Bylaws of the Libertarian Pragmatist Caucus
Adopted in Convention on February 15th, 2020.
We, the members of the Libertarian Pragmatist Caucus, believe the opportunity to form a Libertarian majority exists. We understand the need to work within existing electoral and social frameworks to achieve positive change. We can provide freedom-based solutions to today’s problems--for all Americans--through the principles of liberty and responsibility. By creating a culture of respect and passion, Libertarians can successfully advocate for liberty at all levels of government and society.
The name of this organization shall be the Libertarian Pragmatist Caucus, hereinafter referred to as the LPC.
The mission of this organization shall be to elect pragmatic Libertarians to public office and members of the LPC to the Libertarian National Committee (LNC).
Section 1. Any resident of the United States of America shall be considered a general member of the LPC provided he or she is a registered Libertarian or nonpartisan (independent), or he or she is a current member of the national Libertarian Party.
Section 2. Any person who already qualifies as a general member under Section 1 and has donated at least twenty-five dollars ($25) to the LPC in the past 365 days shall be considered a dues-paying member of the LPC, except within 24 hours before a Convention, when dues are raised to $100.
Section 1. The LPC shall hold a LPC National Convention (hereafter referred to as “Convention”) in even-numbered years within 2 days and in the geographical vicinity of the Libertarian National Convention for the purpose of electing a new Board of Directors, amending bylaws, endorsements for the Libertarian National Committee, LP Judicial Committee, or LP POTUS/VPOTUS nominees, and whatever other business deemed necessary and proper.
Section 2. A Special Convention shall be held within one-hundred and twenty (120) days, electronically and open to all members, upon a three-fourths vote of the Board of Directors. Such a vote shall state the business of the Special Convention, and no other business shall be considered at such a Convention.
Section 3. All dues-paying LPC members are qualified to be delegates to a Convention. A quorum of a Convention shall be a majority of the credentialed, dues-paying delegates to the Convention. The Convention Secretary shall provide the Board of Directors with draft convention minutes no later than ten (10) days after the conclusion of the Convention, and the Board of Directors is empowered to approve Convention minutes. Only credentialed, dues-paying LPC members shall be eligible to vote at a Convention..
Section 4. The Board of Directors shall publish the time, date, and location for Conventions at least sixty (60) days before the Convention. This publication will be sufficient if it is prominently placed on the LPC's official website. The Whip of the LPC shall electronically mail notice to all members at least thirty (30) days before the Convention.
Section 5. A nomination for "None of the above" (NOTA) shall be considered valid. Should NOTA receive a majority of the vote in the balloting for any office or candidacy, the names of all nominees shall be kept on the ballot but the nominations for that office shall be reopened for additional nominees and another ballot taken. In any endorsement vote, a nomination for “No Endorsement” shall be considered valid.
Section 6. All endorsements for the Libertarian National Committee, Libertarian Party Judicial Committee, LP POTUS nominee, and LP VPOTUS nominee must receive at least 60% of the vote. The “endorsement threshold” is defined to be 60%. Endorsements for a single candidate office must be made using ranked-choice voting as defined in Appendix A. Endorsements for multi-candidate offices must be made using approval voting as defined in Appendix B. Only dues-paying members may vote in endorsements.
Section 7. The business session of each Convention shall be recorded by audio and video device and a copy of the recording shall be provided to the Board of Directors by the Convention secretary along with the minutes no later than thirty (30) days after the Convention. In the event the proceedings of a Convention are challenged by a LPC member, the recording of the Convention and the Convention minutes shall be provided to the Secretary and the Chair within twenty-four (24) hours - even if the minutes are in draft form.
V. Board of Directors
Section 1. The Board of Directors of the LPC is responsible for handling the affairs and business of the LPC.
Section 2. The Board of Directors shall consist of five members: Chair, Vice-Chair, Whip, Secretary, and Treasurer. A term shall be from one even-year convention to the next.
