Bylaws and Convention Rules of Order
Adopted by the State Committee at the 2023 MOLP Convention on May 20, 2023.
ARTICLE I – NAME AND PURPOSE
1.1 – The name of this organization shall be the “Missouri Libertarian Party”, hereinafter referred to as “MoLP” or “the Party.”
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 II – DURATION AND DISSOLUTION
2.1 – The duration of the Party shall be perpetual. Dissolution of the Party shall require a seven-eighths (7/8) vote of the entire State Committee.
2.2 – In the event of dissolution of the corporation/organization, the Executive Committee shall determine the distribution of any funds held in the Party’s account(s). Distributions shall be made in the following order:
- Donations made in the current calendar quarter shall be returned to donors to the greatest extent possible.
- If an election year, distributed as evenly as possible to candidates running for Missouri office as a Libertarian up to the legal maximum, or a lesser amount if requested by the candidate.
- Distributions in this section shall be offered first to statewide candidates, then to candidates for State Senate, then to candidates for State Representative.
- Donated to Libertarian-oriented political organizations or charitable organizations.
ARTICLE III – MEMBERSHIP
3.1 – Membership (“General Membership”) in the MoLP shall be conferred upon any registered Missouri voter who:
- Has made a total cumulative contribution to the MoLP in the previous 12 months of at least $25.
3.2 – Party members are entitled to vote (“Voting Membership”) on MoLP platform, resolutions, and Executive Committee elections at the State Convention by fulfilling at least one of the following criteria:
- Current service as a Missouri County or City committeeman or committeewoman, per Missouri state statutes; or
- Current service on the MoLP State Committee, as defined in Missouri state statutes; or
- Current service on the MoLP Executive Committee; or
- Any registered Missouri voter who:
- is a Life member of the national Libertarian Party; or
- has run as a Libertarian candidate in a partisan election in the state of Missouri dating back to the most recent national Congressional election; or
- Has made a contribution to the party of at least $250 during the current calendar year, or during the previous calendar year as prepayment for the current calendar year, or has given recurring donations totaling at least $25 a month for at least ten consecutive months AND has been a member for at least 60 days; or
- Has made a contribution to the party of at least $120 during the current calendar year, or during the previous calendar year as prepayment for the current calendar year, or has given recurring donations totaling at least $10 a month for at least ten consecutive months AND has been a member for at least 365 days.
3.3 – A party member may be disciplined by the State Committee, including censure or suspension, if he or she:
- Maliciously misrepresents MoLP positions to the public; or
- Commits an act of fraud and/or violence; or
- Knowingly violates these bylaws; or
- Commits an act deemed prejudicial to MoLP’s best interests.
3.4 – The Executive Committee may propose a member’s expulsion to the State Committee.
3.5 – In all cases of censure, suspension, or expulsion, no less than 15 days notice must be provided to all State Committee members and the member facing discipline. Such motions must earn a three-quarters majority of the whole State Committee to pass. No motion for disciplinary action may affect multiple members.
3.6 – No person who is a current General Member or Voting Member at the adoption of this article shall lose their current membership status for calendar year 2023 for failure to qualify under the provisions of this article as amended. This clause shall automatically expire on January 1, 2024, and be removed from the bylaws as of that date.
ARTICLE IV – THE STATE COMMITTEE
4.1 – The State Committee shall be constituted as nearly as feasible in accordance with Missouri statutes. In even-numbered years, the members of each Senate district committee shall meet on the second Saturday following the general election and elect its members to the State Committee. Election results shall be reported to the Secretary no later than December 31. The transition from one State Committee to the next shall occur at the Call to Order of the following year’s State Convention.
4.2 – The State Committee shall have the authority to pass and amend bylaws, raise money, maintain bank accounts, authorize expenditures, form committees, elect and assign duties to its Officers, and appoint agents to act on its behalf.
4.3 – The State Committee shall meet for business at least once per year, at the State Convention.
