(As amended by the State Committee in convention March 19, 2016)
We, the Libertarians of the State of Missouri, recognizing the need in this state for an authentic political alternative, and believing in the principles and philosophy of libertarianism, supporting a return to Constitutional government in these United States and Missouri, hereby organize and institute the Missouri Libertarian Party under these bylaws. These bylaws, as amended herein, replace and supersede the Constitution and Bylaws of the Missouri Libertarian Party originally adopted in Springfield Missouri on 6 September 1992 and all intermediate versions preceding this revision date.
ARTICLE 1 — IDENTITY AND PURPOSE
1.1 The name of this organization shall be the “Missouri Libertarian Party”, hereinafter referred to as the “MoLP”.
1.2 The purpose of the MoLP shall be the promotion of Libertarian candidates for election to public office and the promotion of libertarian ideas and philosophy.
1.3 The MoLP shall be affiliated with the National Libertarian Party and shall comply with all of the applicable rules and bylaws affecting affiliate parties as promulgated by the Libertarian Party National Committee and the Libertarian Party National Convention.
ARTICLE 2 — PERIOD OF DURATION
2.1 The duration of the Party shall be perpetual.
2.2 In the event of dissolution of the corporation/organization, any remaining funds will be: returned to donors; given to then current candidates for office; donated to other non-profit organizations; or donated to charity, as determined by the Executive Committee.
ARTICLE 3 — MEMBERSHIP
3.1 A person is a voting member of the MoLP and entitled to vote on MoLP business per these by-laws if he or she is a current committeeman or committeewoman per the Missouri state statutes for political parties, has run as a Libertarian candidate in a partisan Missouri election within the last two years, or has made a contribution to the MO LP of at least $100 ($40 for students) in the last two years.
3.2 A person is a recognized member of the MoLP during any calendar year if that person donates $25.00 to the MoLP ($15 for students) during the same calendar year. A recognized member is not entitled to vote on MoLP business per these by-laws unless such person also meets the requirements of section 3.1.
3.3 A member may be censured and/or disavowed by the State Committee if he or she, while purporting to represent to the public the MoLP, states positions which are contrary to Libertarian principles and/or is found to have committed acts of fraud and/or violence. Upon 30 days notice to appear or be represented before the State Committee to be heard on the charge(s) levied, censure or disavowal shall be only upon approval of three-quarters of the whole membership.
3.4 A member may be expelled from the organization for violation of the bylaws or for other cause deemed prejudicial to the best interests of the organization, as determined by the State Committee. Only the Executive Committee may propose the expulsion of a member to the State Committee. Notice that the State Committee will consider expulsion of a member shall be mailed to all of the State Committee members and the member subject to expulsion in writing and at least 30 days prior to the State Committee meeting. At the State Committee meeting, the Chair shall preside over the proceeding to consider expulsion of a member. Expulsion shall be only upon approval of three-quarters of the whole membership.
ARTICLE 4 — THE STATE COMMITTEE
4.1 The State Committee shall be constituted as nearly as feasible in accordance with Missouri statutes.
4.2 The State Committee shall have the authority to pass and amend bylaws, raise money, maintain bank accounts, expend necessary funds raised, form committees, assign duties to State Officers and appoint agents to act on its behalf.
4.3 The State Committee shall meet at least at each State Convention.
ARTICLE 5 — THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
5.1 An Executive Committee, as defined herein, shall be authorized to act on behalf of the State Committee in between State Committee meetings. The Executive Committee shall be authorized to take any action which could be taken by the State Committee on a simple majority vote.
5.2 The Executive Committee shall consist of the elected officers of the MoLP, and district members from the various Congressional Districts, not to exceed two per District, chosen by the respective members of the State Committee residing in that District. The State Committee members of each District may also select up to two alternate Executive Committee members, who may vote in the event of the absence of an Executive Committee member(s) from their district. All Executive Committee members and alternates must be voting members of the MoLP as defined in section 3.1.
