Policies & Procedures of the Ballot Access Committee

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I. Mission Statement

The GPUS Ballot Access Committee (BAC) will work to assist Greens in achieving ballot access through petitioning and other initiatives, lobbying initiatives, and legal initiatives. BAC will work in conjunction with state and local parties, Green candidates, outside organizations, and other GPUS committees and in coalition with national and regional ballot access efforts to expand ballot access opportunities for Greens through petitioning, lobbying, and legal initiatives, and by so doing work to expand the Ten Key Values of the Green Party.

II. Committee Structure

A. Voting Membership. The voting membership of the committee shall consist of Green Party members from the various state parties and caucuses who have been approved to serve by their state party or caucus. No state party or caucus shall have more than three voting members on the committee. Each voting member, not each state or caucus, is entitled to one vote.

B. Advisors and Observers. The voting members of the committee may at their pleasure approve committee advisors and/or observers who are not voting members from states or caucuses, per the decision making process specified in these policies and procedures.

C. Inactivity. Members who have not participated on-line, in subcommittees, or on teleconferences in the last three months shall be considered inactive members and shall not be counted toward a quorum. An updated roster shall be sent to the e-mail list at least every three months.

D. Co-Chairs.

  1. Two co-chairs, preferably reflecting gender balance, shall be elected with staggered terms of two years each. If more than two candidates are nominated, the committee shall vote using IRV (with a Droop threshold.) Members may nominate themselves. Vacancies shall cause a vote for a replacement co-chair. A recall election of a chair may be called, following the procedure for any proposal.
  2. The responsibilities of the co-chairs shall include keeping the committee on task, maintaining a current roster of committee members, conducting votes, and communicating with NC and SC members for the Ballot Access Committee and its subcommittees. Co-chairs shall submit formal reports on at least a quarterly basis to the CC list detailing committee activities. The co-chairs shall come to explicit agreement and continue to consult with each other about how their joint responsibility is to be shared.

E. Ballot Access Working Group. There will be a continuing Ballot Access Working Group (BAWG) with open membership and an open email listserv. BAWG members who are not also voting members can be removed or otherwise sanctioned by the standard decision-making process outlined in these policies and procedures.

F. Other Subcommittees and Working Groups. The voting membership of the committee may at their pleasure create working groups and subcommittees.

III. Committee Membership

A. Joining the Committee

1. New members shall be verified by written permission from their state party or caucus to serve on the committee.

2. No new member from a state party or caucus shall be seated if that individual exceeds the state party or caucus’s allocated three members on the committee, until such time that the state party or caucus clarifies which member(s) are to be removed.

3. State parties and caucuses, through their co-chairs or other appropriate officers, may change permission status for any committee member from their state at any time, subject to GPUS Bylaws.

B. Sanction or Removal of Members

1. The committee is expressly prohibited from using disagreements regarding differing views on issues and/or business before the committee as a cause for sanction or elimination of membership privileges.

2. The committee and its members have a responsibility for maintaining an open, civil, productive working environment, whether meeting in person, by telephone, online, or by any other means. The committee shall not tolerate actions including:

a. Misrepresentation of the committee’s or a member’s work;
b. Financial improprieties;
c. Violent personal attacks and/or threats, verbal or physical;
d. Discrimination against federal or state (where applicable)
protected classes;
e. Harassment;
f. Any other unethical or illegal activities related to committee business or function.

3. Inappropriate actions as outlined above can lead to sanction, suspension of privileges, or termination of membership via the processes described below.

4. If at all feasible, the committee shall take steps to maintain a productive working environment prior to sanction, suspension of privileges, or removal. These steps may include:

a. Communication with the member’s state party or caucus requesting they intercede with the committee member regarding the behavior(s) in question.

b. Use of facilitation, counseling, mediation, and/or arbitration services, as provided through the Dispute Resolution Committee or a mutually agreed upon outside source if necessary, which shall be encouraged and expected.

5. A petition specifying charge(s) and proposed action(s) may be filed by any three or more members of the committee from three different states (hereafter known as “the petitioners”) to require the committee co-chair(s) to initiate and administrate formal action to curtail membership privileges. Upon receipt of any such petition, the co-chair(s) shall forward the petition to the state party or caucus that the member represents.

6. A 2/3 quorum and 2/3 vote, by state, of the committee, shall be sufficient to confirm the charges and the initiate the action(s) detailed in the petition.

7. The committee co-chair(s) shall initiate and execute the approved action(s) and notify the member immediately following the vote.

8. In limited cases such as violent threats and/or harassment, the co-chair(s) have the discretion to suspend listserv privileges pending a vote of the committee.

9. After the member has been informed of disciplinary action, the co-chair(s) shall, in writing, notify the GPUS National Committee and the state party or caucus the member represents of the action taken.

10. The committee member in question may, within seven (7) days of these postings, appeal the committee’s action by notifying the GPUS Secretary of the appeal. The Secretary shall forward the appeal to the National Committee.

11. Per GPUS bylaws and rules, any state party or caucus may put forward a proposal to the National Committee to lessen or overturn the action of the committee. A majority vote of the National Committee shall be sufficient to pass the proposal

IV. Decision-Making

A. The voting membership shall attempt to reach consensus on all proposals.

B. Failing consensus, a two-thirds majority vote is required for approval for all substantive decisions. Substantive decisions shall include any decisions involving the outlay of funds or other tangible resources, changes to committee rules, or formal statements being made by the committee. For non-substantive proposals including procedural ones, a majority vote is required for approval.

C. The committee shall maintain an email listserv for committee business and formal decision-making.

D. Teleconferences. The committee shall, as needed, conduct teleconferences for specific purposes. Notice of any committee teleconference shall be sent out to the e-mail list at least one week in advance and a reminder sent out two days before the teleconference. Such notice shall include a proposed agenda.

E. For online votes, quorum for decision-making shall consist of one-fifth of voting members from one-fifth of represented state parties and caucuses. Proposals considered online must allow for at least seven days of voting; upon any syntactical change to a proposal, a new seven-day period must begin.

F. For teleconference votes, quorum for decision-making shall consist of a majority of voting members from at least one-third of represented state parties and caucuses. Failing quorum on a teleconference, decisions will be reported out for a seven-day voting period on the listserv.

G. At face-to-face meetings at GPUS national meetings, quorum for decision-making shall consist of a majority of voting members from at least one-third of represented state parties and caucuses. Failing quorum on a teleconference, decisions will be reported out for a seven-day voting period on the listserv.