Bylaws of the Iowa Democratic Party

ARTICLE I-COUNTY, DISTRICT, AND STATE CONVENTIONS

Section 1.  The Platform and the Statement of Principles

  1. Each convention shall adopt a platform consisting of a Statement of Issues.  The Platform Committee may set its own rules for development of its report, including but not limited to rules governing debate, amendment, and adoption of platform planks.  The Statement of Issues in the Platform Committee report shall consist of no more than 3000 words.
  2. The Rules Committee shall set time deadlines and make rules governing convention debate, amendment, and adoption of platform planks as necessary for the efficient and fair consideration of the platform.
  3. The Platform Committee of the State Convention shall, prior to the convening of the State Convention, hold a public hearing to allow Democrats the opportunity to comment on the draft platform.
  4. The State Convention shall adopt a Statement of Principles.  The Statement of Principles shall be a statement of abiding Democratic values and principles.  The State Central Committee shall approve and forward a proposed Statement of Principles to the Chair of the Iowa Democratic Party no later than 21 days prior to the State Convention.  The draft Statement of Principles shall be considered for debate, amendment, and adoption at the State Convention.  The Statement of Principles adopted by the State Convention shall be the Statement of Principles for the Iowa Democratic Party.

Section 2.

Pursuant to Article XV, Section 1, of the Constitution of the Iowa Democratic Party, there shall be established, in addition to the Platform Committee, as set forth in Article VI, Section 10, of the Constitution of the Iowa Democratic Party, the following standing committees for each County, District, and State Convention:

  1. Rules and Nominations Committee: Consistent with the delegate selection plan (when applicable), the Constitution and By-Laws of this body, and the Charter and By-Laws of the Democratic Party of the United States, this committee shall be charged with the responsibility of drafting such rules and regulations as are necessary to conduct the business of the convention, including but not limited to the adoption of a Party platform, the adoption or ratification of such resolutions as the convention may wish to consider, the selection of delegates to district, state, and national conventions and meetings, the election of Party office holders and such other business as the convention in question may wish to consider.  The Rules Committees of the County, District and State Conventions shall work in consultation with the other convention committees to produce fair and efficient rules for their convention.  In addition, said committee shall have the responsibility for the counting of all ballots taken during the convention process and the conducting of such elections as shall take place.
  2. Arrangements Committee: This committee shall be charged with the responsibility, in conjunction with the staff of the State Democratic Party, of arranging appropriate facilities and equipment for the conducting of the County, District, and State Conventions.
  3. Credentials Committee: Consistent with the delegate selection plan (when applicable), the Constitution, and By-Laws of this body, this committee shall be charged with the responsibility for the certification and accreditation of the delegates to the County, District, and State Conventions.

Section 3.

The following procedure shall govern the registration and accreditation of delegates to the District and State Conventions of this Party:

  1. The Credentials Committee of the appropriate convention shall timely obtain from each county a list of elected delegates to the convention and preference group, if any, to which the delegate purports to belong.  Further, the county chair shall inform the Credentials Committee, at the same time at which the delegates and preference group information is supplied to the committee, of the name or names of the head of any viable preference group or groups within his/her county.
  2. In the event the County Chair fails to carry forth promptly the duties as set forth in sub-section A of this Section, either the vice-chair of said county or the recognized head of a preference group within that county may supply the Credentials Committee with the information set forth in sub-section A of this Section.
  3. In the event the county chair, vice-chair, or the recognized head of a preference group within a specific county fails to provide the Credentials Committee with such information as is required by sub-section A of this Section of these By-Laws, the chairperson of the Credentials Committee or the designated representative shall be empowered to appoint a representative of the county or preference group or groups within the county to assemble and provide the committee with the required information.

Section 4.

Delegates to county, district, and state conventions shall be considered to have aligned with a preference group when they are registered for the convention in question.  A delegate shall be required to designate his or her preference group at the time of his or her registration, and a delegate who refuses to designate a preference group shall be registered by the Credentials Committee as uncommitted.

The Credentials Committee of the Convention in question shall have the responsibility of determining the number of delegates within each preference group, and shall, upon completion of registration present a report to inform the convention of the size of each preference group.

Following the report of the credentials committee, all delegates will be afforded a one-hour period to realign with other groups if they so desire.  A delegate choosing not to realign shall continue to be counted as a part of his/her initial alignment.  The Arrangements Committee will afford delegates the proper facilities to complete this realignment process.

For the purposes of this section, any preference group which fails to obtain fifteen (15) percent of the total number of registered delegates at the County Convention and fifteen (15) percent of the registered delegates at the District and State Conventions shall be declared non-viable.

