2016 O’Brien County Convention Book

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O’Brien County Convention














Place:  O’Brien County Convention                                                                                                                                Saturday, March 12th 2016                                                                                                                                Assembly Room of the O’Brien County Courthouse                                                                                              155 S. Hayes Ave, Primghar   Iowa










Delegate Fee: $10.00


ALTERNATE FEE:  NONE for unseated Alternates wishing to attend


The delegate fee is not mandatory and the Iowa Democratic Party Constitution states: “No delegate’s right to fully participate or vote in any convention shall be dependent on the payment of a delegate fee.”




Dear O’Brien County Democrats,

Welcome to our 2016 County Convention.  I’ve been very impressed with all the hard work so many of you have done to support our Presidential candidates.  Many of you have diligently knocked on doors, made phone calls, or held events in your communities.

At our county convention we will look to the future by electing delegates to the District Convention to be held on Saturday, April 30th in Ames.   Between now and then, those elected to the various committees will devote countless hours to organizing the convention details, creating the rules that we will operate by, and developing our platform.

My hope is that all of you will remain active in our county committee well into the future.  We have a lot of work to do.  We need to elect a President and work to retire both Senator Grassley and Congressman Steve King.

Again, many thanks for what you do!




Kim Weaver

Chair, O’Brien County Democrats




  1. The Temporary Chair shall convene the convention within fifteen (15) minutes of the scheduled time.
  2. The Temporary Chair shall appoint a Temporary Secretary, a Temporary Parliamentarian, a Temporary Timekeeper, and a Temporary Sergeant‑at‑Arms.
  • The Temporary Chair shall ask for a motion to adopt as the temporary rules the rules as set out in the report of the Rules and Nominations Committee.
  1. Speakers to the Convention:
    1. City and County Candidates – up to 5 minutes each
    2. State Representative – up to 10 minutes each
    3. Congressional Candidates – up to 15 minutes each
    4. State-wide Candidates – up to 15 minutes each
  2. Report of the Credentials Committee. (Quorum)
  3. Election of permanent Convention Chair and appointment of permanent Secretary, Parliamentarian, and Sergeant-at-Arms.
  • The Chair of the Rules and Nominations Committee will present the Report of the Rules and Nominations Committee and move the adoption of the report as the permanent rules of the Convention.
  • Resolutions to Adopt Amendments to the Constitution of the O’Brien County Democratic Party.
  1. Nomination and election of delegates and alternates to the District and State Conventions.
  2. Nomination and election of District Convention Committee members.
  3. Nomination and election of the County Affirmative Action Committee Chair.
  • Report of the Platform Committee
  • Ratification of Elections.
  • Other business to come before the Convention.






  1. Delegate registration shall remain open for one hour after the convention is scheduled to convene. However, as soon as the Credentials Committee reports to the convention that a quorum of authorized delegates has been seated, the convention may transact official and binding business. 
  2. The determination of preference groups and the strength of preference groups shall not be made until all delegates have been received and approved by the county convention.
  3. Delegates shall be considered to have aligned with a preference group when they are registered for the convention. A delegate shall be required to designate his/her preference group at the time of his/her registration, and a delegate who refuses to designate a preference group shall be registered by the Credentials Committee as uncommitted.  Delegates are not required to align with the same preference group that selected them at the caucuses.
  4. The Credentials Committee of the Convention shall have the responsibility of determining the number of delegates within each preference group, and shall, upon completion of registration, present a report to inform the convention of the size of each preference group.



The report of the Credentials Committee, certifying a quorum, shall be acted upon before the consideration of other official business.  A quorum for purposes of this section shall mean forty percent (40%) of the total accredited delegates to the Convention.  The Temporary Convention Chair shall recognize the Chair of the Credentials Committee to present the Committee’s report.

The Chair of the Credentials Committee may present Committee amendments and may yield for the presentation and disposition of minority reports without losing the right to the floor.  Quorum for our convention is 22



If a delegate is not present at the Convention as specified by the Call to Convention, the Credentials Committee will seat alternate delegates.



If a delegate is unable to attend all or part of the convention, an alternate may take his or her place.

