These bylaws cover the operation and organization of the Cochise County Democratic Committee, a party organization established pursuant to ARS Title 16, Section 821-828, and such sections shall be considered Appendix 1 of these bylaws. (As Amended March 21, 2020)
ARTICLE I – organization
There shall be a County Committee with membership provided by appropriate State Statutes and these bylaws.
ARTICLE II Committee Members
Section 1. The County Committee shall consist of the elected and appointed precinct committeepersons as prescribed in ARS Title 16, Section 821 and 822.
Section 2. A precinct committeeperson may lose the office by:
(a) Removal from office: Failure of a member to attend two business meetings without reasonable explanation to the Executive Committee or by personally informing his/her Area Representative may be deemed as a resignation and his/her office held vacant until a replacement is appointed in accordance with appropriate State Statute and these bylaws. The County Executive Committee will act as final authority in this matter.
(b) Vacancies: The seat of a Precinct Committeeperson shall be deemed vacant from and after the occurrence of any of the following events:
2. Incapacitating mental disorder, when judicially determined.
3. Resignation and lawful acceptance thereof.
4. Removal from office.
5. Ceasing to be a resident of the precinct for which he/she was elected or appointed.
6. Absence from the County beyond the period of three consecutive months without prior approval of the Executive Committee.
7. Ceasing to discharge the duties of office as determined by the Executive Committee, for a period exceeding three consecutive months, except when absent from the county with prior approval of the Executive Committee or when prevented by illness or injury.
8. Conviction of a felony or an offense involving a violation of trust in his/her official duties.
9. A decision of a competent tribunal declaring void his/her election or appointment.
10. Providing public support to a candidate who is running against a Democrat by (a) public endorsement (b) authorized inclusion of name on campaign materials (c) placement of yard signs or other public indications of support.
Section 3. Young Democrats. Up to six young Democrats under the voting age will be considered members of the County Committee.
(a) These special members will be allocated among the various Young Democrat clubs in Cochise County, provided that no more than three members will come from a single such club.
(b) The members shall be selected by the clubs by whatever method they determine.
(c) These terms of the special members shall be annual, rather than biennial and an elected member who becomes of voting age during the year may continue in office to the next election.
(d) Those special members shall select among themselves one person to serve as Representative of Young Democrats to serve on the Executive Committee with voting rights.
ARTICLE III Meetings
Section 1. Business Meetings: Business meetings of the County Committee shall be held every two months as scheduled by the Executive Committee. Schedule and sites are to be set one month in advance by the Executive Committee. All sites will be fully accessible with flexible seating. One of these business meetings may include the Biennial organization meeting specified in Section 4 below.
Section 2. Special Meetings: Special meetings of the committee may be called by the Executive Committee, or by written or electronic request of not less than fifteen (15) percent of the County Committee membership. The notice of such meeting shall include the specific business to be acted upon.
Section 3. Additional meetings: Additional meetings (business, program only, picnic, etc.) may be scheduled by a majority vote of members present at a business meeting, or by the Executive Committee.
Section 4. Biennial Organization Meeting: The County Committee shall meet for the biennial organization and election of officers no earlier than the second Saturday after the general election and no later than the second Saturday in January of the year following said general election.
(a) Notice of_ Biennial Organization Meeting: The Chairperson of the County Committee holding office on the date of the primary election shall, not less than ten (10) days prior to the biennial organization meeting as provided by State Statute and these bylaws, give written notice thereof at the most recent postal or email address on record to each person elected as a Democratic Precinct Committeeperson at the preceding primary election.
(b) Voting Rights: At the biennial organization meeting only a Precinct Committeeperson elected at the preceding primary election shall be permitted to vote. Proxies may be voted in accordance with Section 7 below.
(c) Election of Officers: Elected Precinct Committeepersons present at the Biennial
organization meeting shall elect the officers of the Executive Committee. If there is more than one candidate for any position, the election for that position shall be by secret ballot and a majority of the ballots cast shall be required for election. Runoff election votes shall be limited to candidates included in the previous ballot less the candidate receiving the least votes and any candidate who withdrew since the last ballot.
(d) Election of Precinct Area Representatives: Precinct Committeepersons either present at the Biennial organization meeting or as appropriate thereafter, shall caucus according to their Precinct areas (as defined in Article IV, 4, (c)) and select Precinct Area representatives. If there is more than one candidate for any position, an election for that position shall be by secret ballot and a majority of the ballots cast shall be required for election. Runoff election votes shall be limited to candidates included in the previous ballot less the candidate receiving the least votes, and any candidate who withdrew since the last ballot.
