Article One: Name & Purpose
- Name: This organization will be known as the Libertarian Party of Utah. In this Constitution, it may also be referred to as the “LPUtah” or the “Party.”
- Purpose: The LPUtah is a political party based on the principles of Libertarianism. The Party’s purposes are to:
- Nominate and support with all available resources candidates for political offices who subscribe to Libertarian principles;
- Champion individual liberty and the philosophy and principles of Libertarianism within Utah; and
- Promote and support Libertarian Party organizations in Utah.
- Compliance: The LPUtah will always be in compliance with local, state, and federal election laws. If there is any conflict between the Party’s Constitution and Bylaws and prevailing election laws, the State of Utah’s law supersedes this Constitution and Bylaws.
- Affiliation: The LPUtah is affiliated with the Libertarian Party, Libertarian National Committee and other similarly affiliated Libertarian organizations throughout the state and country.
Article Two: Statement of Principles
- Members of the LPUtah subscribe to the Statement of Principles of the Libertarian Party, and specifically believe:
- Each individual possesses the right to life and liberty, and justly acquired property including the right to defend them;
- No person or organization, political or voluntary, has the right to initiate force or fraud against another person, nor to use force against another’s property;
- All individuals are entitled to exercise their right of agency, and to choose their own lifestyle as long as they do not forcibly interfere with the equal right of others to live their lives in whatever manner they choose;
- The voluntary exchange of goods and services is a fundamental right of the individual; and
- The only moral basis of government is to ensure the individual¹s freedom from force or fraud.
- Violation of any one of these principles is cause for expulsion from the Party.
Article Three: Officers and the Executive Committee
- Officers & Responsibilities: The Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, and Legal Counsel are individually the LPUtah’s officers and collectively its Executive Committee (EC).
- The Chair is the Party’s chief executive officer and presides at all Conventions and at all meetings of the Executive and Central committees. The Chair is responsible for appointing new EC members when such offices become vacant, subject to the consent of the EC. The Chair serves as the Party’s liaison with the appropriate body for all matters relating to the Party’s relationship with the State of Utah and other political organizations. The Chair is the Party’s official spokesperson for the press and representative to the Libertarian National Committee.
- The Vice-Chair performs the duties of the Chair when the Chair is, for any reason, unable to perform the duties of the office. The ViceChair will also carry out such other duties for the benefit of the Party as directed by the Chair.
- The Secretary keeps the minutes and records of all Party Conventions and meetings of the Executive Committee and Central Committee. The Secretary will report at Conventions concerning such Party activities as The Central Committee or the Chair directs. The Secretary will make such reports as required by law to the State of Utah. The Secretary will provide in writing the names of all Party officers, delegates, and candidates to at least one general circulation newspaper within Utah and one news service as well as the national Libertarian Party headquarters, and the Chair for forwarding to the appropriate state political entity within five (5) calendar days after their election.
- The Treasurer is responsible for the LPUtah¹s financial activities. The Treasurer will report to each meeting of the EC and CC, and to Conventions, the current financial status, expenditures, and income of the party. The Treasurer will submit to the Secretary any information required for financial reports to the State of Utah. If requested, the Treasurer will assist county treasurers and secretaries in the preparation of their reports, and may audit their records to verify their accuracy.
- The Legal Counsel provides the EC and CC with legal advice relating to Party activities and political matters. To qualify for the position, the Legal Counsel must be an attorney admitted to practice in Utah or a licensed or certified paralegal. If no qualified candidate is elected at the organizing convention, the EC may appoint one.
- The Executive Director is appointed by the EC, an independent contractor of the Party and is an ad hoc, non-voting member of the EC and CC.
- Terms of Office: Officers are elected for two-year terms at organizing conventions held during odd-numbered years, and assume office at 12:01 a.m. one day following adjournment of the convention at which they are elected.
- Vacancies: If the office of Chair falls vacant, the Vice-Chair succeeds to that office. In the event that both the offices of Chair and Vice-Chair fall vacant the line of succession will be the LPUtah Secretary, the LPUtah Treasurer, the LPUtah Legal Counsel and each LP County Chair in descending order of the membership of each county. These parties will continue to hold their previously elected office until a replacement can be nominated and elected by the Central Committee or the respective LP county organizations. Other LPUtah officer vacancies will be filled by nomination of the Chair and a vote of the Executive Committee. Officers so elected will complete the term of the office vacated.
- Removal from Office: Any officer of the LPUtah or member of the CC may be removed from office by a three-fourths vote of the entire CC.
- Qualification: To be a member of the EC, an individual must be a member in good standing with at least one full year¹s membership in the Libertarian Party.
