GBYD Permanent Convention Rules

Permanent Rules of the October 2, 2021 
Greater Boston Young Democrats Convention

Drafted pursuant to the Charter of the Young Democrats of Greater Boston by the members duly appointed by the Board of Directors of the chapter at their September 17 meeting.

Sec. 1. Location and Date. Pursuant to the call to convention with agenda, the convention shall take place on the second day of October from 7 pm to no later than 9:30 pm virtually.   

Sec. 2. Virtual Authorization. The Convention shall be conducted virtually via Zoom, which meeting shall be open to all members of GBYD to attend, but only voting members shall be given the privilege of the floor.

Sec. 3. Presiding Officer. The Convention Chair as prescribed by Section 4-3 of the GBYD Charter shall be the Chair of the chapter who shall preside and preserve order and decorum during the proceedings. The Chair may appoint any member of the Convention Rules Committee to serve as Convention Sergeant-at-Arms, who may, at the direction of the Presiding Officer, maintain order, operate the virtual platform, and preserve the presence of a quorum. The GBYD Parliamentarian shall also serve as Convention Clerk and assist the Chair with convention procedures.

The Chair shall be entitled to speak on any matter of debate without need to vacate the chair, as so long as the matter under debate does not involve the person of the Chair. The Chair shall maintain the ability to vote from the dias, and may vote at their discretion but in such cases where their vote would create a majority, or a higher fractional majority during a roll call they shall announce their vote to the Convention. 

 Sec. 4. Voting Members. The requirement to be a voting member is established by Section 2-4 of the Charter. These members shall be given the privilege of the floor, to debate, and to make and vote upon motions. The right of a voting member to vote on any question may not be suspended for any reason at any time, and the Chair must enforce this provision on their own initiative, and shall entertain no attempt to suspend this section by unanimous consent. 

Sec. 5. Registration. The Convention Chair shall open the virtual platform no later than 30 minutes before the scheduled call to order to allow for the registration of delegates and the presentation of their credentials. 

Any person listed by the Board on the Register of Eligible Voting Members shall be immediately granted their credentials, any other such person who may claim to possess voting rights within GBYD may submit an appeal to the Board with evidence of having met each requirement set forth in Section 2-4, which the Board shall recede from the convention to consider as the first order of business except to appoint the members of the Rules Committee if not already provided for, as required by the Charter. 

Delegates submitting an appeal may be required to demonstrate residency by providing documentation, such as a driver’s license, state-issued identification, student identification (public or private), voter registration card, or other document deemed appropriate by the Board.

Registration for delegates shall close no later than the time provided for the commencement of the convention under the call to convention. Members and guests may be admitted after the opening of the Convention, but none shall be permitted to vote who shall not have registered and any non-voting members may be permitted to enter at any time during the meeting. 

Sec. 6. Credentials. At any in-person convention, any person registered in accordance with Section 5 shall be given a physical credential approved by the Convention Rules Committee which shall clearly identify the person as a voting member.  

At any virtual convention the Convention Chair or their designee shall rename participants to include their credential in their name as such: [Del.] Firstname Lastname. To ensure no member can falsify a credential, the Presiding Officer shall restrict the ability of attendees to rename themselves without the assistance of the Presiding Officer or their designee. Delegates shall clearly display their credentials at all times during the Convention.

Sec. 7. Quorum. The quorum for the Convention shall be one-third (1/3) of the eligible voting members (as determined by the sum of the number of persons listed on the Register of Eligible Voting Members and the number of appeals granted by the Board), but the presence of at least 12 delegates shall always be sufficient to constitute a quorum. At the request of any three members, the Chair shall order the Convention Clerk to call the roll to verify the presence of a quorum as provided in this section, and further no roll call shall in order if one shall have been previously taken on the same order of business. 

Sec. 8. Convention Hall Arrangements. The Convention space shall be arranged so that only delegates and individuals authorized by the Convention Chair may be admitted to the floor. For virtual conventions, this includes providing video and audio access to delegates and guests. Areas for observers shall be designated by the Chair, which for virtual conferences shall be constituted by the ability to view the convention, but not to chat, speak, or appear by video. 

The Convention Sergeant-at-Arms shall remove any delegate, or observer who is disruptive to the Convention, but may not restrict participation in voting except in cases of actual threat of physical harm to a person or if the disruption wholly prevents the transaction of business.

Sec. 9. Pending Business. Any matter set forth in the call to convention may be considered at the Convention, but the failure to consider the same shall not prevent the adjournment of the Convention. A matter germane to an item upon the agenda can be taken up only by unanimous consent or by a non-debatable motion to proceed. Any member with a sufficient second can move to proceed to the consideration of a matter, which motion shall require the concurrence of 2/3rds of the members present

Should a candidate be endorsed in a race where there is only one person to be elected, or where the number of candidates shall have reached the maximum prescribed, the remaining applications of candidates who qualify for endorsement shall be considered indefinitely postponed. 

Sec. 10. Voting. Except in such places where another method shall have been prescribed by the Charter all votes of the Convention shall be conducted first by voice vote. Any member may demand a rising vote—which for virtual purposes shall be conducted by Zoom’s polling function—or the Chair may order the same at their own volition. Except for elections which may be permitted to be taken by secret ballot, or roll calls voted ordered under Section 11 no other method of voting shall be permitted. 