5.3 Challenges to the selection of Executive Committee members from a given Congressional District may be made by State Committee members from the same Congressional District. Any such challenge shall be presented to the State Committee for resolution. In the event of such a challenge, no challenged member shall vote on the resolution of said challenge.
5.4 The Executive Committee shall serve for a period of one year, or until their successors are selected, beginning at the State Committee meeting coinciding with the annual State Convention. Vacancies occurring during a term shall be filled by State Committee members residing in that district, or, failing that, by appointment of the Chair with the approval of the Executive Committee, and become permanent after six weeks provided no State Committee member registers a written objection to the Chair.
5.5 The Executive Committee shall hold at least one meeting every three months. All members of the Executive Committee shall be given reasonable notice of when and where each meeting is to be held.
5.6 Any district member of the Executive Committee who does not attend three consecutive regularly-scheduled meetings shall be demoted to an alternate member from their Congressional District, unless prior notice was given to the Chair, or an alternate member from the same Congressional District attended in that member’s place.
ARTICLE 6 — STATE OFFICERS
6.1 The Officers of the MoLP shall consist of a Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer.
6.2 State Officers shall be elected at the State Convention by the State Committee and shall take office immediately after Convention. They shall serve for a term of two years or until their successors are elected.
6.3 The Chair shall be responsible for calling meetings of the State Committee and the Executive Committee, chairing all State Committee and Executive Committee meetings, chairing the State Convention, serving as official spokesperson of the MoLP, and appointing persons and/or performing other functions as authorized by the State Committee.
6.4 The Vice Chair shall act as Chair in the event of the Chair’s inability or unwillingness to perform such action required by these bylaws and/or Missouri election law. The Vice Chair shall also be responsible for coordinating outreach efforts and shall act as public relations officer of the MoLP, as directed by the State Committee and the Chair. The Vice Chair must call an Executive Committee meeting if the Chair has not done so within the three month period stated in Article 5.5.
6.5 The Secretary shall record the minutes of all State Committee and Executive Committee meetings and correspond with government officials of the State of Missouri. The Secretary shall also ensure that the Annual Report for a Missouri Corporation is timely filed, and that any needed updates to the Registered Office and/or Corporate Officers are timely filed with the Secretary of State.
6.6 The Treasurer shall maintain the records of receipts and expenditures of party funds and shall be responsible for reporting such records to any federal or state agency or official as required by law.
6.7 The Treasurer shall prepare a financial report to be distributed at State Committee meetings to all members of the State Committee. The Treasurer shall prepare this report at least quarterly and distribute it to the Chair. The Treasurer shall submit an annual financial report to the delegates attending the State Convention.
6.8 Should a vacancy occur in any state officer’s position, that office shall be filled by appointment of the State Committee. However, in the event a vacancy shall occur in the office of Chair, a vacancy shall also be declared in the office of Vice Chair and a new election shall be held for filling the vacancies of both Chair and Vice Chair.
6.9 The Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer may delegate portions of their responsibilities with the approval of the Executive Committee
6.10 Impeachment charges may be brought against any officer of the Executive Committee by any member at any regular or special meeting of the Executive Committee. The charges must show cause for removal from office. The officer so charged shall be given the opportunity to reply to the charges and if not present at the meeting at which charges are made, voting on the question shall be deferred until the next regularly scheduled meeting. In the case the officer so charged is the Chair, then the next highest ranking officer will preside over the proceedings. Impeachment shall be only upon approval of two-thirds of the entire Executive Committee.
ARTICLE 7 — LOCAL AFFILIATES
7.1 Local affiliates of the MoLP may organize county, legislative, senatorial, congressional, and judicial district committees as provided by Missouri election law.
7.2 Such affiliates shall not be recognized by the MoLP until the Secretary of the MoLP is provided written notice of the formation of the affiliate including a list of its members and officers.
ARTICLE 8 — THE USE OF PARTY FUNDS
8.1 The State and/or Executive Committee must approve in advance the expenditure of any party funds. The State and/or Executive Committee may, but is not obligated to, reimburse funds expended by a member without prior authorization.