4.4 – The State Committee may be called to meet for other purposes outside of its regular meetings as deemed necessary by the Chair. Additionally, if forty percent (40%) of the members of the State Committee request that the Chair call a special purpose meeting, he or she shall be required to do so within 15 days.
4.5 – The State Committee may hold its meetings and votes via electronic methods as determined by the Chair.
ARTICLE V – THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
5.1 – An Executive Committee, as defined herein, shall be authorized to act on behalf of the State Committee 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. All votes of the Executive Committee shall be taken by roll call and recorded by the Secretary.
5.2 – The Executive Committee shall consist of the elected officers of the MoLP, and one representative elected from each U.S. Congressional District in Missouri, chosen by the voting members of the party in attendance at the State Convention residing in that Congressional District. The voting members in each Congressional District shall also elect an alternate, who shall be entitled to vote in the absence of the Congressional District’s elected representative. Additionally, four representatives shall be elected at-large by the State Committee. All Executive Committee representatives and alternates must be Voting Members of the MoLP as defined in section 3.2.
Proviso: Change to 5.2 takes effect for the 2024 Convention.
5.3 – Election of members and alternates to the Executive Committee may be by secret ballot. Candidates shall be confirmed as elected only if attaining a majority of the votes cast. In races with more than two candidates, if no candidate attains a majority, the candidate with the fewest votes shall be eliminated and another round of voting shall be held between the remaining candidates. In all rounds of voting after the first, any ballot submitted for an eliminated candidate shall be considered spoiled and not counted.
5.4 – The Executive Committee shall serve for a period from the end of the State Convention at which they are elected through the end of the following State Convention. Vacancies occurring during a term shall be filled by promoting the Congressional District’s alternate and electing a new alternate. The new alternate shall be selected by the State Committee members residing within the Congressional District holding the vacancy. If there is no alternate available, State Committee members residing within the Congressional District with the vacancy shall elect a new representative and alternate.
5.5 – The Executive Committee shall meet on the last Sunday of each month unless the date is altered by a majority vote of the entire Executive Committee All Executive Committee members shall be given reasonable notice of when and where each meeting will be held. The Executive Committee may, by a two-thirds majority of the entire committee, vote to skip a monthly meeting.
5.6 – The Executive Committee may hold its meetings and votes via electronic methods as determined by the Chair.
5.7 – Any Congressional District representative who is absent from three consecutive regularly scheduled Executive Committee meetings without giving prior notice to the Chair shall be removed from the Executive Committee. The State Committee members from that Congressional District may reappoint the removed member as the alternate.
ARTICLE VI – STATE OFFICERS
6.1 – The Officers of the MoLP shall consist of a Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer.
6.2 – Officers may be elected by secret ballot at the State Convention by the newly-elected State Committee in odd-numbered years. Those elected shall take office upon adjournment sine die of the State Convention. They shall serve for a term lasting from the end of the State Convention at which they are elected through the State Convention held in the next odd-numbered year.
6.3 – The Chair shall be the Chief Executive Officer of the Party. They are responsible for calling meetings of the State Committee and the Executive Committee, presiding over all State Committee and Executive Committee meetings, serving as the official spokesperson of the MoLP, and appointing persons and/or performing other duties as authorized by the State Committee and these bylaws.
6.4 – The Vice Chair shall act as Chair in the event of the Chair’s inability or unwillingness to perform actions required by these bylaws and/or Missouri law. Additionally, the Vice Chair shall chair the Convention Organizing Committee.
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 filed timely and that any updates to the Registered Office and/or Corporate Officers are filed timely with the Missouri Secretary of State.
6.6 – The Treasurer shall be the Chief Financial Officer of the Party. They 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. The Treasurer shall prepare a full financial report at least quarterly for distribution to the Executive Committee. The Treasurer must submit an annual financial report to the State Committee at the State Convention.
6.7 – Should a vacancy occur in any officer’s position other than Chair, that office shall be filled by appointment of the State Committee in a special meeting called for that purpose. 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.
6.8 – Officers may delegate portions of their responsibilities with the approval of the Executive Committee.
