Standing Rules for Internal Elections

Standing Rules for Internal Elections

Approved 3/29/2021

Internal Elections Department

  1. The Steering Committee shall appoint a temporary three person Internal Elections Department within the Administrative Committee, intended to serve as an unbiased and impartial group to carry out the work required for the election. The Steering Committees appointments to the Internal Elections Department are still subject to amendment by the GBM. This working group shall be vested with the authority to arbitrate any disputes that may arise in the course of the election, regarding procedure, implementation of election rules, or any other procedural decisions that require a ruling in the course of their business. The Internal Elections Department shall not include candidates for any incoming leadership positions. The Internal Elections Department shall be dissolved after they certify the results of the election. The Internal Elections Department may enlist volunteers to assist them with their work.

  2. The Steering Committee and all relevant communication bodies shall inform the membership of the proper election date, voting method, and requirements for candidacy and voting in a timely manner.

  3. Nominations for the elected positions within the local shall be collected via a publicly accessible Google Form. Timelines for nominations will be determined by the Internal Elections Department for specific elections, with the advice and consent of the Steering Committee.

  4. The Steering Committee and Administrative Committee shall provide a Metro DC DSA voter list to the Internal Elections Department prior to the General Body Meeting in order to verify that ballots are only provided to members. The Internal Elections Department will handle and mediate any disputes over questions of membership.

Leadership Elections

  1. In order to be included on the ballot for Leadership Elections:

i. Nominees must receive five nominations from individual members.

ii. Nominees must accept their nomination.

iii. Nominees must not be members of Democratic Centralist organizations.

  1. The winners of leadership elections will be determined by using the approval voting method. Members will be provided the option of marking next to each candidate as to whether they “approve” of that candidate. These marks will be tallied up and the candidate or candidates with the highest approval counts win their elections, provided that the elected offices comply with the diversity requirements.

  2. Nominees running for Secretary or Treasurer may be automatically included in the ballot lines for at-large steering committee seats if they so choose. If candidates that have opted-in to the At-Large race win their seat for Treasurer or Secretary, they are automatically removed from consideration for an At-Large seat.

  3. The newly-elected Steering Committee shall determine its Chair and any additional officers required in the bylaws prior to the next General Body Meeting.

  4. For Steering Committee elections the Internal Elections Department shall:

a. Create a Candidate questionnaire with answers to be publicly available to the membership.

b. Plan a candidate forum where all members running for leadership positions are invited and given equal opportunity to address the membership.

c. Create an Election Slack Channel, particular to that election, where candidates and voters can ask questions of the candidates. This space may also be used by the candidates for the purposes of electioneering.

d. Create a section on the member portal dedicated to the election where each candidate will be listed along with their answers to the questionnaire. Candidates may opt out of being included on the website.

  1. In the case of a vacancy on the Steering Committee due to the resignation or removal of a member of steering, a temporary elections working group will be formed to organize a special election as soon as possible. The candidate forum will be forgone and instead all qualifying candidates who accept their nomination will be given two minutes to speak at the GBM before the vote. Questionnaires will be sent out to all qualifying candidates and a section of the MDC DSA website for the election will host these questionnaires along with information about the special election.

  2. In the event of leadership elections for an elected leadership team of a working group or section, the Secretary shall be empowered to administer the election. Any disputes arising from such elections may be appealed to the Steering Committee.

  3. In the event when the number of candidates for a leadership position, whether it be for the Steering Committee, an elected leadership team of a working group, section, or Branch Steering Committee, does not exceed the number of available seats making the election not competitive, the election shall be declared by acclamation and a ballot shall not be necessary.

National Convention Delegate Elections

  1. Nominations for Convention Delegate will be collected via a publicly accessible Google Form. Candidates must fulfil the requirements for nomination outlined in Section 5 of these standing rules and confirm that they will be able to attend the convention in order to be eligible for delegate election. Candidates shall be able to identify as running as members of a slate or caucus, or as independents. Candidates shall be able to add as many identifications as they wish to their presented name on the ballot.

  2. Winners of delegate elections will be determined by using the Hare Quota for proportional representation, as required by National Convention Rules. Members will be provided the option to rank candidates, and vote calculation will be done via the Scottish Single Transferable Vote option on OpaVote. Each candidate will be permitted to list their slate or caucus as part of their candidate name.

  3. At least 50% of the total local delegation to the total DSA National Delegation, the total delegation being comprised of delegates and alternates both, shall be women, non-binary folks, or persons of color.

Prohibitions on Electioneering

  1. Electioneering is defined as working, in the opinion of the Internal Elections Department, for the success of a particular candidate or candidates in an election.

  2. Prohibited electioneering practices include:

a. Slack electioneering outside of the the specific Election channel, to include:

i. Mass adding of members to Slack channels for the purposes of electioneering.

ii. Use of the announcement channel for electioneering.

b. Taking advantage of official MDC DSA resources, to include:

i. The use of membership lists for the purposes of electioneering.

ii. Promoting candidates at Working Group or Committee meetings.

iii. Use of administrative privileges on MDC DSA web resources for electioneering purposes.

  1. The Internal Elections Department shall moderate, adjudicate, and resolve any potential infractions of the Standing Election Rules. Potential infractions should be reported to the Election Working Group. Candidates should be given “two strikes,” with first time infractions receiving a censure statement announced in the Election Slack channel. Second offenses may warrant being removed from the ballot.