ARTICLE 9 — THE STATE CONVENTION
9.1 A State Convention shall be held annually. Except in even numbered years when the convention will be held the weekend before the opening of candidate filing,the time and place of the State Convention shall be determined by the State and/or Executive Committee or a Convention Committee as appointed by either. Written notice, via either postal mail or email, of the Convention date, time and place (and proposed bylaws changes – if any) shall be given by the state Secretary to all State Committee members at least 30 days prior to the Convention (with member’s RSVP directed to the state Secretary). However this does not preclude amendments to the changes from the floor.
9.2 The purpose of the State Convention shall be to select the Executive Committee, select delegates to the Libertarian party National Convention (if applicable), amend the MoLP bylaws through the State Committee, and amend the MoLP Platform.
9.3 The State Officers shall serve as officers of the State Convention.
9.4 All voting delegates to State Conventions must be voting members in good standing of the Missouri Libertarian Party, as defined in section 3.1, and must have been members of the MoLP for at least 30 days prior to the start of the Convention. Adoption of platform changes shall require a two-thirds vote of those members present and voting.
9.5 Only delegates present on the convention floor may vote.
ARTICLE 10 – THE NOMINATING CONVENTION
10.1 In even numbered years, a Nominating Convention will preempt the State Convention on the Saturday afternoon of the convention. These provisions will govern the proceedings and will supersede all other bylaws related to candidate selection.
If Missouri statutes or Secretary of State practices regarding filing fees change so as to require political parties to accept filing fees from whoever wants to run on their ticket, these provisions shall become null and void.
10.2 The purpose of the Nominating Convention will be two-fold.
- Encourage people to run for statewide office.
- Allow, but not require, members to choose a single candidate to represent the MoLP in the general election in any statewide race.
10.3 The Vice-Chair shall be responsible for conducting the Nominating Convention according to these by-laws. He/she may delegate that responsibility to a member of the Executive Committee.
10.4 All voting members, as defined in section 3.1 of these bylaws, who are in attendance are eligible to nominate and vote.
10.5 There will be an initial nominating process open to all candidates for all statewide offices. People who have made it known they want to be a candidate but do not personally appear shall be eligible for nomination. Individuals may be nominated for more than one office. Nominations do not require a second. Recognition by the person leading the convention is not required to make a nomination, though he/she should acknowledge the nomination from the podium.
10.6 Each person present who places or accepts their name into nomination is to be asked two questions. These questions are to be asked of a nominee only one time throughout the entire process, even if the candidate is nominated for several offices. Nominees who are not in attendance may have a video presented of them answering each question and including a one minute preface and a one minute close.
- Why are you running for office?
- What are the big issues in your race?
They will have one minute to answer each question.
10.7 If members wish to have the candidates in any race answer additional questions, whether that race is contested or uncontested, the vice-chair or his/her designee will conduct the questioning at their own discretion. This additional question opportunity is to take place immediately preceding a vote on a race. Motions from the membership to close questioning will be accepted and require a two-thirds majority of those voting to pass.
10.8 Balloting shall proceed in this order, except in the years when the Auditor’s race is the only statewide contest: Attorney General, US Senate, Governor, Secretary of State, Treasurer, Lieutenant Governor.
10.9 After the balloting for an office is complete, the nomination process will resume to allow and encourage people to place themselves, or allow themselves to be placed, into nomination for any remaining office. Any new candidates will be asked the questions in 10.6 with the same time constraints. Optional questions will again be allowed per 10.7.
10.10 Delegates are to be provided with a ballot before each vote and votes are to be kept secret. The ballots are to assume substantially this form:
Is there one candidate who you feel should have exclusive access to the primary ballot for this office? Write their name. _____________________
Are there any candidates who you feel should be excluded from the primary ballot for this office? Write their name(s). __________________________________________
10.11 If there are two or fewer nominees, the first ballot will be the only ballot for that office. To get the exclusive right to have their name on the August primary ballot, a candidate must get in excess of 50% of the ballots cast.
