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At the MCDP Reorganization, Amending The Constitution To Nullify “One Must Be Present To Vote” Rule Will Initiate Needed Debate In The DNC

One proposed change to the MCDP Constitution nullifies the “one must be present to vote” rule. Change #6 (see below) allows a Central Committee member three days to contact the Central Committee Secretary to register his or her vote on endorsements.

An administrator at the Ohio Democratic Party has ruled that this proposed change in the MCDP Constitution is inconsistent with ODP policy and, as such, is not allowable. If the Central Committee at the Reorganization ratifies a rule that allows remote voting, then the MCDP will need to appeal to the ODP Executive Committee to overturn the administrator’s ruling. If the ODP Executive Committee rejects the appeal, then the MCDP can appeal to the Democratic National Committee.

The ODP administrator explained to me that in all representative assemblies, a member must be present in the room in order to vote. Regardless of his state of health, for example, in order for John McCain to cast a vote in the U.S. Senate, he must travel from Arizona to Washington. I replied that the “must be present to vote” rule contributes to inefficiency. Why should we model the Central Committee after a U.S. Congress that is infamous for its dysfunction?

The “must be present to vote” rule is out of date. Requiring MCDP Central Committee members to travel to downtown Dayton to the MCDP Headquarters in order to register a vote, needlessly diminishes the number of members who participate in important questions. It’s like saying one must be present in a bank building in order to do banking business.

By voting “yes” to allow remote voting, the Central Committee will initiate a discussion and review and appeal process within the Democratic Party that is long overdue. The DNC should not put prevent a county group, like the MCDP, from making changes to its procedures that will empower it to move into the twenty-first century.

 

Proposed Changes To The MCDP Constitution

  1. PREAMBLE: “WE THE REPRESENTATIVES of the Democrats living in Montgomery County — in order to form a strong party organization that empowers representative democracy within our party and throughout the county — do establish this Montgomery County Democratic Party Constitution.
  2. A New Name: “The Montgomery County Democratic Party.”
  3. A New PURPOSE: “In accordance with the provisions of Section 3517 of the Ohio Revised Code, this organization shall be the “Controlling Committee” of the Democratic Party of Montgomery County. The purpose of the Montgomery County Democratic Party is to represent and to serve Montgomery County Democrats. The MCDP advances this purpose: by connecting Montgomery County Democrats within an extended MCDP community where every member has a voice, by advancing candidates of the people who are dedicated to public service and whose principles align with those of the Democratic Party.
  4. An expansion of MEMBERSHIP: “The MCDP welcomes all Democrats registered in Montgomery County to become a member of the MCDP organization.”
  5. Endorsement recommendations by the Screening Committee shall be announced at least three days prior to the Central Committee meeting at which the recommendations will be acted on.
  6. Central Committee members may register their vote with the MCDP Secretary at any time during the three days prior to the Central Committee meeting.
  7. During the Central Committee meeting, any endorsement recommendations made from the floor, and seconded, will be communicated to Central Committee members not attending the meeting. Voting on these recommendations will occur via communication with the MCDP Secretary and voting will be concluded after 48 hours.
  8. The endorsement of Democratic Primary candidates shall occur after the Board of Election deadline for Democratic candidates to file for the primary.
  9. Central Committee votes on all motions for endorsements shall be by roll-call or by paper ballot with the member’s signature, or by registering the vote with the MCDP Secretary. For each endorsement, a record showing each Central Committee member’s vote shall be posted online
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