(Those without an Alternate Assignment Form will be seated beginning at 11:00 A.M.):

  1. A delegate may name his or her own alternate in writing on the designated form to the credentials committee.
  2. If a delegate fails to name an alternate, the credentials committee shall seat an alternate based on the following priority order.
    1. Alternates of the same preference group and precinct as the delegate on a first come, first served basis.
    2. Alternates of the same preference group and geographically similar precinct as the delegate.
    3. Alternates of the same preference group in any precinct.
  3. When an alternate has been designated by a duly elected delegate, he/she shall do so only until the originally elected delegate shall appear at the convention and request of the credentials committee chair his/her right to be seated. At such time, the alternate shall turn over his/her credentials and balloting material to the duly elected delegate. However, if the alternate has been selected by the credentials committee per the above rules, and the duly elected delegate has failed to select an alternate, the alternate shall have the right to retain his/her position as a delegate despite the presence of the duly elected delegate. In the event of a dispute between the alternate and the delegate claiming to be duly elected, the preference group delegation immediately resolves the dispute and informs the credentials committee of the resolution of the problem. Either the alternate or the claimed to be duly elected delegate may appeal immediately the decision of the precinct delegation to the conventions credentials committee. The convention shall uphold or overrule, if requested, the decision of the credentials committee. The business of the convention shall continue, unabated, during the resolution of this dispute.
  4. If any of the foregoing methods of alternate seating are not used, the proposed alternate shall not be seated.
  5. The Credentials Committee shall seat, as expeditiously as possible, any alternate who presents to them, either before or on the day of the convention, proper convention credentials from the appropriate designated representative. The Credentials Committee shall substitute the name of the alternate in place of the delegate for the official convention record.



  1. Special Order Of Business

It shall be in order, at any time, for the Rules and Nomination Committee to report to the Convention a resolution providing a special order of business, for debate on any resolution, motion, committee report or minority report or amendments to a committee report or for the consideration of any matter for which provision is not made elsewhere in these rules.

  1. Powers And Duties Of The Chair

It shall be the responsibility of the Chair to conduct and expedite the business of the Convention and to preserve order and decorum.  The Chair is authorized to:

  1. Appoint a secretary and such other officers as may be required to assist in the conduct of the business of the Convention. (EX: Parliamentarian, vote estimators, and/or tellers)
  2. Appoint any delegate temporarily to perform the duties of the Chair.
  3. Take such lawful action as may be appropriate and necessary to preserve order.
  4. Voting
  5. Except as otherwise required, voting shall be by voice vote and in case of doubt, by standing division. A ballot may be ordered only after a standing division, upon a motion that is seconded and supported by a standing vote of more than fifty per cent (50%) of the authorized delegate body present.  The Chair will make the determination as to when a ballot vote shall be used.
  6. All questions, except as specified within these rules, shall be determined by a majority vote of the delegates present and voting.
  7. When the question has been put, the vote thereon may not be interrupted for any purpose other than for a point of order directed to the conduct of the vote.
  8. The Rules and Nominations Committee shall collect and count the ballots and the Chair of that committee shall provide the Convention Chair with the written results.
  9. During the counting of the votes on any issue, the Chair of the Convention may place a new main motion on the floor and return to the previous motion after the counting is completed.
  10. Appeals

The Chair shall decide all questions of order, subject to any delegate’s appeal which may be debated for not more than six (6) minutes.  The time will be equally divided between delegates appealing and delegates in favor of sustaining the ruling of the Chair.

An appeal shall not be in order:

  1. While another appeal is pending,
  2. From decisions on recognition,
  3. From decisions on dilatory motions,
  4. During a vote
  5. On a question on which an appeal has just been decided,
  6. When, in the opinion of the Chair, such an appeal is clearly dilatory. The Chair shall be entitled to briefly state the reasons for the ruling before the question is put to the Convention.
  7. Motion To Suspend The Rules

The Chair may entertain a motion to suspend the rules only for a stated purpose.  If seconded, the motion shall be decided without debate, but following an explanation by the Chair of the Rules and Nominations Committee as to the effect of suspending that one rule.  To carry, the motion shall require a vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the delegates present and voting, a quorum being present.

