BYLAWS OF THE HARRISON COUNTY DEMOCRATIC EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
ARTICLE I. NAME
The name of this organization shall be the Harrison County Democratic Executive Committee (HCDEC).
ARTICLE II. PURPOSE
1. The purposes of this organization, hereafter referred to as HCDEC, are
- a. To fulfill all of the legal requirements of a county executive committee for the Democratic Party of the State of Mississippi within Harrison County, Mississippi, including but not limited to
- (1) Certifying Democratic Party candidates for elective office at the county level
(2) Conducting party primaries for Harrison County, and
(3) Canvassing and certifying election returns in accordance with the election laws of the State of Mississippi
b. To serve as the governing body of the county party unit between conventions, and
c. To advance the purposes and goals of the Democratic Party within the county.
2. The HCDEC is the county element of the Democratic Party of the State of Mississippi and shall be governed by the Constitution and Bylaws of the state organization. Any conflict between this HCDEC document and state party documents shall be resolved in favor of the governing rules of the state party.
ARTICLE III. MEMBERSHIP
1. Membership in the HCDEC shall be by election by the qualified participants at the county convention held in presidential elections years in accordance with rules published by the state party. Membership is open to all residents of Harrison County, Mississippi, who profess to support the principles of the Democratic Party.
2. There shall be thirty members of the HCDEC, six to be elected from each supervisor’s district by the county convention delegates from each said supervisor’s district acting separately. Within one year of its election, the HCDEC, at its discretion, may vote to expand the HCDEC by the election of six members to be elected from the county at large. The President of the Harrison County Federation of Democratic Women and the President of the Young Democrats of Harrison County shall each, by virtue of their offices, be voting members of the HCDEC.
a. The HCDEC supports the broadest possible participation without discrimination on the grounds of race, color, creed, sex, age, national origin, economic status, religion, and ethnic identity. The HCDEC shall take whatever affirmative action may be necessary to ensure and encourage the fullest participation of all eligible members.
b. The HCDEC subscribes to and will comply with the affirmative action goals of the state party. To that end, the HCDEC will balance its membership by race and gender to the maximum extent possible.
c. No test for membership in, or oaths of loyalty to, the Democratic Party of the State of Mississippi shall be required or used which have the effect of requiring prospective or current members of the party to agree, condone, or support discrimination on the grounds of race, sex, color, creed, national origin, religion, ethnic identify, or economic status. No membership card or dues shall be required of any person as a condition for being a member of this party or this committee.
3. The HCDEC shall publicize fully and in such manner as to assure notice to all interested parties a full description of the HCDEC. Publication shall be done in such a manner that all prospective and current members of the HCDEC will be fully and adequately informed of the pertinent procedures in time to participate in the selection procedure at all levels.
4. Members shall hold office for four years or until their successors are chosen pursuant to these rules.
5. Vacancies on the HCDEC may be filled by a majority vote of the members present and voting at a duly called or regularly scheduled meeting not less than 30 days after notice of the filling of vacancies given.
6. The seat of any member of the HCDEC may be declared vacant by a two-thirds vote of those members present and voting at a duly called meeting of the HCDEC upon the happening of one of the following: It is brought to the attention of the HCDEC in writing that a committee member
a. Has missed 3 or more regular meetings of the HCDEC for reasons other than illness or business.
b. Is publicly, actively, or financially supporting the candidacy of any person not running as a Democrat, except in a non-partisan election.
c. Has committed malfeasance, misfeasance, or nonfeasance in office.
d. Has resigned.
e. Has died.
f. Has relocated outside of Harrison County. If a member moves his or her legal residence outside the supervisor’s district from which he or she was elected, the HCDEC, at its discretion, replaces the member.
7. Before the seat of any member is declared vacant, all members of the HCDEC and the accused member whose seat is proposed to be vacated shall be given 30 days written notice specifying the cause or causes in reasonable detail as to time, date, place, accusers and witnesses thereof.
a. The accused member whose seat is proposed to be vacated may make a written request for a hearing before the HCDEC any time within the first 20 days of such notice, but the written request for hearing shall be received by the Secretary of the HCDEC and a copy thereof by the Chairperson of the HCDEC not later than ten days prior to the date set for such a meeting of the HCDEC.
b. If such written request for a hearing before the HCDEC is received, then the HCDEC shall grant a reasonable period of time during such a meeting before the HCDEC shall take final action thereof.
c. If no hearing is requested within such period of ten days prior to the scheduled meeting, it shall be deemed acquiescence by the accused member to the HCDEC’s proposed declaration of vacancy and the accused member’s vacancy shall take effect upon approval of two-thirds of the membership present and voting at the meeting.
