Download CCDC bylaws effective January 30, 2010, here: CCDC ByLaws 30Jan2010 2. For outline, text, and pending amendments, see below.
III. Precinct Committeepersons
IV. The County Committee
V. Zones and Zone Leaders
VI. Districts and District Leaders
VII. County Executive Committee
VIII. Auditing Committee
IX. Building Fund Committee
X. Other Committees
XI. Party Expenditures
XII. Nominating Conventions
XIII. Vacancies of Nominees
XIV. Contests for Office
XV. Amendments and Revisions
XVI Effective Date
BY-LAWS OF THE DEMOCRATIC COMMITTEE OF CHESTER COUNTY
ARTICLE I. AUTHORITY
SECTION 1. The County Committee shall be the authoritative body of the Democratic Party in Chester County and shall make such rules for the government and management of the party in Chester County as it may deem proper, not inconsistent with law and with the rules of the Democratic Party in the State of Pennsylvania.
All public meetings will be open to all registered Democrats of Chester County, regardless of race, color, creed, sex, national origin, age, ethnic identity or economic status.
ARTICLE II. DEFINITIONS
SECTION 1. “Legislative District” shall mean the district comprised by the legislative boundaries for the Pennsylvania State Representatives within Chester County.
SECTION 2. “Majority vote” shall mean more than one-half of those present at the time the quorum is established and certified to vote at a meeting.
SECTION 3. “Notice” shall mean written posted first-class mail addressed to the mailing address of every committee member required to be provided notice. Notice may be made by electronic mail to any committee member who agrees to accept notice by that method. The Secretary shall maintain a record of the agreement to receive electronic notice and a record of current email addresses.
SECTION 4. “Public Notice” shall mean written notice advertised at least two weeks in succession in two daily newspapers in Chester County consistent with the widest geographical coverage, the last of which notices shall appear no less than one week prior to the noticed event.
SECTION 5. “Majority” vote shall mean a majority of those present and certified to vote at the meeting. Eighty members of the County Committee or 20% of the voting membership of the County Committee, whichever is larger, shall constitute a quorum for purposes of any meeting of the County Committee.
SECTION 6. Meetings of the County Committee shall be conducted in accordance with the rule of procedure laid down in the latest revised edition of Robert’s Rules of Order, newly revised, in all procedural matters not otherwise specifically covered by these By-laws.
ARTICLE III. PRECINCT COMMITTEE PERSONS
SECTION 1. At the spring primary election when Pennsylvania’s Governor is nominated, the Democratic voters of each election precinct of Chester County shall elect two Precinct Committee persons who will serve a term of four years and be eligible for re-election. The certified copy of the list of committee people filed in the office of the County Board of Elections and amended as provided in these by-laws, shall be the official list of County Committee persons for all purposes. The County Committeepersons shall constitute a political committee of and shall have charge of the Democratic organization in their respective election precincts. The members of each local municipal committee shall endeavor as much as possible to achieve an equal number of male and female members on the committee. However, filling vacancies on the committee shall take priority over achieving gender balance.
SECTION 2. County Committeepersons shall hold office for a term of four years beginning on the day following the date of election as certified by the Chester County Board of Elections.
SECTION 3. Eligibility of County Committeepersons: Any person who seeks election as County Committeeperson shall be an enrolled Democratic elector in the precinct which he or she seeks to represent and shall have actual and physical residence in the precinct.
No person shall be eligible to serve as a member or officer of the County Committee or any of its subordinate committees who has, within two years, actively and openly supported a candidate of another political party against a Democratic candidate in a general or special election, except for those persons supporting Democratic candidates who file for an office in which crossfiling is permitted by law.
SECTION 4. It shall be the duty of Committeepersons to participate in meetings of the County Committee, and in meetings of the their local municipal committee, and such district and zone meetings as shall be called from time to time; to increase the enrollment of Democratic electors in their voting districts to its maximum number, to see that at least one nomination petition shall be properly circulated and filed for each public
office for which nominations are to be made at each Primary Election in their respective election districts, to organize political activity in their election districts thoroughly and effectively to the end of achieving a maximum Democratic vote at the polls and Democratic majorities in the elections, to champion and work for Democratic principles and integrity within the Party and the administration of government, and to do all
things necessary and proper to advance the goals of the Chester County Democratic Committee in accordance with these By-laws.