(e) Election of the Arizona State Democratic Committee: Elected Precinct Committeepersons present at the biennial organization meeting shall elect members to the Arizona State Democratic by secret ballot and a majority of the ballots cast shall be required for election. Runoff election votes shall be limited to candidates included in the previous ballot less the candidate receiving the least votes, and any candidate who withdrew since the last ballot.
State committee members represent Cochise County at each quarterly state committee meeting and any special meetings that may be duly called. It is the responsibility of each state committee member to attend every meeting or to provide a proxy to another member from Cochise County. Failure to attend in person or by proxy two meetings in one biennium shall be cause for removal from the committee. Such removal shall take place by majority vote of the county committee, with immediate replacement to follow.
(f) Quorum: For the Biennial Organization Meeting only, fifty percent of the membership of the County Committee, present either in person or by proxy, shall constitute a quorum.
Section 5. Notice of Meetings: Written notice of all meetings shall be mailed by USPS or email by the Secretary or Chair to every member of the county Committee at least ten (10) days prior to the date of said meeting. Proxy forms must be included with the official notification.
Section 6. Quorum: Twenty-five (25%) percent of the membership of the County Committee, present either in person or by proxy, shall constitute a quorum at regular bi-monthly meetings.
Section 7. Voting Rights: In all meetings of the County Committee members may vote in person or by proxy. Proxy votes must meet the following requirements: (In compliance with ARS 16-828)
(a) Each proxy shall be given to a Democrat eligible to vote in the designated precinct area in which the absent committee member resides.
(b) Each proxy shall be notarized or signed by two witnesses other than those assigning or carrying the proxy.
(c) Each proxy shall be dated with the date it is assigned and state a specific meeting for which it is given and shall be valid only for that meeting.
Section 8. Restrictions on Political Activity in Primary Elections: The County Committee shall not endorse the candidacy of any contested primary candidate. The facilities of the County Committee shall be available to all Democratic Primary candidates on an equal basis.
Section 9. Parliamentary Procedure: All meetings shall be governed by procedures as prescribed in order of authority and precedence by: (1) State Statute (2) these bylaws and amendments hereto, and (3) Robert’s Rules of Order.
ARTICLE IV Executive Committee
Section 1. Organization: There shall be two mutually exclusive categories of members on the Executive Committee:
(a) Officer positions designated by Arizona Revised Statute 16-824A shall be filled by election by the County Committee members at the Biennial Organization meeting.
(b) A precinct committeeperson in each area, by authority of these bylaws shall be elected at caucuses in the Biennial Organization meeting as Precinct Area representatives.
Regardless of election method, all Executive Committee members must be Precinct Committeepersons. The County Committee will act as final authority in matters of election validity and qualifications.
Section 2. Executive Committee Members: The Executive Committee shall include per Arizona Revised Statute 16-824, the County Chairperson, a First Vice Chairperson, a Second Vice Chairperson, a Secretary, a Treasurer, Affirmative Action Outreach Moderator, and one Area Representative from each Precinct Area, and the Representative of Young Democrats.
Section 3. Authority: The Executive Committee shall be the governing body to implement the appropriate policies of the National, State and County Democratic Party within Cochise County. Actions of the Executive Committee may only be overruled by the County Committee at a business or special meeting for which the meeting notice included the proposed override action.
Section 4. Duties:
(a) When a Precinct Committeeperson vacancy exists, the County Chairperson shall recommend a replacement to the Board of Supervisors for appointment following consultation with the Executive Committee.
(b) The Executive Committee shall adopt and submit to the County Committee an operational fund budget for each calendar year. Following adoption of that budget by the County Committee, routine expenditures in accordance with the budget may be made by the Treasurer at his or her discretion. Unbudgeted expenditures up to $500 must be approved by a majority vote of the Executive Committee, which vote may take place in person, electronically or by telephone. Unbudgeted expenditures over $500 must be approved by the County Committee at a regularly scheduled meeting or a special meeting, if necessary.
(c) The Executive Committee shall define the number of Precinct Areas and the precincts contained therein.
Section 5. Meetings: The Executive Committee shall meet prior to all County business meetings at a time and place agreed upon by the Executive Committee, usually in the third week of the odd months. Telephone attendance is welcome. The County Chairperson may, upon reasonable notice to all its members, call a meeting of the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee may, upon majority approval of its members call a meeting subject to reasonable notice to all members thereon.
Section 6. Vacancies among officers, area representatives, and State Committee members may be filled by an election by the County Committee at the next regular business meeting. Written notice (USPS or email) of this meeting will include the announcement of the election.
