ORANGE COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA REPUBLICAN PARTY
APPROVED PLAN OF ORGANIZATION MARCH 17, 2018
We, the members of the Republican Party of Orange County, North Carolina, dedicated to the sound principles fostered by that Party, conscious of our civic responsibilities and rights, firm in our determination to give our strength to preserving the American principle that government ought and must be of all the people, by all the people, and for all the people, for the purposes of uniting and coordinating our efforts for maximum power and efficiency, herewith establish this instrument, The Plan of Organization of the Republican Party of Orange County, North Carolina.
All citizens of Orange County who are registered Republicans are members of the Republican Party of Orange County and shall have the right to participate in the official affairs of the Republican Party in accordance with these rules. All reference herein to Delegates, Alternates, Officers and members shall, in all cases mean persons identified and registered with the Republican Party in the Precinct of their residence. Any person running for an office within the North Carolina state, district legislative, county or precinct Republican Party shall be a resident of the jurisdiction in which he seeks office.
- ANNUAL PRECINCT MEETINGS
- Call for Meeting
In every year, the County Chairman shall call Precinct Meetings during the month of January or February after giving no less than 15 days written notice to each Precinct Chairman. At this time, the County Chairman shall also provide each Precinct Chairman with the number of registered Republicans entitled to cast votes at a Precinct Meeting. In addition, the County Chairman shall include notice of the Precinct Meetings in a newspaper of general circulation within the County as described in Article IV.A.4. Failure of the County Chairman to act in compliance with the provision above shall be cause for any Member of the County Executive Committee to call said Precinct Meetings by notice in a newspaper of general circulation in the County as described in Article IV.A.4. Every Republican registered prior to January 31 preceding the Meetings shall be entitled to cast one vote, except that the January 31 requirement shall not apply to registered Republican residents who have moved into the Precinct within 30 days of the Precinct Meeting or who turned 18 years of age within 30 days of the Precinct Meeting.
- Election of Precinct Officers
At odd year Precinct Meetings attendees at the Precinct Meeting shall elect a Precinct Committee consisting of a Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary and as many Members-at-Large as is deemed necessary to conduct the business of the Precinct. Members of the Precinct Committee shall hold their offices for two years or until their successors are chosen. There shall be no proxy voting.
- Election of Delegates
At each year’s Precinct Meeting, one Delegate and one Alternate shall be elected to the County Convention. The Precinct members present shall also elect one additional Delegate and Alternate for every 100 registered Republican voters, or major fraction thereof, in that precinct as of January 31 prior to the County Convention.
- Meeting Cancellation Due to Circumstances out of Party’s Control
When circumstances beyond the control of the County Party prevent access to or use of the Precinct Meeting facility (including but not limited to inclement weather conditions), it shall be the responsibility of the County Chairman to consult with the County Vice-Chairman, County Secretary and County Treasurer and make a decision on the cancellation and rescheduling of said Annual Precinct Meeting in the most timely manner possible. All efforts should be made by the County Chairman to notify local news outlets of said cancellation and rescheduling information. Notice of cancellation and rescheduling shall be given to Republican State Headquarters within twenty‐four (24) hours or on the next business day.
- Duties of Officers
The Chairman of the Precinct Committee, with the advice and consent of the Precinct Committee, shall have general supervision of the affairs of the Party within the Precinct, shall preside at all Precinct Meetings, and shall perform such other duties as may be prescribed by the Precinct Committee or the County Executive Committee. The Vice-Chairman shall function as Chairman in the absence of the Chairman. The Secretary shall keep all minutes and records and shall maintain a list of registered Republican voters and workers within the Precinct, unless otherwise provided by the Precinct Committee or the County Executive Committee.
