Republican Party of Freeborn County 

CONSTITUTION

Preamble

The Republican Party of Freeborn County welcomes into its party all residents who are concerned with the implementation of honest, efficient, responsive government. The party believes in these principles as stated in the Declaration of Independence: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these rights are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Therefore, it is the party committed to equal representation and opportunity for all and preservation of the rights of each individual. It is the purpose of this constitution to ensure that the party provides equal opportunity for full participation in our civic life for all Freeborn County residents who believe in these principles regardless of age, race, sex, religion, social or economic status, or otherwise.

ARTICLE I

Name and Purpose

Section 1: Name

A. The name of this organization shall be the Republican Party of Freeborn County of the State of Minnesota and shall hereinafter be referred to as “The Party”.

B. The Party is affiliated with the Republican Party of the State of Minnesota, which shall hereinafter be referred to as “The State Party”.

C. The activities of the Party shall be consistent with the objectives, platforms and principles of the State Party.

Section 2: Purpose

A. The maintenance of good government through the promotion within Freeborn County of the principles and objectives of the Republican Party as determined by the Freeborn County Convention, the First Congressional District Convention, the Minnesota State Convention and the National Republican Convention.

B. Assist all endorsed Republicans seeking public office at least partly within the County.

C. To expand the membership of the Party within the County.

D. To organize, or cause to be organized, each ward, precinct, township, or other voting district within the County.

ARTICLE II

Membership

Section 1: Eligibility

A. The membership of the Party shall be composed of all legal residents of Freeborn County who desire to support the objectives of the Party.

B. No qualifications for membership shall be imposed except as provided by the State Party Constitution.

Section 2: Enrollment

Enrollment shall be open at all times to all legal residents who are eligible for membership.

Section 3: Dues

Payment of dues shall not be required as a condition of membership.

Section 4: Rights

Nothing in this constitution shall be construed to deny or abridge the rights of any voter to participate in the Party Caucus, Primary or Convention in which he or she is entitled to participate by law.

ARTICLE III

Administration

Section 1: Party Administration

The general management of the affairs of the Party shall be vested in the County Committee, subject to the control of the County Convention and this constitution.

Section 2: Party Officers

A. Composition

The Party Officers shall be composed of the following members:

i. County Chair

ii. County Vice Chair

iii. Two (2) Deputy Chairs

iv. Treasurer

v. Secretary

B. Election

i. Each Party Officer shall be elected by a majority of the Seated Delegates of the Annual County Convention which occurs each odd-numbered year

ii. The outgoing County Chair reserves the right of first refusal to the position of County Vice Chair. If this option is exercised, the outgoing County Chair is ineligible to serve again as County Chair for one (1) additional term. The Seated Delegates of the County Convention may override with a two-thirds majority vote

C. Term and Limits

i. Term

Each Party Officer shall have a term of 2 years

ii. Limits

1. No person may serve in any one office for more than 2 consecutive terms with the exception of the Treasurer position

2. If no eligible candidates exist for a particular office at the time of election, the current office holder may continue in the office for an additional term

D. Central Committee Delegates

Delegates and alternates to the First Congressional District Central Committee and State Central Committee shall be duly elected by majority vote of the county convention.

Section 3: Executive Committee

A. Composition

The Executive Committee shall be composed of the following members:

i. All Party Officers

ii. The Chair of each of the Standing Committees

iii. The Chair of any special or ad-hoc committees created by the County Committee

B. Standing Committees

i.   Finance

ii.  Special Events

iii. Publicity

iv. Candidate Search

C. Meetings

The Executive Committee shall meet at the call of the County Chair or at the request of any two (2) members thereof, provided however, that meetings shall be held at least once every two (2) months.

D. Quorum

Five members present at any regular or special meeting of the Executive Committee shall constitute a quorum to transact business at the meeting.

E. By-laws

The Executive Committee shall be empowered to adopt By-laws and procedures necessary and proper to conduct the affairs of the Party between meetings of the County Committee.