SECTION 5. In the case of a vacancy in the office of Precinct Committeeperson from any election precinct of the County caused by death, resignation, removal to and registration in another election precinct, change in Party registration, or failure to elect at the spring primary, the County Chairperson shall appoint a qualified Democratic voter to fill the vacancy for the unexpired term who is registered in that election precinct and who has been recommended for appointment by the local municipal committee, or in the absence of a local recommendation, who has been recommended by the zone leader. The County Chairperson or the Secretary shall simultaneously file with the County Board of Elections the name of the person so appointed and his or her election precinct. The local township committee or the zone leader shall notify the County Chairperson of the vacancy and provide a recommendation for a replacement within thirty (30) days of the vacancy. The appointment by the Chairperson of the
new committee person shall occur as soon as possible, but no later than thirty (30) days after the receipt of a written recommendation for appointment. In the event that no replacement has been identified, the Chairperson or the Secretary shall notify the office of the County Board of Elections of the vacancy within thirty (30) days of receipt by the Chairperson of the notice of vacancy. In the absence of a recommendation from the local township committee or the zone leader, the County Chairperson may appoint a qualified Democratic voter to fill the vacancy. Nothing in this section shall prevent the County Chairperson from collaborating with the zone leader in selecting a replacement.
SECTION 6. The Chair shall not appoint persons to fill vacancies in the office of precinct committeeperson between the date fixed for the election of members of the County Committee and the date of the County Committee organization meeting as defined in Article IV §§ 2-3. The Chair shall not appoint persons to fill vacancies in the office of precinct committeeperson less than thirty (30) days before the date of the Nominating convention.
SECTION 7. Any Precinct Committeeperson, and any member of the Democratic County Committee, whether elected or appointed, may be subjected to disciplinary action for openly or actively supporting any candidate against a candidate endorsed by the County Committee in a general or a special election. Any charges against a Committeeperson or member of the Democratic County Committee under the provisions of the Section shall be initiated by the Chairperson of the County Committee with the concurrence of the County Executive Committee.
Following the initiation of such charges, a hearing shall be held before the County Executive Committee for the purpose of determining the merits of such charges. All members of the County Executive Committee shall receive at least ten days’ written notice of the hearing. The person so charged shall receive at least fourteen days written notice by certified mail of the hearing. The notice to the person shall set forth the exact charges and allegations instituting the action against him or her. This hearing shall be chaired by the Chairperson. The Chairperson shall conduct this hearing in an expeditious manner and shall make all rulings concerning procedure and evidence.
The solicitor shall present evidence, present argument, and examine witnesses, on behalf of the County Executive Committee. With the exception of the Solicitor, no member of the County Executive Committee shall present evidence, examine witnesses, or present argument at the hearing. The person charged shall have the right to be represented by counsel and to present a defense, including the calling of witnesses, cross-examination of hostile witnesses, and the presenting of evidence and argument. After hearing all of the evidence the County Executive Committee shall vote whether or not to discipline the person charged. The decision as to whether or not to discipline shall be by majority vote. If the County Executive Committee shall vote to discipline the person charged, the Committee shall either censure or suspend such person. If suspended, the person charged shall be subject to the following sanctions:
(1) The person shall not be entitled to vote at any meetings of the County Committee or County Executive Committee during his or her suspension.
(2) The person shall not receive any campaign literature during his or her suspension.
(3) The person shall not receive any campaign funds during his or her suspension.
Any such suspension shall be in effect for the duration of the person’s term. No person shall be subjected to disciplinary actions on any charge initiated more than six months after the occurrence of the alleged misconduct.
ARTICLE IV. THE COUNTY COMMITTEE
SECTION 1. The County Committee shall consist of the members of the State Committee from Chester County, and of the County Committeepersons from the various election precincts of Chester County and all Chester County Democrats holding County or State elective offices or who serve as members of the State Cabinet.