6.9 – Impeachment charges may be brought against any officer 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, the question shall be deferred until the next regularly scheduled meeting. If the Chair is the officer charged, then the next highest ranking officer will preside over the proceedings in this order: Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer. Impeachment shall be only upon approval of two-thirds of the entire Executive Committee.
ARTICLE VII – OTHER COMMITTEES REQUIRED BY STATE LAW
7.1 – The Party shall maintain committees as required by state law.
7.2 – The Secretary shall maintain a list of those persons who, by virtue of their service on county-level affiliates, automatically become members of these district committees. If a county covers multiple districts of the same type, the county Chair shall maintain said list and provide it to the Secretary, with updates as needed.
ARTICLE VIII – STANDING COMMITTEES AND DIRECTORS
8.1 – The Party shall maintain the following Standing Committees:
- Membership and Outreach
- Convention Organization
- Legislative Action
8.2 – The Platform Committee shall consist of up to seven members, appointed by the Executive Committee. The Platform Committee is tasked with recommending alterations to the MoLP Platform at the next State Convention.
8.3 – The Bylaws Committee shall consist of up to seven members, appointed by the Executive Committee. The Bylaws Committee is tasked with recommending additions, subtractions, and amendments to the MoLP Bylaws to the next State Convention.
8.4 – The Membership and Outreach Committee shall consist of up to five members, all of which shall be appointed by the Executive Committee. Its task is to organize events and messages to bolster membership. This Committee shall nominate the Party’s Social Media Director, who will be responsible for the Party’s various social media presences. The Executive Committee must confirm the nomination of the Social Media Director.
8.5 – The Convention Organization Committee shall consist of up to five members, including the Party Vice Chair, who shall act as its Chair. The Executive Committee shall appoint the remaining four members. Its task is to organize the next upcoming State Convention.
8.6 – The Legislative Action Committee shall consist of up to five members. The Executive Committee shall appoint all members. Its task is to serve as the principal point of contact between the Party and the Missouri General Assembly in communicating the Party’s official positions on upcoming legislation. They shall also coordinate efforts among the membership to affect changes to pending legislation through legislator interaction, including phone calls, letter writing, in-person meetings, providing testimony, and any other methods they shall deem acceptable. The Chair and Vice Chair shall serve as ex officio members of this committee, not counting against the five-member maximum.
8.7 – All Executive Committee appointments shall be made at its second meeting after the State Convention. The Secretary shall solicit volunteer applications for service on committees and transmit them to the Executive Committee. Applications shall be open from the Call to Order at the State Convention to a date 7 days before the Executive Committee makes its appointments.
8.8 – All committees shall elect a committee Chair and Secretary. Except in the case of the Vice Chair’s status on the Convention Organization Committee, no party officer shall serve as a committee officer without the approval of a majority of the Executive Committee.
ARTICLE IX – COUNTY AFFILIATES
9.1 – Members may form County affiliates as provided by Missouri state statutes. Only one affiliate may exist per county.
9.2 – County affiliates shall not be recognized by the MoLP until the Secretary is provided written notice of the formation of the affiliate, including a list of its members and officers.
9.3 – County affiliates shall notify the Chair and the Secretary of changes to their officers.
ARTICLE X – USE OF PARTY FUNDS
10.1 – The State or Executive Committee must approve in advance the expenditure of any party funds. The State or Executive Committee may, but is not obligated to, reimburse funds expended by a member without prior authorization.
ARTICLE XI – STATE CONVENTION AND NOMINATING CONVENTION
11.1 – A State Convention shall be held annually on the weekend prior to the last Tuesday in February. The time and place of the State Convention shall be determined by the Convention Organization Committee. Written notice of the Convention date, time, place, and any proposed bylaws or platform changes shall be given by the Secretary to all State Committee members at least 30 days prior to the Convention. However, this does not preclude amendments to the changes from the floor.
11.2 – The purpose of the State Convention shall be to select the Executive Committee, select delegates to the Libertarian National Convention (if applicable), amend the MOLP bylaws through the State Committee, and amend the MOLP Platform.
