Rules of the 2016 Nevada State Democratic Convention

NVDEMSA. Convention Organization

I. State Convention Delegates/Alternates/Attendees

a. All delegates and alternates to the state convention must be registered Democrats residing in the county for which they are representing at the convention.

b. Any preference group that received delegates at the county convention shall be entitled to no more than half of that number of alternates for each county.

c. All delegates and alternates must have been elected at their respective county convention.

d. The Nevada State Democratic Party may solicit a suggested voluntary contribution from attendees to the State Convention on Saturday, May 14, 2016, but under no circumstances shall a contribution be mandatory for participation.

II. Registration

a. The Credentials Committee shall register delegates, alternates, and convention guests (including members of the press and vendors) during the in-person registration period.

b. In-person registration for the State Convention shall begin no later than 5:00 p.m. on Friday, May 13, 2016. Registration shall open no later than 7 a.m. and shall close at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 14, 2016. Every delegate and alternate in line at 10 a.m. shall be registered.

c. The Credentials Committee may allow for pre-registration for the State Convention, though preregistering does not exempt the requirement for in-person registration at the convention.

d. Delegates and alternates who have not pre-registered for the convention shall have until 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 14, 2016 to register.

e. Delegates and alternates who have preregistered for the convention shall have until 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 14, 2016 for in-person registration.

f. Any delegate or alternate (regardless of pre-registration status) who has not registered in-person, or is not in the in-person registration line, by 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 14, 2016 shall be considered to have vacated his/her position.

g. The Credentials Committee shall create a list of alternates and shall take into consideration the order of the alternate’s sign-in and the alternate’s presidential preference. 

h. After 10 a.m., the Credentials Committee shall begin seating alternates in the vacant delegate positions based on the time of the in-person registration of the alternate and the last known presidential preference of the delegate who has not registered. An alternate seated as a delegate shall be a member of the same presidential preference group as the delegate he or she is to replace.

i. If there is an insufficient number of alternates of a particular presidential preference to replace absent delegates of that presidential preference, then those delegate positions shall remain vacant.

j. The Credentials Committee shall make reasonable efforts to seat the first available alternate based on this list and after such time shall proceed to the next name on the list. The Credentials Committee shall not deviate from the alternate list unless good cause is shown.

k. Alternates to the convention shall be allowed to attend regardless of voting status.

III. Permanent Officers

a. The Chair of the Nevada State Democratic Party shall be the Convention Chair, the First Vice Chair of the Nevada State Democratic Party shall be the Convention Co-Chair, and the Secretary of the Nevada State Democratic Party shall be the Convention Secretary.

b. The Chair of the Nevada State Democratic Party may appoint other permanent officers for the convention. Such officers shall be Honorary Chair(s), a Parliamentarian, and Sergeant(s) at Arms. The officers appointed by the Chair of the Nevada State Democratic Party shall be ratified by the convention body as a whole. Additionally, the Chair of the Nevada State Democratic Party may appoint additional officers to assist these permanent officers with their duties at her discretion.

c. The Convention Chair, and the Convention Co-Chair when acting as the Convention Chair, shall be responsible for presiding over the state convention until adjournment and shall be the presiding officer. The Convention Chair shall have all powers included in this document. In particular, the Convention Chair may recognize speakers and motions as consistent with parliamentary authority at his/her discretion and may limit debate to a certain number of speakers on either side of an issue as well as the time for each speaker.

d. The Secretary shall be responsible for recording the minutes of the State Convention and shall assist the Convention Chair as requested.

e. The Parliamentarian shall be the arbiter of any parliamentary questions or interpretations.

f. The Sergeant(s) at Arms shall ensure order and decorum on the convention floor.

IV. Parliamentary Authority

a. The 2016 Democratic State Convention shall be governed in the following order of authority: The Charter and The Bylaws of the Democratic Party of the United States, the Nevada Delegate Selection Plan for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, the Charter and Bylaws of the Nevada State Democratic Party, the Rules of the 2016 Nevada State Democratic Convention, and the most current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order.