The Chairman and Secretary of each Precinct shall certify the election of Officers, Precinct Committee Members and Delegates and Alternates to the County Convention, on forms stipulated by the State Central Committee and furnished by the County Chairman. Complete credentials shall be in the hands of the County Secretary by the deadline set by the County Chairman, which shall be at least two days prior to the Credential Committee Meeting, unless the Precinct Meetings and the County Convention are held on the same day. No Delegate or Alternate shall be added to the Credentials List following the adjournment of the Precinct Meeting. This delegate list shall be made immediately available to any Republican candidate, at that candidate’s reasonable expense, along with a confidentiality and use agreement that said list will be used only for Republican activities related to the candidate’s run for office.
- Other Precinct Meetings
- Other Meetings of the Precinct general Membership may be held at such time as shall be designated by the Chairman of the Precinct Committee after giving five days’ notice of such Meeting in a newspaper of general circulation within the County, or upon similar call of one-third of the Members of the Precinct Committee, or of 10 Members of the general Precinct Membership. There shall be no proxy voting.
- In the event a Precinct fails to properly organize, or the Precinct Chairman fails to act, the County Chairman shall appoint a Temporary Precinct Chairman to serve no longer than 60 days during which time a general Membership meeting shall be called and a new Chairman elected. Temporary Precinct Chairman appointed in this manner must be approved at a regular meeting of the County Executive Committee.
At all precinct meetings, a quorum is one person.
- PRECINCT COMMITTEE
- Duties of Committee
The Precinct Committee shall cooperate with the County Executive Committee in all elections and Party activities, provide the County Chairman with a list of Party Members within the Precinct suitable for appointment as Election Officials, and promote the objectives of the Party within the Precinct.
- Vacancies and Removals
- Vacancy due to death, resignation, discontinuance of residency within the Precinct, removal of any Officer, or Member of the Precinct Committee, or other vacancy, shall be filled by the remaining Members of the Precinct Committee.
- Any Member of the Precinct Committee may be removed by a two-thirds vote of the Committee after being furnished with notice of the charges against him, signed by not less than one-third of the Members of the Committee. Any member against whom charges are brought shall be furnished with two weeks’ notice of said charges and shall be given an opportunity to present a defense. Removal shall be confined to gross inefficiency, Party disloyalty or failure to comply with the County Plan of Organization. “Party disloyalty” shall be defined as actively supporting a candidate of another Party or independent candidate running in opposition to a nominee of the Republican Party.
- Such removal may be appealed to the County Executive Committee within 20 days and their decision shall be final.
- Immediately upon a Precinct Committee Member’s conviction, the entering of a guilty plea, an Alford plea, or a plea of no contest to a felony, without the need for any further action, that Member is automatically deemed to be removed from the Committee. In such a case, the Member has an affirmative duty to immediately inform the Chairman of the Precinct Committee in writing of his felony conviction; however failure of the Member to so notify the Chairman shall not delay, prevent or restrict the expulsion of such Member from the Precinct Committee. The position held by a Member in this situation will be vacated and may be filled by the Precinct Committee according to section a. above.
- ANNUAL CONVENTION
- Call of Convention
- A County Convention shall be called every year by the Chairman of the County Executive Committee, at a suitable location within the county, within the month of March, at least 10 days prior to the scheduled District Convention. The County Chairman shall provide notice of the County Convention in a newspaper of general circulation within the County as described in Article IV.A.4.
- At the time of the call of the Convention, The County Chairman, with the advice and consent of the Executive Committee, shall appoint a Credentials Committee of not less than three people, which will meet and issue its report on Delegates and Alternates certified to that Convention at least three days in advance of the convening of the Convention, unless the Precinct Meetings and County Convention are held on the same day. All Delegates and Alternates challenged in the report of the Credentials Committee shall be notified prior to the day of the Convention and allowed to present their case to the Credentials Committee prior to the convening of the Convention. The Delegates and Alternates elected at the Precinct Meetings, unless successfully challenged, shall sit as Delegates and Alternates to the County Convention.
