Constitution/Bylaws

Constitution/Bylaws

Article 1 – Name

The name of this organization shall be the Libertarian Party of Oregon (LPO).

Article 2 – Purpose

The purpose of the LPO is to perform the activities necessary to place as many partisan Libertarian candidates on the ballot for elections in the State of Oregon as possible and to promote the system of governance espoused by the Libertarian Party Statement of Principles.

Article 3 – Members

All registered Libertarian voters in the state of Oregon are voting members of the LPO. No dues are required to be a voting member of the LPO. Only voting members have the right to participate in LPO conventions and vote in LPO mail ballots. Only voting members are eligible to hold office in the LPO, except for offices that explicitly permit non-voting members to hold that office.

The LPO will have no authority to restrict or limit its members in any way not expressly allowed in this document.

Article 4 – Officers

Sec 1: Defined

The officers of the LPO shall be the Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Secretary, and Treasurer. No officer is entitled to vote at board meetings unless he or she is also an elected or appointed director. The board of directors may appoint, remove, or replace an officer by majority vote. Removal from a position as an officer does not affect a person’s status as a director.

Sec 2: Chairperson

The board of directors must elect a chairperson from amongst themselves. The chairperson shall preside at all board meetings and conventions. The chairperson will be the Chief Executive Officer of the LPO. If the chairperson office becomes vacant, the vice chairperson becomes the chairperson, vacating the vice chairperson office.

Sec 3: Vice Chairperson

The board of directors must elect a vice chairperson from amongst themselves. The vice chairperson shall act as assistant to the chairperson, and shall perform the duties of the chairperson in the chairperson’s absence. If the vice chairperson office becomes vacant, the board of directors must elect a new vice chairperson from amongst themselves.

Sec 4: Secretary

The board of directors must appoint or hire a secretary. The secretary need not be a voting member of the LPO. The secretary is the recording and corresponding officer of the LPO.

Sec 5: Treasurer

The board of directors must appoint or hire a treasurer. The treasurer need not be a voting member of the LPO. The treasurer is the individual who is listed as the treasurer for the LPO with the Oregon Secretary of State, and has all of the responsibilities required of a party treasurer by Oregon law in addition to those prescribed by LPO governing documents and policies.

Article 5 – Board of Directors

Sec 1: Composition

The Board of Directors, otherwise known by Oregon State Law as the State Central Committee, shall have 9 members who serve until their successors are elected. The term of office for directors starts and ends during a special board meeting called for the purpose of transitioning from one set of directors to another. To stand for election or remain a member of the board, one must be a voting member of the LPO.

Sec 2: Authority

The board of directors has full power and authority over the affairs of the LPO between conventions with the following exceptions:

  1. Modifying actions taken in convention.

  2. Defining Libertarian policy.

  3. Defining Libertarian platform.

  4. Taking a position on any public or electoral issue, unless it directly affects the operation of the LPO, including political party laws, election laws, and campaign finance laws.

  5. Modifying the constitution and bylaws of the LPO.

Sec 3: Duties

The board shall have the following duties:

  • Transact all business of the LPO between conventions.

  • Elect a chairperson and vice chairperson from among the board of directors.

  • Appoint or hire a secretary and treasurer.

  • Appoint delegates to the National Libertarian Party conventions.

  • Define policy for the operation of the LPO.

  • Perform other such duties defined in the LPO Constitution and Bylaws or as directed at convention.

Sec 4: Voting Rights

Only the 9 regular directors shall have voting rights in matters within the board’s purview.

Sec 5: Vacancies

Any office or directorship left vacant for any reason may be filled by appointment of a qualified person by majority vote of the remaining directors.

Sec 6: Non-Voting Directors

The board of directors, by a two-thirds vote, may create or remove additional non-voting director positions to perform administrative duties, and by a majority vote may appoint, remove or replace the director holding such a position.

No director position thus created may possess any authority that is not already possessed by the board of directors as a whole.