Upon completion of the one (1) hour period for realignment of all delegates, the Credentials Committee shall report to the convention the viable and non-viable groups’ status within the convention.  Members of non-viable groups only shall have a reasonable time, not less than one half hour, in which to realign with or into other viable groups.

Following the time for realignment of those who are members of non-viable groups, the Credentials Committee shall report to the convention the final preference groups and their relative strength within the convention.

Section 5.

If a delegate is unable to attend all or part of a convention, an alternate delegate shall be selected using one of the following methods:

  1. A delegate may select an alternate by designating the name of the alternate in writing to the Credentials Committee of the appropriate convention.  The Credentials Committee shall certify the alternate in the delegates’ place.
  2. In the event that a delegate fails to name an alternate in the manner prescribed in subsection A of this section, the appropriate preference groups, acting through its designated representative, shall designate the name of the alternate in writing to the Credentials Committee.  The Credentials Committee shall certify the alternate in the delegate’s place.  In presidential years, or in years in which a preference group is selected, the appropriate designated representative shall be the preference group chair for county, district, and state conventions.
  3. In all cases the alternates shall be of the same preference group. At county conventions consideration shall be given to alternates of the same precinct. At District and State Conventions, consideration shall be given to alternates from the same county.
  4. In all cases where the alternate has been properly designated by a duly elected delegate pursuant to sub-section A of this section to serve as an alternate, he/she shall do so only until the originally elected delegate shall appear at the convention and request of the appropriate preference group chair or county chair his/her right to be seated.  At such time, the alternate shall turn over his/her credentials and balloting material to the duly elected delegate.  However, if the alternate has been selected by the preference group or by the county, and the duly elected delegate has failed to select an alternate, pursuant to subsection A, the alternate shall have the right to retain his/her position as a delegate despite the presence of the duly elected delegate.  In the event of a dispute between the alternate and the delegate claiming to be duly elected, the precinct or the county shall immediately resolve the dispute and inform the Credential Committee of the resolution of the problem.  Either the alternate or the claimed to be duly elected delegate may appeal immediately the decision of the precinct or county delegation to the convention’s Credentials Committee.  The convention shall uphold or overrule, if requested, the decision of the Credentials Committee.  The business of the convention shall continue, unabated, during the resolution of this dispute.
  5. In non-presidential years, or in years in which a preference group is not selected, the designated representative for the selection of an alternate, in the event an alternate has not been selected as set forth in sub-section A of this section, shall be the precinct committee persons at the county convention, and at a district or state convention, the County Chair or their designee.
  6. All non-designated alternates shall be seated in a designated area in a selected area of the convention hall until such time as the Chair or the Chair’s designee calls them to a specific area to be seated as delegates.

Section 6.

The Credentials Committee shall as expeditiously as possible seat any alternate who presents to them, either before or on the day of the convention, proper convention credentials from the appropriate designated representative.  The Credentials Committee shall substitute the name of the alternate in place of the delegate for the official convention record.

Section 7.

The registration processes of county, district and state conventions shall be as follows:

at county conventions, delegate registration shall remain open for at least one hour.  The determination of preference groups and the strength of preference groups shall not be made until all delegates have been received and approved by the county convention.

at district conventions, delegate registration shall be open for one hour and late arriving delegate registration shall be open for one additional hour immediately following.  Official business of the district convention, such as the report of the platform committee, shall begin, with a preliminary credentials committee report announcing a quorum, as soon as one hour after registration begins.  A quorum, for purposes of this section shall mean forty (40) percent of the total number of delegates elected to the district convention.  The determination and the strength of preference groups, delegate selection, and platform prioritization shall begin after the final report of the credentials committee, when all registered delegates have been received and approved by the district convention.

at state conventions, delegate registration and credentialing shall be open from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. the Friday evening before the state convention is scheduled to convene.  On the day of the state convention, delegate registration shall be open from at least 8:00 a.m. until 9:00 a.m.  Late arriving delegate registration shall be open from 9:00 a.m. until 10:00 a.m.

Delegates and Alternates arriving after 10:00 a.m. shall report to the state convention credentials committee.  The credentials committee will determine on a case by case basis whether or not that individual may be received by the convention.

Delegates and Alternates arriving after the state convention has begun the process of breaking into preference groups shall not be seated.

Official business of the state convention shall begin with a preliminary credentials committee report announcing a quorum as early as 9:00 a.m.  A quorum for purposes of this section shall mean forty (40) percent of the total number of delegates elected to the state convention.

The determination and the strength of preference groups, delegate selection, and platform prioritization, shall begin after the final report of the credentials committee, when all registered delegates have been received and approved by the state convention.