F. Vacancies

i. In the event of a vacancy in the County Chair position, the County Vice-Chair shall carry out the duties of the County Chair until a new County Chair is elected by the County Committee and the County Vice chair position shall be considered vacant

ii. In the event of a vacancy of any other office, the County Chair may appoint an acting member to carry out the duties of the vacant office until a new member can be elected by the County Committee

Section 4: County Committee

A. Composition

The County Committee shall be composed of the following members:

i. All members of the Executive Committees

ii. The Chair(s) from each of the precincts organized within Freeborn County

iii. One representative from each Republican office holder or Republican endorsed candidate, having representative or senatorial districts wholly or partly within the boundaries of Freeborn County

iv. One representative from each of the affiliate and auxiliary groups operating within the County provided they are organized and recognized by the State Party

B. Special or Ad-Hoc Committees

The County Committee may create any special or ad-hoc committees as it deems necessary and proper to organize, not to exceed three (3).

C. Meetings

The County Committee shall meet at the Call of the County Chair or at the request of any seven (7) members thereof, provided however, that meetings shall be held at least once every six (6) months.

D. Quorum

Two-thirds of the eligible County Committee members, excluding precinct chairs, present at any regular or special meeting of the County Committee shall constitute a quorum to do business at the meeting.

E. By-laws

The County Committee shall be empowered to adopt By-laws and procedures necessary and proper to conduct the affairs of the Party between County Conventions.

F. Removals

i. Any member of the County Committee may be removed by a two-thirds majority vote of the full membership of the Executive Committee and a confirmation vote by a simple majority vote of those present at the next meeting of the County Committee

ii. Any member of the County Committee may be removed by a two-thirds vote of those present at any meeting of the County Committee

iii. No member of the County Committee may be considered for removal without the matter being included in the notice for the meeting in which it is to be considered and without the individual concerned having been served with a detailed statement of the charges against him/her at least ten (10) days prior to such meeting

iv. The position of any member whose removal has been approved shall be considered vacant

ARTICLE IV

Precinct Caucuses

Section 1: A. Biennial Caucus

Precinct caucuses shall be held on a biennial basis in even numbered years in accordance with state law to conduct such business as may be prescribed by law or other such business deemed appropriate by the State Central Committee, the First Congressional District Central Committee, or the County Committee.

B. Special Caucus

Special Caucuses for one or more precincts may be held at the call of the County Committee in the manner prescribed by statute for the Biennial Precinct Caucus for the sole purpose of filling vacancies in precincts where such vacancies exist at the time of notice.

Section 2: Precinct Officers

A. Composition

Precinct Officers shall consist of:

i. Precinct Chair

ii. Other such officers as may be prescribed by the County Committee

B. Term

Precinct officers shall be elected to a two-year term.

C. Vacancies

In the event that any precinct shall fail to elect officers at the Biennial Precinct Caucus, officers for such precinct may be appointed by the County Committee, or if so directed by said body, shall call a Special Caucus to fill vacancies.

Section 3: County Convention Delegates

A. Election

Delegates and Alternates shall be elected by the residents of each precinct attending the precinct caucus.

B. Apportionment

i. Delegates

The number of delegates to the County Convention may be increased or decreased at the discretion of the County Committee, provided however, that the basis for apportionment be uniform throughout the County and shall be based on the votes cast for the Republican candidate for Governor in the last preceding statewide general election, or, if such election were a Presidential election, the vote cast for the Republican candidate for President.

ii. Alternates

The number of alternates allocated to the County Convention shall be twice the number of delegates apportioned to each precinct.

C. Term

County Delegates shall be elected to a two-year term.

D. Vacancies

In the event that any precinct shall fail to elect delegates or alternates at the Biennial Precinct Caucus, that precinct shall have no representation at any County Convention within the same biennium.

E. Alternate Seating Priority

The seating priority of alternates from a precinct to the County Convention shall be determined prior to adjournment of the caucus in any manner deemed appropriate by the attendees of that precinct. Should any precinct fail to indicate the seating priority of its alternates, the seating priority shall be determined by random drawing at the next meeting of the Executive Committee.

