Convention Special Rules of Order


The standing order of business for a Regular Convention shall be as follows:

1. Call to order
2. Credentials Committee report
3. Adoption of agenda
4. Treasurer's report
5. Bylaws and Rules Committee report
6. Platform Committee report
7. Nomination of Party candidates for President and Vice-President (in appropriate years)
8. Election of Party Officers and at-large members of the National Committee
9. Election of Judicial Committee
10. Resolutions
11. Other business


1. On all matters, except the retention of platform planks, the election of Party Officers and at-large members of the National Committee, and the nomination of Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates, voting will be by either voice vote or rising vote. If any delegate objects to the Chair's ruling on the outcome of a voice vote, a rising vote shall be conducted. If 20 or more delegates object to the Chair's ruling on the outcome of a rising vote, a counted vote will be held.

2. The Chair may require any motion offered from the Convention floor to be in writing, signed by the mover and submitted to the Secretary.


1. The State Chair shall serve as chair of his or her delegation, unless that delegation selects another of its members to serve as its chair and so notifies the Secretary.

2. In cases where a roll call vote is required, polling shall be by state. The Secretary will ask for the vote from each state in alphabetical order, and the chair of each delegation shall report the vote for that state. The Convention seating will be by state delegation. If someone challenges the vote reported by any state's chair, the Secretary shall poll the delegates from that state individually.

3. In cases where computer readable ballots are used, each delegate must sign the ballot and submit it to the delegation chair. After verifying that the number of votes cast does not exceed the number the state is entitled to, the chair of each delegation shall submit the ballots to the Secretary. During the period of time allotted for such votes, the business of the convention shall continue without interruption.


The Chair of the Bylaws and Rules Committee shall report each recommendation of the Committee to the Convention separately and shall have two minutes to explain the intent or purpose of the proposed amendment(s). The Convention Chair shall open each recommendation to discussion without amendment from the floor. Each recommendation shall be considered and adopted separately, with a maximum of eight minutes discussion on any recommendation. After the discussion, the Convention Chair shall bring the recommendation to a vote. If the recommendation fails, the Convention Chair shall open the recommendation to amendment for an additional 10 minutes.


1. After the adoption of the convention agenda, the convention will vote whether to delete planks from the existing platform. This will be accomplished as follows:

a. The Credentials Committee shall issue five signature tokens to each delegate.

b. Tokens shall only be issued to delegates. Delegates are responsible for transferring possession of unused tokens to their alternates if necessary.

c. Each delegate may cast each token as a recommendation for deletion of one plank by noting on the token the plank to be deleted and signing the token.

d. A delegate may cumulate recommendations by casting any number of tokens for deletion of the same plank.

e. Delegates will be given until one hour prior to the scheduled start of the platform report to mark their tokens and deliver them to the Secretary.

f. Prior to the scheduled start of the platform report, the Secretary shall review the tokens received and tabulate and report the tokens submitted for deletion of each plank.

g. As its first item of platform business, the convention shall vote whether to delete each of those planks that received a number of tokens for deletion equal to 20% or more of the number of credentialed delegates. Such votes shall be cast without amendment or debate.

2. The Platform Committee shall meet before each Regular Convention and prepare a report containing its recommendations. At the convention, the Platform Committee's recommendations shall be reported to the floor and debated and voted upon separately. The Platform Committee shall set forth the order in which each recommendation shall be considered.

3. Recommendations for which there is no minority report shall be debated and voted upon in the following manner:

a. The Platform Committee Chair, or some other person designated by him or her, shall read the proposed recommendation and shall have up to two minutes to explain the recommendation.

b. The Convention Chair shall then open the recommendation to debate without amendment for a period of up to 15 minutes before bringing the matter to a vote. If the recommendation fails, the Convention Chair shall inquire if any amendments are proposed from the floor. If there are such proposals, the Convention Chair shall request a vote on whether to consider amendments, and with majority approval may consider amendments for a period of up to 10 minutes.

4. Recommendations for which there is a minority report shall be debated and voted upon in the following manner:

a. Spokespersons for both the majority and minority positions shall each have two minutes to present their views.

b. The Chair shall then open consideration of both positions for five minutes during which time any delegates may express their views without offering amendments. After five minutes, there will be a vote on which of the two reports shall be considered for purposes of adopting a recommendation. The report receiving the greater number of votes shall then be discussed and voted upon in the manner described in Section 3b.