8. Any hearing held pursuant to this Article shall be private or public at the discretion of the accused member.
a. The HCDEC and the accused member may be represented by counsel at their own expense, and such counsel may examine and cross-examine witnesses and present arguments.
b. All guidance shall be under the authority of the Chairperson with the consent and advice of the Parliamentarian.
c. The HCDEC shall first present evidence to sustain the grounds for vacating the member’s seat and then the accused member shall present his or her evidence in defense.
d. The accuser and the accused may then present rebuttal evidence.
e. The vacating of a member’s seat shall be based on substantial, competent, and reasonably prudent evidence.
f. All witnesses shall be sworn upon oath to be administered by the Presiding Officer of the HCDEC.
g. If requested, either by the accused member or by the HCDEC, a court reporter to record the proceedings at the hearing shall be obtained upon due and proper filing of a cost bond therefore, and a transcript thereof may be purchased at their own expense.
h. The HCDEC shall issue its decision and order in writing.
i. If the HCDEC orders the seat vacated, its decision shall include the findings of the facts based upon the evidence presented and shall be served upon the accused member together with its order vacating the seat within ten days after the conclusion of the hearing, by United States Mail, postage prepaid, at the accused member’s usual mailing address.
j. If the decision of The HCDEC is favorable to the accused member, the proceedings shall be dismissed and the decision entered into The HCDEC’s minutes.
ARTICLE IV. OFFICERS
1. Officers of The HCDEC shall be elected by and serve at the pleasure of The HCDEC at the first meeting of The HCDEC following the county convention. Officers shall serve a term of four years or until their successors are chosen, unless removed by a 2/3 vote of the members of the HCDEC.
2. The officers of The HCDEC shall consist of a chairperson, a vice-chairperson, a secretary, a treasurer, and a parliamentarian.
3. Chairperson— The duties of the Chairperson shall be those of a chief executive officer. The Chairperson shall convene and preside at all official HCDEC functions and shall have such other powers and duties as may be granted to him or her from time to time by resolution of the HCDEC. The Chairperson shall appoint committees of the HCDEC to accomplish the work of HCDEC and shall serve as an ex officio member of each committee.
4. Vice-Chairperson— The Vice-Chairperson shall assist the Chairperson in the exercise of his or her duties and shall preside in the absence of the Chairperson. The Vice-Chairperson shall have such other powers and duties as may be granted to him or her from time to time by resolution of the HCDEC. The Vice-Chairperson shall be of a different race and sex from the Chairperson.
5. Secretary— The Secretary shall be in charge of all files and records of the HCDEC (except financial records) and shall keep the minutes of the proceedings of all meetings. After the adoption of these Bylaws, the Secretary shall be responsible for maintaining the official record of this document and providing members and the State Party with a copy of this document as initially adopted and each amendment as it adopted. All records shall be available for inspection by any member of the HCDEC or any official of the State Party upon reasonable notice. The Secretary shall maintain records of attendance and shall report in writing, not less than each six months, on absences that would require removal of the member from office.
6. Treasurer— The Treasurer shall have custody of the funds of the HCDEC and shall render written accounts of the receipts and disbursements of the HCDEC to each meeting of the HCDEC. Funds shall be deposited in a fully insured financial institution designated by resolution of the HCDEC. The Treasurer shall write checks and expend money of the HCDEC only as authorized by the budget or by appropriate resolution and then only upon the presentation of receipted bills, vouchers, or other appropriate written instruments and upon the countersignature of the Chairperson or other designated officer. The Treasurer should be a different race and sex from the Secretary whenever possible.
7. Parliamentarian— The Parliamentarian should advise the Chairperson on parliamentary procedures at all HCDEC meetings and conventions and shall, when called upon, make parliamentary and procedural rulings as to the conduct of such meetings.
ARTICLE V. ADMINISTRATIVE COMMITTEE
1. The Administrative Committee shall be composed of the duly elected officers of the HCDEC and the chairpersons of all standing committees.
2. The Administrative Committee shall be empowered to act in behalf of the HCDEC in all Party affairs between meetings of the HCDEC, subject to subsequent approval of the HCDEC.
3. The Administrative Committee is authorized to expend HCDEC funds where the HCDEC has previously approved a budget to support such expenditures, and it is authorized also to file the necessary registrations, certifications, and reports with the state and federal governmental agencies as are necessary and authorize party campaign committees pursuant to Federal Election laws.