  1. Motions
  2. No question of privilege or any motion other than those provided under these rules shall be entertained, except the motion to recess, to a time certain or at the call of the Chair, which shall be privileged.
  3. Motions to recess shall be in order at any time, except when the question has been put or when a vote is in progress, and shall be decided without debate.  The Chair shall not entertain motions to recess when such motion, in the opinion of the Chair, is dilatory.
  4. A motion to recess shall be for a time period of not more than sixty (60) minutes.
  5. A motion to adjourn shall not be in order until all statutory and constitutional duties have been completed.
  6. Resolutions
  7. Resolutions from the floor will be accepted through the Platform Committee. Resolutions must be submitted within one-half (½) hour after the initial Credentials Committee report.
  8. All resolutions presented to the Platform Committee must be legibly written on the Resolution Submission Form or must be typewritten and include the same information as detailed on the Resolution Submission Form. All efforts will be made to provide equipment to aid in the typing of resolutions and amendments; however, there is no certainty that equipment will be available.
  9. Debate on any of the resolutions from the floor will follow the rules in Section I.
  10. Amendments
  11. The maker of the amendment shall provide the Chair with a typewritten copy of the amendment before it is introduced.
  12. Minority reports of committees shall not be considered by the Convention unless adopted by ten percent (10%) of the members of a committee present and voting at a committee meeting. Before it is introduced, the minority shall provide the Chair with a typewritten copy of their report that has been signed by the minority members.
  13. Debate
  14. Initial debate on any question shall be limited to a total of twelve (12) minutes and shall be equally divided between proponents and opponents, unless they or the Chair requests and the Convention as a whole approves a greater or lesser amount of time.
  15. Each speaker will be limited to one (1) minute during the time allowed for debate.
  16. On motions relating to debate time, the ruling of the Chair upon standing votes shall be final, appeals for roll call and ballot votes being out of order.
  17. Platform Debate. Debate of planks shall follow the same rules as all other issues.
  18. Quorum

Forty per cent (40%) of the accredited delegates shall constitute a quorum.  No motion questioning a quorum shall be in order after the delegates have indicated their preference for a candidate or issue during the nomination and delegate selection procedure.

  1. Robert’s Rules

When a point of order is not covered by these rules, or the approved Delegates Selection Plan, or the Rules and Nomination Committee Report, or the Iowa Democratic Party Constitution, or the charter of the Democratic Party of the United States, Robert’s Rules of Order, as most recently revised, shall be used as the authority.

  1. Ballots

A ballot shall be considered spoiled if:

  1. Plunking has occurred. Plunking is voting for less than the number of positions to be filled on a given round of balloting.  An example is voting for only one delegate when a round of balloting is to fill five positions.
  2. Railroad ballots have been separated,
  3. Voting for more candidates than instructed in any round of voting.
  4. The ballot is presented by someone other than a duly elected Delegate or officially seated Alternate.
  5. Alternates, Candidates, Press, And Guest Seating

Alternates, candidates, the press, and guests will be allowed in designated areas only and must have proper credentials from the Credentials Committee.

  1. Nomination And Election Of Permanent Chairperson

The Rules and Nominations Chair shall nominate the permanent chair of the Convention.  Nominations from the floor may be received.  The election of the permanent Chair shall proceed as outlined in Section C.

  1. Election Procedures for District/State Delegates and Alternates
  2. The chair of the Credentials Committee shall report the total number of delegate votes as certified by the Credentials Committee. “The Credentials Committee has certified 3 delegates to this convention.”  The chair of the Rules and Nominations Committee shall then report:  “There is a quorum present.  The convention shall elect three  (3) delegates to the District and State Conventions.  Viability is _______ (#) delegates.”
  3. All delegates and party members who desire to run for District and State delegate positions shall inform the chair of the Rules and Nominations Committee by signing the candidate registration form at the credentials table. This must be done prior to the election proceedings.
  4. Persons need not be present to be nominated, but a delegate must be present to vote. No proxy voting will be allowed.
  5. A candidate for a district/state delegate position need not be a delegate or alternate to the county convention but must be 18 years of age by Election Day, Tuesday, November 8, 2016, and be registered as a Democrat and reside within the county from which they are seeking election, they must support the purposes of the Iowa Democratic Party (those 17 years old who otherwise qualify as candidates for delegate positions, but are not within six months of their 18th birthday are exempted from the registration requirement).
  6. In accordance with the National Party Charter, delegates will vote using a signed or identified ballot.
  7. Candidates for the delegate positions shall be listed in alphabetical order and numbered. Additional nominations may be submitted from the floor.
    1. No more than a simple majority of the delegates to be elected by the Convention may be determined by one (1) round of voting. Each candidate must receive more than fifty per cent (50%) of the votes cast in order to be elected.  For example: if thirteen (13) people are seeking seven (7) positions, all of those voting shall write the names of four (4) candidates on the first ballot.  They must vote for four (4) different people.  Those who receive more than fifty per cent (50%) of the votes cast will be elected.  Additional ballots shall be cast until all positions are filled or there are no more candidates.
    2. If no candidate receives a majority of votes on any round, then the candidate who received the fewest votes shall have their names dropped for the next round of voting. Those names shall be added back in on succeeding rounds after someone is elected.
    3. All candidates receiving the same number of votes must, without violation of any other rule, either be defeated as a group or else elected as a group.
    4. Voting shall continue until all delegate positions are filled.
    5. If the number of candidates is less than or equal to the number of delegate positions to be filled, the Chair may entertain a motion to elect all candidates. Any remaining delegate positions may be filled by nomination from the floor.
    6. If the number of positions to fill is less than five (5), each elector shall vote for the number of candidates equal to the number of positions to be filled.
    7. No candidate may be elected with less than five (5) votes. All candidates receiving the same number of votes must, without violation of any other rule, either be defeated as a group or else elected as a group.
    8. The ballots shall be collected and counted under the authority of the Rules and Nominations Committee. The ballots shall be preserved for one (1) year.
    9. Those persons elected as district and state delegates shall be expected to attend those conventions as representatives of the county.
    10. The Convention shall then proceed to elect its alternate delegates. Any number of alternates may be elected.



The Nomination And Election Of District/State Delegates And Alternates By Preference Group

  1. The first realignment of delegates into preference groups shall take place following the final report of the credentials committee identifying the total number of delegates aligned with each preference group including Undecided. At this time, all delegates will be afforded a one (1) hour period to realign with other groups if they so desire.
  2. During this period, the convention may proceed with other business.
  3. Delegates at the county convention who choose to realign with a different presidential preference group during the first realignment period shall sign a statement that states: “I now support ___________________ for the Democratic nomination for President.” This statement of support shall be signed prior to voting for district/state convention delegates.
  4. Upon completion of the one (1) hour preference group realignment period, the credentials committee or their designee shall report to the convention the viable and nonviable groups’ status within the convention. Only members of nonviable groups shall then have a 30- minute period in which to realign into or with viable groups.
  5. Delegates at the county convention who choose to realign with a different presidential preference group during the second realignment period shall sign a statement that states: “I now support ___________________ for the Democratic nomination for President.” This statement of support shall be signed prior to voting for district/state convention delegates.
  6. The statements of realignment shall be labelled First Realignment and Second Realignment to ensure that the final decision of the delegate is recorded correctly.
  7. The number of district/state convention delegates to which a presidential preference or uncommitted group is entitled to elect shall be determined by multiplying the total number of delegates to be elected by the percentage of the total convention vote that each preference group represents. When a situation occurs where there are more viable preference groups than there are delegatesto be elected, the preference group(s) with the largest fraction shall be awarded the delegate(s) in question.
  8. The chair of the rules and nominations committee shall announce the number of delegates each preference group is entitled to elect to the district and state conventions. The convention will then divide into its respective preference groups – each seated delegate going to the preference group with which he or she is aligned.
  9. The arrangements committee shall afford delegates the proper facilities to complete this process.
  10. Each preference group shall elect a chair. All elections will be supervised and monitored by the appropriate rules committee chair or designee.
  11. The first formal action of the preference group chairs shall be to read the following statement: “All public meetings at all levels of the Democratic Party in Iowa shall be open to all members of the Democratic Party regardless of race, sex, age, color, creed, national origin, religion, ethnic identity, sexual orientation, gender identity, economic status, disability, or status. In order that the Democratic Party at all levels be an open Party, which includes rather than excludes people from participation, a program of effective affirmative action has been adopted by the Iowa Democratic Party. Discrimination on the basis of ‘status’ in the conduct of Iowa Democratic Party affairs is prohibited.”
  12. The procedure to be used within a presidential preference or an uncommitted group to elect district/state delegates is outlined in Section O of these rules.
  13. Each preference group shall then proceed to elect its alternates. Any number of alternates may be elected.   The alternates must be elected as individuals, not as a group, thus “all Democrats in O’Brien County” is not allowed. Careful record should be kept of the alternates elected, including names, addresses, phone numbers, and emails so as to avoid any confusion in seating the alternates at either the district or the state conventions.  The procedure to be used within a presidential preference or an uncommitted group to elect alternates to District/State Conventions is the same as that for the Delegates and is detailed in Article O of these Rules.
  14. The contact information for all duly elected delegates and alternates shall be collected by the preference group chair and provided to the credentials chair of the convention no later than 30 minutes after the conclusion of the convention.


  1. Q. Election of District Convention Committee Members
  2. The number of members to be elected by each county convention to the district convention committees has been apportioned in a manner using a proportional representation system based on the most recent presidential and gubernatorial results.
  3. O’Brien County will elect three (3) members to each of the district convention committees. The committee members shall be elected by the convention as a whole.
  4. If the county convention is to elect fewer than three (3) members to each of the district convention committees, then the committee members shall be elected by the convention at large.
    1. At least ten (10) days prior to the county conventions, each of the county convention committees shall nominate individuals to serve on the corresponding committee at the district conventions.
    2. Additional nominations may be made from the floor.
    3. When there are no further nominations or upon adoption of a motion to cease nominations, the convention chair shall, after giving any nominee the opportunity to decline the nomination, conduct an election to fill the allotted positions.
    4. The same voting rules as outline in Section O shall apply.
  5. If the county convention is to elect three (3) or more members to each of the district convention committees, then the committee members shall be apportioned and elected by preference group.
    1. The number of district convention committee members to be elected within preference groups shall be determined in the same manner that delegates are allocated to the preference groups – proportional to their percentage of the entire convention.
    2. At least ten (10) days prior to the county conventions, each of the county convention committees shall nominate individuals to serve on the corresponding committee at the district conventions.
    3. Additional nominations may be made from the floor.
    4. When there are no further nominations or upon adoption of a motion to cease nominations, the preference group chair shall, after giving any nominee the opportunity to decline the nomination, conduct an election to fill the allotted positions.
    5. The same voting rules as outline in Section O shall apply.
  6. A simple majority vote of the delegates present and voting shall be required to elect district convention committee members.
  7. A legible list of elected district convention committee members which includes name, address, phone number, and email address (if available) shall be provided to the chair of the respective committee to which elected.


  1. Nomination and Election of County Affirmative Action Committee Chair
  2. The Rules and Nominations Committee shall receive nominations for one (1) person to serve as the District Affirmative Action committee member. This person is also the chair of the County Affirmative Action Committee.
  3. When there are no further nominations, the Convention Chair shall, after giving any nominee the opportunity to decline their nomination, conduct the vote pursuant to Section C of these rules.


  1. Ratification of all Elections
  2. The entire Convention shall ratify the election of the entire slate of delegates, alternate delegates, and convention committee persons to the District and State Conventions. Ratification shall mean only that it is the sense of the Convention that the procedures used were in conformity to required procedures under the Constitution of the Iowa Democratic Party, and under applicable Convention procedure and rules.
  3. The standard policies concerning challenges and minority reports shall apply, with such being carried to the District Affirmative Action committee and then to the District Convention Credentials Committee.





2016 _______________________ COUNTY DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION






I (printed name), __________________________________________________________________, A DELEGATE FROM (precinct/township) ___________________________________________, ___________________________ COUNTY, IOWA

HEREBY AUTHORIZE _____________________________________________________________________________________



DELEGATE SIGNATURE___________________________________________________________________________________

DELEGATE ADDRESS (printed):__________________________________________________________________________

CITY_______________________________________ZIP_____________PHONE (________) ______________________________

ALTERNATE SIGNATURE__________________________________________________________________________________

ALTERNATE ADDRESS (printed):_________________________________________________________________________

CITY_______________________________________ZIP_____________PHONE (________) ______________________________

Email:  ______________________________________________________________






_________________________________________________________, Credentials Committee


_________________________________________________________ County Democratic Party Address




The County Affirmative Action Committee


During the convention season, it is the job of the affirmative action committee to increase the opportunity for members of various constituency groups and outreach groups to attend the conventions and to participate fully and effectively in the process.


