The By-Laws of The Libertarian Party of Elkhart County
Approved at County Convention December 2001
Amended at County Convention April 2003 and 2016
Article I: Name, Identity and Structure
Article II: Statement of Purpose, Functions and Principles
Article III: Membership
Article IV: Business Meetings
Article V: Officers
Article VI: Conventions
Article VII: Adoption, Amendments, Standing Rules
ARTICLE I - NAME, IDENTITY, STRUCTURE
Section 1. Name. The name of this organization shall be the Libertarian Party of Elkhart County (Indiana), hereinafter referred to as the "LPEC."
Section 2. Structure. The LPEC is a political organization constituted by its membership, directed by its officers, governed by its Business Meetings, and affiliated with the Libertarian Party of Indiana, hereinafter referred to as the "LPI."
Section 3. Bona fide party. The LPEC is a bona-fide political party under the laws of the state of Indiana, authorized to receive political contributions. The LPEC accepts political contributions in the name of the LPEC or the Libertarian Party of Elkhart County.
Section 4. Device. The official device of the LPEC and all candidates nominated by the LPEC shall be a monochrome silhouette of the Statue of Liberty, a symbol which is also known as Lady Liberty.
Section 5. Address. The mailing address of the LPEC shall be that designated by the Chairperson of the LPEC.
ARTICLE II - STATEMENT OF PURPOSE, FUNCTIONS AND PRINCIPLES
Section 1. Purpose. The primary purpose of the LPEC is to promote individual liberty and to eliminate the intervention of government in moral, social and economic affairs.
Section 2. Functions. The primary functions of the LPEC are: (a) to recruit, nominate and elect candidates to all city, county, township, judicial, and town offices within Elkhart County; (b) to assist the LPI in the recruitment, nomination and election of candidates to state-legislative and U.S. congressional offices affecting all or parts of Elkhart County; and (c) to select and field LPEC delegates and alternate delegates to the annual business meeting of the LPI's annual convention, hereinafter jointly referred to as "the state convention."
Section 3. Principles. The LPEC affirms the following principles:
a. That all people possess certain unalienable natural rights, and that among these are rights to life, liberty, justly acquired property, and self-governance.
b. That the only moral basis of government is the preservation and protection of unalienable natural rights.
c. That no person or institution, public or private, has the right to initiate the use of physical force or fraud against another person, and that all people are bound, without contract, to abstain from infringing upon the natural rights of other people.
d. That all people are entitled to choose their own lifestyles, as long as they do not forcibly impose their values on others.
e. That the voluntary and unrestricted exchange of goods and services is fundamental to a peaceful and harmonious society.
ARTICLE III - MEMBERSHIP
Section 1. Membership Established. The LPEC hereby establishes membership in the LPEC.
Section 2. Membership Requirements. Membership in the LPEC is open to all residents of Elkhart County who are also current members of the LPI.
Section 3. Membership Privileges. Membership in the LPEC shall be required to speak and / or vote in all Business Meetings and conventions of LPEC.
Section 4. Membership Suspension. The voting members at any LPEC Business Meeting or convention shall have the authority to suspend, terminate or refuse membership in the LPEC to any individual, who is otherwise a member of the LPI, by a three-fourths (3/4) vote. In such event, the LPEC shall immediately notify the individual by certified mail of the suspension, termination or refusal, and the reasons for such, affording the individual the right to appeal to the LPEC at one of its next two Business Meetings. The voting members of the LPEC may uphold the suspension, termination or refusal by majority vote at said appeal. Upon appeal or the expiration of the time allotted for appeal, the decision of the LPEC to suspend, terminate or refuse membership in the LPEC shall be final and binding for a period of one year, after which time the individual may re-apply for membership in the LPEC by written request, subject to majority vote.
ARTICLE IV - BUSINESS MEETINGS
Section 1. Meetings. The LPEC shall hold a Business Meeting each month at a regular date, time, and location. Reasonable notice shall be given to all LPEC members. The Chairperson shall determine the meeting's agenda, subject to change by majority vote at the meeting.
Section 2. Purpose. The purpose of the Business Meeting is to control and manage all the affairs and property of the LPEC consistent with these by-laws. All decisions over the expenditure of LPEC property shall be by majority vote.
Section 3. Quorum. A quorum at the Business Meeting shall consist of three (3) members of the LPEC.
Section 4. Executive Committee. An Executive Committee is created, consisting of the officers of the LPEC. The committee shall have the authority to manage and control the affairs and property of the LPEC by unanimous vote of the officers, subject to approval at the next monthly Business Meeting.