SECTION 2. The County Committee shall convene its organizational meeting not later than the fourth Wednesday following the spring primary at which Committeepersons are elected or within twelve days after the certification of the Primary returns by the County Board of Elections, whichever shall later occur. The County Chairperson shall designate the time and place of said meeting and shall provide at least twenty-one (21) days written notice of the meeting to all members of the County Committee. The meeting shall organize by majority vote of those present provided a quorum is present.
SECTION 3. Those members of the County Committee who are elected and certified by the County Board of Elections as duly elected Committeepersons shall elect at the organization meeting a County Chairperson who shall be Chairperson of the County Committee; a Vice-Chairperson who shall be of the opposite gender of the Chairperson; a Secretary; a Treasurer; three members of an auditing committee; and members of a building fund committee. The County Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer need not be members of the County committee at the time of their election, but shall be ex-officio members after their election. Said officers shall hold office for the term of four years and until their successors are elected. Nominations for Officers of the County Committee shall be made at the organizational meeting and may be made only by duly elected county committeepersons. Officers shall be elected by a majority vote of all members present at the organizational meeting. The election shall be by secret written or printed ballot.
SECTION 4. The Chairperson of the County Committee shall be the chief executive officer of the Party in Chester County; he or she shall have general and active management of the Party and shall see that all orders, resolutions and the By-laws of the County Committee are carried into effect and performed in a lawful manner, and that the meeting places are adequate and properly supervised to assure order. The County Chairperson shall, with the aid, assistance and advice of the County Executive Committee, conduct all county campaigns.
SECTION 5. In the absence of the Chairperson, the Vice Chairperson shall assume all of the duties of the Chairperson.
SECTION 6. The Secretary of the County Committee shall attend all meetings of the County Committee and Executive Committee and act as Secretary of all conventions of the Party and meetings of the Committee. The secretary shall keep an accurate record, in writing, of all proceedings at meetings of the County Committee and conventions of the Party, in a secure binder provided for the purpose, and shall turn over all books and records to the County Committee at the reorganization meeting of the County Committee every four years. The minutes of County Committee Meetings, Executive Committee meetings and conventions shall be distributed to the members of the respective committees as soon as practicable after the conclusion of the meeting. The
Secretary shall ensure that copies of all meeting minutes and reports, including Treasurer’s reports, are permanently retained in the office of the Committee and available upon request by any Committeeperson. The Secretary, at the direction of the
Chairperson, shall be responsible for all of the official correspondence of the Party. The Secretary shall keep an accurate and up-to-date-list of all members of the County Committee and of all elected and appointed members of the County Executive Committee. A copy of the current list of members of both the County Committee and the Executive Committee shall be maintained at the office of the County Committee and be available for inspection by any County Committee member or Executive Committee member.
SECTION 7. The Treasurer shall receive and hold all funds of the Party and shall keep an itemized and accurate account of all receipts and expenditures thereof, and make no payments except upon written order and approval of the Chairperson of the County Committee and the Executive Committee. The said Treasurer shall submit all his or her accounts in relation to the funds of the Party at least once a year for inspection and audit and shall turn over all books and records to the County Committee at the reorganization meeting every four years, and in default thereof he or she shall be ineligible to hold any office in the next election.
SECTION 8. The Vice-Chairperson, Secretary or Treasurer may, with the approval of the Chairperson, appoint such assistants to act in their absence or in support of their office as may be seemed desirable. The Chairperson, with the advice and consent of the Executive Committee, shall name a solicitor to represent the Committee in legal matters during his or her term of office, and shall name as many assistants as are deemed necessary.
SECTION 9. Upon conclusion of his or her term of office, each officer shall deliver promptly to his or her successor all records and files pertaining to said office, and if he/she fails to do so, he or she shall be ineligible to hold any party office in the next election.
SECTION 10. Vacancies in County Committee offices shall be filled by the County Executive Committee for the unexpired term, within thirty (30) days from the date the vacancy occurs. In the event the office of County Chairperson becomes vacant and is not filled within thirty days from the date the vacancy occurs by reason of the failure of the Vice-Chairperson to call a meeting for that purpose, the Secretary or Treasurer shall forthwith call a meeting of the Executive Committee to fill the vacancy.