5. After all Committee recommendations have received initial consideration, any delegate may propose amendments to the Platform. The delegate may take up to two minutes to state and explain the proposal, with debating and voting to proceed as described in Section 3b.

6. Finally, if time permits, proposals which were considered by the Platform Committee but which received an unfavorable vote from a majority of the Committee, may be considered, with a spokesperson for the minority position giving the reasons in favor and the Platform Committee Chair or other representative of the majority position giving the reasons why it was voted down, before the proposal is taken to the floor for debate.

7. Challenges of adopted Party planks believed by 10% of the delegates to be in conflict with the Statement of Principles shall be referred in writing, during the Convention, to the Judicial Committee by the delegates requesting action for consideration. The challenge shall specify in what manner the plank is believed to be in conflict. The Judicial Committee shall consider the challenge, decide whether the Statement of Principles is conformed to and report their findings and reasons to the Convention. If the plank is vetoed by the Judicial Committee, it will be declared null and void but can be reinstated by a 3/4 vote of the Convention.

8. Should changes to the bylaws or platform result in a grammatical error in accordance with the latest edition of the Chicago Manual of Style, the LNC presiding at the time of that discovery is authorized to make those grammatical corrections provided it does not change the meaning or intent of the item edited.


1. Resolutions must be approved by a 2/3 vote.

2. Resolutions must not be in conflict with the Statement of Principles. Challenges of such adopted Resolutions believed by 10% of the delegates to be in conflict with the Statement of Principles shall be referred in writing, during the Convention, to the Judicial Committee by the delegates requesting action for consideration. The challenge shall specify in what manner the Resolution is believed to be in conflict. The Judicial Committee shall consider the challenge, decide whether the Statement of Principles is conformed to, and report their findings and reasons to the Convention. If the Resolution is vetoed by the Judicial Committee, it will be declared null and void but can be reinstated by a 3/4 vote of the Convention.


1. No person shall be nominated for President or Vice-President unless at least 30 registered delegates join in the nomination in writing submitted to the Chair. No delegate may join in nominating more than one candidate for each office. The affixing of signatures to a nominating petition per this requirement shall be effected by a transfer of signature tokens issued by the Credentials Committee.

2. The Party's nominee for President shall be chosen by majority vote. If no candidate has attained a majority, the candidate with the fewest votes and any candidates polling less than 5% shall be struck from subsequent ballots. This procedure shall be repeated after every ballot in which no candidate has received a majority vote, until one candidate attains a majority.

3. Each delegation shall tabulate its total vote, and the delegation chair shall deliver a written total to the Secretary. When all the delegations have submitted their votes, the Secretary shall declare the voting closed. At this point, an announcement of each delegation's vote total shall be made by delegation chairs in alphabetical order beginning with a randomly selected delegation.

4. The Party's nominee for Vice-President shall be chosen by the same procedure as for the Presidential nominee except that the Presidential nominee shall have the privilege of addressing the Convention for 5 minutes, after nominations have been made but before voting has begun, for the purpose of endorsing or objecting to any of the Vice-Presidential nominees. Nominations for Vice-President shall close after selection of the Presidential nominee.

5. Nominating and seconding speeches for each candidate shall be limited in duration as follows:

a. President: Total of 16 minutes;

b. Vice-President: Total of 11 minutes.

A delegate who collects the required number of nominating tokens so designated may speak up to 5 minutes in favor of voting for None Of The Above.


1. Nominations for Party Officers shall be from the floor. The election shall be conducted in the following manner:

a. For each office, a majority vote will be necessary for election.

b. Each delegation shall tabulate its total vote, and the delegation chair shall deliver a written total to the Secretary. When all delegations have submitted their votes, the Secretary shall declare the voting closed. 

c. In cases where no candidate receives a majority, runoff votes will be held, dropping the candidate with the fewest votes after each ballot.

2. Nominations for the at-large members of the National Committee shall be from the floor. The election shall be conducted in the following manner:

a. Each delegate may cast a ballot with a vote for either none-of-the-above or one vote per candidate for any number of candidates. Every ballot with a vote for none-of-the-above or one or more candidates is counted as one ballot cast. A vote for none-of-the-above shall be ignored if the ballot also includes a vote for any other candidate.

b. Each delegation shall tabulate its total vote, and the delegation chair shall deliver a written total to the Secretary, along with the ballots cast.

c. When all delegations have submitted their votes, the Chair shall declare the voting closed. The top five candidates receiving a majority vote of the ballots cast shall be elected. Tie votes affecting the outcome shall be decided by lot.

