Party By-Laws

Amended May 31, 2014

Democratic State Central Committee of Maryland –

Maryland Democratic Party By-Laws



ARTICLE I                    NAME AND AUTHORITY


The name of this organization shall be the Maryland Democratic Party (herein, the Party).  It shall have such authority and powers as may be granted, delegated, or otherwise permitted by the laws of the United States and the State of Maryland, by the Charter and By-Laws of the Democratic Party of the United States, and the Constitution of the Maryland Democratic Party.


ARTICLE II                   MEMBERSHIP


Membership in the Maryland Democratic Party is open to all citizens of the State of Maryland who support the Party's ideals and principles, and have registered their party affiliation as Democrats.  Persons under the age for registering to vote are encouraged to participate in the activities of the Party. The right to vote in the Party’s primary elections shall be extended to all individuals who shall have registered to vote as Democrats, and will be eligible to vote in the general election for which that primary will select the Party’s nominees.



ARTICLE III                  THE DEMOCRATIC STATE CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF MARYLAND


As set forth in Article III of the Constitution of the Maryland Democratic Party, the supreme governing body of the Party shall be the Democratic State Central Committee of Maryland.


1.         Membership - The members of the Democratic State Central Committee of Maryland shall be:

A.         Those persons elected by ballot from their respective political subdivisions of the State of Maryland in the gubernatorial primary in accordance with the laws of Maryland; and

B.         Such officers as shall be elected by the Democratic State Central Committee of Maryland in accordance with this Constitution and its By-Laws; and

C.         Such additional persons as may be elected by the Democratic State Central Committee of Maryland for the purpose of complying with the Charter, By-Laws, or delegate selection procedure of the Democratic Party of the United States.

  1. Each local central committee shall include in its governing documents a procedure by which it shall nominate to the State Chair a number of individuals that will bring its membership in the state central committee to be equally divided between men and women. The State Chair shall submit nominees to the full state central committee for confirmation.
  2. That nominating process shall include an open, accessible, and transparent process that will allow all Democratic voters within the jurisdiction full, timely and equal opportunity to participate.
  3. This process will provide for the submission of the nominees to the State Chair no later than February 1 of the calendar year after the gubernatorial election. If no list has been submitted by that date, the State Chair may nominate to the full State central committee such individuals from that subdivision as may be necessary to bring its membership in the state central committee to be equally divided by men and women.
  4. The local committee’s governing document shall provide for the level of membership, if any, of these individuals in the local committee and privilege extended to them to participate in meetings, vote and hold office.
  5. Should a vacancy occur for a member appointed for gender balance, the local central committee shall maintain equal representation of men and women using the process in Article X, Section 5.


2.         Term of Office - Members elected under the terms of Section 1A and 1B of this Article shall serve a term of four years, or until their successors qualify.  Members elected under the terms of Section 1C of                           this Article shall serve until the qualification of the new members cited in Section 1A.


3.         Voting - There shall be a total of one thousand (1,000) weighted votes authorized to be cast in the  Democratic State Central Committee of Maryland.

A.         Votes shall be allocated among the central committees representing the political subdivisions based upon the following formula: Twenty-five (25) percent weight to population based on the most recent federal census, twenty-five (25) percent weight each to the proportion of the vote given to the Democratic candidates for President in each of the two most recent presidential elections by each subdivision, and twenty-five (25) percent weight to the proportion of the vote given to the Democratic candidate for Governor in the most recent gubernatorial election by each subdivision.

B.         The proportional votes for each subdivision shall be reallocated within ninety (90) days after the most recent relevant election or census.

C.         In no event shall any subdivision have fewer than one (1) percent of the total weighted votes.

D.         No unit rule shall be permitted in casting the votes of any subdivision.  Any member shall have the right to ask that their delegation be polled.

E.         Each member of the Democratic State Central Committee of Maryland shall be entitled to cast their vote, including fractional votes, equal to the total number of members representing their subdivision divided by the number of votes allocated to said subdivision.

