Two possible bylaws changes are proposed; details follow.
(1) to clarify our voting and tabulation methods for our internal officer elections; and
(2) to formally increase the number of Membership Coordinators from one to two.
Proposition 1: Revised Voting Methods
Amendment to Article 5.2 of the Maryland Green Party Interim Bylaws defines and clarifies the method of voting, tabulation, and rules for internal party elections. The proposal specifies details of the Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) especially for multi-seat races, such as our two co-chair positions and three national GPUS delegates and alternates.
The Bylaws committee came to consensus on these changes and believes that these clarifications added needed detail to the current procedures.
5.2 Voting Methods: When practical, the selection of MGP candidates, delegates, members of the Coordinating Council, and other officers shall be by proportional or preference balloting.
Replace 5.2 in its entirety with the more detailed section below.
5.2 Voting Methods: The selection of MGP officers, GPUS delegates, and GPUS Alternates and Presidential Nominating Committee Delegates shall be as specified below. Guiding Green principles and values are for voting methods that promote the fullest possible representation and inclusivity, such as multi-member seats, proportionality, and single transferable vote (STV), and for voting methods that avoid factionalism and domination.
5.2.1 Single-Member Seats. Ranked choice elections will be calculated using instant runoff voting (IRV) for single-seat elections with a Droop quota (ballots/(seats+1))+1. A candidate must pass the Droop quota in order to be elected.
5.2.2 Multi-Member Seats. Ranked choice elections will be calculated using Scottish Method single transferable vote (STV) using the Droop quota as a static threshold for multiple-seat elections. All candidates must pass the static threshold in order to be elected.
5.2.3 If a seat remains unfilled after the election, nominations shall immediately re-open for that position and remain open for 30 days. None of the candidates previously listed on the ballot shall be eligible to be nominated. A new election shall take place, following all the rules outlined in Article 5 of the MGP bylaws.
5.2.4 Membership Notification. The CC shall ensure that the membership is notified of nominations, candidates, and elections.
All registered greens and all green party locals must be notified of calls for nominations and elections.
The MGP shall provide a forum for candidates to present their positions to the membership.
The internal elections committee shall determine the timing and method of the communication with members, as well as the forum for candidates.
5.2.5 Electronic Balloting. Secure electronic systems must be used. Paper ballots shall be made available to those requesting them.
5.2.6 Elections. Elections will be open for at least three weeks, must offer online or mail-in ballots, and may offer in-person balloting. No one should be required to go to any place or space in order to vote.
5.2.7 Ad-Hoc Elections Committee
An ad-hoc internal elections committee will be responsible for recommending to the coordinating committee a set of procedures. The coordinating council must approve these election procedures at least 60 days in advance of any assembly, and these procedures must be posted prominently at least 50 days before any election.
The procedures the committee has authority over include times, dates, software method of requesting the ballot, ballot wording, and ballot design.
Any one seeking an office should be recused from the committee.
5.3 Party Affiliation: In order to vote in MGP elections, voters must affiliate with the Green Party.
5.3.1 In the presence of a Green Party ballot line, voters must register to vote as a Green Party member.
5.3.2 In the absence of a Green Party ballot line, voters must register as “Other: Green Party” or “Unaffiliated.”
5.3.3 Individuals who are unable to register to vote due to legal status may sign an internal MGP document that expresses their intention to be counted as MGP decision-making members. This includes persons who are not U.S. citizens, persons who are incarcerated, and persons under 18 years of age. Members must be at least 16 years old.
Proposition 2: Two Membership Coordinators
Amendment to Article 8.1, 8.5 and 9.3 to change the number of state-level membership coordinator positions from one to two, including the voting position on the Coordinating Council. The current bylaws say we have one coordinator, but our practice recently has been to have two.
The bylaws committee agreed that this issue should be presented to the membership; however, they disagreed about whether to support the proposed changes. The brief "pro" and "con" below frames the issue.
“Pro” Argument: Two membership coordinators (pro) - Vote yes on the amendment
- Starting in 2016, the MGP Annual Assembly elected two membership coordinators, and we have consistently advertised and voted on two positions since 2018.
- The job of the membership coordinator includes maintaining contact information for every Green in the state (over 6,000 people now and nearly 10,000 in 2018), recruiting and retaining new Greens, facilitating the Membership Committee, and facilitating the Outreach Subcommittee. These duties are extensive and are better performed by two people than one.
- If these positions are a statewide elected officer position, then every Green in the state has a chance to vote on who serves in this very important role, and every Green in the state has the opportunity to run for the role. This approach is more in line with grassroots democracy.
“Con” Argument: Keep one membership coordinator - Vote no on the amendment
- The original intent of the bylaws with a single membership coordinator supported by a committee is the most efficient method of organizing membership outreach activity.
- When two people are assigned the same task/role, one person often takes on the bulk of the work. Or, neither individual takes responsibility because each assumes the other is doing it. Two people are not inherently better than one.
- By adding another officer to the Coordinating Council, we become top heavy and dilute the grassroots voting power of our local representatives on the Coordinating Council. This sets a precedent that adds officers instead of building out committees to meet basic party tasks. One officer and active representation from locals is more in line with grassroots democracy.
8.1 Officers: The officers of the MGP shall include: Two Co-Chairs; a Treasurer; a Recording Secretary; and a Membership Coordinator, as provided in this Article.
8.5 Membership Coordinator: A Membership Coordinator shall be selected annually at the first MGP Assembly. The Membership Coordinator shall maintain the contact information of all members and Locals for the purposes of communicating with members and Locals. The Membership Coordinator shall, with the assistance of the Membership Committee, organize efforts to recruit and retain members. The Membership Coordinator may serve a maximum of three consecutive annual terms.
(1) Membership Committee: The Membership Committee shall include one representative from each Local and the Membership Coordinator, who shall convene the committee. The Membership Committee shall be responsible for assisting the Membership Coordinator in the maintenance of the MGP member contact information, and with organizing and implementing efforts to recruit and retain members, to increase Green voter registration, and to orient new members. The Membership Committee shall meet at least quarterly.
8.1 Officers: The officers of the MGP shall include: Two Co-Chairs; a Treasurer; a Recording Secretary; and Two Membership Coordinator, as provided in this Article.
8.5 Membership Coordinator: Two (2) Membership Coordinators shall be selected annually at the first MGP Assembly. The Membership Coordinators shall maintain the contact information of all members and Locals for the purposes of communicating with members and Locals. The Membership Coordinators shall, with the assistance of the Membership Committee, organize efforts to recruit and retain members. The Membership Coordinators may serve a maximum of three consecutive annual terms.
(1) Membership Committee: The Membership Committee shall include one representative from each Local and the Membership Coordinators, who shall convene the committee. The Membership Committee shall be responsible for assisting the Membership Coordinators in the maintenance of the MGP member contact information, and with organizing and implementing efforts to recruit and retain members, to increase Green voter registration, and to orient new members. The Membership Committee shall meet at least quarterly.