SECTION 11. The removal of the County Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Treasurer or Secretary must be initiated by a 2/3rds vote of the County Executive Committee at a duly noticed meeting at which a quorum is present. Within three weeks of the Executive Committee action, notice of a special meeting of the County Committee shall be sent to all members of the County Committee. Provided a quorum is present, the Chairperson or other office may be removed by a vote of 3/4ths of the voting members of the County Committee present.
SECTION 12. Regular meetings of the County Committee, in addition to the organization meeting, shall be held no less than once each year before the Primary. Special meetings may be called from time to time by the County Chairperson on his or her own initiative or shall be called by the County Chairperson or Vice-Chairperson at the written request of no less than twenty percent of the membership of the County Committee as constituted at the time of the call, within thirty days from posting said request by certified mail directed to either the Chairperson or Vice-Chairperson at his or her regular place of residence. Those calling said meeting shall post adequate security with the Treasurer to cover the cost of the meeting hall and sending of the notices. The amount and character of said security shall be determined by mutual agreement of the person calling said meeting and the Treasurer.
The County Chairperson, by proper and sufficient public notice or notices, may call and convene a mass meeting of the Democratic electors of the County from time to time at such place or places as he or she may designate.
SECTION 13. Only members of the County Committee present at the meetings of the County Committee shall be entitled to vote. Credentials to vote by all elected Committeepersons shall be the official certificate of the County Board of Elections; appointed Committeepersons shall present a certificate of appointment signed by the County Chairperson. Vote by proxy shall be permitted.
ARTICLE V. ZONES AND ZONE LEADERS
SECTION 1. Each Legislative District shall be divided into zones. A complete listing of all Legislative Districts, Zones, Congressional Districts, State House and State Senate districts is attached to these By-laws as Appendix “A.” No zone boundary shall bisect a township, borough, or city, unless such municipality is so bisected by the boundary of a legislative or senatorial district. The boroughs of West Chester and Phoenixville and the City of Coatesville shall each constitute a separate zone. The creation of new zones and the redrawing of zone boundaries shall be at the direction of the Chairperson of the County Committee with the approval, by vote, of a majority of the County Executive Committee.
SECTION 2. The County Committeepersons in each zone shall meet in the year of the County organization meeting, and not later than four weeks following that meeting, at such time and place as the Zone Leader shall designate by at least seven days written notice to each Committee person within the Zone, and shall organize by majority vote. In the event there is no Zone Leader, or he or she is unwilling or unable to designate a time and place for a meeting or give due written notice thereof, the Chairperson of the County Committee shall appoint a duly registered and enrolled Democratic voter of the zone to designate a time and place and call the organizational meeting according to the procedures set forth above.
SECTION 3. The Committeepersons in each zone shall elect by majority vote a Zone Leader, Assistant Zone Leader, and such other officers as shall be deemed necessary. The Zone Leader and Assistant Zone Leader need not be members of the County Committee at the time of their election, but shall be ex-officio members thereof after their election. Each Zone Leader and Assistant Zone Leader shall hold office for the term of four years and until their successors are elected. In the event no Zone Leader or Assistant Zone Leader is elected within five weeks of the County organization meeting, the County Chairperson shall appoint duly registered and enrolled Democratic voters of such Zone to serve as Zone Leader and Assistant Zone Leader until the next organization meeting.
SECTION 4. The Zone Leader shall be a member of the County Executive Committee, the Executive officer of his or her zone and shall see that all orders and resolutions of the County Chairperson, County Executive Committee and County Committee are carried into effect and performed in a lawful manner. The Zone Leader shall, among other duties, be responsible for delivering election materials from the County Chairperson to the Committeepersons in the Zone.
SECTION 5. The Assistant Zone Leader shall have authority to attend County Executive meetings and act for the Zone Leader in his or her absence, including voting on matters presented to the Executive Committee for a vote. The Assistant Zone Leader shall preside at all zone meetings in the absence of the Zone Leader.