Section 5. Parliamentary Authority. The rules contained in the current edition of Roberts Rules of Order, Newly Revised shall govern the Party in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with other rules adopted by the Party.
ARTICLE V - OFFICERS
Section 1. Four Officers. The Officers of the LPEC shall be a Chairperson, a Vice Chairperson, a Secretary, and a Treasurer. No offices shall be combined. The Officers in place at the time of the adoption of these by-laws shall remain in office until the next regularly-scheduled election of Officers.
Section 2. Election of Officers. During odd-numbered years, the Officers of the LPEC shall be elected at the Annual Convention for terms of two (2) years. The Officer nominee who receives the most votes in each race shall be elected. Officers shall be selected by secret ballot unless there is only one nomination for the office, in which case election may be made by acclamation. Officers shall take office upon the close of the Annual Convention and serve thereafter until the final adjournment of the next Annual Convention held during an odd-numbered year.
Section 3. Roles and Responsibility of Officers.
a. Chairperson. The Chairperson shall be the head of the LPEC, presiding over all meetings and conventions of the LPEC. The Chairperson is the official spokesperson for the LPEC. The Chairperson may appoint such committees as are deemed necessary to conduct the business of the LPEC.
b. Vice Chairperson. The Vice Chairperson shall serve as presiding officer in the absence of the Chairperson. The Vice Chairperson shall be responsible for the training and coordination of precinct committee persons. The Vice Chairperson shall be responsible for maintaining the current list of LPEC members and for providing this list to the Secretary prior to the annual expiration of memberships.
c. Secretary. The Secretary shall record the minutes of all LPEC meetings and conventions. The Secretary shall be the custodian of these by-laws and their amendments, the minutes of all meetings and conventions, committee reports, standing rules, and correspondence designated by the Chairperson. Based on information from the Treasurer, the Secretary shall be responsible each year for notifying LPEC members by first-class mail of the forthcoming expiration of their LPEC membership.
d. Treasurer. The Treasurer shall be custodian of all funds. The Treasurer shall be the chief financial officer responsible for the filing of all campaign finance forms for the LPEC. The fiscal year of the LPEC shall begin on January 1 of each year and ends on December 31st of the same year. The treasury of the LPEC shall be audited at the end of the fiscal year by either the executive committee or by a professional accounting firm selected by the executive committee. The audit will be reported to the general membership at the first regular business meeting following the audit's conclusion.
Section 4. Removal of Officers. Officers who are elected in convention may be removed only by 2/3 vote in convention.
Section 5. Vacancies. In event of removal or resignation of any officer, the person in charge shall notify all LPEC members by first-class U.S. mail or electronic mail (email), or posting notice on the LPEC website and social media pages (such as Facebook) of such vacancy. Such vacancies may be filled by majority vote in convention or at the next Business Meeting following the notice.
Section 6. Standing Rules. The Standing Rules of the LPEC shall be in harmony with these by-laws, shall be written, and shall be made available for general use. Standing rules may be adopted by three-fourths (3/4) vote at a Business Meeting, or by two-thirds (2/3) vote at convention. Standing Rules may be repealed by two-thirds (2/3) vote at a Business Meeting, or by a majority vote at convention.
Section 7. Authority to Contract. The Chairperson and the Treasurer shall have the sole authority to expend LPEC funds for goods or services without prior approval granted at a regular business meeting. Such expenditures and authority to contract shall extend only to the day-to-day operations of the LPEC and shall be limited to .00.
Section 8. Meetings Open to the Public. All Business Meetings of the LPEC shall be open for observation by the public.
ARTICLE VI - CONVENTIONS
Section 1. Annual Convention. The LPEC shall hold an Annual Convention during the second quarter of each calendar year. The Annual Convention shall be used to elect Officers of the LPEC; to nominate candidates of the LPEC; to make an annual reporting of the LPEC's financial condition; to amend these by-laws; and to elect delegates and alternate delegates from the LPEC to the state convention. During years in which an election is held, the Annual Convention of the LPEC shall nominate candidates for public office. During odd-numbered years, the Annual Convention shall elect the Officers of the LPEC.
Section 2. Attendance and Participation. Attendance at the Annual Convention is open to all LPI members living in Elkhart County. A nominal fee may be charged each attendee by the LPEC to defray the cost of the convention facilities. LPI members living in Elkhart County may speak and vote in said conventions on the nomination of candidates and the selection of delegates to the state convention. Only LPEC members may also speak and vote in said conventions on the election of LPEC Officers and amendments to these by-laws.