- Ad Hoc Positions: The Chair may at his/her discretion and with the approval of the EC add ad hoc positions with specific responsibilities, such as campaigns chair, membership chair, publicity chair, fundraising chair, newsletter editor, et al. These ad hoc members may attend EC and CC meetings but have no vote.
- Meetings & Quorums: The EC will meet at least once each quarter. Three officers compose a quorum, providing one of them is the Chair or Vice-Chair. At any time that there is not a full slate of elected LPUtah officers, including a Chair or Vice-Chair, a simple majority of remaining officers will constitute an EC meeting quorum. Any officer who misses any three meetings in a year without satisfactory advance notification may be removed by the Chair.
Article Four: Central Committee
- Composition: The Central Committee (CC) consists of the Executive Committee and the County Chairs.
- Powers and Duties of the Central Committee: The Central Committee has general charge of the affairs of the Party and enjoys the powers usually exercised by such committees and officers thereof.
- Vacancies: Vacancies in the CC will be filled by the affected county organization. If there is no county organization, the EC may fill the vacant position by appointment for the remainder of the vacated term.
- Meetings & Quorum: The CC will meet at a schedule set by the EC provided that the CC meets at least once each quarter. CC meetings are open to all LPUtah members in good standing, but only CC members may vote. All CC members attending constitute a quorum. Any meeting, regular or special, may be held by use of telephone or internet, or similar communications equipment, so long as all CC members participating can hear one another. CC meetings may be called by:
- the Chair,
- any three members of the Executive Committee,
- any five members of the Central Committee, or
- a petition signed by 25 LPUtah members in good standing.
- If the meeting is not regularly scheduled, notice must be delivered in writing to each member of the CC at least ten (10) days prior to the meeting. Receipted email is acceptable notification. The Secretary will make the names and addresses of CC members available on demand to any member in good standing who wishes to convene a CC meeting.
Article Five: County Party Organizations
- Purpose: Each county with at least five (5) resident members may form a County Party organization with the same purpose and affiliations as the LPUtah.
- Organization: Each County Party will elect at least three officers: Chair, Vice-Chair, and Secretary-Treasurer. Collectively they comprise the County Executive Committee (CEC).
- Meetings: County Parties will meet at least once each quarter. One quarterly meeting must be a convention prior to the convention.
- Reports: County Chairs will report on the activities of their organizations at each CC meeting and each convention.
- Membership: LPUtah members in good standing who reside or vote in a county are automatically members of their County Party. County Parties may not develop their own membership criteria.
- Dues: County Parties may not charge dues.
- Fund-Raising: County Parties may raise funds to meet their operating expenses by any legitimate means consistent with our principles. The LPUtah may help fund County Parties by allocating no more than 50% of the funds received from the Utah state income tax checkoff from residents of that county. The LPUtah must pay the County Parties their share of tax checkoff funds within 60 days of an application for funds by the County Party.
Article Six: Finances
- Budget: The LPUtah’s fiscal year runs from May 1 to April 30. By the second quarterly CC meeting following a convention but no later than December 15, the Treasurer should submit a proposed budget to the CC which becomes the Party’s budget for the coming year on adoption. The budget may be revised at subsequent meetings by the CC. The EC may authorize expenditures outside of the budget.
- Financial Procedures: With the budget, the CC should adopt a set of financial procedures, a copy of which will be made available to members of the Party. These procedures will include:
- two signatures required for all checks other than payments pre approved and recorded by the EC,
- a bookkeeping system, and
- a system for handling cash donations.
- Designated Donations: Any individual may donate funds to the Party for a specific purpose. The LPUtah guarantees such gifts will be used as directed, providing it is consistent with our mission and principles. All such designated donations and their disposition will be included in the regular Treasurer’s report. If the CC decides the purpose for which the donation is made is inappropriate, the person making the gift will be given the opportunity to re-designate his/her gift or have it refunded in its entirety. Non-designated donations will be put in the Party’s general treasury for use at the discretion of the EC.
- Party Debt: Any Party expenditure for which funds are not currently available must be personally and individually guaranteed in writing by at least one member in good standing of the LPUtah. The EC may veto any decision to incur such debt. At no time may the Party¹s debt exceed $250 without prior approval of the EC.
- Member Audit: The financial records of the LPUtah may be reviewed once each year by a committee composed of three Dues-paying Members in good standing, none of whom are LPUtah officers, elected for this purpose by the CC. The report of their review may be presented to the annual convention. The Party’s financial and other records will made be available to Dues-paying Members in good standing by appointment.