10.12 In races where there are three or more candidates, if more than half the delegates who cast ballots want one candidate to have the exclusive right to be on the August primary, but no single candidate gets a majority of the votes cast, the two candidates with the most votes will face each other in a runoff election. If neither of those two leading candidates receives a majority in the runoff, no candidate shall be granted exclusive right to be on the ballot.
The same form of ballot shall be used in runoff elections as in a first ballot. Tie votes will be repeated until one person wins.
10.13 A simple majority of the ballots cast is enough to keep a candidate off the ballot.
10.14General Rules Governing the Nominating Convention
There will be no admission charged to attend the Nominating Convention.
A motion to have a member or non-member removed from the proceedings requires a simple majority of the voting members present and voting in a voice vote.
Counting of ballots
Two delegates deemed trustworthy and competent by the Vice Chair or his/her designee in charge of conducting the business of the convention will count the votes. After each ballot, they are to announce the total number of votes cast. If no candidate received enough votes to get exclusive access to the primary ballot that shall be announced. If a candidate did receive a sufficient number of votes to grant them exclusive access to the primary ballot, the number of votes they received shall also be announced. If a majority of delegates who cast a ballot voted to deny a candidate access to the ballot, the number of those votes shall also be announced.
Either delegate in charge of counting votes may be challenged and replaced by a motion passing with a simple majority of the delegates present and voting. This vote will be conducted by an officer of the State Party by voice vote. The delegate body will nominate and elect replacements.
The ballots are to be retained until two weeks after the close of the filing period by the Secretary for inspection by the Executive Committee.
Credentials of delegates
Ten days in advance of the Nominating Convention, the State Chair or his/her designee will submit to the members of the State Committee, and to the “members” e-mail subscription list, a list of the people who are recognized voting members and entitled to vote in the Nominating Convention.
The day of the Nominating Convention a credentials committee comprised of the four officers of the State Party will determine who in attendance is allowed to vote, such decision being made immediately following a vote by the delegates on the aforementioned pre-submitted list whether to allow any or all other people in attendance to participate in the Nominating Convention, including the right to nominate and vote. Attendees who make no claim to voting membership are only to be admitted after having made the $100 contribution and been approved by a majority of the already credentialed delegates.
Enforcement of results
As the final business of the Nominating Convention, the Treasurer will announce a list of statewide candidates who as a result of the Nominating Convention paid their fee and received their receipt, as well as a list of those who are entitled but have yet to do so.
It shall be the responsibility of the Treasurer, officers and agents of the Party to abide by and enforce the decision of the Nominating Convention. Accordingly, no receipt for filing fees is to be issued to any candidate who has been denied the right to have their name on our ballot either because another candidate has gained that exclusive right or because the delegates voted not to allow the person access to the ballot for other just cause.
Except as provided in this paragraph, no receipts are to be issued to any candidates for statewide office on the first day of filing or at any time, except by default to candidates who pay their fee to the Secretary of State at the time they file and without the Party’s objection within two weeks thereof. All statewide candidates who are entitled to file on the first day of filing should have paid their filing fee and received their receipt at the Nominating Convention.
ARTICLE 11 — RULES OF PROCEDURE
11.1 The rules governing the conduct of State Committee meetings, Executive Committee meetings, and the State Convention shall be Robert’s Rules of Order.
11.2 A quorum at State Committee meetings and Executive Committee meetings shall exist if 51% of the membership of the committee is present in person or via telecommunications.
11.3 Only members present, either in person or via telecommunications, may vote at meetings of the State Committee and the Executive Committee. No absentee or proxy voting shall be allowed except that duly elected alternates may vote in place of absent district representatives.
ARTICLE 12 — NATIONAL CONVENTION DELEGATION
12.1 MoLP delegates to Libertarian Party National Conventions shall elect a delegation chairman and a delegation vice-chairman. In the absence of the chairman, the vice-chairman shall act as chairman.