Sec 7: Transitional Board Meeting

The outgoing board of directors must schedule a transitional board meeting to occur within 30 days after the new directors are elected. At this board meeting, the term of office for the outgoing directors ends and the term of office for the incoming directors begins. The incoming directors must elect a chairperson and vice chairperson from among the board of directors at this meeting.

Sec 8: Regular Board Meetings

The board of directors must adopt a policy establishing regular board meetings. In the absence of such a policy, the board of directors meets at the call of the chairperson.

Article 6 – Committees

The Board of Directors may create special or standing committees by a two-thirds vote and set the policy by which the committee members and leadership are seated.

Article 7 – Conventions

Sec 1: Regular Biennial Convention

The LPO shall hold its regular biennial business convention in the state of Oregon in the spring of each odd-numbered year, at a time and place chosen by the board of directors.

Sec 2: Special Conventions

The board of directors, or a group of voting members of no less than 1% of the voting members, may call a special convention to revise the Constitution and Bylaws and perform other business as needed. The purpose for a special convention must be included in the notice for the convention and the program for the convention cannot deviate from this purpose.

Amendments to the Constitution and Bylaws adopted in a special convention solely to comply with requirements of Oregon law take effect immediately, but are subject to ratification by a two-thirds vote in a mail ballot issued to ratify such amendments.

Sec 3: Convention Delegates

Any voting member who registers as a delegate in accordance with convention rules may attend and participate in that convention as a voting delegate. The quorum requirement for any convention shall be the lesser of one hundred (100) or one quarter of one percent (0.25%) of the membership.

Sec 4: Convention Notice

Electronic notice of all conventions must be given to all voting members. A prominent posting on the front page of the LPO web site and posting the notice to an electronic mailing list designated for such notices is sufficient for this purpose. It is the responsibility of voting members to ensure that they receive the notice. 45 days notice must be given. The notice must include the time, place, and proposed program of the convention. If a special convention is called by the members directly, they must provide 45 days written notice by mail.

Article 8 – Elections

Sec 1: Methods of calling election

A. Regular Primary Election

An election is called automatically in conjunction with the State of Oregon Primary election season. The election process used shall be mail/electronic ballot, unless the board of directors lacks the funds to run an election by mail, and votes by a two thirds margin instead to nominate by convention.

The board of directors shall set the schedule of deadlines so that they are compatible with Oregon Law and to accommodate the schedule of the national party convention if possible.

The LPO may allow voting members to opt-in to a method of electronic voting in lieu of receiving a paper ballot. Additionally a voting member may opt out of receiving a ballot if they choose.

The board must send ballots to all voting members who have not opted out of receiving a ballot, and also either returned a ballot in the previous primary election, contacted the LPO to request a ballot, or joined the LPO since the last primary election. The board may send ballots to voting members who do not meet the above criteria, but to do so the board must send ballots to all voting members who have not opted out of receiving a ballot.

The regular primary election shall serve to ratify bylaws previously referred, and nominate candidates for partisan office, or decide any other matters referred for ratification.

If the primary election does not yield a nominee for an office, or if the primary election winner and all runners-up are ineligible, unable, or unwilling to be the nominee, or fail to submit their nomination paperwork by a deadline determined by the board, then the board may elect a voting member of the LPO to be the nominee for that office.

B. Director Elections

In odd numbered years elections for directors shall be held on a schedule that permits the results to be announced at the regular convention. Mail ballots shall be sent only to persons who returned a ballot during the most recent regular primary election. Members who did not return a ballot during the previous primary election or who joined after the previous election are not eligible to vote on matters of party leadership or run for party office.

C. Special Elections

The board may call special elections for the purpose of filling vacancies for partisan offices when special elections are called by the State of Oregon.

Such elections shall be run on a schedule that permits the process to be completed before the deadlines required for the special election that has been called by the State of Oregon. The board shall determine whether nominations shall be by mail ballot or by convention. In the event that it is not possible to hold an election due to the schedule provided by the Oregon Elections Division, the board may nominate registered libertarian electors as candidates for special elections.