SECTION 6. In the case of a vacancy in the office of Zone Leader or Assistant Zone Leader, the remaining zone officers shall, within thirty days, call a special zone meeting and shall designate the time and place of said meeting by at least seven days written notice thereof to all Committeepersons of the zone, at which meeting the vacancy shall be filled by majority vote of the Committeepersons. In the event any vacancy in the office of Zone Leader or Assistant Zone Leader remains unfilled for forty-five days, the Chairperson of the County Committee shall appoint a duly registered and enrolled Democratic voter of such Zone to serve in the vacant office until the next regular organization meeting. All appointments to the County Committee and to the County Executive Committee shall be announced within 30 days to the County Executive Committee with a notice filed with Chester County Voter Services within the same time limit.
SECTION 7. Regular zone meetings conducted in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order, newly revised, and not inconsistent with these By-laws, shall, in addition to the zone organization meeting, be held no less than four times a year. The Zone leader shall call such meetings giving at least seven days’ written notice to each Committeeperson in the Zone. The presiding officer at all Zone meetings, including Zone organization meetings, shall appoint some capable person to take minutes of the proceedings of such meeting. In the absence of local by-laws, the Zone shall conduct its business in a manner consistent with these By-laws, including quorum requirements.
SECTION 8. Any Zone leader or Assistant Zone Leader who:
A. Refuses to call at least four zone meetings per year;
B. Fails to notify one or more Committeepersons in writing or by telephone of zone meetings;
C. Fails to supply one or more Committeepersons promptly with election materials after he or she has received materials from the Chairperson of the County Committee;
D. Fails to attend at least four consecutive meetings or over 50% of the meetings of the County Executive Committee in any one year without prior notice of intent to absent himself or herself for good cause;
E. Actively and openly supports or urges one or more Committeepersons in the Zone to support a candidate of another political party against a Democratic candidate in general election; or
F. Arbitrarily refuses or fails to carry out any legitimate order or resolution of the County Chairperson, County Executive Committee or County Committee communicated to said Zone Leader or Assistant Zone Leader;
shall be subject to disciplinary action by a vote of a majority of the members of the County Executive Committee. Such action shall be initiated by the Chairperson of the County Committee within thirty (30) days of receiving written notice of the violation signed by a majority of the Committeepersons in the zone and must be ratified by a majority of Committeepersons of the zone leader’s zone; PROVIDED, however, a County Chairperson may not initiate such action for any abuse alleged to have taken place during the term of a previous County Chairperson or more than twelve months prior to written notice thereof.
The procedure for disciplinary action set in forth in Article III shall be followed.
SECTION 9. Forty percent (40%) of the Committeepersons eligible to vote in a particular zone shall constitute a quorum for zone meetings.
ARTICLE VI. DISTRICTS AND DISTRICT LEADERS
SECTION 1. Each Legislative District as defined in Article V, Section 1, of the By-laws, shall have a District Leader as a coordinator of communications between the Executive Committee of the County Committee and the County Chairperson and the Zone leaders of the zones comprising the Legislative District. The District Leader shall have responsibility for electing Democratic state representatives and shall recruit and develop
candidates to run for state representative. The District Leader shall hold District Meetings at least two (2) times per year, and at least one meeting during each election cycle. District leaders shall also sit as voting members of the County Executive Committee and shall assume such other functions and duties as may be appropriate at the discretion of the County Chairperson and the County Executive Committee. The District Leader shall not hold any other leadership position in the County Committee except Precinct Committeeperson.
SECTION 2. Upon consultation with the Zone Leaders, District Leaders shall be appointed by the County Chairperson and shall serve at his/her pleasure. In the event a Democrat holds the State Representative office, the County Chairperson shall consult with the state representative on the appointment of District Leader. In the event a Legislative District spans county lines, a District Leader shall be appointed to represent
that portion of the district that rests within the bounds of Chester County and shall work with his/her counterpart in the adjacent county to recruit and develop candidates.