12.2 The delegation chairman may freely substitute alternates to vote in place of delegates not present on the floor provided that the total number of votes cast by delegates and alternates shall not exceed the total number of delegates to which Missouri is entitled.
12.3 All delegates to the Libertarian Party National Convention must be of a sufficient age to make them eligible to vote in an election during the same year as the Convention, unless approved by two-thirds of the state’s credentialed delegates for the current session.
ARTICLE 13 — PRESIDENTIAL PREFERENCE PRIMARIES
13.1 During years in which the State of Missouri conducts a presidential primary, a summary of the Missouri statutory filing requirements and key dates relative to presidential primaries shall be prepared with references to the applicable Missouri statutes. This data shall, upon request, be made available to potential candidates by the Secretary of the MoLP no later than fifteen days subsequent to the receipt of said request.
13.2 During years in which the State of Missouri conducts a presidential primary prior to the State Convention’s final selection of national delegates, Congressional District caucuses shall be held to choose the Congressional District’s delegates from each Congressional District in accordance with applicable Missouri statutes.
ARTICLE 14 — AMENDMENTS
14.1 Amendments to these bylaws of the Missouri Libertarian Party should be made by the State Committee at the State Convention and shall require a two-thirds vote of those State Committee members present and voting in favor. Amendments shall be given to the party Secretary and distributed to the State Committee members 30 days prior to the Convention.
14.2 Between Conventions, amendments may be made by the State Committee to change those provisions which are not in accordance with Missouri and Federal law. The amendments may be made by using the following procedure. The proposed amendment(s) and notice of special meeting date, time and place shall be sent by the party Secretary to all State Committee members, in writing, at least 30 days prior to the scheduled State Committee meeting. The amendment(s) shall require a two-thirds vote of those State Committee members present and voting.
ARTICLE 15 — PARTISAN ELECTION CANDIDATE SELECTION
15.1 Selection of candidates for partisan elective office shall be in accordance with Missouri statutes.
Per section 115.357.2 RSMo, the MoLP will allow candidates to submit their filing fee to the election officials of the office of the Secretary of State (SOS) for forwarding to the Party. The officials of the MoLP are not to adopt the common practice of instructing the officials of the Secretary of State not to take candidate filing fees.
On the first day of filing in Jefferson City for the August Primary, no filing fees are to be accepted from any candidate for United States Senate, Governor, Lt. Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, Treasurer or Auditor unless that candidate has e-mailed to the contact address for the Missouri Libertarian Party on the LPMO.org website notice of their intention to run at least two weeks prior.
Officials of the MoLP can only accept filing fees or issue a receipt to any candidate who wants their name to appear on our ballot in the August Primary on the first day of filing. Thereafter, election officials of the SOS office shall collect the filing fees and forward to the Treasurer of the MoLP as 115.357.2 requires to be done promptly. The MoLP has two weeks from the time the filing fees are received to provide a written refusal to the SOS, indicating a denial of that candidate to run as a Libertarian. If written refusal is not provided, receipt shall be considered given to the candidate.
15.2 The State Committee may refuse acceptance of a candidates filing fee for a partisan election, thus preventing the candidate from running for partisan elective office on the Libertarian Party ballot as follows:
Refusing acceptance of a candidates filing fee shall require approval by two-thirds of the State Committee in attendance and voting.
The State Committee has two weeks from close of candidate filing to consider refusing acceptance of a candidate’s filing fee.
State Committee members shall be given at least one week notice that a special State Committee meeting is being called to consider motions to refuse acceptance of candidate filing fees and which candidates are to be considered,
Candidates subject to consideration by the State Committee for refusal of their candidate filing fee shall be given at least one week notice and invited to participate in the State Committee meeting,
The Secretary shall inform the Missouri Secretary of State and the candidate in writing that the Missouri Libertarian Party refused acceptance of the candidate filing fee.
The Treasurer shall return any filing fee received to candidates whose filing fee has been refused by the State Committee.