F.         The right to vote shall be limited to those persons specified in Article III, Sections 1(A) and (C) of these By-Laws.

4.         Meetings

A.         The Democratic State Central Committee of Maryland shall hold at least two regular meetings in each calendar year, one in the spring and one in the fall of the year

B.         Special meetings of the Democratic State Central Committee of Maryland may be called by an affirmative vote of the Executive Committee or by a written petition with signatures representing at least two hundred fifty of the weighted votes entitled to be cast, or by petition of the majority of the members of any four political subdivisions.

C.         Notice of regular meetings shall be sent by first class mail and postmarked at least twenty (20) days prior to the date of the meeting.

D.         A quorum for the conduct of business at meetings of the Democratic State Central Committee of Maryland shall be twenty-five (25) percent of the total weighted votes authorized to be cast.

E.         The Chair may limit the agenda of any meeting to those items submitted to the Chair by a member of the Democratic State Central Committee of Maryland at least seventy-two (72) hours prior to the meeting.

F.         All meetings of the Democratic State Central Committee of Maryland shall be open to the public.

  1. The authority for the rules of procedure of the Committee shall be those contained in the latest edition of Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised, except when they shall conflict with the Constitution or By-laws of the Maryland Democratic Party, or a resolution to the contrary duly adopted by the Democratic State Central Committee of Maryland.


5.         Responsibilities of members - it shall be the duty and responsibility of each member of the Democratic State Central Committee of Maryland to work in the interests of the Maryland Democratic Party and to further the purposes and policies of the party.


A member of the Democratic State Central Committee of Maryland may be considered to have resigned and their seat vacated by virtue of their regular failure to participate in the activities and affairs of the Maryland Democratic Party at the local or state level.


A.         Failure to participate shall be defined as failure to attend a majority of regularly scheduled meetings of the State and local Democratic Central Committee during any twelve-month period.


B.         A member may be declared to have resigned by their local Democratic Central Committee if:

(a) The member’s local central committee has adopted a rule setting minimum attendance standards at local and/or State Central Committee meetings, including a method of certifying members’ attendance, and

(b) The member's local Democratic Central Committee has filed with the Secretary copies of the minutes of its meetings, which include the attendance of members at each meeting and

(c) The member is certified to the Secretary of the Maryland Democratic Party to have violated the local Democratic Central Committee attendance rule.  The Secretary shall then officially notify the member in writing that their seat has been vacated.

(d) Such members may appeal their removal following the procedure set forth below, provided that the appeal is limited to the question of violation of the local Democratic Central Committee's attendance standard.


C.         An appeal of a declaration of resignation and vacancy under  § 5B above must be presented to the Chair of the Maryland Democratic Party by the member appealing the removal within fifteen (15) business days of the action by the Secretary of the Maryland Democratic Party.


D.          Within five (5) business days after receiving any appeal of a declaration of resignation and vacancy, the Chair shall refer said petition or appeal to the Credentials Committee for its review and recommendation.


E.         Within fifteen (15) business days after receiving any appeal of declaration of resignation and vacancy the Credentials Committee shall hold a hearing on said appeal affording the member the opportunity to confront the petitioners, present evidence and witnesses to rebut the grounds for disqualification, and question any witness testifying against said member. The member against whom is appealing a declaration of resignation and vacancy shall have the right to employ counsel and the right to examine all evidence presented to the Credentials Committee.


F.         Within ten (10) business days after the last day of the hearing, the Credentials Committee shall make a written recommendation for action on the petition or appeal to the chair of the Maryland Democratic Party.


G.         The Chair of the Maryland Democratic Party shall notify parties filed of the recommendation of the Credentials Committee by registered mail within five (5) business days of receiving the recommendation.