ARTICLE VII. COUNTY EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
SECTION 1. There shall be an Executive Committee of the County Committee whose members shall consist of the following and all of whom shall be eligible to vote at Executive Committee meetings:
1) All Zone Leaders
2) All District Leaders
3) The County Chairperson, County Vice-Chairperson, the Secretary of the County Committee and the Treasurer of the County Committee
4) All Democratic State Committeepersons who represent any portion of Chester County
5) Any members of the Democratic National Committee who reside in Chester County
6) All other Chester County members of the Democratic State Committee
7) All elected Democratic members of the Pennsylvania House and Senate who represent any portion of Chester County
8) All elected or appointed Democratic County Commissioners, Jury Commissioners and Row Officers in Chester County
9) All elected Democrats from Chester County who hold State and Federal office
10) The Chairwoman of the Chester County Women’s Democratic
11) The elected leader of the Young Democrats of Chester County
12) The Solicitor for the Chester County Democratic Party
13) Qualified electors appointed by the County Chairperson, which appointees shall not exceed 80% of the number of individuals serving in the offices and positions described in paragraphs 1 through 12 of this Section. Such members shall be called “at-large” members of the Committee all of whom shall be registered Democrats of Chester County. The County Chairperson shall ensure that a list of at-large members is maintained at the County Committee office and available to any County Committeeperson who requests it. The term of an at-large member of the Executive Committee shall expire at the end of the term of the County Chairperson who appointed him or her. An at-large member must be re-appointed by the County Chairperson after the Chairperson’s election or re-election at the County organizational meeting. The County Chairperson may remove an at-large member from the Executive Committee if he or she fails to attend at least four consecutive meetings or more than 50% of the meetings of the County Executive Committee in any one year without prior notice to the
County Chairperson of intent to be absent for good cause.
The Executive Committee shall meet at least once per month on a regularly scheduled meeting date and time. The County Chairperson shall provide to the members of the Executive Committee notice of such meetings or changes to the date, time and location of the meetings in a manner approved by the Executive Committee. In addition to its responsibilities relative to Party expenditures, nomination of candidates, and disciplinary actions provided in these By-laws, the Executive Committee shall act in an advisory capacity to the officers of the County Committee and all committees and shall perform such functions as may be delegated to it by the County Committee or County Chairperson.
SECTION 2. A printed list of all voting members of the Executive Committee shall be generated for each Executive Committee meeting. Promptly at the beginning of each meeting, the Secretary shall call the roll and mark the attendance of all members for purposes of determining a quorum and for tracking attendance at Executive Committee meetings. The Secretary shall provide a sign-in sheet for non-voting attendees. The printed list of all voting members of the Executive Committee shall be maintained in the County Committee office and a copy available upon request by any committeeperson.
SECTION 3. The agenda for every Executive Committee Meeting shall consist of the following items:
a. Call to Order
b. Pledge of Allegiance
c. Validation of Quorum
d. Approval of Agenda
e. Officers Reports
f. Committee Reports
g. Old Business
h. New Business
i. Other Reports: Elected Officials, Campaigns, Zone,
District, Young Dems, Women’s Club, other Democratic
The County Chairperson shall circulate the agenda in advance of the meeting and describe any old or new business items for which quorum is necessary for action. The Secretary shall keep minutes of each Executive Committee meeting and record a summary of the proceedings which minutes shall be approved by the Executive Committee at its next meeting. No items shall be stricken from the minutes unless such items were recorded erroneously and did not accurately reflect the proceedings.
SECTION 4. The Chairs of the various committees established in these by-laws and created by the County Chairperson shall constitute a Steering Committee for the Executive Committee. The Committees shall meet not less than 4 times per year and report the proceedings to the Executive Committee.
ARTICLE VIII. AUDITING COMMITTEE
SECTION 1. The Audit Committee shall have three members who shall be elected at the organizational meeting for a term of four years. Within four weeks after the deadline for the filing of the Annual Report, the Treasurer and Chairperson of the Building Fund Committee shall make available to the Auditing Committee the complete records of all financial transactions of the County Committee, which records shall be carefully examined by the auditors who shall make a full report in writing no later than the June meeting of the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shall approve the report and copies of the approved written report shall be maintained in the County Committee office and shall be available to any county Committeeperson upon request. In the event that any member of the Auditing Committee fails to perform the duties of the Committee, the County Chairperson shall remove the member(s) with the approval of the Executive Committee and appoint new members who shall also be approved by the Executive Committee. Vacancies shall be filled by appointment from the County Chairperson with the approval of the county Executive Committee.