11.3 – The state officers shall serve as officers of the State Convention, unless unable to do so. If the Chair and Vice Chair are both unable to serve as Convention Chair, the Voting Members present shall vote to appoint a Convention Chair. The Convention Chair shall have the authority to appoint a Convention Secretary if the party Secretary is unable or unwilling to serve in that capacity.
11.4 – All voting delegates to State Conventions must be Voting Members in good standing of the Missouri Libertarian Party, as defined in section 3.2, and must have been a member of the MoLP for at least 60 days prior to the start of the Convention. Adopting platform changes shall require a two-thirds vote of those members present and voting.
11.5 – Only Voting Members present on the convention floor may vote. No proxy voting is permitted.
ARTICLE XII – PROCEDURAL RULES AND PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY
12.1 – The rules governing the conduct of State Committee meetings, Executive Committee meetings, and the State Convention shall be Robert’s Rules of Order as most recently revised. In accordance with RONR, if there is a disagreement between RONR and these bylaws, the bylaws take precedence.
12.2 – A quorum at State Committee meetings and Executive Committee meetings shall exist if a majority of the membership of the committee is present in-person or via telecommunications.
12.3 – Only members present, either in-person or via telecommunications, may vote at meetings of the State Committee and Executive Committee. No absentee or proxy voting shall be allowed, except that duly elected alternates may vote in place of absent district representatives.
ARTICLE XIII – NATIONAL CONVENTION DELEGATION
13.1 – Only those persons who qualify as General Members or Voting Members as of January 1 the year of a National Convention shall be eligible to apply to be a delegate. An application list shall be opened beginning with the Call to Order of the State Convention in applicable years.
13.2 – The Delegate List shall be an ordered list. Upon the close of nominations, the Delegate List shall be constituted via Approval Voting ballot. The top X candidates by votes received, where X is the number of seats to be filled, shall be elected as Primary Delegates. The remaining candidates shall be alternates, ranked in descending order from most votes to least votes.
13.3 – The Chair and Vice Chair shall serve as Delegation Chair and Delegation Vice Chair at the Libertarian National Convention, if attending. If the Chair is not attending, the Vice Chair shall act as Delegation Chair and a Delegation Vice Chair shall be elected by the delegation. If neither the Chair nor Vice Chair is in attendance, the delegation shall elect both a Delegation Chair and Delegation Vice Chair.
13.4 – The Delegation Chair shall be responsible for the following actions related to the National Convention:
- Submission of the list of delegates and alternates to the national party before the deadline set by the national party.
- Entry into a Regional Agreement with other state parties on behalf of the MOLP.
- Ensuring that the MOLP delegation is fully represented at all times by substituting alternates as needed during convention business.
13.5 – The Delegation Chair may, if any Missouri delegate seats are vacant with no elected alternate to fill them, accept other qualified party members present at the National Convention as Missouri delegates. For the purposes of this clause, Missouri residents shall be considered before any out-of-state party members would be considered. Any such acceptance shall require the approval of two-thirds of the credentialed Missouri delegates.
ARTICLE XIV – PRESIDENTIAL PREFERENCE PRIMARIES
14.1 – 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.
14.2 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 XV – AMENDMENTS
15.1 – Amendments to these bylaws shall be offered by the Bylaws Committee via its report at the State Convention. Additional amendments may be offered by State Committee or Executive Committee members by submitting a written copy to the Secretary no less than 30 days prior to the Convention. Bylaws amendments, regardless of source, shall require a two-thirds majority to pass. The State Committee may take up unnoticed bylaws amendments made from the floor during the State Convention.
15.2 – Between Conventions, amendments may be made by the State Committee to change provisions which are not in accordance with Missouri and Federal law. The proposed amendments and notice of special meeting date, time, and place shall be sent by the Secretary to all State Committee members, in writing, at least 30 days prior to the scheduled State Committee meeting at which they are to be considered. The amendments shall require a two-thirds vote of those State Committee members present and voting.