Section 3. The Board of Directors shall be elected by a majority vote of the credentialed, dues-paying members at a Convention and serve until the end of the Convention at which their successors are elected. The Board of Directors shall be elected in even-numbered years. In the event of a vacancy in a Board of Directors position, the Board of Directors shall fill the vacancy by Pro-Tempore appointment, until the next Convention.
Section 4. The Board of Directors members shall be dues-paying members of the LPC in good standing. No member shall hold more than one office at a time within the LPC. The Board of Directors members shall perform the duties prescribed by these bylaws and by the parliamentary authority adopted by the LPC. These duties shall include the following:
A) The Chair shall preside at all meetings of the LPC Board of Directors, as well as all LPC National Conventions.
B) The Vice Chair shall assist the Chair in the performance of the Chair's duties. At meetings of the Board of Directors, the Vice Chair shall preside in the absence of the Chair.
C) The Whip shall send out membership notices of meetings and Conventions. The Whip ensures pledged voting compliance among LPC members.
D) The Secretary shall record and maintain minutes of meetings and Conventions, and all non-financial records of the LPC including, but not limited to, these bylaws and all committee reports.
E) The Treasurer shall maintain the LPC’s bank accounts, deposit revenues, and pay bills. A formal Treasurer's Report shall be presented biannually, at the LPC’s National Convention. The Treasurer shall maintain the LPC’s financial records in accordance with the law and generally accepted accounting principles.
Section 6. Meetings of the LPC Board of Directors shall be held at least quarterly, either in person or by electronic means, or the Board of Directors shall maintain an e-mail list or message board for conducting business. A majority of the members of the Board of Directors shall constitute a quorum. Board of Directors Meetings shall be open to all LPC members. Minutes of all Board of Directors meetings shall be posted on the LPC website within thirty (30) days of the date of the meeting.
Section 7. Notice of the date, time, and location of Board of Directors Meetings shall be posted on the LPC web site within twenty-four (24) hours of when Board of Directors members receive such notice.
VI. Parliamentary Procedure
The rules contained in the current edition of Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the LPC in all cases to which they apply, and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws, any special rules of order the LPC may adopt, and any statutes or regulations applicable to the LPC.
Section 1. These bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the credentialed, dues-paying members at any Convention.
Section 2. To be considered in Convention, all bylaws’ amendment proposals must be presented in writing to the LPC Secretary at least seven (7) days before the Convention. An email address which can be used for these submissions shall be posted prominently on the web site. After a bylaws proposal is submitted, the Secretary shall post it on the LPC web site within three (3) days.
Section 1. RANKED CHOICE VOTING DEFINED
“Ranked choice voting” means the method of casting and tabulating votes in which voters rank candidates in order of preference, tabulation proceeds in sequential rounds in which last-place candidates are defeated, and the candidate with the most votes in the final round is endorsed if the candidate meets or exceeds the endorsement threshold.
Section 2. FORM OF BALLOT
In any contest conducted by ranked choice voting, the ballot must allow voters to rank candidates in order of choice. Additionally, it must meet the following specifications:
- The ballot must be simple and easy to understand.
- If feasible, the ballot must allow voters to rank every listed candidate in a contest. If it is not feasible to allow voters to rank that number of candidates, the number of allowable rankings may be limited to no fewer than 6.
- Instructions on the ballot must conform substantially to the following specifications, subject to usability testing and modification based on ballot design and voting system: “Vote by indicating your 1st choice candidate and ranking additional candidates in order of choice. Indicate your 1st choice by marking the number “1” beside a candidate’s name, your 2nd choice by marking the number “2” beside a candidate’s name, your 3rd choice by marking the number “3” beside a candidate’s name, and so on. Rank as many choices as you wish. Marking a 2nd or later preference will not count against your 1st choice. Do not skip numbers, and do not mark the same number beside more than one candidate.”