H.         If the Credentials Committee recommends that the member be removed from office, the removal shall automatically take effect unless the member files a request, in writing, within fifteen (15) business days of their notification to have the recommendation considered by the Executive Committee of the Democratic State Central Committee of Maryland. In the event of such a request, the Executive Committee shall vote on the recommendation of the credentials committee at its next meeting, with there being no further right to appeal.

6.         Removal of Members – A member of the Democratic State Central Committee of Maryland may be considered disqualified for office and removed as a member.

A.         Grounds for such disqualification and removal from office shall include:

  1. For malfeasance or misfeasance in office.
  2. Upon conviction of a felony.
  3. For openly supporting or endorsing a candidate for public office of another political party or an independent candidate who is opposed or will be opposed by a Democratic nominee for the same office.  Violation of this subsection may include endorsing or making public statements of support for a candidate; donating money or in-kind goods or services that are subject to official reporting; displaying signs on real or personal property; wearing or displaying campaign buttons, bumper stickers, or similar displays; or participating in coordinated or cooperative campaign efforts in support of such a candidate or candidates.


B.         Members of the Democratic State Central Committee of Maryland subject to disqualification and removal under these by-laws may be removed from office upon petition filed and findings made in accordance with the following procedure.


C.         A petition for removal must be presented to the Chair of the Maryland Democratic Party by majority vote from the local central committee or bearing the signature of any three (3) bona fide Democrats registered to vote in the political subdivision which the member represents. The petition must cite grounds for disqualification and removal in accordance with §6A above.


D.         Within five (5) business days after receiving any petition for removal or appeal of a removal, the Chair shall refer said petition or appeal to the Credentials Committee for its review and recommendation.


E.         Within fifteen (15) business days after receiving any petition for removal or appeal of a removal, the Credentials Committee shall hold a hearing on said petition or appeal affording the member the opportunity to confront the petitioners, present evidence and witnesses to rebut the grounds for disqualification, and question any witness testifying against said member. The member against whom a petition for removal is filed or who is appealing a removal shall have the right to employ counsel and the right to examine all evidence presented to the Credentials Committee.


F.         Within ten (10) business days after the last day of the hearing, the Credentials Committee shall make a written recommendation for action on the petition or appeal to the chair of the Maryland Democratic Party.


G.         The Chair of the Maryland Democratic Party shall notify parties filed of the recommendation of the Credentials Committee by registered mail within five (5) business days of receiving the recommendation.


H.         If the Credentials Committee recommends that the member be removed from office, the removal shall automatically take effect unless the member files a request, in writing, within fifteen (15) business days of their notification to have the recommendation considered by the Executive Committee of the Democratic State Central Committee of Maryland. In the event of such a request, the Executive Committee shall vote on the recommendation of the credentials committee at its next meeting, with there being no further right to appeal.


ARTICLE IV                  OFFICERS OF THE MARYLAND DEMOCRATIC PARTY


The officers of the Maryland Democratic Party shall be a Chair, three Vice-Chairs, Secretary, Treasurer, Deputy Treasurer, Deputy Secretary and such Democratic National Committeepersons as the Maryland Democratic Party shall be entitled to elect under the rules of the Democratic Party of the United States.  All officers shall be elected by and serve at the pleasure of the Democratic State Central Committee of Maryland.

1.         Elections - The Chair, Vice-Chairs, Secretary, Treasurer, Deputy Secretary and Deputy Treasurer shall be elected in that order by the Democratic State Central Committee of Maryland at the first regular meeting of its term of office.

  1. At least one officer must be a resident of Western Maryland (Garrett, Allegany, Washington, Frederick, Carroll or Howard Counties), Southern Maryland (St. Mary’s, Charles, Calvert or Anne Arundel Counties), and the Eastern Shore (Cecil, Harford, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Caroline, Talbot, Dorchester, Wicomico, Somerset or Worcester Counties), Baltimore County, Montgomery County, Prince George’s County and Baltimore City, respectively.