ARTICLE IX. BUILDING FUND COMMITTEE
SECTION 1. There shall be a Building Fund Committee consisting of eight members. Four members of this committee shall be elected every four years at the reorganization meeting of the County Committee; they shall serve for a period of eight years. The Building Fund Committee shall invest funds received from the County Committee for the purpose of ownership and operation of a permanent Democratic Headquarters. These funds shall not be used for any other purposes. The Building Fund Committee will report quarterly to the County Executive Committee and provide copies of all of relevant records. A list of the members of the Building Fund Committee shall be maintained in the County Committee office and a copy available upon request by any committeeperson.
SECTION 2. Should vacancies occur on the Building Fund Committee, those vacancies shall be filled by a majority vote of the remaining members of the Building Fund Committee to be confirmed by the County Committee at its next annual Nominating Convention. Should the proposed member of the Building Fund Committee not be confirmed by the County Committee at its Nominating Convention, it will be incumbent upon the Building Fund Committee to select another proposed member at its next regular meeting and repeat the above process. If a Building Fund Committee Member’s term expires, he/she shall continue to serve on the Building Fund Committee until either he/she is reappointed by the County Chairperson and a majority vote of the County Executive Committee or appointed by the County Chairperson and approved by a majority of the County Executive Committee. Such election may take place at any Regular or Special Meeting of the County Executive Committee.
ARTICLE X. OTHER COMMITTEES
SECTION 1. The County Chairperson will appoint, with the approval of the County Executive Committee, a standing committee on registration, a standing committee on finance, and a standing committee on campaign organization. The County Chairperson may appoint other committees as he/she may deem appropriate with the approval of the County Executive Committee and shall serve as an ex officio member on all committees.
ARTICLE XI. PARTY EXPENDITURES
SECTION 1. No debt or expense shall be incurred on behalf of the County Committee unless budgeted and previously approved by the County Executive Committee, except for expenditures necessary for the operation of the County Committee office; provided, however, that such expenditures are reported to the Treasurer as soon as practicable and included on the Treasurer’s report and presented for approval at the next meeting of the Executive Committee. Any person who seeks reimbursement for expenditures made on behalf of the Committee shall submit an expense reimbursement form and all relevant receipts which forms shall be approved by the Executive Committee.
No Party funds shall be spent on behalf of a candidate who has not received the Party’s endorsement. Funds of the party in the hands of the Treasurer of the County Committee shall only be transferred, withdrawn or paid out by the Treasurer for lawful purposes after the written approval of the County Chairperson and the majority vote of the Executive Committee. All checks drawn on party funds must carry the signature of two authorized persons.
SECTION 2. The County Committee shall not use nonunion print shops for any printing or photocopying with a cost to the county party of more than one hundred dollars ($100.00).
ARTICLE XII. NOMINATING CONVENTIONS
SECTION 1. No more than three weeks before the first day fixed by law for circulating nomination petitions prior to each Primary, and as soon thereafter as practicable, the County Committee shall hold a meeting for the purpose of selecting candidates to be endorsed by the Democratic Committee of Chester County. These endorsements must carry the Convention by 55% of those voting. Endorsements shall be appropriate for public office but not for party office. Where the public office represents only a portion of Chester County, only those delegates who live in that portion shall be eligible to vote.
SECTION 2. The County Chairperson and the members of the Executive Committee of the County Committee shall secure one candidate for each of the County, Legislative, and Congressional offices when there are no candidates nominated for those offices at the nominating convention. They shall circulate nominating petitions and obtain in such cases the necessary signatures.
ARTICLE XIII. VACANCIES OF NOMINEES
SECTION 1. If a nominee shall die or withdraw for any reason, or if no nominee is elected at the Primary, or if a special election is called, or if a vacancy from any cause shall exist on the County ticket or in the Legislative or Senatorial districts, or in the Congressional districts of which Chester County may then be a part which vacancy cannot be filled at the Primary under the law, the County Committee shall fill said vacancy or shall recommend to the State Executive Committee for nomination Senatorial, Legislative or Congressional candidates as the case may be. The County Committee shall have authority to make and certify such nominations or recommendations as the case may be.