Section 8.

With regard to gender balancing:

  1. The delegates and alternates to the Democratic National Convention shall be equally divided between men and women.  If there have not been sufficient nomination papers filed within a gender group in order to achieve gender balance within the delegation, nominations may be taken from the floor of the convention.
  2. All preference groups at a District Convention shall, within each preference group, elect an equal number of male and female delegates and alternates, provided that, in the event that a preference group is to select an odd number of delegates to the National Convention, no more than a simple majority shall be of the same gender.
  3. To the extent that the total number of delegates elected at the District Convention within a preference group is not balanced in gender, delegates elected to the National Convention at the State Convention from the preference group must balance that preference group as equally as possible.
  4. To the extent that a preference group remains out of balance in gender, delegates appointed to the National Convention from a preference group must balance that preference group as equally as possible.
  5. To the extent that there remains gender imbalance among the delegation in its entirety, the Rules and Nominations Committee of the State Convention, and the Convention as a whole, must balance the delegation.
  6. Each preference group delegation shall make an effort to fairly reflect ethnic-racial minority representation.
  7. To the extent that the delegation in its entirety fails to reflect fairly ethnic-racial minority representation, the Rules and Nominations Committee of the State Convention and Convention as a whole shall take steps to correct any deficiency.

Section 9.

In the selection of delegates and alternates to National Conventions by preference groups at State and District Conventions, in the selection and election of members of the Party to serve in Party positions and public positions by preference groups, District and State Conventions, the following procedures shall be followed:

  1. All delegates and Party members who are candidates for the aforementioned positions shall be listed on a ballot and lettered or numbered.
  2. Each delegate who is an authorized member of a preference group, a District or a State Convention, empowered to vote on the selection or election of the candidate or candidates, shall do so by casting a ballot to select or elect a simple majority of the position(s) being sought by the candidates.
  3. No more than a majority of any positions sought may be filled by a preference group or a District or State Convention on any one round of voting.  A candidate for any of the aforementioned positions shall be deemed elected when the candidate shall gather or obtain more than fifty (50) percent of the ballots cast.
  4. A candidate who has been eliminated for any of the aforementioned positions may be reconsidered and stand again for the position sought if all of the members of that candidate’s gender, racial, or ethnic minority have been eliminated and it is necessary to obtain gender, racial, or ethnic minority balance by the selection or election of a candidate of the gender or racial or ethnic minority to which that candidate belongs.
  5. The provision of these By-Laws shall not apply to the selection of any delegate to be selected or elected by a county convention, nor shall it apply to the selection or election of any officer of any county Central Committee.
  6. Any candidate who files national delegate or national alternate papers shall not be required to declare a category at the time his/her papers are filed and shall be allowed to run in any category for which he/she is qualified.

Section 10.

The first order of convention business, with the exception of elections, shall be the consideration of proposed amendments to the Iowa Democratic Party Constitution.

Section 11.

If there are more than six (6) candidates for Presidential Elector, there will initially be no nomination or candidate speeches.  An election shall be held with each delegate voting for two candidates.  If no candidate is elected by majority vote, the top four (4) vote-getters will proceed to a second balloting round.  At this time, one-minute speeches will be allowed.  If, after the second balloting round, the two (2) positions are not filled, the candidate having received the least number of votes in the second balloting round will be eliminated from any subsequent balloting rounds, and the remaining candidates shall stand again.

Section 12.

Constitutionally mandated caucuses shall convene 30 minutes after the start of the seating of delegates, pursuant to Article VI Section 2, of the Constitution of the Iowa Democratic Party.  The Rules and Nominations Committee shall assign a representative to attend each caucus meeting.  The current chair of each caucus shall call the caucus to order and immediately defer to the Rules and Nominations Committee representative for the purpose of conducting the elections.  In the event of an absence of the current chair or vice chair, the Rules and Nominations committee representative shall call the meeting to order.

The Rules and Nominations Committee representative shall upon completion of the elections, immediately report the results of said elections to the Rules and Nominations Chair.  Who shall report the results to the State Convention Chair.

ARTICLE II – ADOPTION AND AMENDMENT

Section 1:

These Bylaws shall be adopted/amended by a majority vote of the State Central Committee following at least three weeks’ notice of the proposed bylaws, the time and the place of the meeting to all members of the State Central Committee and its officers, and to all County Central Committee Chairs and Vice-Chairs.

Section 2:

These bylaws shall be in conformity with the Constitution of the Iowa Democratic Party, the Charter and Bylaws of the Democratic National Committee, and the Statutes of the State of Iowa.