2.         Term - The Officers of the Democratic State Central Committee of Maryland shall be elected to serve a four year term, from the time of their election, until their successors are chosen and qualify.

3.         Chair - The Chair shall be the chief executive officer of the Maryland Democratic Party.  The Chair shall preside at all meetings of the Democratic State Central Committee of Maryland and the Executive Committee; preserve order during deliberations; appoint committees; appoint, with the consent of the Executive Committee, an Executive Director and legal counsel for the Party, and the chairs of standing committees, each of whom shall serve at the pleasure of the Chair; serve as the Maryland Democratic Party's principal member of the Democratic National Committee; and perform such other duties as may be required by law or as may be directed by the Democratic State Central Committee of Maryland or its Executive Committee.

4.         Vice-Chairs – There shall be three vice chairs, where no more than two shall be of the same gender. One Vice-Chair of the opposite gender as the Chair shall be designated as the First Vice-Chair, and the others shall be titled the Second Vice-Chair and Third Vice-Chair. The First Vice-Chair shall serve as the acting Chair in the absence or temporarily inability or disability of the Chair, and shall be one of the Maryland Democratic Party’s members of the Democratic National Committee. The vice-chairs shall perform other duties as may be delegated, assigned, or directed by the Chair, the Democratic State Central Committee of Maryland, or its Executive Committee, or these By-Laws.

5.         Secretary - The Secretary shall be responsible for the taking, recording, and distribution of the minutes of the meetings of the Democratic State Central Committee of Maryland and the Executive Committee.  The Secretary shall have custody and control over all the books, papers, records, and other documents of the Democratic State Central Committee of Maryland and the Maryland Democratic Party which shall be maintained at the permanent offices of the Democratic State Central Committee of Maryland.

6.         Treasurer - The Treasurer shall keep accounts of all monies received by the Democratic State Central Committee of Maryland and the Maryland Democratic Party.  The Treasurer shall deposit all monies and valuables in the name of the Democratic State Central Committee of Maryland and/or Maryland Democratic Party in such depositories as the Executive Committee or Democratic State Central Committee of Maryland shall designate.  The Treasurer shall not expend any money or valuable thing, or incur any liability whatsoever, except with the authority and direction of the Chair of the Maryland Democratic Party, subject to the budget adopted by the Executive Committee.  The Treasurer shall prepare and present a financial report for the regular meetings of the Democratic State Central Committee of Maryland and the Executive Committee and shall be responsible for preparation and presentation of an annual budget.  The Treasurer shall be bonded in such amounts as may be designated by the Executive Committee, the cost of said bond to be paid by the Democratic State Central Committee of Maryland.

7. Deputy Secretary - The Deputy Secretary shall assist the Secretary and shall perform such other duties as may be delegated, assigned or directed by the Chair, the Democratic State Central Committee of Maryland or its Executive Committee.

8.         Deputy Treasurer - The Deputy Treasurer shall assist the Treasurer and shall perform such other duties as may be delegated, assigned or directed by the Chair, the Democratic State Central Committee of Maryland or its Executive Committee.

9.         Removal from Office - At any regular or special meeting of the Executive Committee, it shall be in order to introduce a resolution recommending to the Democratic State Central Committee of Maryland the removal of an individual officer.

A.         The resolution shall have priority over every other motion, and must be considered immediately.  If the officer named is the Chair, the First Vice Chair shall preside over consideration of the question.  If a majority of the members of the Executive Committee present and voting agree to the resolution, the officer in question shall be suspended from the performance of their duties, and their removal shall be recommended to the Democratic State Central Committee of Maryland.

B.         The recommendation shall be presented to the Democratic State Central Committee of Maryland at either a regular or special meeting, which must be held within 30 days of the Executive Committee's action.  If a majority of the members of the Democratic State Central Committee of Maryland present and voting agree to the resolution the officer shall be removed from their position, and the vacancy shall be filled as prescribed in these By-Laws.