If such vacancy shall occur in election districts below the County level, members of the County Committee representing the election district shall fill the vacancy and shall certify the nominee over the signature of the Secretary. For such purposes the County Chairperson shall convene the appropriate members of the County Committee forthwith, and if he or she fails to do so, a majority of the County Committee members of the relevant election district may call a meeting for the purpose of filling such vacancy(ies).
ARTICLE XIV. CONTESTS FOR OFFICE
SECTION 1. A tie vote in any election for the office of Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Treasurer, or Secretary of County Committee shall be broken by casting a lot immediately after the organization meeting. Any other dispute as to who is legally elected Chairperson of the County Committee shall be resolved by the Pennsylvania Democratic State Committee in accordance with the applicable rules and regulations of State Committee. Whenever there shall be any dispute as to who is legally elected to any office of County Committee other than Chairperson or to the office of County Committeeperson, the contestant shall within ten days after the certificate of election has been filed with the County Chairperson, file notice of contest with him or her, accompanied by proof of service of a copy thereof on the person whose election has been certified. The notice shall be in writing and shall set forth in detail the group upon which the contest is made and shall be supported by an affidavit.
Within ten days after receiving notice of the contest, as described in the previous paragraph, the County Chairperson shall call a meeting of the County Executive Committee to resolve the contest. Notice of the time and place of said meeting shall be mailed to the parties interested at least five days prior thereto. The parties shall have the right to be heard by the County Executive Committee. Its decision rendered after such hearing shall be final, subject only to the right of appeal to the State Executive Committee in accordance with the rules of the Democratic State Committee now in force, or hereafter to be adopted by the State Committee of the Democratic Party of Pennsylvania; PROVIDED, however, that the right to appeal to the Executive Committee of the Democratic State Committee Shall not include the right of appeal in matters of contested elections to the County Committee on the part of any Committeeperson or the contestants thereto, or any contests relating to the office of Secretary or Treasurer of the County Committee. The decision of the County Executive Committee in such cases made shall be final, without right of appeal.
ARTICLE XV. AMENDMENTS AND REVISIONS
SECTION 1. These bylaws may be amended at any time by the County Committee, upon two-thirds vote of those present; PROVIDED, however, ten days’ notice in writing of the proposed amendments, including a copy thereof, shall be mailed to each member before the meeting of the County committee at which the proposed amendments shall be submitted for action. Changes to Appendix “A” caused by periodic census will not require formal amendment to these by-laws.
ARTICLE XVI. EFFECTIVE DATE
SECTION 1. These bylaws and any amendments shall be effective immediately upon their adoption by the Democratic County Committee of Chester County. Amendments to the by-laws are subject to approval by the State Democratic Committee, and must be filed upon approval with the County Board of Elections.
Michele Vaughn, Chairperson
Democratic Committee of Chester County
Effective Date: January 30, 2010
Note: the following two amendments were passed in 2016 but approval by the State Committee has not yet been secured:
ARTICLE V, SECTION 6. The Zone Leader may, with majority approval of Committeepersons of that Zone, appoint a designated individual to regularly attend and vote at Executive Committee meetings on their behalf in the event that the Zone Leader and Assistant Zone Leader are not able to attend regularly scheduled Executive Committee meetings. The designee must be a registered Democrat in that Zone and will carry full voting privileges at Executive Committee meetings. Approval for the designee must first be requested and granted by the County Chairperson and Secretary of the County Committee. [amendment approved at the 1/27/16 Nominating Convention; following section numbers increased by 1]
ARTICLE XI, SECTION 2. The Chester County Democratic Committee shall have a debit card associated with party checking account. Expenditures must follow the guidelines in SECTION 1 except the requirement that checks must carry the signature of two authorized persons. Debit card purchases of less than $100.00 for expenses previously budgeted and approved by the County Executive Committee may be made with approval of the County Chairperson or Treasurer. Any expenditures of $100.00 or more must receive written authorization, with signatures, of two authorized persons. [amendment approved at the 1/27/16 Nominating Convention; the following section number increased by 1]