Article Seven: Membership
- Qualification: Membership in the Libertarian Party of Utah is open to anyone who:
- pays the required membership dues and is a Utah resident,
- manifests his/her agreement with the Statement of Principles of the LPUtah by signing the Pledge and is a Utah resident, or
- manifests his/her agreement with the Statement of Principles of the LPUtah by signing the Pledge and is an appointed alternate delegate to the Libertarian Party national convention.
- The Pledge: I do not believe in nor advocate the initiation of force or fraud as a means of achieving political or social goals. Any member who advocates or manifests behavior inconsistent with the Pledge or the Party’s principles (see Article Two) may have his/her membership revoked.
- Membership Classifications: Members are classed as:
- Pledging: Pledging members may vote at county organization meetings only at the county chair’s discretion and may attend Party functions. At conventions, Pledging Members may not vote on any matter relating to the Party’s internal business, but may vote for candidates for public office. A Pledging Member is eligible to run for partisan office as a Libertarian, and be a delegate to the Libertarian Party national convention, but may not run for Party office. Pledging Members will be entered into the Party’s membership list and may receive mailings at the LPUtah’s discretion. Pledging Members are not eligible for any LPUtah member discounts. No dues are required, but Pledging Members must sign the Pledge.
- Dues-paying: Dues-paying Members have full voting rights at all conventions, and eligibility to be a candidate for partisan offices as a Libertarian and a delegate to the Libertarian Party national convention.
- Good Standing: Effective March 1, 2007, a member will be considered to be in good standing provided
- his/her dues for the current year are paid as required, or
- his/her membership has not been revoked.
- Acceptance and Revocation: The CC reserves the right to pass on the acceptability of membership applications and to revoke the membership of any individual who expresses or evidences principles contrary to the LPUtah’s.
Article Eight: Judicial Committee
- Purpose: The Judicial Committee arbitrates and decides on all disputes regarding the LPUtah arising between members and the Party, and is the final body of appeal in all matter regarding interpretation of the Constitution and Bylaws.
- Composition: The Committee should be selected at the beginning of each year by the Chair and composed of from three to seven members who are past officers of the Party and who are not currently serving in any Party office. They will in turn elect one of their number to be Chief Justice who will be responsible for reporting all Committee decisions to the EC after they are rendered and to the next convention.
- Term of Office: Judicial Committee members will serve for two years. Vacancies will be filled by the Chair.
- Sessions: The Committee is not required to meet except when called upon to decide a matter by at least three Dues-paying Members in good standing.
- Decisions: Judicial Committee decisions require a majority vote. Committee decisions may only be overruled at a convention by two-thirds vote.
Article Nine: Convention & Election Procedures
- Conventions: Every year the LPUtah must hold a convention for all members. In odd-numbered years, the Party will hold an organizing convention to elect new officers. In even-numbered years, the Party will hold a nominating convention to choose candidates for political office and delegates to the Libertarian Party national convention as appropriate. Convention proceedings will be governed by the most recent edition of Robert’s Rules of Order.
- Direct Democracy: Only members in good standing and attending the convention may vote on issues or Party candidates that come before them. All Dues-paying Members attending constitute a quorum.
- Nomination: Anyone who wishes to be a candidate for a Party or political office must be nominated by two individuals other than him/herself.
- Majority Rule: In all elections for Party office, or delegate status, a simple majority is required to elect a candidate.
- None of the Above: In all Party elections for political office, “none of the above” will be offered as an alternate choice until defeated. If that choice prevails, the Party will officially have no candidate in that election and the Secretary will so notify the appropriate political entity.
Article Ten: Ratification & Amendment
- Ratification: This Constitution becomes effective immediately upon being approved by a two-thirds majority of those members in good standing present and voting at the LPUtah Convention to which it is presented. It repeals and supersedes any previous Constitution and/or By-Laws.
- Amendment: This Constitution may be temporarily amended by a two-thirds majority vote of the CC subject to permanent ratification of the voters at any LPUtah convention, with the exception of Article Two Statement of Principles which may be amended only by the three-fourths consent of those voting at the convention. Amendments may be proposed by any three (3) members in good standing by written notice to the Secretary 30 days prior to the next convention.
- Bylaws: This Constitution may be supplemented by bylaws governing procedural matters. Bylaws may be proposed and adopted by the CC and are not subject to approval by the general membership. However, the membership may alter or revoke bylaws at any annual convention.
- Notification: Written notice of all proposed Constitutional amendments must be mailed to all members in good standing at least ten days in advance of the Convention. Such notice need not be made separately from any publication regularly prepared by the LPUtah.