10.        Vacancies - In the event of the death, disability, or resignation of any officer of the Maryland Democratic Party, the vacancy shall be filled temporarily by the Executive Committee.  Following the temporary appointment, the vacancy shall be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term by the Democratic State Central Committee of Maryland at its next regular meeting or at a special meeting called for that purpose.


ARTICLE V                   THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE


There shall be an Executive Committee of the Democratic State Central Committee of Maryland, comprised of the officers of the Maryland Democratic Party, and such representatives and other members as shall be provided for in these By-Laws.  The Executive Committee shall have the power to conduct the business and supervise the affairs of the Maryland Democratic Party between meetings of the Democratic State Central Committee of Maryland, including adopt a budget, except that it may not amend the Party's Constitution or By-Laws, remove officers or members of the Democratic State Central Committee of Maryland, or elect permanent officers of the Party.

1.         County Representatives - The local central committee in each of Maryland's 24 political subdivisions shall select a representative and an alternate to serve on the Executive Committee.  Subdivisions with a weighted vote of 90 or more may divide their votes equally among up to 3 representatives.

2.         Allocation of Votes - Each subdivision's representative shall be entitled to cast a weighted vote equivalent to their share of the weighted vote in the State Central Committee, except that no subdivision shall have less than one vote.  In addition, each officer or representative of a statewide Democratic Constituency or organization as defined in section 3 shall be entitled to cast one vote.

3.         Other Members - The Chair may appoint, with the consent of the Executive Committee, persons, to serve as representatives of Statewide Democratic constituencies or organizations. To encourage full participation African Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Hispanics, the LGBT community, organized labor, women and youth shall be entitled to representation. Constituencies or organizations not specifically mentioned in this section shall not be precluded from representation. These persons shall serve a term of two years from the time they are appointed and confirmed.  In addition, the Young Democrats of Maryland and the United Democratic Women's Clubs of Maryland shall each be entitled to a representative on the Executive Committee.

4.         Conduct of Business - A quorum for the conduct of business at meetings of the Executive Committee shall be present when the members entitled to vote a majority (51%) of the total number of votes provided in section 2 of this article are present.  All questions coming before the Executive Committee shall be decided by majority vote of those present and voting, except those procedural matters which require an extraordinary majority in accordance with the Party's rules of procedure.

5.         Meetings - The Executive Committee shall meet on a regular basis at least six times in each calendar year.  Special meetings may be called by the Chair or by petition of twenty-five (25) percent of its members.  Minutes of all meetings shall be available to any member of the Democratic State Central Committee of Maryland.

ARTICLE VI                  DIVERSITY LEADERSHIP COUNCILS

The Maryland Democratic Party shall have a network of Diversity Leadership Councils for the purpose of conducting constituency-outreach, fostering Democratic activism and involvement, and community organizing and empowerment. The Leadership Councils shall serve as official representatives of constituencies in Maryland to the Democratic State Central Committee, and will work together with other established organizations.


1.         Establishment - The Chair of the Maryland Democratic Party shall establish each Council as indicated by their presence in the Democratic electorate and participation in party affairs.

2.         Membership - Any person who qualifies for Party membership under Article II, or wishes to support the Party's principles and ideals shall fully participate in the activities of any Council.

3.         Officers - The Chair(s) of each Council shall be appointed by the Chair of the Party and serve a two-year term. Other officers shall be selected in accordance with the Charter of the Diversity Leadership Councils. Vacancies in any office shall be filled within thirty days.

4.         Representation - The Chair of the Party will appoint a member from each active Council to serve on the Executive Committee under terms of Article V, Section 3 after the recommendation of the Council membership.

5.         Governing Document - The Executive Committee shall establish and adopt a Charter of the Diversity Leadership Councils. No provision in the Charter shall violate the Constitution or By-Laws of the Maryland Democratic Party.