Section 3. Quorum. A quorum necessary to nominate candidates to any public office or to elect delegates and alternate delegates to the state convention of the LPI shall consist of three (3) members of the LPI who reside in Elkhart County. A quorum necessary to elect any officers of the LPEC and to amend these by-laws shall consist of three (3) members of the LPEC. A quorum needed at any convention to remove an LPEC officer shall consist of five (5) members of the LPEC.
Section 4. Notice of Convention. Regardless if all convention decisions pertain exclusively to LPEC members, the Chairperson shall publish to all members of the LPI who reside in Elkhart County the date, time, location, proposed rules, and proposed agenda of the Annual Convention at least thirty (30) days prior to such convention by a method reasonably certain to reach such members, including by newsletter and electronic mail (email), posting on the LPEC website and social media pages (such as Facebook).
Section 5. The Chairperson of the LPEC shall serve as the Chairperson of the LPEC Annual Convention. The Secretary of the LPEC shall serve as the Secretary of the LPEC Annual Convention. In the event that either the Chairperson or the Secretary of the LPEC is unable to serve respectively as Chairperson and Secretary of the Annual Convention, such positions and responsibilities shall devolve, in cardinal order, to the Vice Chairperson and Treasurer of the LPEC.
Section 6. Order of Business. The order of business of the Annual Convention shall include, but is not limited to the following: After the Call to Order, the first item of business is to credential and seat LPI members residing in Elkhart County to the Annual Convention. The second item of business is the reading and approval of the minutes of the first preceding Annual Convention. The third item of business is to adopt rules for the Annual Convention. The fourth item of business is to adopt an agenda for the Annual Convention. The Chairperson shall submit proposed rules and an agenda for initial consideration. The attending members of the LPI shall adopt said rules and agenda by majority vote. In the absence of the adoption of rules and / or an agenda, the Chairperson shall adopt rules and an agenda on his own initiative. The fifth item of business is the annual financial report by the Treasurer of the LPEC.
Section 7. Motions in Writing. All motions to amend these by-laws shall be in writing and submitted to the Chairperson at least fifteen (15) days prior to the convention. The Chairperson shall notice LPEC members by e-mail of said motions.
Section 8. Credentials. The Treasurer shall be responsible for verifying the LPEC and LPI membership of each speaker and / or voter at convention, as the case may be, according to the subject matter of the decision to be taken. No voting by proxy shall be permitted.
Section 9. Nomination of Candidates. In appropriate years the Annual Convention shall nominate candidates for all city, county, township, town and judicial offices within Elkhart County. In appropriate even-numbered years, the Annual Convention shall assist the LPI by slating candidates to state-legislative, state-judicial, and U.S. congressional offices affecting all or parts of Elkhart County. The qualifying nominee who receives the highest number of votes in each race shall be declared the nominee of the LPEC.
Section 10. Election of Delegates to LPI Convention. If the Annual Convention is held prior to the state convention of the LPI, it shall be used to elect delegates and alternate delegates to such state convention. If the Annual Convention is held after the state convention, a prior Business Meeting of the LPEC shall be used to elect said delegates. Any delegate positions which are not filled by these methods prior to the state convention shall be filled by the appointments of highest-ranking officer of the LPEC in attendance at the state convention.
Section 11. Special Conventions. Special Conventions may be convened by a majority vote at the Business Meeting, or shall be convened by the Chairperson of the LPEC upon written request or petition of over one-half (1/2) of all current members of the LPEC. The Chairperson shall provide notice of the dates, times, location, and particular subject matter of Special Convention to all members of the LPEC at least fifteen (15) days prior to such event. Special Conventions are limited to the subject matter agreed upon, and shall otherwise be run by the same provisions which govern the Annual Convention.
ARTICLE VII - ADOPTION, AMENDMENTS, AND STANDING RULES
Section 1. These by-laws shall be adopted when approved by a majority of LPI members attending an Organizing Convention. These by-laws shall take effect on the first Monday following their approval.
Section 2. These by-laws may be amended by two-thirds (2/3) vote of LPI members attending the Annual Convention or Special Convention. Every amendment shall take effect on the first Monday following the enactment.
Section 3. Affiliation with LPI. The LPEC hereby ratifies the by-laws of the LPI, and authorizes the Officers to certify such by submitting a signed Petition for Affiliation and a copy of these by-laws to the LPI.
Approved this 22nd day of December 2001 by unanimous vote of the LPI members attending the LPEC Organizing Convention