Minneapolis Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party

Standard Rules


Ward Conventions

Approved 22 January 2001

For use in March–April 2005

Governing Authority and Agenda

1. Upon all matters not governed by the Official Call, the State DFL Party Constitution and Bylaws, the City Party’s constitution and bylaws, and these Rules, Robert’s Rules of Order–most recently revised shall govern. Provisions of the Official Call shall take precedence over any other party rules at any level wherever a conflict exists.

2. A majority vote of the convention is required to adopt these rules and the agenda. To debate or amend these rules or the agenda before they are adopted by the convention requires a two-thirds vote of the convention. Once adopted, these rules and the agenda shall govern unless suspended or modified by a two-thirds vote of the convention.

3. The quorum for conducting any business of the convention is a majority of the registered delegates (including upgraded alternates).

Seating of Delegates and Alternates

4. Registration of delegates and alternates to the convention shall continue until adjournment.

5. Each precinct delegation shall elect one or more delegation chairs for purposes of alternate seating, roll calls and ballot voting. The Convention Chair shall instruct the convention as to the duties each delegation chair will be expected to perform during the convention. The name of each delegation chair shall be reported promptly to the Convention Chair. Any delegate shall be eligible for election as delegation chair.

6. The seating of delegates and alternates shall be governed by the following:

a. All registered delegates (not alternates) on the temporary roll shall be seated.

b. The convention shall hear and resolve any challenges regarding delegate or alternate seating pursuant to the Official Call.

c. Any delegates or alternates entitled to be seated after all challenges have been resolved shall go to the registration table with their delegation chair so that proper seating can be arranged. As soon as practicable after verification of a quorum, the registration stall shall function inside the convention hall so as to permit its members to maintain a consistent and accurate delegate county be precincts while participating as convention delegates.

d. Alternates elected at large shall be upgraded to delegate status according to their numerical ranking on the precinct report. Alternates elected through subcaucus voting systems will be upgraded to delegate status in the order reported within their subcaucus. If there are no alternates available within a subcaucus, alternates will be raised by lot from among the highest ranking alternates within the other subcaucuses. Each subcaucus will be represented in the lot system in proportion to its delegate allocation strength.

e. The registration staff shall issue identification badges to delegates, alternates and visitors during the registration process. Badges issued to each group shall be of a different color.

f. A temporary delegate badge shall be issued to an appropriate alternate when the alternate is raised to delegate status. There shall be no upgrading of alternates during any voting process. If the raised alternate is subsequently returned to alternate status, the alternate’s delegate badge shall be immediately surrendered to the registration table.

g. Unseated alternates and visitors shall be seated separately from delegates and shall not be allowed on the convention floor during the convention.

General Convention Rules

7. [Omitted as not applicable.]

8. One or more Convention Chairs, with gender balance, if applicable, shall be elected by a plurality vote of the convention. The Convention Chairs may appoint a convention secretary, timekeepers, judges, clerks, tellers, sergeants-at-arms, parliamentarians, pages and other assistants as they deem necessary to conduct convention business.

9–11. [Omitted as not applicable.]

12. If a contest exists, all elections shall be done by secret written ballot. In the event of a tie vote, there will be a run-off ballot including only the names of the tied candidates; if a tie still exists, it will be broken by lot. All other voting shall be by voice vote or standing division unless a secret ballot vote is requested by the Convention Chair or by one-third of the delegates present.

13. Convention tellers shall distribute ballots to the chair of each precinct delegation on matters to be determined by secret ballot. Ballots shall be distributed only to delegates and upgraded alternates seated under the rules of this convention. These ballots shall be returned by the precinct delegation chair to the tellers.

14. Smoking and use of intoxicants is prohibited on the convention floor. No smoking is allowed in the hallways adjacent to the convention hall, or outside the main entry to the building. All persons shall comply with any additional rules established by the convention facility.

15. No person may place any banners or posters on the convention platform or in any way obstruct the view of the platform by delegates. All signs and other materials must comply with the rules of the convention facility, and with any additional rules and procedures established by the City Central Committee. Campaign literature may not be distributed in the convention hall after balloting has begun. No moving demonstrations are permitted during balloting. There shall be no disruptive demonstrations in the galleries. Each delegation will be responsible for collecting materials and garbage. Whistles, air horns, bull horns, and strobe lights or other similar devices will not be allowed during the convention in the convention hall.

16. Incumbent DFL office holders, declared DFL candidates for public office, and other party dignitaries may address the convention at the discretion of the Convention Chair. Such visitors will be requested to limit their remarks to no more than two minutes.

Election of State Delegates/Alternates

17–20. [Omitted as not applicable.]

Election of Party Officers

21. The ward coordinators and delegates and alternates to City pre-Convention committees and commissions shall be elected by simple majority. Voting will be conducted by separate ballot for each position. If none of the nominees for an office receives a majority vote on a ballot, the nominee with the least number of votes will be dropped on the next ballot, provided that at least two candidates remain on that ballot.

22-25. [Omitted as not applicable.]

Speech and Debate Rules

26. No delegate may speak until recognized by the Convention Chair. Speakers will first state their name and precinct. No person may speak more than once on an item of business until all others on that side who wish to do so have had an opportunity.

27. Unless otherwise provided for in these rules, no delegate shall speak for more than two minutes on any item. The chair will rotate speaking privileges among floor microphones and between proponents and opponents of a measure to the extent possible. Debate will terminate when three speakers have been heard on each side.

28. With respect to credentials challenges to delegations, prior to floor debate, speakers on behalf of both the challenged delegation and the challenging delegation shall each be allowed five minutes in total to present their positions, with the challenged delegation speaking last.

29. Any motion to table shall be considered as though it were a motion to postpone indefinitely. A motion to postpone indefinitely does not preclude amendments to the main motion. The motions "to reconsider and enter on the minutes" and "to object to consideration" are not in order. The motion to reconsider is in order and will require a two-thirds vote.

30. Any amendment to a motion or resolution which removes, changes or adds five or more words must be submitted in writing to the Convention Chair before being considered. When the motion to amend is made, it must be seconded by at least one other delegate. Amendments take a majority vote for adoption.

Endorsement Rules

31. Endorsement of a candidate for City Council requires a 60 percent affirmative vote of the ward convention.

a. Each candidate (and/or his/her representative(s)) shall be allowed no more than 10 minutes to address the convention.

b. No others may speak on behalf of or against the candidate.

c. The convention may adopt by majority vote rules and procedures for a question and answer period of the candidates prior to the first ballot.

d. Candidates receiving less than 10 percent will be dropped after the first ballot. On subsequent ballots, the drop off percent will be raised by five percent each ballot. In addition, after the fourth ballot, the lowest remaining candidate will be dropped regardless of the percent. However, in no case will this drop off rule be used to reduce the number of candidates remaining on the next ballot to less than two.

e. If no candidate for endorsement has received 60 percent of the votes cast after three ballots, a motion to have no endorsement will be in order at any time thereafter, and will pass with a majority vote. In that event, balloting shall terminate and the ward convention will not endorse for that position prior to the primary election.