ARTICLE VII                 COMMITTEES


The Maryland Democratic Party shall have certain standing committees, as enumerated in this Article, and such other special committees as may be appointed from time to time by the Chair of the Maryland Democratic Party.  All committees appointed under this Article shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the Chair of the Maryland Democratic Party.  The membership of these standing committees shall be primarily drawn from the membership of the Democratic State Central Committee of Maryland.  If a standing committee shall have co-chairs, at least one of them shall be a member of the Democratic State Central Committee of Maryland.  With the exception of the Credentials Committee, each region shall be entitled to have at least one representative on each standing committee.  In addition to their stated responsibilities, standing committees shall perform such other duties as may be assigned from time to time by the Chair, Executive Committee, or Democratic State Central Committee of Maryland.

1.         Credentials - The Credentials Committee shall be chaired by the First Vice-Chair of the Maryland Democratic Party and be comprised of the First Vice-Chair, such Democratic National Committeepersons as the Maryland Democratic Party shall be entitled to elect, and such other members appointed by the Chair as will ensure representation for each of the seven regions. The Credentials Committee shall have the responsibility of certifying the qualifications of all members of the Democratic State Central Committee of Maryland and of reviewing petitions for removal of members.

2.         Rules Committee - The Rules Committee shall be chaired by the Second Vice-Chair of the Maryland Democratic Party and be comprised of the Second Vice-Chair and at least thirteen (13) other members to be appointed by the Chair of the Maryland Democratic Party. The Rules Committee shall be responsible for insuring the compliance of the governing documents of the Maryland Democratic Party with the laws of the United States and the State of Maryland and with the Charter, By-Laws, and rules of the Democratic Party of the United States. It shall review and report on any proposed amendments or revisions to the Constitution or By-Laws of the Maryland Democratic Party, and may propose such rules as are necessary to the conduct of meetings or business of the Maryland Democratic Party.



ARTICLE VIII            PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATIONS AND ELECTIONS


The Democratic State Central Committee of Maryland has an important role in the nomination and election of the President and Vice President of the United States.

1.         Democratic National Conventions - Delegates and alternates representing Maryland at Democratic National Conventions shall be chosen in accordance with the laws of the United States and the State of Maryland, and the Charter, By-Laws, and Rules of the Democratic Party of the United States under a Delegate Selection Plan adopted by the Democratic State Central Committee of Maryland.

2. Nomination of Candidates for Presidential Electors - Local central committees shall meet as soon after the Democratic National Convention as is practical, but before the 15th day of September.  Each committee shall recommend to the State Chair candidates for Presidential Elector who are residents of the district(s) in which the committee is located.  After receiving the recommendations of the caucuses and any Democratic constituency groups the State Chair shall propose a slate of candidates for Presidential Elector for approval by the Executive Committee.  Upon approval of the candidates, the State Chair shall certify the names to the State Board of Elections in accordance with State law.


ARTICLE IX                  STATE HEADQUARTERS AND STAFF


The Maryland Democratic Party shall establish and maintain a permanent headquarters and professional staff.  The staff of the Headquarters shall be responsible for the day-to-day administration of the business and affairs of the Party.

1.         Headquarters - The Headquarters shall be located in a place within Maryland selected by the Chair with the consent of the Executive Committee.  The Headquarters shall afford reasonable access to the officers and members of the Democratic State Central Committee of Maryland, Democratic elected officials and nominees, other Democratic activists, and the interested public.

2.         Staff - The Maryland Democratic Party shall employ an Executive Director, to be chosen by the Chair, with the approval of the Executive Committee.  The Maryland Democratic Party may employ such other persons as authorized by the Executive Committee in the annual budget.  The Executive Director and such other staff as may be employed shall serve at the pleasure of the Chair.

3.         Direction of Staff - The Executive Director and staff shall act under the direction of the Chair, but shall also be responsive to the guidance or requests of the Executive Committee or Democratic State Central Committee of Maryland.

