party Officers and Congressional District Chairs, conduct any business that could be conducted at a regular State Committee meeting, and act upon other matters it deems necessary.
SECTION 3. DELEGATES
C3.3.1 All State Committee Members, regular and ex-officio, shall be delegates.
C3.3.2 Each Affiliate Organization may elect one delegate.
C3.3.3 The current State Party nominee for Governor may appoint up to 2 additional delegates per State Senate District.
C3.3.4 In addition to the above, each County may elect up to twice as many delegates as that County is entitled to State Committee Members and as many alternates as that County is entitled to State Committee Members. These elected delegates do not have to be County Committee members. The method for election shall be provided in the Bylaws.
CHARTER ARTICLE IV
STATE PARTY OFFICERS
SECTION 1. STATE PARTY OFFICERS
C4.1.1 The officers of the State Party shall be a Chair, a First Vice-Chair, additional Chairs as established by the Bylaws, a Secretary, and a Treasurer.
C4.1.2 The First Vice-Chair shall be of the opposite gender to the State Chair.
C4.1.3 Where a racial group constitutes 20% or more of the registered voters in the State and where the Chair or the First Vice-Chair are not of that race, one of the additional Vice-Chairs shall be of that race.
C4.1.4 A vacancy in a state party office shall be filled as provided in the Bylaws.
SECTION 2. DUTIES OF THE STATE PARTY OFFICERS
C4.2.1 The Chair shall carry out the programs and policies of the State Committee, preside over the meetings of the State Committee and Executive Committee, provide general administrative direction to the Executive Director, and serve as an ex-officio member of all committees of the State Party.
C4.2.2 In addition to other duties established by the Bylaws, the First Vice-Chair shall preside at meetings of the State Committee in the absence of the Chair. All Vice-Chairs shall perform such duties as may be delegated to them by the Chair. Where a vacancy occurs in the office of Chair, the First Vice-Chair shall be vested with full authority and power of the Chair until an election is held to fill such vacancy.
C4.2.3 The Secretary shall keep official minutes of the State Convention and meetings of the State and Executive Committees, ensure maintenance of records of official activities, and where required certify State Party Elections and attest to the signature of the Chair.
C4.2.4 The Treasurer shall serve as custodian of State Party funds and moneys, serve as member of the State Finance Committee, and maintain financial records subject to audit and review by the State Committee.
SECTION 3. ELECTION AND TERM
C4.3 The State Officers shall be elected by a majority vote of the State Committee Members at the State Convention, take office immediately upon election, and serve for terms of four years.
CHARTER ARTICLE V
CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT CHAIRS
SECTION 1. DUTIES OF CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT CHAIRS
C5.1 Congressional District Chairs shall be members of the State Committee, Executive Committee, and State Party Affirmative Action Committee, and shall coordinate State Party affairs within Congressional Districts.
SECTION 2. ELECTION AND TERM
C5.2 A Congressional District Chair from each Congressional District shall be elected at the State Committee meeting held in Gubernatorial election years by the majority vote of State Committee members representing such Congressional District; shall take office immediately; and serve a term of four years.
CHARTER ARTICLE VI
SECTION 1. CREATION, AUTHORITY, AND DUTIES
C6.1 There shall be an Executive Committee, which, except for the election of state party officers, shall act on behalf of the State Committee between State Committee meetings.
SECTION 2. MEMBERSHIP
C6.2 Membership of Executive Committee shall be comprised of the following persons: Officers of the State Party, State Constitutional elected officials (if Democrats), elected federal officials (if Democrats), Congressional District Chairs, the members of the Georgia Delegation to the Democratic National Committee, a Democratic member from each House of the General Assembly appointed by the Chairs of the Democratic Caucus of each House of the General Assembly, the President of the Georgia Association of Democratic County Chairs, the President of the Georgia Federation of Democratic Women, the President of the Georgia Council of Democratic Women, the President of the Young Democrats of Georgia, an elected member of a municipal governing body, and an elected member of a county governing body both appointed by the State Chair, the Chair of the County Affairs Committee, the Chair of the Affirmative Action Committee, and three (3) additional members appointed by the Chair.
SECTION 3. OFFICERS
C6.3 State Party officers shall be officers of the Executive Committee.
CHARTER ARTICLE VII
SECTION 1. CREATION AND AUTHORITY
C7.1 There shall be a Committee in each county of the State, which shall have countywide responsibility for the affairs of the Party.
SECTION 2. DUTIES
C7.2 Duties of County Committees shall be to elect State Committee members, promote 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 are required by law, to maintain appropriate records, to promote and add logistical support to the State Affirmative Action Program, to raise funds for the above purposes, and to perform such other duties as may be required by the State Committee.
SECTION 3. MEMBERSHIP AND PARTY DISTRICTS
C7.3 Unless waived by the Executive Committee, each County Committee shall consist of at least 10 members to be elected from 2 or more Party Districts. Party Districts shall be established and apportioned by the County Committee in such a way as to provide for equitable representation for each such district and to allow full participation by all segments of the population.
C7.4 All members, other than ex-officio members, of the County Committees must be registered to vote in that County.
SECTION 4. ELECTION AND TERMS
C7.4 Elected County Committee members shall be elected either by a primary ballot or a Party District Caucus. Half of the elected membership of each County Committee shall be elected in Gubernatorial election years and the remainder shall be elected in presidential election years. Elected County Committee members shall serve 4-year terms except where terms are affected by reapportionment.
SECTION 5. OFFICERS AND ORGANIZATIONAL MEETING
C7.5 County Committee members shall hold a meeting to elect officers no later than December 31 following the general election.
SECTION 6. BYLAWS
C7.6 Each County Committee shall adopt bylaws not in conflict with the provisions of this Charter, the Bylaws, and the Election Code. Such bylaws shall become effective only when copies, certified by the County Chair, have been filed with and approved by the State Party.
CHARTER ARTICLE VIII
NATIONAL COMMITTEE MEMBERS
SECTION 1. DUTIES
C8.1 A delegation of National Committee members shall represent the State Party on the National Committee and shall report to the State Party on National Committee affairs.
SECTION 2. ELECTION AND TERM
C8.2 National Committee members shall be selected at the State Committee meeting held prior to the National Convention in accordance with the requirements of the National Committee and the State Party Bylaws. National Committee members shall serve 4 year terms.
CHARTER ARTICLE IX
C9.1 The State Committee and County Committees may recognize and allow affiliation of statewide and countywide organizations respectively as they deem appropriate.
CHARTER ARTICLE X
SECTION 1. QUALIFICATIONS
C10.1 The qualifications for Presidential Elector nominees shall be the same as those prescribed for membership in the Democratic Party, except that such nominees may not be members of the United States Congress or hold offices of profit or trust under the United States Government.
SECTION 2. APPROVAL AND CERTIFICATION
C10.2 The State Party Chair shall submit names of Presidential Elector nominees to the State Executive Committee for approval. The State Party Chair and State Party Secretary shall certify a slate of nominees so approved to the Secretary of State as required by the Georgia Election Code.
SECTION 3. DUTIES
C10.3 The duties of Presidential Electors shall be to meet in the State Capitol on the first Monday after the second Tuesday in November, or at such other time and place as may be required by law, and vote for President and Vice-President of the United States, making such return thereof as is required by United States Law.