Sec 2: Rules for Elections

A. General rules that apply to all elections

  • Ballots must be secret.
  • The rules as provided by our parliamentary authority (if any) for the handling of ballots and elections shall be observed at a minimum. Higher standards may be adopted by policy.
  • The board of directors (or appointed committee), must adopt rules governing the execution of the election, including notification procedures, registering to have a candidate’s name placed on the ballot, and other special rules as necessary. These rules shall be published electronically for the public.
  • No fee may be assessed, or petitioning requirements made, for the placement of a candidate’s name on the ballot if they are a member of the party.
  • Balloting may be conducted by physical mail or electronically, or by a combination of both, at the discretion of the board of directors.
  • Ballot packets shall include a section inviting members to volunteer to serve as directors, candidates, committee chairs or committee members, or in other capacities, and soliciting suggestions for party functions and activities. This section, containing the voting member’s name and contact information, shall be separate from submitted ballots and archived for use by the board of directors and committees to find volunteers for particular functions and activities.
  • Elections for a single position shall be tabulated by instant runoff voting, and elections for multiple positions shall be tabulated using the Wright system of single transferable vote as defined by the proportional representation society of Australia.

B. Rules for Primary Elections

  • A space must be made available to write in any eligible candidate for every office, even offices with no candidates running.
  • Provided that no votes are cast for any libertarian elector who is both willing and eligible to accept the nomination, votes and nominations for candidates registered with other parties shall be entertained.

Article 9 – Finances

Sec 1: Voting Requirements for Expenditures

All approvals of expenditures or new liabilities must be made by roll call vote of the board of directors, and their votes must be entered into the minutes.

Every expenditure in excess of $500, adjusted annually for inflation from the time of adoption, must be approved by a two-thirds vote.

Sec 2: Designated Donations

Any individual may donate funds for a specific purpose. Such donations must be used as directed, provided it is consistent with the LPO purpose and principles. All such designated donations and their dispositions must be included in the regular treasurer’s report. If the board of directors decides the purpose for a donation is inappropriate, the person making the donation must be given the opportunity to re-designate the donation or have it refunded.

Article 10 – Candidates

Sec 1: Eligibility

To be listed on any Libertarian Party of Oregon primary ballot as a qualified Libertarian elector a person must be a voting member of the LPO for the thirty days prior to the election, meet all qualifications which are required under Oregon law, and further maintain his or her voting membership through the general election.

Sec 2: Exceptions to Eligibility

Candidates for President of the United States and Vice President of the United States are exempt from the requirement of being voting members of the LPO, but must be members of any national Libertarian Party affiliation. Additionally any candidates from another party are exempt provided that requirements of Article 8 Sec 2 are met.

Article 11 – Affiliate Parties and Organizations

The board of directors may grant charters to groups of LPO voting members wishing to establish an affiliate party or organization. The board of directors must establish a policy for how such charters are granted and maintained. Affiliate organizations do not have any authority to nominate candidates or indenture the LPO in any manner.

Article 12 – Parliamentary Authority

Each body of the LPO may adopt or change the parliamentary authority they use to operate by two-thirds vote.

Article 13 – Amendment

Sec 1: Amendment

A. Amendment in convention

This constitution and bylaws are amendable in convention by a two-thirds vote provided that the convention is attended by no less than 1% of all voting members. If the 1% requirement is not met, any amendments that are passed at convention must first be sent via mail ballot for ratification before they are adopted.

B. Amendment by Mail Ballot

Amendments passed during a convention attended by less than 1% of all voting members must be referred to a mail ballot. The board of directors must vote whether to send out a special ballot for this purpose, or wait until the next regular primary election. If a special ballot is used, the same voting members must receive ballots as would be the case for the regular primary election. Amendments referred to a mail ballot must be adopted by a margin of two-thirds of all votes returned. Secure electronic ballots may also be used for special elections.

Article 14 – Other Authority

These bylaws are governed by all valid provisions of state and federal laws.