4.         Neutrality in Primary Campaigns - In Democratic Primary campaigns, the staff and headquarters of the Maryland Democratic Party may not be used to the advantage of one candidate over another, except insofar as services and information are equally available to all Democratic candidates.


ARTICLE X                   LOCAL DEMOCRATIC CENTRAL COMMITTEES


The members of the Democratic State Central Committee of Maryland elected to represent a particular political subdivision of the State of Maryland shall comprise the Democratic Central Committee for each of said subdivisions.  Each local Democratic Central Committee shall keep a current copy of its constitution and by-laws on file at the Headquarters of the Maryland Democratic Party.

1.         Authority - The local Democratic Central Committees shall represent the Maryland Democratic Party within their respective political subdivisions and shall perform such functions required by the laws of the State of Maryland, the Charter and By-Laws of the Democratic Party of the United States, and the Constitution and By-Laws of the Maryland Democratic Party.

2.         Responsibilities - Local Democratic Central Committees shall promote the interest of the Democratic Party and its candidates over those of the opposing political parties and candidates.  Each local Committee shall be responsible for drafting a two-year work-plan for each election cycle held during its term.  This plan, which shall be submitted to the State Chair, will detail the Committee’s efforts to build the local party and support its candidates over the two-year period between General Elections.

3.         Membership - The number of members comprising the Democratic Central Committee for a particular subdivision shall be as designated by the local Democratic Central

Committee unless otherwise prescribed by law. Each Democratic Central Committee shall certify the size of its committee to the State Administrator of Elections, and its local Board of Elections.  Any changes in size shall be filed at least six months prior to a primary election. No person may serve as a member of a local Democratic Central Committee unless that person is a registered Democrat and a bona fide resident of the subdivision.  Each local committee shall include a section in their by-laws pertaining to the status within the local committee of any members added to the State Central Committee for gender balance under Article III of these by-laws, specifically addressing their manner of selection, ability to speak, make and second motions, vote, and hold office, and replacement.

4.         Removal of Members - A member elected or appointed under Article III may be declared to have resigned by their local Democratic Central Committee pursuant to the participation standard set forth in Article III, Section 5 above. Members may be subject to removal pursuant to Section 6 above. Such members may appeal their removal to the State Central Committee following the procedure set forth above in that section.

5. FILLING VACANT OFFICESFrom time to time a local democratic central Committee may be empowered or required by law or the constitution and by-laws of the Maryland Democratic Party to fill a vacant public or party elective office, nominate candidates to serve on public boards or commissions, or serve in some other public capacity. In such an event, the local democratic central committee shall ensure that it acts in an open and transparent manner.

  1. The committee shall notify the public of the vacancy and its intentions to fulfill its responsibilities by notice in Party communications media, and press release to newspapers of general circulation in the jurisdiction
  2. The notice shall include the committee’s intent to meet and act, the time and place of the meeting, the process for filling the position, and the manner in which interested candidates may apply to be considered.
  3. The notice shall be given at least two weeks prior to the deadline for application, unless otherwise required by law.
  4. A committee may require the application form to include such biographical information as it considers necessary to make an informed selection, and shall provide copies of the application to all voting members at least 24 hours prior to the meeting at which the selection will be made.
  5. The committee’s process will provide candidates who have met the qualifications of the committee an opportunity to be heard and interviewed by the committee in a public meeting. It shall also provide for the vote on the selections(s) to be taken in public by roll call of the members, or through signed ballots that shall be publicly read by the secretary or by tellers appointed for the occasion.
  6. While the committee is expected to conduct an open process, nothing in these rules shall prohibit the committee from conducting a closed session for the purpose of discussing the candidates and the selection, provided that no votes on the selection shall be taken in the closed session.
  7. The committee shall adopt a process that recognizes any districts or sub-districts that may exist in the jurisdiction, or of which the jurisdiction may be a part, as required by law, if any districts or sub-districts exist and there is no legal requirement to recognize them for that purpose, a committee may choose to adopt a process that does so.