ARTICLE V Officers
Section 1. Officers Enumerated: The elective officers of the County Committee shall be a chairperson, a first vice chairperson, a second vice chairperson, a secretary, a treasurer, and one area representative from each precinct area. In addition, the chairperson may, with the approval of the Executive Committee, appoint such other officers as may be deemed necessary. Each officer shall be an elected or appointed precinct committeeperson.
Section 2. Term of Office: Each elected officer shall hold office from the date of his/her election at the biennial organization meeting until his/her successor is elected at a Committee meeting. The Chair with the approval of the Executive Committee may appoint a Precinct Committeeperson to perform the duties of the office until an election can be held. When an office becomes vacant for one of the following reasons, a special election to fill the position shall be conducted at a committee meeting after notice of said election:
a. Until said officer ceases to hold membership in the County Committee
b. Officer ceases to be a precinct committeeperson under the provisions of Article II Section 2. Of these bylaws.
c. Resignation of the officer.
d. Incapacitating mental disorder, when judicially determined.
e. Failure to perform the duties of the office due to illness or other reasons beyond the period of three consecutive months without prior approval of the Executive Committee. In such cases, the Cochise County Committee at a regular or special meeting shall conduct a vote of the committee to approve or reject a declaration that the seat is considered vacant.
f. Appointed officers shall hold office at the pleasure of the Executive Committee.
g. Death of the officer.
Section 3. County Chairperson: The County Chairperson shall preside at all meetings, recommend appointments as Precinct Committeepersons with help and advice of Area Representatives and submit their names to the Board of Supervisors for approval, to fill Precinct Committeeperson vacancies, and appoint persons to fill vacancies in County Committee offices with the approval of the Executive Committee, as provided by State Statute and these bylaws. Chair will coordinate or delegate fundraising, the online newsletter, media relations, website maintenance and play a major role in candidate recruitment and work with affinity groups. Chair shall direct the issuance of notice of all meetings, keep the roll of membership of the County Committee and the Executive Committee, and their addresses and telephone numbers, and have custody of all permanent records of the County Committee and Executive Committee, except financial records.
Section 4. First Vice Chairperson: This Chairperson shall act on behalf of the County Committee in the absence of the County Chairperson and shall coordinate public events and other forms of outreach to the general community.
Section 5. Second Vice Chairperson: This Chairperson shall act for the County Committee in the absence of the County Chairperson and the Vice Chairperson for Events and Outreach, shall work with Area Representatives and Precinct Committeepersons to build a grassroots network in virtually all precincts, and shall work with clubs to strengthen them.
Section 6. Secretary: The Secretary shall keep a record of all proceedings and meetings of the County Committee and Executive Committee, providing official minutes thereof.
Section 7. Treasurer: As specified in ARS 16-907 A, a committee may not contribute, expenditure or disbursement without the authorization of the Treasurer or the Treasurer’s designated agent. The Treasurer shall receive all monies of the organization, giving receipt for donations or other monies and shall deposit them in the appropriate bank account in a timely manner. The Treasurer shall disburse the funds of the organization as designated by the Executive Committee and shall monitor the budget, keep a record of all receipts and disbursements and prepare all financial reports. The Treasurer shall report the financial condition of the organization at all business meetings of the County Committee and Executive Committee. The financial books and records shall be audited biennially by an accountant designated by the Executive Committee, and a report of such audit shall be given after being completed in a timely manner.
Section 8. Affirmative Action Outreach Moderator: The Affirmative Action Outreach Moderator is responsible for reporting to the ADP Affirmative Action Committee and creating an Affirmative Action committee within the county. The Affirmative Action Outreach Moderator will be an elected Precinct Chairperson as they must be a state committee member and must attend the state ADP meetings. The core responsibility of the committee is to help build a committee membership that is reflective of the population of Arizona with respect to characteristics including race, ethnicity, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, and rural residence. They will also identify groups that are underrepresented, develop priorities, strategies, action plans, timelines and a corresponding budget on an ongoing basis to bring underrepresented groups into the Party organization as Precinct Committeepersons and State Committeepersons, and will help the State Committee determine underrepresented groups and develop strategic
goal and plans to have these groups be represented in the CCDP and the ADP.