- If the County Chairman fails, refuses or neglects to call a County Convention as required by this Article, it shall become the duty of the Vice-Chairman to act in this capacity. The Vice-Chairman shall give five days’ notice thereof to all Precinct Chairman and County Executive Committee Members and shall follow procedures given in Article III, A.1.a. If the County Chairman or vice-Chairman does not call such a Meeting, it shall be cause for any Member of the County Executive Committee, with the approval of the congressional District Chairman, to call such County Convention.
- Convention Action
- The County Convention shall adopt or amend a written County Plan of Organization not inconsistent with the State Plan of Organization, a current copy of which shall be on file with the County Secretary or County web site and at State Headquarters.
- In every odd-numbered year the County Convention shall elect a Chairman, a first and second Vice-Chairman, a Secretary, and Assistant Secretary, a Treasurer, an Assistant Treasurer, and such other Officers as may be deemed necessary, who shall serve for a term of two years or until their successors are elected.
- In every odd-numbered year the County Convention shall elect a County Executive Committee of five or more Orange County Republican voters in addition to the County Officers, who shall hold their places for a term of two years or until their successors are elected.
iii The County Convention shall elect one Delegate and one Alternate to the Congressional District and State Conventions, plus up to one additional Delegate and Alternate for every 250 Republicans or major fraction thereof registered in the county as of January 31 of that year. One Delegate and one Alternate shall also be elected for each Republican elected to the State Legislature and to public office on the State or National level from the County in the last Election held from that office.
- If the County has been divided between two or more Congressional Districts, it shall prorate its Delegate vote among these Congressional Districts in accordance with the Republican registration as of January 31 of that year in the political subdivisions within the County which have been divided among the different Congressional Districts. Delegates elected to a Congressional District Convention, in addition to the other qualifications which they must meet, must reside in the Congressional District to whose Convention they are elected. The Delegates to the County Convention from the political subdivisions in different Congressional Districts shall elect the Delegates to their own Congressional District Convention.
The Chairman and Secretary of the County Executive Committee shall certify the election of Officers, Committee Members, Delegates and Alternates to the District and State Conventions, on forms furnished by the State Central Committee and in conformance with this Article. Completed Credentials shall be in the hands of the Congressional District Secretary and the State Headquarters by the deadline set by the State Chairman. All County Credentials for the State Convention should be mailed to State Headquarters no later than 10 days following the date of the County Convention or the deadline set by the State Chairman, whichever date comes first. Copies of all newspaper notices shall be submitted to the North Carolina Republican Party along with County Credentials. No Delegates or Alternates shall be added to the Credentials list following the adjournment of the County Convention. Copies of all newspaper notices and a list of county and precinct officers shall be submitted to the N.C. Republican Party and all applicable Congressional District Committees along with County Credentials.
- Convention Fee
For each person who is elected at a County Convention to be either a Delegate or an Alternate to the State Convention, the County shall forward to the State Party a fee set by the State Central Committee to defray the costs of mailing Convention materials to such elected Delegates and Alternates. The County Party will recover this fee from the Delegates and Alternates chosen at each County Convention following their election.
- Meeting Cancellation Due to Circumstances out of Party’s Control
When circumstances beyond the control of the County Party prevent access to or use of the County Convention facility (including but not limited to inclement weather conditions), it shall be the responsibility of the County Chairman to consult with the County Vice-Chairman, County Secretary and County Treasurer and make a decision on the cancellation and rescheduling of said County Convention in the most timely manner possible. All efforts should be made by the County Chairman to notify local news outlets of said cancellation and rescheduling information. Notice of cancellation and rescheduling shall be given to Republican State Headquarters within twenty‐four (24) hours or on the next business day.
- COUNTY EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
The County Executive Committee shall consist of:
a the County Officers and other persons elected by the County Convention in accordance with Article III.A.2.b .