V. Decorum

a. All delegates, alternates, and guests are entitled to attend and participate in the convention free of harassment or intimidation. Anyone harassing or attempting to intimidate any delegate, alternate, or guest to the convention shall be ejected from the convention immediately and shall forfeit any fees paid for the convention or other convention activities.

b. Any intentional disruption of any convention activities may result in immediate ejection from the convention, including the forfeiture of any fees paid for the convention or other convention activities.

c. Guests invited to speak to the convention shall not have their remarks or presentations interrupted or interfered with in any manner, including auditory or visual distractions from the floor. Violation of this rule may result in immediate ejection from the convention, including the forfeiture of any fees paid for the convention or other convention activities.

d. Noisemakers of any kind are prohibited at the convention.

e. Conversation on the floor should be kept to a minimum out of respect for guests, delegates and speakers. Those delegates, alternates, and guests wishing to converse should exit the floor.

f. The Sergeant(s) at Arms shall have the authority to enforce these rules with the approval of the Convention Chair.

VI. Discussion and Voting

a. Only delegates may propose, discuss, and vote on matters before the convention.

b. Non-voting attendees may be seated in a designated area to aid in the smooth process of voting on convention business.

c. There shall be no proxy voting at the convention.

d. All votes taken at the State Convention shall be by voice vote unless otherwise noted.

e. If the Convention Chair is unable to determine the outcome of a voice vote, a vote of standing division shall be taken.

f. Unless otherwise directed by the Convention Chair, debate shall be limited to a maximum of three (3) delegates for and three (3) against any particular motion to a minimum of one (1) delegate for or against any particular motion.

g. The time limit for each delegate shall be two (2) minutes.

h. The Convention Chair may extend this time or the number of speakers at his or her sole discretion.

VII. Call to order, Agenda, and Rules

a. The State Convention shall be called to order at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 14, 2016.

b. The agenda and speaking schedule shall be set by the Chair of the Nevada State Democratic Party, subject to these convention rules and the Nevada Delegate Selection Plan for the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

c. Once approved by the Executive Board of the Nevada State Democratic Party prior to the convention, these rules shall serve as the temporary rules of the convention until convention rules are permanently adopted by a majority vote.

d. Any motion to amend the Convention Agenda, the Temporary Convention Rules, or the Convention Rules shall require either a privileged resolution from the Rules and Bylaws Committee of the Nevada State Democratic Party or a petition signed by twenty percent (20%) of all convention delegates.

e. Motions to amend the Convention Agenda, the Temporary Convention Rules, or the Convention Rules shall only be adopted upon a two-thirds (2/3) vote of all delegates.

VIII. Credentials Committee and Quorum

a. The Credentials Committee shall be appointed by the Chair of the Nevada State Democratic Party prior to the Convention.

b. The Credentials Committee shall administer registration for the convention.

c. All disputes over credentials or the credentialing process shall be heard by the Credentials Committee.

d. Each registered delegate, alternate, and guest shall receive a credential from the Credentials Committee and shall wear the credential in full view during all sessions of the Convention.

e. The Credentials Committee shall have the responsibility of determining the attendance of delegates, alternates, and guests to the Convention and the number of delegates awarded to each preference group pursuant to the Nevada Delegate Selection Plan for the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

f. The Convention Chair shall recognize the Chair or Co-Chair of the Credentials Committee for reports on the attendance of delegates, alternates, and guests to the Convention and the size of each preference group.

g. Forty percent (40%) of the registered delegates shall constitute a quorum for the Convention. Once a quorum has been certified, the business of the convention shall not be subject to the suggestion of a lack of quorum.