ARTICLE V

Conventions

Section 1: County Conventions

A. Annual Conventions

County Conventions shall be held each year during the period designated by the official call of the State Executive Committee, the State Central Committee, or the First Congressional District. The call for Annual County Conventions shall be issued not less than fourteen (14) days prior to that convention.

B. Special Conventions

Special County Conventions shall be held at the call of the State Executive Committee, the State Central Committee, the First Congressional District, or at any time deemed necessary by a majority of the members of the County Committee. The call for Special Conventions shall be sent not less than ten (10) days prior to that Convention.

Section 2: Business and Call

A. Business

County Conventions shall transact such business as may be prescribed in the call of the convention and may transact other such business as a majority of the convention may determine.

B. Distribution of Call

i. The convention call shall be issued to all County Delegates and Alternates elected at the Biennial Precinct Caucus

ii. Any Delegate or Alternate may request that their Call be issued by US Mail, provided however, that they submit the request in writing by US Mail to the County Chair no less than fourteen (14) days before each Annual Convention and such request shall remain in effect for all Special Conventions held within that year

C. Contents of Call

The Convention call shall be issued to all County Delegates and Alternates by electronic mail and shall contain the following:

i. The time and place of the Convention

ii. The Convention Officers

iii. The Chairs of the Convention Committees

iv. Committee Reports

v. Convention Agenda

Section 3: Time, Date, and Place

A. Time and Date

The time and date of any convention shall be determined by the County Committee, provided however, that the date falls within the range of dates specified by the calling committee.

B. Place

The Place of the Convention shall be determined by the County Committee and shall be located within the borders of Freeborn County.

Section 4: Convention Officers

A. Officers

The Executive Committee shall appoint the following convention officers not more than thirty (30) days in advance of any County Convention

i. Convention Chair

ii. Convention Secretary

iii. Parliamentarian

iv. Sergeant-at-Arms (minimum of two)

B. Challenging

The rules of the convention shall provide an opportunity for delegates to challenge any convention officer appointment as the first order of business following the adoption of the convention rules. Any delegate may motion a challenge and, if adopted by simple majority vote of the convention, may override such appointment and the position shall be considered vacant.

C. Vacancies

Any vacant convention officer positions may be filled by nominating and electing a replacement during the convention.

Section 5: Committees

A. Appointment

The County Committee shall appoint the following Convention Committees at least fourteen (14) days and not more than thirty (30) days in advance of any County Convention

i. Rules Committee

ii. Credentials Committee

iii. Resolutions Committee

iv. Nominations Committee

v. Constitution Committee

vi. Other such Special Committees as may be deemed appropriate to properly transact the business of the convention

B. Composition

The Convention Committees shall be composed of delegates and alternates duly elected at the Biennial Precinct Caucus.

Section 6: Registration

A. Fees

Not withstanding Article II, Section 3, registration fees may be assessed to Delegates and Alternates attending any County Convention.

B. Voting Strength

Once a Delegate or Alternate has registered for the convention he/she remains part of the voting strength of the convention even if he/she leaves the convention prior to the convention's official adjournment.

C. Close of Registration

A convention may close registration of Delegates and Alternates only if the convention call states the time at which registration will close. If the call states a closing time, the convention may permit a later closing time or may require the convention to remain open regardless of the language of the call.

Section 7: Quorum

A quorum at any convention shall consist of a majority of the duly elected delegates who are registered for the convention, as given by the preliminary report of the Credentials Committee. The preliminary report shall be superseded by a majority of the duly elected delegates and seated alternates, as given by the final report of the Credentials Committee. Once a quorum of 50% plus 1 of the delegates and seated alternates of the convention has been established, there shall be no further questions as to quorum unless the Convention Chair or any other registered member of the convention notices that a quorum is no longer present.

Section 8: Seating of Alternates

Once the temporary organization of the convention has been established, the first order of business shall be the seating of Alternates. The permanent voting roll of the convention shall be composed of the Delegates of each precinct who are actually present, and in the absence of any Delegate to the convention, an Alternate shall be seated in his/her stead during his/her absence according to the seating priority established in Article V, Section 3, Paragraph E of this constitution. When a Delegate returns to the convention floor, he or she will be seated immediately and the most recently seated Alternate will vacate his/her seat.