- the County Finance Chairman
- the immediate past County Chairman and any previous past chairmen who are active and a resident of Orange County who request to the Executive Committee his or her desire to be approved.
- any member of the Congressional District Executive Committee, the State Executive Committee, or the Republican National Committee who is a registered Orange County Republican voter.
- any Orange County Republican elected to national, state, or county-wide partisan office. (If a vacancy occurs in such an elected office, the legally appointed successor, provided he or she is an Orange County Republican, will be a member of the committee.
- precinct chairmen, or in their absence, precinct vice chairmen
- the Presidents of any clubs or units chartered by the North Carolina Federation of Republican
Women, the North Carolina Federation of Republican Men, the North Carolina Federation of Young Republicans, the North Carolina Federation of College Republicans or the North Carolina Federation of Teenage Republicans. If the President or Chairman of a club federated with one of the above Federations is not a resident of Orange County, that club may designate a member who is a registered Republican resident of Orange County to hold the club’s seat on the Executive Committee.
- Procedure for Adding Members Between Conventions
The County Executive Committee may elect one new member at any properly called meeting; members elected in this fashion shall not exceed ten additional new members to the Executive Committee between odd numbered year conventions. These members will serve on the Executive Committee until the County Convention elects a new Executive Committee.”
- Powers and Duties
- The County Executive Committee shall cooperate with the District and State Committees in all elections and Party activities; shall encourage qualified candidates for office within the County; shall adopt a budget; shall recommend nominees to the State Chairman for appointments for the County Board of Elections; and shall have active management of Party affairs within the County.
- It shall approve a Finance Committee and an Auditing Committee of not less than three Members each and may approve such other Committees as may be deemed necessary.
- In the event it is determined that the County Plan of Organization is not consistent with the State Party Plan of Organization, the County Executive Committee must at the next called meeting bring the County Plan of Organization into compliance with the State Party Plan of Organization. Under any circumstances, the County Plan of Organization must be brought into compliance within 90 days. The County Plan of Organization may be amended by the County Executive Committee upon a two-thirds vote after providing written notice via first class United States Mail of the meeting advising members regarding the substance of the proposed amendment and provided a quorum is present. The Plan of Organization can only be amended between County Conventions to bring it into accordance with any changes in the State Plan of Organization that occur after the County Convention is held. County Republican Parties shall submit, by certified United States mail, return receipt requested, their county plans of organizations, and amendments thereto, to the NCGOP State Headquarters Executive Director, Political Director, and District Chairman within 30 days after their adoption, in order for the Plan and/or amendment to be considered valid.
- Through the County Chairman, the Executive Committee shall submit to the State Chairman the names and the preferred order of the names for nomination to the County Board of Elections by the date provided by the State Chairman.
The County Executive Committee shall meet at least six times a year upon call of the County Chairman after giving 10 days’ notice to all Members; or upon similar call of one-third of the Members of the Committee. For purposes of conducting business, one fourth of the members of the Committee shall constitute a quorum. There shall be no proxy voting.
- Duties of Officers
- The Chairman of the County Executive Committee, with the advice and consent of the County Executive Committee, shall have general supervision of the affairs of the Party within the County. The Chairman shall issue the call for Precinct Meetings and the County Convention, and Executive Committee Meetings, and shall preside at all the Meetings of the County Executive Committee. The Chairman shall appoint a Finance Chairman, Auditing Committee and any other Committee deemed necessary to conduct the business of the County Executive Committee. The Chairman shall further appoint a Temporary Chairman of the County Convention, who may be himself. The Chairman shall make periodic reports on the status of the Party within his County to the District Chairman. The Chairman shall be responsible for the creation and maintenance of a Republican organization in every Precinct within his County. The County Chairman shall be an “Ex-officio” Member of all County Party Committees. The Chairman shall obtain and preserve a list of all registered Republicans within the County and shall perform such other duties as may be prescribed by the County, District, or State Committees.