IX. Consent Agenda

a. There may be a consent agenda for this convention. Items may be placed on the consent agenda by the Chair of the Nevada State Democratic Party or upon majority vote of the Executive Board.

b. All items on the consent agenda shall identify who placed the item on the consent agenda.

c. The consent agenda shall be raised after the appointment of permanent convention officers.

d. The consent agenda shall be adopted upon a majority vote of convention delegates. If the consent agenda fails to pass, each item on the consent agenda shall be voted on individually at a time to be determined by the Convention Chair. Such items shall be adopted if approved by majority vote.

X. Electors to the Electoral College (pre-approved Electorate Slate)

a. Nevada’s six (6) members to the Electoral College shall be nominated by the Chair of the Nevada State Democratic Party and confirmed by the convention delegates. XI. Platform a. The Platform Committee shall be appointed by the Chair of the Nevada State Democratic Party prior to the Convention.

b. The Platform Committee shall meet and propose a platform to the Convention.

c. The platform, as proposed by the Platform committee, shall be made available in electronic format, and to the extent practicable, made available in written form for review by the Convention delegates prior to any vote.

d. The platform, as proposed by the Platform Committee, shall be voted upon as a whole. The platform shall be adopted if approved by a majority vote.

e. Should the platform fail to achieve a majority vote, the Convention Chair shall call for a vote on each section in the platform. Each section that is approved by a majority vote shall be adopted.

f. Any proposed amendments or additions to the platform must be made to the platform committee before they may be brought to the floor of the convention.

g. An amendment rejected by the platform committee shall only be brought to the floor for a vote with the signatures of thirty percent (30%) of all convention delegates. Challenges to signatures shall be heard by the Credentials Committee.

h. Amendments shall be limited to five (5) minutes of debate, with the Permanent Chair allowed to extend that debate by another five (5) minutes at his/her sole discretion. Any time extensions beyond the first five-minute extension shall be in ten (10) minute increments at the discretion of the convention body and shall require a two-thirds (2/3) vote of those present and voting.

XII. Presidential Preference Alignment

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

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

c. Following the final registration report of the Credentials Committee, all delegates will be afforded a one (1) hour period to realign with other groups if they so desire. A delegate choosing not to realign shall continue to be counted as part of his or her initial alignment as aforementioned.

d. Any preference group which fails to obtain fifteen percent (15%) of the total number of registered delegates at the state convention shall be declared non-viable.

e. Upon completion of the one (1) hour period for initial alignment of all delegates, the Credentials Committee shall report to the convention the viable and non-viable preference groups at the convention. If there are non-viable groups, a reasonable time period of not less than one-half hour shall be allotted for alignment with or into viable groups. If this second alignment occurs, members of viable groups will not be permitted to realign.

f. Following the second alignment—or first alignment in the event there are no non-viable groups—the Credentials Committee shall report to the convention the final preference groups and their relative strength within the convention.

B. Elections

I. Tellers Committee

a. The Tellers Committee shall be appointed by the Chair of the Nevada State Democratic Party prior to the convention.

b. The Tellers Committee shall adopt procedures consistent with these rules and the Nevada Delegate Selection Plan for the 2016 Democratic National Convention to ensure the integrity and orderly operation of the election process.

c. The Tellers Committee shall count the ballots.

d. Any candidate shall be allowed to observe the counting process or may have one (1) representative observe for them.

e. The Tellers Committee may opt for a second count if a majority of the Tellers Committee decide it is in the best interest of the integrity of the results.

