Legislative Vacancy Caucus Procedures

Procedures for the Nomination of Candidates for Filling Vacancies in Single County Legislative Districts

  1. The County Democratic Chair shall call a special caucus of the district or county precinct committee officers (PCO's) for the purpose of filling legislative district or county office vacancies. The County Democratic Chair, or the Chair's designee (Party rules often assign the legislative district chair as the county chair's designee when filling vacancies for the state legislature), shall preside over all such meetings.
  2. Candidates must be registered voters residing in the district or county or area where the vacancy exists, and must be otherwise qualified for office.
  3. Only duly elected and appointed PCO's within the county or district are eligible to vote. To be eligible to vote, appointed PCO's must have been appointed by the county chair as of the most recent regular county central committee meeting prior to the occurrence of the vacancy. No proxies or absentee ballots are allowed.
  4. A declaration of candidacy, not to exceed five minutes, shall be made from the floor by the candidate and/or someone speaking on his/her behalf. No person ineligible to be appointed may be nominated. When there are no further declarations of candidacy the issue shall come to a vote.
  5. Each PCO shall cast one vote on the ballot provided. By a vote of the caucus, balloting shall proceed by one of the following methods:
    • METHOD ONE:
      • Nominees shall be selected in three independent elections for the first, second, and third ranked positions. The list of candidates shall stand for all three elections.
      • The first election shall be for the first ranked position with each PCO casting one recorded vote on the ballot provided. After the balloting, the votes shall be tabulated and the totals shall be announced. If no candidate receives a majority of the votes cast, there shall be a recorded vote between the two candidates receiving the greatest number of votes. The candidate receiving the majority of votes cast in this balloting shall be the number one ranked nominee in the caucus election and shall be stricken from the list of candidates.
      • The second election shall be for the second ranked position with each PCO casting one recorded vote on the ballot provided. After the balloting, the votes shall be tabulated and the totals shall be announced. If no candidate receives a majority of the votes cast, there shall be a recorded vote between the two candidates receiving the greatest number of votes. The candidate receiving the majority of votes cast in this balloting shall be the number two ranked nominee in the caucus election and shall be stricken from the list of candidates.
      • If there is only one candidate remaining after the second election, that candidate shall be the number three ranked nominee in the caucus election. If however, there are two or more remaining candidates, a third election shall be held for the third ranked position with each PCO casting one recorded vote on the ballot provided. After balloting, the votes shall be tabulated and the totals announced. If no candidate receives a majority of the votes cast, there shall be a recorded vote between the candidates receiving the greatest number of votes. The candidate receiving the majority of votes cast in this balloting shall be the number three ranked nominee in the caucus election.
    • METHOD TWO:
      • Nominees for the first, second, and third ranked positions shall be selected in a single election. After the first ballot, the votes shall be tabulated and the ranking of the candidates by vote totals shall be announced. If there are more than three candidates the top three shall be retained and the others stricken from the ballot and another vote taken. Again, each voter shall cast one vote for the one of the remaining three candidates. Again votes shall be tabulated, totals announced and a ranking established by the number of votes each candidate receives. If no candidate receives a majority of the votes cast, there shall be a recorded vote between the candidates ranked one and two. The candidate receiving the majority of votes cast in this balloting shall be ranked one.
  6. The list of nominees shall consist of three names in rank order.
  7. Voting on candidates shall be by signed ballot. Ballots not signed or having more than one vote cast will not be counted.
  8. The County Democratic Chair shall retain custody of the ballots for three months.
  9. The County Democratic Chair (or designee) shall transmit the candidates' names and their vote totals to the County Central Committee for ratification, and subsequent to ratification, to the chair of the county council or board of county commissioners, if applicable. Notice of the special caucus shall be mailed ten days in advance. The call to the meeting shall include the purpose of the caucus, the vacancy to be filled, time, place, and date of the meeting, and a copy of these procedures. The meeting call shall be mailed by the County Democratic Central Committee.
  10. In all matters not specifically covered herein, Roberts Rules of Order, Newly Revised shall prevail.