- The First Vice-Chairman shall function as Chairman in the absence of the Chairman. In the event that the Chairman and the First Vice-Chairman are absent, the Second Vice-Chairman shall function as Chairman. The First and Second Vice-Chairman shall have such other duties as may be prescribed by the County Executive Committee. Both Vice-Chairmen shall be “Ex-officio” Members of all committees.
- The Secretary shall keep all minutes and records and shall maintain a roster of all Precinct Officers and Executive Committee Members, which shall include name, address, phone number and email address (if applicable) of each Member. Such records shall be available, including all Credentials Lists upon request, to any registered Republican within the County. The Secretary shall furnish to the Congressional District Chairman and to State Headquarters up-to-date lists of all Precinct Chairmen. Such records shall be available upon request to any registered Republican in the county. The Assistant Secretary shall perform the duties of the Secretary in the absence of the Secretary, and shall assist the Secretary as instructed by the chairman.
- The Treasurer shall receive and disburse all funds for Party expenditures pursuant to authority duly given by the County Executive Committee, shall make a financial report at all County Executive Committee Meetings and shall fulfill all financial reports and obligations required under State and Federal election laws. The Assistant Treasurer shall perform the duties of the Treasurer in the absence of the Treasurer, and shall assist the Treasurer as instructed by the chairman. The Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer must successfully enroll in and complete the Mandatory Compliance Training provided by NC State Board of Elections and Ethics Commission as soon as possible but no later than 60 days after their election.
- Vacancies and Removals
- In case of death, resignation, discontinuance of residency within the County, removal of any Officer or Member of the County Executive Committee, or other vacancy, the County Executive Committee shall fill the resulting vacancy.
- Any Member of the County Executive Committee may be removed by a two-thirds vote of the Committee after being furnished with notice of the charges against him, signed by not less than one-third of the Members of the Committee. Any member against whom charges are brought shall be furnished with two weeks’ notice of said charges and shall be given an opportunity to present a defense. Removal shall be confined to gross inefficiency, Party disloyalty or failure to comply with the County Plan of Organization. “Party disloyalty” shall be defined as actively supporting a candidate of another Party or independent candidate running in opposition to a candidate of the Republican Party or a Republican endorsed by the State, District or County Republican Party Executive Committees in a non-partisan election.
- Such removal may be appealed to the State Central Committee within 20 days and their decision shall be final.
- Immediately upon an Executive Committee Member’s conviction, the entering of a guilty plea, an Alford plea, or a plea of no contest to a felony, without the need for any further action, that Member is automatically deemed to be removed from the Committee. In such a case, the Member has an affirmative duty to immediately inform the County Chairman in writing of his felony conviction; however failure of the Member to so notify the Chairman shall not delay, prevent or restrict the expulsion of such Member from the Executive Committee. The position held by a Member in this situation will be vacated and may be filled by the Executive Committee according to section a. above.
- Ex-officio Committee Members
Ex-officio members of the Committees have the same voting rights as the other Committee members, and are not counted in determining if a quorum is present. When an Ex-officio member of a committee ceases to hold the office that entitles him/her to such membership, his/her membership terminates automatically.
- COUNTY FINANCE AND AUDITING COMMITTEES
- Finance Committee
The County Finance Committee shall be composed of the County Finance Chairman, the County Chairman, County Vice-Chairmen, the County Treasurer, and not less than three persons approved by the County Executive Committee. They shall cooperate with the Congressional District and State Finance Committees and shall have active management of fund-raising efforts within the County.
- Auditing Committee
The Auditing Committee, appointed by the County Chairman and approved by the County Executive Committee, shall conduct a yearly audit of the financial records of the County and report such audit to the County Executive Committee for approval.
GENERAL ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE
- CONVENTION PROCEDURES
- Annual Conventions and Presidential Election Year Conventions
- The County Conventions shall be called to order by the County Chairman, or in the absence of the Chairman, by the Vice-Chairman or Secretary, in that order, who shall have the power to appoint the necessary Convention Committees and Temporary Officers at or before the convening of the Convention.