Section 9: Endorsements

A. General Rules

i. It shall first be determined by majority vote whether endorsement shall be considered for an office

ii. Endorsements made by the County Convention shall be considered advisory only and Delegates or Alternates to District and State Conventions shall not be bound by such endorsements

iii. Voting on a candidate for endorsement for an office shall be by secret ballot and shall require a three-fifths majority vote. The convention may decide by a two-thirds vote to endorse by rising vote for any office for which there is only one candidate

iv. Votes may be cast for any person who by law is eligible for election to the office under consideration and who is eligible under this constitution to seek the endorsement, even though he/she has not been nominated or has withdrawn from nomination. Ballots may also be cast stating “no preference” or “undecided”, or indicating “no endorsement”. Blank ballots or abstentions, unintelligible ballots, ballots marked only by ‘X’, or ballots cast for an ineligible person or a fictional character shall not be included in determining the three-fifths vote needed for endorsement. No preprinted ballot shall be allowed unless options for “no preference”, “undecided” and “no endorsement” are included

v. A motion of “no endorsement” may be adopted by a majority vote. The rules of a convention may limit how often or when such a motion may be made. However on any round of voting for endorsement, a motion of no endorsement shall be considered adopted if a majority (excluding blanks) or a majority of the votes on the voice vote (excluding abstentions) is for “no”, “none” or “no endorsement”

Section 10: Delegates to District and State Conventions

A. Elections

Delegate and Alternates to District and State Conventions shall be elected at the Annual County Convention held in even numbered years.

B. Term

Delegates and Alternates to District and State Conventions shall be elected to a two year term.

C. Eligibility

Any County Delegate or Alternate duly elected at the Biennial Precinct Caucus may be considered.

D. Consideration

Any Delegate or Alternate desiring a seat at either the District or State Conventions shall submit their names indicating their preference to the Nominating Committee either:

i. In writing by US Mail not less than seven (7) days in advance of the convention

ii. By electronic mail to the address provided in the convention call

iii. In person at the Annual County Convention prior to the convention being called to order

E. Delegates

Candidates receiving the highest vote counts shall be awarded the Delegate Seats to the respective convention apportioned to the BPOU.

F. Alternates

The number of alternates to either the District or State Conventions may be twice the number of delegates apportioned to the BPOU.

G. Alternate Seating Priority

The seating priority of alternates to either the District or State conventions shall be determined by the next highest vote counts after all delegate seats have been filled.

H. Ties

Additional rounds of ballots will be held to settle ties between the last delegate seat and the first alternate seat, or ties between any other alternate seats. The seats where ties existed shall be awarded to the candidate receiving the highest vote count on subsequent ballots.

I. Number of Ballots

Voting shall continue until all Delegate and Alternate Seats have been filled and Alternate Seating Priority is properly ranked, or until voting is ceased by request of simple majority of the convention. If voting is ceased by the convention prior to all seats being filled and ranked, any ties shall be settled by a random drawing.

ARTICLE VI

Parliamentary Authority

The provisions of this constitution shall be the governing document in all conventions and committees and shall be considered superior to any by-laws or rules adopted by the respective body and shall be considered subordinate to the State Party Constitution and the Statutes of the State of Minnesota. Final parliamentary authority for all matters not covered by these documents shall be Roberts Rules of Order, Newly Revised.

ARTICLE VII

Amendments

Section 1: Proposals

All proposed amendments to this constitution shall first be referred to a duly appointed Constitution Committee in advance of any County Convention and that Committee shall report what action it has taken on such proposals.

Section 2: Adoption

A. Annual County Conventions in even numbered years

This Constitution may be amended by a majority vote of the delegates and seated alternates present at the Annual County Convention held in even numbered years.

B. All other County Conventions

This Constitution may be amended by a two-thirds majority vote of the delegates and seated alternates present at all other County Conventions.

Section 3: Effect

Amendments adopted at any County Convention shall take effect upon the official adjournment of that convention.

History:

Ratified: 1981

Amended: 1986, 1995, 2001, 2010, 2015, 2016, 2019, 2021