II. General Election Provisions

a. All candidates for election shall follow the rules and timelines approved by the Executive Board of the Nevada State Democratic Party and, if applicable, any rules and timelines established by the Nevada Delegate Selection Plan for the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

b. All candidates that met the filing deadline shall be considered nominated for the position which they filed.

c. There shall be no proxy voting at the convention.

d. Delegates may only vote for a candidate once.

e. Ballots shall be declared void if there are more names listed than the number of positions up for election.

f. Ballots shall be declared void if the ballot does not include the delegate’s printed name and signature.

g. A vote on the ballot shall be declared void if the writing is illegible.

h. Challenges to elections of Delegates to the National Convention shall be settled pursuant to the Nevada Delegate Selection Plan for the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

i. Challenges to all other elections shall be decided by the Rules and Bylaws Committee of the Nevada State Democratic Party.

j. A candidate for election to the Nevada State Democratic Party Executive Board, National Committeeman and National Committeewoman may remove their name from the ballot up to 48 our prior to the State Convention.

III. Election of Delegates to the National Convention

a. Delegates to the National Convention shall be elected in accordance with the Nevada Delegate Selection Plan for the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

b. Potential candidates for National Delegate must file their Delegate Intent Forms by 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 14, 2016.

c. The election of all National Delegates and Alternates shall be conducted by non-secret signed ballot.

d. All ballots shall include both a delegate’s printed name and signature.

IV. District-Level National Delegates

a. At 2:30 p.m. on May 14, 2016, district-level delegates and alternates shall be elected by congressional district breakouts. Each congressional district shall divide into separate rooms, and each breakout shall further divide into preference groups, if required.

b. The Chair of the Nevada State Democratic Party shall appoint the chair of each of the congressional district breakouts. Each presidential campaign shall appoint a congressional district representative to work with the congressional district breakout chair and to preside over their respective preference groups, if required.

c. In the breakouts (or divisions within those breakouts, if required), twenty minutes shall be devoted to candidate remarks, to be divided by the number of candidates in the breakout

d. The names of every candidate shall be posted visibly in the room or on printed lists.

e. The Tellers Committee shall conduct an election and determine the top vote earners for each national delegate position.

f. The top vote earners equal to the number of district-level national delegate positions shall be elected national delegate for that breakout.

g. In the case of a tie for the last national delegate position, the winner shall be chosen by a draw of cards, with aces being high. The suit preference shall be clubs (lowest), followed by diamonds, hearts, and spades (highest).

h. The election of District-Level Alternate National Delegates shall be in the same manner as described in this section.

i. An adequate sound system shall be provided.

V. Pledged Party Leader and Elected Official (PLEO) National Delegates

a. Selection of the pledged PLEO delegates shall occur at approximately 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 14, 2016, at the state convention, which is after the election of districtlevel delegates and alternates and prior to the selection of at-large delegates and alternates. 8

b. Pledged PLEO delegates to the national convention shall be chosen by the convention as a whole pursuant to the Nevada Delegate Selection Plan for the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

c. State Convention delegates shall elect the five (5) PLEO delegates.

d. If the number of candidates is equal to the number of PLEO delegate spots available, then the convention shall elect the delegates by voice vote. If there are more candidates than the number of PLEO delegates available, an election shall be conducted.

e. If an election is conducted:

{i. Each PLEO delegate candidate shall be given one minute to address the Convention.

ii. The Tellers Committee shall conduct an election and determine the top vote earners for each PLEO delegate position.

iii. The top vote earners equal to the number of PLEO delegate positions shall be elected a PLEO national delegate.

iv. In the case of a tie for the last PLEO delegate position, the winner shall be chosen by a draw of cards, with aces being high. The suit preference shall be clubs (lowest), followed by diamonds, hearts, and spades (highest).}

VI. At-Large National Delegates

a. The selection of the at-large delegates and alternates shall occur at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 14, 2016, after all pledged PLEO delegates have been selected.

b. At-Large National Delegates shall be chosen by the convention as a whole.

c. The names of every candidate shall be posted visibly in the room or on printed lists.

d. If the number of candidates is equal to the number of At-Large National Delegates spots available, then the convention shall elect the delegates by voice vote. If there are more candidates than the number of At-Large National Delegates available, an election shall be conducted.

e. If an election is conducted:

{i. Each At-Large National Delegate candidate shall be given one minute to address the Convention.

ii. The Tellers Committee shall conduct an election, count the ballots, and determine the top vote earners for each At-Large National Delegate position.

iii. The top vote earners equal to the number of At-Large National Delegate positions shall be elected At-Large National Delegate.

iv. In the case of a tie for the last At-Large National Delegate, the winner shall be chosen by a draw of cards, with aces being high. The suit preference shall be clubs (lowest), followed by diamonds, hearts, and spades (highest)}.

f. The election of Alternate At-Large National Delegates shall be in the same manner as described in this section.