3. Nominations for each candidate may be made by any delegate present on the floor, provided he or she has the candidate's permission. Nominating speeches shall be limited in duration as follows:

a. Chair: Total of 10 minutes;

b. All others: Total of 5 minutes.

4. In the event a region has not otherwise provided for the election of its regional representative to the National Committee then the delegates from the region shall elect its regional representative, provided there are at least five delegates present. Each Region's delegates may elect their representative in whatever manner they choose, provided all delegates present from that region are given equal voice in the selection.


Nominations and elections for members of the Judicial Committee shall be conducted in the same manner as specified for at-large members of the National Committee.

Judicial Committee Rules of Appellate Procedure
As Amended 2014

1. The Judicial Committee shall take action only when its Chair receives a written request for a ruling on a matter identified in the Party's Bylaws as being within the Committee's jurisdiction ("petition"). Such petition(s) shall identify: (a) the basis for the subject matter jurisdiction of the Committee; (b) the ruling requested; (c) the verifiable identity of the person or persons, affiliate or Party committee petitioning for the requested ruling ("petitioner(s)"); and (d) the identity by individual name of any person who or affiliate or Party committee that would be directly affected by the requested ruling. Such a person, affiliate or committee directly affected by the requested ruling, together with any other person, affiliate or committee identified by the Chair in his or her discretion as likely to be so affected, will be considered a prospective "respondent". The petition(s) should be supported by such written and other evidence as the petitioner(s) believes supports the grant of the ruling requested.

2. Within seven days following receipt of such petition(s) (or promptly, if the request is received during a National Convention), the Committee Chair shall provide a copy of the petition(s) to each prospective respondent, along with any supporting material the Chair has been sent, and notice that if the prospective respondent(s) desires to respond to the petition(s) the prospective respondent(s) must do so in writing within seven days (or promptly, if the request is received during a National Convention) ("response").

3. If the Committee is called into action during a National Convention, the Chair shall convene the Committee as soon as is reasonably possible, and the Committee shall consider written petition(s), response(s), and evidence provided by petitioner(s) and respondent(s) in a meeting open to Convention delegates, who may observe, but not participate in, the proceedings. Upon request of either petitioner(s) or respondent(s), and/or at the Committee's direction, the Committee may hear arguments from petitioner(s) and respondent(s) in person.

4. When such petition(s) is received at any time other than during a National Convention, the Chair shall contact and advise the other Committee members by phone at their last known number (where possible), or by electronic mail for which the member(s) acknowledge receipt, within seven days of receiving the request. Within ten days after providing a copy of the petition(s) to the prospective respondent(s), the Chair shall forward a copy of the petition(s) and any response(s) received to each of the other Committee members at their last known address, along with any supporting material and counter-arguments he or she has been sent.

5. When such petition(s) is received at any time other than during a National Convention, the Committee members shall review all material they are sent within seven days of receiving it, and each member shall advise the Chair as soon as he or she has done so.

6. After the Chair has been advised by at least two other Committee members that they have reviewed the materials provided, he or she shall set a time for a meeting of the Committee to decide the matter at hand and notify the Committee in writing of such time. Unless a majority of the members request a physical gathering, the meeting shall take place by telephone conference. The Committee may in its discretion choose to consider the matter in executive session, but any decision shall be rendered in writing, which written decision shall be public. The Committee may in its discretion offer to the petitioner(s) and respondent(s) an equal opportunity to make their arguments orally via a telephone conference or physical meeting, under such rules as the Committee shall specify. Members who are unable to participate in the meeting shall retain the right to vote by mail or by phone, provided their vote is received by the Chair no later than 10 days after the meeting.

7. When the Committee reaches a decision, the Chair shall notify the petitioner(s) who requested the ruling, any respondent(s) to the petition(s), the National Chair and the National Secretary. Preliminary notification may be made orally, either in person or by telephone; official notification shall be made in writing, as soon as all participating Committee members have voted on the matter in question or 10 days after the meeting, if all members have not voted.

8. Petitions, responses, supporting materials and notifications required to be provided in writing in connection with any proceeding may be delivered personally, or by United States mail, private overnight delivery service, fax or electronic mail.