Section 9. Area Representative: The Area Representative shall represent his/her area on the Executive Committee and is responsible for party communications within that area. Working with any Democratic Club Representatives that are in or overlap his/her area, the Area Representative helps organize area participation in voter registration, Get Out The Vote (GOTV) and Permanent Early Voting List (PEVL) campaigns, and all other activities officially endorsed by the County Committee or the Executive Committee, recommends persons to fill precinct committeeperson vacancies and sees to the timely distribution of election petitions to the precinct committeeperson candidates for election or reelection in his/her area. Area Representatives will organize activities with Precinct Committeepersons within and across precincts to identify supporters, recruit activists, and coordinate campaigns and team drives.
ARTICLE VI Standing and Other Committees
Section 1. At the first Executive Committee meeting after the Biennial Organization Meeting, Executive Committee members will determine the need for any standing committees during the Biennial term and establish such committees. The Chairperson, with advice from the Committee, shall appoint members to any such committees.
Section 2. Other Committees: The County Chairperson may at any time, with the advice and consent of the Executive Committee, create and make appointments to such committees as shall from time to time be deemed necessary either as standing or temporary committees to fulfill the needs and meet the goals of the Cochise County Democratic Committee’s planned activities.
ARTICLE VII Other Matters
Section 1. The Cochise County Democratic Committee may adopt resolutions on matters subject to international, federal, state, or county law or ordinance. Such resolutions shall not be in regard to competing Democratic candidates and no resolutions can be brought forth to endorse or unendorse any Democratic candidate. A minimum of five (5) percent of the precinct committee members (elected or appointed) must be signatory to the resolution and the proposal for a resolution including proposed language must be distributed to all precinct committee members a minimum of ten (10) days in advance of the next Cochise County Committee Meeting. Resolution votes are proxy able. Fifty (50) percent of the Cochise County Precinct Committeepersons, present either in person or by proxy, shall constitute a quorum. For adoption, fifty (50) percent plus one of those present or by proxy must vote in the affirmative.
Section 2. Media and public disclosure of resolutions. All resolutions shall be sent to the person or persons whose action or inaction caused the resolution. Those resolutions by the County Committee shall be distributed to the media as a secondary motion to the resolution. Resolutions by the Executive Committee may be so distributed at the sole discretion of the Chair.
Section 3. Endorsements of non-Democrats when no Democratic candidate has qualified for the ballot. A minimum of five (5) percent of the precinct committee members (elected or appointed) must be signatory to the motion to endorse and the proposal for a must be distributed to all precinct committee members a minimum of ten (10) days in advance of the next Cochise County Committee Meeting.
Endorsement votes are proxy able. For adoption, fifty percent of the membership of the elected Precinct Committeepersons, present in person or by proxy, shall constitute a quorum. For adoption, a minimum of seventy-five (75) percent of those present in person or by proxy must vote in the affirmative.
Section 4. Proxies: Members of the Cochise County Democratic Committee or Executive Committee meeting pursuant to these bylaws may vote by proxy, in which the following regulations apply:
a. Each proxy shall be given to a Democrat eligible to vote in Cochise County.
b. Each proxy shall be attested by a notary or by two witnesses.
c. Each proxy shall state a specific meeting for which it is given and shall be valid only for that meeting.
d. Each proxy shall be dated as of the date it is given and shall be valid only if executed within twenty (20) days of the date of the meeting for which the proxy is granted.
e. There shall be a limit of three (3) proxies which an individual can hold.
f. Unless otherwise indicated, a proxy is presumed to be General, Uninstructed and Transferable.
g. Any member who has been present at a Cochise County meeting held pursuant to these bylaws, may, upon leaving the meeting, give his/her proxy to a Democrat eligible to vote in the same precinct and who will remain at the meeting.
h. All proxies must be voted in accordance with written instructions the member includes on the proxy form. Failure to do so will invalidate the proxy.
i. Proxies may be presented at the meeting by the holder or sent by mail to the Cochise County post office box a recommended three days prior to the meeting.
ARTICLE VIII Schedule and Amendments
Section 1. Effective Date: These bylaws shall be effective on the date adopted by the Cochise County Democratic Committee.
Section 2. Amendments: These bylaws may be amended only at a business or special meeting of the Cochise County Democratic Committee by the affirmative vote of the majority of those members present in person or by proxy. The full text of the proposed amendment must be contained in the call of the meeting. The County Committee may approve, reject, or amend any such proposed amendment at said meeting.
Adopted in open meeting of the Cochise County Democratic Committee May 27, 1996 and amended by the County Committee in open meeting on the following dates: May 17, 2003, November 3, 2007, March 21, 2009, January 4, 2011, May 11, 2011, July 27, 2011, December 5, 2011, April 29, 2017 and June 24, 2017, March 21, 2020
County Chairperson: Elisabeth Tyndall Secretary: