The State Central Committee (SCC) accomplished a lot at our quarterly meeting in Midlothian, VA, on Saturday, September 7. Everyone who wished to express their opinions on the issues did so in a very civil atmosphere.
We approved a procedure for selecting delegates to the 2020 National Convention. Each congressional district will select three delegates, as always, and twelve delegates will be selected at the state convention. Individuals may run as candidates at their district convention or at the state convention, but not at both. An estimated cost to attend the convention will be included on the state application, but the delegates are fully responsible for their own costs to attend the national convention. They will not be reimbursed by the Party.
A petition with 125 signatures of registered voters supporting the candidacy must be attached to each state application along with a filing fee of $250. RPV will determine a deadline for applications to be received (postmarks do not apply), and order on the ballot will be determined by the order in which complete applications are received.
A list of candidates and their social media outlets will be supplied to each certified state convention delegate, but the candidates will not be given a list of the delegates (so that delegates won’t be inundated by calls, emails, etc.). The top twelve vote getters will be the delegates; the next twelve highest vote getters will be the alternates. All delegates will be bound on the first ballot at the national convention to the winner of the presidential preference vote at the 2020 state convention.
Following approval of the delegate selection process, we considered nine different proposed amendments to the Party Plan. One proposal that would define in Article II what is meant by “signed by” on a petition to remove a party officer (an outgrowth of the House District 97 debacle) was postponed to our December meeting. A proposal making changes in the Appeals process (Article X, B & C) was likewise postponed to December.
The first proposal to pass added a definition of “ranked choice voting” to Article II. The next proposal stated that the only way a ranked choice ballot could be used was if it was so stated in the call. I voted against these amendments because there are a number of problematic issues that people don’t recognize in the actual use of ranked choice ballots, and a lot of people did not understand that Robert’s Rules only allows rank choice voting on mail-in ballots.
Then we passed a proposal to amend Article VIII, A, 7, to allow a mass meeting or convention to dispense with the reading of the call by majority vote rather than requiring unanimity.
A proposal to change how the SCC amends model calls in the Party Plan did not gain the required three-fourths vote, but Second District SCC member Jeff Ryar, who supported the proposal, saw that the plan did not have enough support to pass so he voted against it. However, because he voted against it, Robert’s Rules allowed him to make a motion to reconsider, which he did. The proposal will now come up for reconsideration at the December meeting.
A proposal to allow the method of nomination given in a call to be changed up until the state mandated deadline to select a primary (another result of the District 97 debacle) ran into a lot of disagreement and discussion about when and whether a method could or should be changed, so it was sent back to the Party Plan Committee for further work.
One of the two best amendments completely changed Article VIII, F, 2, such that military members whose deployment makes them unable to attend a convention, etc., at which public officials are nominated are no longer placed in a separate “delegation.” Their votes will be counted as part of the unit in which they are registered to vote.
The other best amendment to pass (unanimously) did away with the Appeals Committee (Article X, A), which could be easily rigged – as appeared to happen as part of the District 97 debacle – and turned those appeal functions over to the SCC’s Executive Committee, a much less malleable group.
The SCC accomplished a lot of good things at the meeting, but we have a lot of follow-up work to do before our next meeting at the Republican Advance at the Homestead in December. The amended version of the Party Plan is scheduled to be posted on the RPV website by the end of this month.
Steve “Doc” Troxel, Ph.D.