6.         Committee Vacancies - In the event of a vacancy among the members selected under Article III § 1A in a local Democratic Central Committee, the vacancy shall be filled by the remaining members of that Democratic Central Committee at a public meeting held within NINETY (90) days after the vacancy shall occur, through a process consistent with that outlined in this section.  In the event the local Democratic Central Committee fails to fill the vacancy within the allotted time, the Chair of the Maryland Democratic Party may appoint a successor subject to the approval of the Executive Committee.

7.         Meetings - Within twenty (20) days following the primary election in which they are elected, the local Democratic Central Committee shall meet at a place and time selected by the chair of the outgoing local Democratic Central Committee for the purpose of organizing the new committee.  If no time and place is designated, the Chair of the Maryland Democratic Party or a majority of members of the new local Democratic Central Committee may convene such a meeting.  Thereafter, each local Democratic Central Committee shall hold at least six (6) meetings each year, the minutes of which are to be filed with the Headquarters of the Maryland Democratic Party.  A quorum for a local Democratic Central Committees shall be at least fifty (50) percent of its members.

8. Governing Documents –

A.         Notification – Each local Democratic Central Committee shall annually provide the Secretary with a copy of its Constitution, By-Laws, and Rules.  Each local Democratic Central Committee shall also notify the Secretary within thirty days of adopting any amendment to their Constitution, By-Laws, or Rules.

B.         Review – Any provision of the Constitution, By-Laws, or Rules of a local Democratic Central Committee that violates the Constitution or By-Laws of the Maryland Democratic Party shall be null and void.  The Constitution, By-Laws, and Rules of each local Democratic Central Committee are deemed to not violate the Constitution or By-Laws of the Maryland Democratic Party unless each of the following steps takes place:

  1. A request for a review is filed with the Secretary by a member of the Executive Committee and the local Democratic Central Committee is notified.

2. The Rules Committee reviews the challenged provision(s) and forwards its recommendations to the Executive Committee and the Local Democratic Central Committee.  (At least a week before the Rules Committee conducts any review of a challenged provision(s), the local Democratic Central Committee must receive notice of the meeting.)

3. The Executive Committee determines that the challenged provision(s) violates a specific provision(s) of the Constitution or By-Laws of the State Democratic Party.  (At least a week before any review takes place by the Executive Committee, the local Democratic Central Committee must receive a copy of the recommendations of the Rules Committee and must receive notification of the meeting of the Executive Committee.)

4. The local Democratic Central Committee is notified of the decision of the Executive Committee.


ARTICLE XI CODE OF ETHICS


Members of the Democratic State Central Committee of Maryland shall be subject to the same substantive rules of ethical guidance as state public officials to assure that they shall at all times conduct themselves in a manner that reflects creditably upon the office that they serve, shall not use their office to gain special privileges and benefits, and shall refrain from action in their official capacities when their independence of judgment would be adversely affected by personal interests.


ARTICLE XII                 ADOPTION AND AMENDMENT OF BY-LAWS


1.         Adoption - These By-Laws shall become effective immediately following their adoption by an affirmative vote of a two-thirds majority of the weighted vote of the Democratic State Central Committee of Maryland present and voting.  If approved, this document shall be filed with the State Administrative Board of Election Laws within ten (10) days after adoption.

2.         Amendment - These By-Laws may be amended after the introduction of a resolution stating the amendment submitted at a meeting of the Democratic State Central Committee of Maryland and adopted at the next meeting by a two-thirds majority of the weighted vote present and voting.  Any amendments shall be filed with the State Administrative Board of Election Laws within ten (10) days after adoption.


  

Adopted by the Democratic State Central Committee of Maryland on May 31, 2014.


Beth Swoap, Secretary


Maryland Democratic Party By-Laws