4. Officers of the HCDEC will hold the same positions on the Administrative Committee.
5. The Administrative Committee shall meet on an as needed basis. Members of the HCDEC shall be notified of the time, date, and place of all Administrative Committee meetings and all such meetings, whether regular or called, shall be open to all members of the HCDEC. The Secretary of the Administrative Committee within 10 days of an Administrative Committee meeting shall distribute to all members of the HCDEC a summary of the minutes of such meeting.
ARTICLE VI. MEETINGS
1. Regular meetings of the HCDEC shall be held on the first Saturday of the month at 9:00 A.M. at a location designated by the HCDEC. The time and place for all public meetings of the HCDEC shall be publicized fully and in such a manner as to assure timely notice to all interested parties.
2. Special meetings of the HCDEC may be called by the Chairperson or by 25% of the membership of the HCDEC. Written notice of the calling of a special meeting is desirable, time permitting. Reasonable efforts shall be made to give sufficient notice of special meetings to all members of the HCDEC. By majority vote, the HCDEC may decide to forego one or more subsequent meetings.
3. A quorum for any regular or special meeting of the HCDEC shall consist of 35% of the members of the HCDEC. For example, a HCDEC size of 36 to 38 requires 13 members for a quorum. A HCDEC size of 33 to 35 requires 12 members for a quorum. A HCDEC size below 33 requires 11 members for a quorum.
4. All public meetings of the HCDEC shall be open to all members of the Party regardless of race, sex, color, creed, national origin, religion, ethnic identity, economic status, or philosophical persuasion.
5. All meetings shall be conducted in accordance with the most current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order.
ARTICLE VII. CERTIFICATION OF CANDIDATES
1. The HCDEC, or any specially designated subcommittee, shall be empowered to certify candidates for primary elections, to certify primary election returns, and to hear and decide election disputes.
2. No candidate shall be certified to run in a Democratic Primary for any office
a. Who has not met the statutory qualifications to run for such office;
b. Who is not in accord with the principles and rules of the Democratic Party of Mississippi
as set forth in its Constitution and Bylaws and the standards or principles of the party;
c. Who will not pledge to support the candidacy of all Party nominees at all levels running in the same general election for which nomination is being sought.
3. No candidate, while holding elective office as a Democrat or as a Democratic Party official, shall be certified to run in a Democratic Primary for any office
a. Who has participated in a primary of any other political party within the past twelve months, by either voting or running for office in such primary, or
b. Who has within the preceding four years publicly or financially supported the election to office of any person not running as a Democrat.
ARTICLE VIII. COMMITTEES
1. The standing committees of the HCDEC and their functions shall be as follows
a. Election – to supervise the conduct of party primaries and certify candidates and election results, all in accordance with state and federal election laws;
b. Budget and Finance – to recommend a budget for the operation of the HCDEC and plan and execute fundraising activities for the HCDEC. The Treasurer shall be an ex officio member of this committee;
c. Party Development and Organization – to develop and implement plans to strengthen party organization at the county, district, and precinct level.
d. Young Democrats – to assist in the development and direction of Young Democrat organization in high schools and colleges in the county.
e. Campaign – to serve as a liaison between the HCDEC and duly certified Democratic candidates and their campaign organizations and to assist in their elections.
f. Voter Registration – to develop and implement plans to increase voter registration, especially among potential Democratic voters;
g. Senior Democrats – to serve as a liaison between senior citizens and the HCDEC and to develop a continuing process by which the HCDEC encourages the active participation of senior citizens in county party activities.
h. Education and Membership Committee – to develop and implement plans for carrying out educational activities on the purpose, philosophy and activities of the Democratic Party.
2. The Chairperson shall appoint as many ad hoc committees as are necessary to conduct the business of the HCDEC.
ARTICLE IX. EFFECTIVE DATE
The Bylaws shall become effective after a two-thirds majority vote of the present and voting members at a regular meeting of the HCDEC, after notice to members of the offering of the document for adoption. The Secretary shall provide a written copy of the proposed document by mail or hand delivery to each member. After adoption, the Secretary shall provide an official copy of the Bylaws to each member and the state party.
ARTICLE X. AMENDMENTS
These Bylaws may be amended by a majority vote of the present and attending members at any regular meeting of the HCDEC, after a motion to so amend has been tabled until the next regular meeting. After amendment, the Secretary shall provide an official copy of the amendment to each member and to the state party.
ADOPTED: July 14, 1992
REVISED: July 12, 2008