Section 3. RANKED CHOICE VOTING
TABULATION.—In any contest for exactly one office conducted by ranked choice voting, each validly cast ballot must be initially counted as one vote for the candidate at its highest continuing ranking or as an exhausted ballot. If a candidate has more than the endorsement threshold of the total votes counting for candidates, that candidate is endorsed and the tabulation is complete. Otherwise, tabulation proceeds in rounds. Each round must proceed sequentially as follows:
- If two or fewer continuing candidates remain, the candidate with the greatest number of votes is endorsed (as long as it meets the endorsement threshold; otherwise, no candidate is endorsed) and the tabulation is complete. Otherwise, the tabulation continues to subsection (a)(ii).
- The candidate with the fewest votes is defeated. Votes for the defeated candidate must cease counting for the defeated candidate and must be added to the totals of each ballot’s next-ranked continuing candidate or counted as exhausted ballots, and a new round begins with subsection (a)(i).
- TIES.—Caucus officials must resolve prospective ties between candidates before the caucus by publicly determining a randomized ordering of the alphabet. If a tie to determine which candidate has the greatest number of votes or the fewest votes occurs at any point in the tabulation procedure described in subsection (b), and tabulation cannot proceed until the tie is resolved, then the tied candidate who is considered to have the greater number of votes must be the candidate whose name appears earliest on the list of candidate names arranged, last name first, in accordance with this randomized alphabet.
DEFINITIONS.—For the purposes of this section, the following terms have the following meanings:
- “Continuing candidate” means any candidate that has not been defeated or endorsed.
“Exhausted ballot” means a ballot that is not counted for any continuing candidate for one or more of the following reasons:
- It does not rank any continuing candidates;
- its highest continuing ranking contains an overvote; or
- it includes two or more consecutive skipped rankings prior to its highest continuing ranking.
- “Highest continuing ranking” means the highest ranking for any continuing candidate on a ballot that is not an exhausted ballot.
- “Overvote” means a voter has ranked more than one candidate at the same ranking.
- “Ranking” means the number assigned by a voter to a candidate to express the voter’s choice for that candidate. A ranking of “1” is the highest ranking followed by “2” and then “3” and so on.
- “Round” means an instance of the sequence of voting tabulation beginning with subsection (a)(i) of this section.
- “Skipped ranking” means a voter has left a ranking blank and ranks a candidate at a subsequent ranking.
Section 1. APPROVAL VOTING DEFINED
“Approval voting” means the method of casting and tabulating votes for (approve) or against (don’t approve) each candidate. The candidate(s) with the most votes is endorsed if the candidate(s) meet(s) or exceed(s) the endorsement threshold.
Section 2. FORM OF BALLOT
In any contest conducted by approval voting, the ballot must allow voters to mark candidates as yes or no. Additionally, it must meet the following specifications:
- The ballot must be simple and easy to understand.
- The ballot must allow voters to mark every listed candidate in a contest.
- Instructions on the ballot must conform substantially to the following specifications, subject to usability testing and modification based on ballot design and voting system: “Vote by indicating your approval for each candidate as ‘yes’ or ‘no’ beside a candidate’s name. Vote for as many candidates as you wish; not voting for a candidate will be counted as a ‘no’ vote cast for that candidate."
Section 3. APPROVAL VOTING
- TABULATION.—In any contest for one or many offices, tabulation is calculated by adding up the ‘yes,’ (approval) votes and ranking the candidates by the total number of approval votes cast. If a candidate or candidates have more than the endorsement threshold of the total votes counting for candidates, that candidate is endorsed (up to the maximum number of officeholders for that office) and the tabulation is complete.
- TIES.—Caucus officials must resolve prospective ties between candidates before the caucus by publicly determining a randomized ordering of the alphabet. The tied candidate who is considered to have the greater number of votes must be the candidate whose name appears earliest on the list of candidate names arranged, last name first, in accordance with this randomized alphabet.