ARTICLE XVI – PARTISAN ELECTION CANDIDATE SELECTION
16.1 – 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 MoLP shall not adopt the common practice of instructing the Secretary of State not to take candidate filing fees.
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 in the Secretary of State’s office shall collect the filing fees and forward them to the Treasurer of the MoLP promptly, as required by law. 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.
16.2 – Until four days prior to the filing deadline, the Treasurer shall immediately forward to the Executive Committee the name and pertinent information of each prospective candidate. Any member may object to the acceptance of the filing fee, provide the commute with relevant information, and a vote shall be taken by email, with the final tally to be determined 24 hours after the forwarding of the name by the Treasurer. If a majority should so vote, the filing shall be rejected.
On or after the fourth day prior to the filing deadline, but at least five hours prior to the deadline, the same process shall be followed, except that the final tally shall be determined 4 hours after the forwarding of the name by the Treasurer, or 9:00 am the following day if such forwarding shall take place after 5:00 pm.
On the final day of filing, the Treasurer shall confer with the Chair prior to the acceptance of the filing fee, and shall reject the filing fee upon information deemed sufficient for rejection by either the Treasurer and the Chair.
16.3 – If any candidate’s filing fee is refused by the State Committee, the Secretary shall inform the Missouri Secretary of State and the candidate, in writing, that the Missouri Libertarian Party refused acceptance of the candidate’s filing fee.
16.4 – The Treasurer shall return any filing fee received to candidates whose filing fee has been refused by the State Committee.
16.5 – All filing fees collected from candidates shall be earmarked by the party for spending directly on that candidate’s campaign or on other overall marketing for the Missouri Libertarian Party political campaigns for that calendar year. Campaign expenditures shall be determined by the Executive Committee.
CONVENTION SPECIAL RULES OF ORDER
RULE 1: ORDER OF BUSINESS
The standard order of business during the Convention shall be as follows:
- Call To Order
- Credentialing of State Committee
- Adoption of Agenda
- Chair’s Report
- Treasurer’s Report
- Election of Officers (odd-numbered years only)
- Vice Chair
- Election of Executive Committee
- Nominating Convention (even-numbered years only)
- Nomination of Delegates and Alternates to National Convention (even-numbered years)
- Bylaws Committee Report
- Platform Committee Report
- Other Business
RULE 2: VOTING PROCEDURE, MOTIONS, AND RESOLUTIONS
- On all matters, except for officer elections and bylaws amendments, all Voting Members present may vote. Officer elections and bylaws amendments shall be limited to State Committee members, as required by state statute.
- All votes, except for officer elections, shall be by either voice vote or rising vote. If any qualifying voter objects to the Chair’s ruling on the outcome of a voice vote, a rising vote shall be conducted. If one-fourth of the qualifying voters object to the Chair’s ruling on the outcome of a rising vote, a counted vote shall be held.
- The Chair may require any motion from the floor to be in written form, signed by the mover, and submitted to the Secretary.
- All resolutions must be in written form, signed by the mover, and submitted to the Secretary.
- Resolutions shall require a majority to pass.
RULE 3: ELECTION OF OFFICERS
- Nominations for officers shall be from the floor.
- The election of officers shall be conducted in the following manner:
- For each office, a majority is required for election.
- All contested votes may be conducted by secret written ballot, upon request. If no candidate receives a majority, the candidate with the fewest votes shall be dropped from succeeding rounds of voting.
- Nominations may be made by any member of the State Committee present, provided he or she has the candidate’s permission. Nominating speeches shall be limited to two minutes in duration.
- Each nominee shall have the right to make a speech, not to exceed two minutes in length, advocating their election.
- The Secretary shall provide each State Committee member present a voting slip, with office and ballot pre-filled, substantially in this form:
PREFERRED CANDIDATE: _______________________________
- The Secretary, or his or her designee, shall be responsible for the counting of votes for all officer elections unless the Secretary is a candidate, in which case the State Committee shall nominate a neutral party.
- The Secretary shall maintain the voting slips for all rounds for all offices until the end of the convention for review by any member of the State Committee.