Affirmative Action Committee Checklist


  1. Where can convention delegates call to find a ride to the convention?


  1. How will the committee help to inform the delegates as to their affirmative action goals and responsibilities?


  1. How will the committee find those who may have difficulty covering the cost of attending the convention?


  1. Has someone been appointed to write up these services and submit them to the district convention arrangements committee?



The following is a brief description of some areas of concern that meeting and event sponsors should review to ensure accessibility for persons with disabilities as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act.


All meetings or events should be held in physically accessible locations. Please consider the following when selecting a meeting or event site:

  • Accessible parking should be available for all attendees.
  • An accessible path of travel should be available from the parking area to the event building and from the building entrance to the meeting room or event site. If a raised platform is being used, a ramp or lift may need to be provided for presenters, and guests.
  • The entrance to the meeting or event site should have doors wide enough for clearance by a person using a wheelchair (32 inches). Any thresholds that are not beveled should not be higher than 1/4 inch.
  • Tables should have at least 27 inches of clearance under the table for a person using a wheel chair.
  • Restrooms, where provided should be handicapped accessible.
  • Please provide additional convention materials in large print for those with visual impairments, if requested.
  • Include a statement in all materials sent to delegates and alternates requesting the county chair be notified of any additional special requests. The county chair should make every attempt, where possible, to accommodate the additional

Robert’s Rules of Order


What Is Parliamentary Procedure? It is a set of rules for conduct at meetings that allow everyone to be heard and to make decisions without confusion.


Why is Parliamentary Procedure Important? Because it’s a time tested method of conducting business at meetings and public gatherings. It can be adapted to fit the needs of any organization. Today, Robert’s Rules of Order newly revised is the basic handbook of operation for most clubs, organizations and other groups. So it’s important that everyone know these basic rules!


Organizations using parliamentary procedure usually follow a fixed order of business. The list below is a typical example.

  1. Call to order
  2. Roll call of members present
  3. Reading of minutes of last meeting
  4. Officers’ reports
  5. Committee reports
  6. Special orders. Important business previously designated for consideration at this meeting
  7. Unfinished business
  8. New business
  9. Announcements
  10. Adjournment


The method used by members to express ideas is in the form of moving motions. A motion is a proposal that requires that the entire membership take action or a stand on an issue. Individual members can:

  1. Call to order
  2. Second motions
  3. Debate motions
  4. Vote on motions


There are four Basic Types of Motions:

  1. Main Motions: The purpose of a main motion is to introduce items to the membership for their consideration. They cannot be made when any other motion is on the floor, and yield to privileged, subsidiary, and incidental motions.
  2. Subsidiary Motions: Their purpose is to change or affect how a main motion is handled, and is voted on before a main motion.
  3. Privileged Motions: Their purpose is to bring up items that are urgent about special or important matters unrelated to pending business.
  4. Incidental Motions: Their purpose is to provide a means of questioning procedure concerning other motions and must be considered before the other motion.


How are Motions Presented?

  1. Obtain the floor
    1. Wait until the last speaker has finished.
    2. Rise and address the chairperson by saying, “Chairperson.” Wait until the chairperson recognizes you.
  2. Make Your Motion
    1. Speak in a clear and concise manner.
    2. Always state a motion affirmatively. (i.e., “I move that we …” rather than, “I move that we do not …”)
    3. Avoid personalities and stay on your subject.
  3. Wait for Someone to Second Your Motion
  4. Another member will second your motion or the chairperson will call for a second.
  5. If there is no second to your motion it is lost.
  6. The Chairperson States Your Motion
    1. The chairperson will say, “the motion has been moved and seconded…” Thus placing your motion before the membership for consideration and action.
    2. The membership then either debates your motion, or may move directly to a vote.
    3. Once your motion is presented to the membership by the chairperson it becomes “assembly property”, and cannot be changed by you without the consent of the
  7. Expanding on Your Motion
    1. The time for you to speak in favor of your motion is at this point in time, rather than at the time you present it.
    2. The mover is always allowed to speak first.
    3. All comments and debate must be directed to the chairperson.
    4. Keep to the time limit for speaking that has been established.
    5. The mover may speak again only after other speakers are finished, unless called upon by the chairperson.
  8. Putting the Question to the Membership
    1. The chairperson asks, “Are you ready to vote on the question?”
    2. If there is no more discussion, a vote is taken.
    3. On a motion to move the previous question may be adapted.