VII. Election of At-Large Members to the Executive Board

a. All candidates for at-large member of the Executive Board must be registered Democrats as of February 1, 2016 and reside in their county for at least 30 days. 9

b. All candidates shall file their intent to run as an at-large member of the Executive Board by 5 p.m. on April 25, 2016.

c. Delegates from Clark County, Washoe County, and the Rural Counties will cast votes only for candidates from their respective region.

d. Per the Charter at-large members to the Executive Board shall not exceed 14. The regional breakdown is as follows:

{i. Eight (8) must be from Clark County.

ii. Four (4) must be from Washoe County.

iii. Two (2) must be from the remaining rural counties.}

e. The Tellers Committee shall conduct an election, count the ballots, and determine the top vote earners for each at-large Executive Board position.

f. In the case of a tie for the last at-large Executive Board position, the winner shall be chosen by a draw of cards, with aces being high. The suit preference shall be clubs (lowest), followed by diamonds, hearts, and spades (highest).

VIII. Election of National Committeewoman and National Committeeman

a. All candidates for National Committeewoman and National Committeeman must be registered Democrats as of February 1, 2016, and reside in their county for at least 30 days from the filing deadline.

b. All candidates shall file their intent to run as national committeeperson by 5 p.m. on Monday, April 25, 2016.

c. Each candidate for National Committeewoman and National Committeeman shall be given four minutes to address the Convention.

d. The Tellers Committee shall conduct an election, count the ballots, and determine the top vote earner for each position.

e. In the case of a tie, the winner shall be chosen by a draw of cards, with aces being high. The suit preference shall be clubs (lowest), followed by diamonds, hearts, and spades (highest).

IX. Election of Members to the State Central Committee

a. Members to the State Central Committee shall be elected at the convention.

b. All current members of the State Central Committee shall be given an opportunity to serve another term as a committee member.

c. Convention attendees who indicate an interest in becoming a State Central Committee member during the registration process shall be given preference for open State Central Committee positions.

d. Any person who does not wish to serve an additional term shall have his or her place filled by the county chair from that county.

C. Miscellaneous 

I. Amendments to the Charter and Bylaws of the Nevada State Democratic Party

a. There shall be no amendments to the Charter and Bylaws of the Nevada State Democratic Party at the State Convention.

II. Recesses of the State Convention

a. The Convention may not be adjourned with intent to reconvene at another place or time for any reason other than:

{i. Declaration of a State of Emergency by the Governor of the State of Nevada, the Clark County Sheriff, or another public official of relevant jurisdiction and authority, or;

ii. By a vote of Eighty (80) percent of the credentialed delegates to the convention.}

b. Should a motion to recess be passed by the Convention, said motion must restrict the location to Clark County, Nevada and must be completed no later than June 30, 2016.

c. This provision is not subject to a subsequent suspension or amendment to the rules.

III. Suspension of the Rules

a. These rules of the 2016 Nevada State Democratic Convention may only be suspended by a vote of three-fourths (3/4) of all convention delegates.

b. These rules shall only be suspended in the instance where an unforeseen circumstance in these rules has prohibited the convention from conducting its required business.

c. Under no circumstances shall these rules be suspended for taking any action contrary to expressed intent or will of these rules.

d. Either the Parliamentarian or the Convention Chair shall rule any motion to suspend the rules out of order based on the above criterion.

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