Sec. 11. Roll Call Votes. At the request of any 3 members, a roll call vote shall be conducted on any vote so long as the result and decision shall not have been definitely announced by the Chair. When a roll call vote has been ordered the Chair shall call or instruct the Clerk to call the names of delegates registered in alphabetical order by last name excluding the Clerk who shall state their vote at the conclusion. The duration of any roll call vote shall not be less than two minutes unless every member registered shall have voted. Pending the announcement of the result of the roll call, the clerk shall read the list of members in the affirmative and negative. Prior to the close of any roll call vote, the Chair shall state “Is there any delegate wishing to vote, or change their vote?” upon receiving no response they shall announce the result of the vote and its effect, succeeding any vote of the Chair, if applicable. The Chair shall not entertain any attempt to suspend this section by unanimous consent at any time.

Sec. 12. Votes May Not Be Interrupted. When any question has been submitted to the Convention for a vote, the vote may not be interrupted for any purpose other than a Point of Order, Appeal, Division of the Question, Request for a Roll Call Vote. 

Sec. 13. Debate Guidelines. The time shall be equally divided between proponents and opponents of the motion being debated, as feasibly as is possible but nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent a member from fully exercising their rights of debate as set out in the parliamentary guide. The Convention Chair shall only entertain one (1) motion to extend, limit, or close debate per question debated by the Convention.

Sec. 14. Amendments. Amendments from the floor of the Convention may only be received with respect to the Convention Rules, the Platform, and any Resolutions shall be presented in writing to the Convention Chair accompanied by the signatures of no less than 1/5th of registered Delegates. No amendment shall be in order that is not germane to the subject under consideration. 

Sec. 15. Parliamentary Authority. When a parliamentary question arises and the Charter and Convention Rules of GBYD are inapplicable to the question, the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised 12th edition shall govern the actions of the Convention. All questions of parliamentary procedure and interpretations of the Charter and Convention Rules shall be decided by the Convention Chair on the advice of the GBYD Parliamentarian. 

Sec. 16. Virtual Delegate Responsibilities. Each Virtual Delegate shall ensure their name and delegate credentials are present on their Zoom identification. Within parentheses, a delegate may also display their gender identity pronouns after their display name if they so choose.

Each delegate shall be responsible for their own connection to the Internet and virtual meeting software. It shall be the duty of each delegate to inform the Chair of any connection issues. The Chair may at their sole discretion order the Convention to stand at ease pending the resolution of any technical issue.

No action of the convention will be invalidated on the grounds that the loss of, or poor quality of, a delegate’s individual connection prevented them from participating in the Convention unless it shall deprive the Convention of a quorum.

Sec. 17 Adjournment. If the call to convention shall include a time of adjournment, should the convention remain in session at the time so appointed the following shall occur: 

  1. If the pending business is any privileged motion, subsidiary motion, or restoratory motion the convention shall immediately stand adjourned;
  2. If there is no pending business the convention shall immediately stand adjourned;
  3. If a division by standing (or virtual equivalent) or by roll call of the convention shall be in progress it shall continue with such vote until its final result shall be announced, unless the pending business is a motion to proceed to the consideration of any item in which case the convention shall immediately stand adjourned;
  4. If the pending business is an incidental motion a vote by roll call shall immediately be taken, forthwith followed by a roll call vote on the underlying main motion—unless the incidental motion be a debatable appeal from any ruling of the Chair in which case the decision of the Chair shall be sustained and a roll call vote on the underlying main motion taken forthwith;
  5. If the pending business is a main motion a roll call vote shall be forthwith taken, and the Chair shall grant only limited recognition granting recognition only if the purpose is to move immediate adjournment after which the member recognized shall lose the floor, and a roll call vote conducted.

Sec. 18. Suspension of Rules. No provision of the Charter or Standing Rules may be suspended. Except for Convention Rules Sections 1, 3, 4, 7, 13, 15, 17, 18, and 19, which may not be suspended, a motion to suspend the Convention Rules shall be decided without debate and may be adopted by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Convention, provided there be at least 12 affirmative votes cast, which vote shall always be by roll call. 

Sec. 19. Amendment of Rules. The Permanent Convention Rules may be amended by a two-thirds (2/3) affirmative vote of all delegates present at the Convention, provided there be at least 12 affirmative votes cast, which vote shall always be by roll call. Further, that these rules stand as the temporary convention rules at any succeeding convention until such convention shall adopt permanent rules for said convention.

Definitions. The following definitions apply to the Permanent Rules of the Convention:

“Privilege of the Floor.” The ability to chat, speak, and appear on video to the convention, and including (for voting members) the full and uninterrupted right to vote. 

“GBYD.” Greater Boston Young Democrats.

“YDMA.” Young Democrats of Massachusetts. 

“Board.” The Greater Boston Young Democrats Board of Directors.

“Credential.” The prefix “[Del.]” before the name of a member on the virtual platform.

Adopted by a vote of 5-0 of the Convention Rules Committee on September 28th.