Voting on a Motion:

The method of vote on any motion depends on the situation and your organizations by-laws of policy. The five methods most organizations use to vote by are:

  1. Voice — The chairperson asks those in favor to say, “aye”, those opposed to say “no”. Any member may move for an exact count.
  2. Roll Call — Each member answers “yes” or “no” as his name is called. This method is used when a record of each person’s vote is required.
  3. General Consent — When a motion is not likely to be opposed, the chairperson says, “if there is no objection…” The membership shows agreement by their silence, however if one member says, “I object,” the item must be put to a vote.
  4. Division — This is a slight verification of a voice vote. It does not require a count unless the chairperson so desires. Members raise their hands or stand.
  5. Ballot — Members write their vote on a slip of paper, this method is used when secrecy is


There are two other motions that are commonly used that relate to voting. They are:

  1. Motion to Table — This motion is often used in the attempt to “kill” a motion. The option is always present, however, to “take from the table”, for reconsideration by the
  2. Motion to Postpone Indefinitely — This is often used as a means of parliamentary strategy and allows opponents of motion to test their strength without an actual vote being taken. Also, debate is once again open on the main motion.


Parliamentary Procedure is the best way to get things done at your meetings. But, it will only work if you use it properly.

  • Allow motions that are in order.
  • Have members obtain the floor properly.
  • Speak clearly and concisely.
  • Obey the rules of debate.
  • Most importantly, be courteous.






















Robert’s Rules Made Simple


The following three points are always in order:

  1. Point of Order: a question about process, or objection and suggestion of alternative May include a request for the facilitator to rule on process.
  2. Point of Information: a request for information on a specific question, either about process or about the content of a motion. This is not a way to get the floor to say something you think people should know. People misusing points of information in this fashion will be defenestrated, or otherwise sanctioned forcefully.
  3. Point of Personal Privilege: a comment addressing a personal need – a direct response to a comment defaming one’s character, a plea to open the windows, etc.



All motions must be seconded, and are adopted by a majority vote unless otherwise noted. All motions may be debated unless otherwise noted. Motions are in order of precedence: motions may be made only if no motion of equal or higher precedence is on the floor (i.e., don’t do a number 5 (move to end debate) when the body is discussing a number 4 (move to suspend rules).

  1. Motion to Adjourn: not debatable; goes to immediate majority vote.
  2. Motion to Recess: not debatable. May be for a specific time.
  3. Motion to Appeal the Facilitator’s Decision: Not debatable; goes to immediate vote. Allows the body to overrule a decision made by the chair.
  4. Motion to Suspend the Rules: suspends formal process for dealing with a specific Debatable; requires 2/3 vote.
  5. Motion to End Debate and Vote or Call the Question: applies only to the motion on the floor. Not debatable; requires 2/3 vote.
  6. Motion to Extend Debate: can be general, or for a specific time or number of speakers. Not debatable.
  7. Motion to Refer to Committee: applies only to the main motion. Refers question to a specific group with a specific time and charge.
  8. Motion to Divide the Question: breaks the motion on the floor into two parts, in manner suggested by mover.
  9. Motion to Amend: must be voted for by a majority to be considered and by a 2/3 to be If amendment is accepted as “friendly” by the one proposing the amendment then many bodies will allow it to be accepted without a formal vote; this is a way of including a consensus-building process into procedure without endless debate over amendments to amendments. Strictly speaking, however, once the main motion is made it is the property of the body to amend.
  10. Main Motion: what you’re debating and amending.


Other Meeting Guidelines

  1. When a topic is first introduced or a main motion is made, allow all questions for information purposes to be asked before opening to debate.
  2. Discourage the repetition of arguments. Attempt to call on people who have not yet spoken before those who have already spoken. Discourage dialogues that start up between two individuals in debate.
  3. If debate carries on too long, impose time limits on speakers.
  4. Discourage people from talking in initials – spell them out.


2016 Convention Dates



Saturday 12                      County Conventions


Saturday 19                      First day for District Convention Committees to meet.


Tuesday 22                       Lists of Delegates and Alternates to the District and State Conventions, Convention Committee Members,             and District Affirmative Action Committee members must be mailed to the Iowa Democratic Party office by 5:00 pm.



Saturday 30                      District Conventions



Tuesday 24                       Last day State Convention Committees can hold their initial meeting.



Tuesday 7                          Primary Election


Saturday 18                      State Convention