- No member of a credentials committee created by this Plan shall be eligible to be elected to an office or executive committee position at the convention for which the credentials committee serves, nor shall a committee member publicly support anyone for an office to be elected by said convention. Except when voting in convention, members of credentials committees shall strive to maintain the integrity of the convention and the committee by conducting the business of the committee with impartiality and strict neutrality on business and elections of said convention.
- Voting Procedure
- No Precinct shall cast more votes than it has duly elected Delegates on the floor at the County Convention.
- No person shall be seated as a Delegate at any County Convention unless such person shall have been duly elected as a Delegate or Alternate by the appropriate Precinct Meeting; except the registered Republicans present at a County Convention from an unorganized Precinct which has not had its credential accepted, shall have the right to vote one vote per Precinct, prorated among those present from that Precinct.
- No Delegate, Alternate, or any other Member of a Convention shall cast any vote by proxy.
- Special Meetings and Convention
At any time, the State Chairman or District Chairman may be directed by the State Central Committee to call for Special County Meetings or Conventions. The procedure for calling Regular Meetings and Conventions shall apply to the calling of Special Meetings and Conventions so far as applicable.
- Newspaper of General Circulation
For purposes of this Plan of Organization, notice published in a newspaper of general circulation in the County shall include either a paid advertisement or a news item, provided it includes the time, date, location and purpose of the Meeting. Such notices shall appear in the newspaper at least ten days prior to the Meeting or Convention. This in no way relieves the Chairman of the responsibility of this notice.
Notwithstanding any other provisions of this Plan or Organization, challenges to Delegates and Alternates must be made individually and in their capacity as individual Delegates. The successful challenges of individuals in their capacity as Delegates and Alternates shall not affect the seating of other Delegates and Alternates in the same Precinct unless it can be demonstrated by a preponderance of the evidence that the previous election of such successfully challenged Delegates and Alternates resulted in the election of other Delegates and Alternates within such Delegation who would not otherwise have been elected, but for the votes of the unqualified Delegates or Alternates.
- General Election Procedure
Notwithstanding any other Article in this Plan of Organization, the allocated Delegate slots and then the allocated Alternate slots allotted under this Plan of Organization to a Precinct or a County shall be filled first by the election of those duly qualified registered Republicans, eligible to vote, present at such Meeting or Convention and desiring to be elected to fill such slots. If, after Delegates and Alternates are chosen from those qualified registered Republicans present at the meeting, there are slots remaining to be filled, any duly qualified Republicans registered to vote may be elected by qualified Republicans attending the meeting to fill the remaining slots.
- OFFICIAL RECORDS
Executive Committee and Convention Minutes of all official actions taken shall be kept, and a copy shall be filed with the Chairman of the appropriate Committee or Convention, and when required, with State Republican Headquarters.
- Officers’ Records
All officers shall deliver all records, files and properties of the Orange County Republican Party to their successors within one month after leaving office.
- FINANCIAL ACCOUNTS
The Chairman, Treasurer, and Finance Chairman of the County shall keep faithful and accurate records of any and all moneys received by them for the use of the said Committees and shall make faithful and accurate reports thereof when so requested.
No officer or member of the Party shall cause the Party to undertake a loan in without the prior approval of the County Executive Committee after consultation with State Republican Headquarters.
- Budgeted Expenses
No County Executive Committee member shall cause the party to exceed approved total budgeted expenditures without approval from the County Executive Committee.
- FORFEITURE OF OFFICIAL PRIVILEGES
- Removal or Resignation from Committees
Any current or former official or Member of a Precinct Committee or County Executive Committee who, for any reason, is removed or has resigned from said position shall forfeit all rights and privileges in any way connected with that position.
- Party Disloyalty
Any registered Republican using a current or former title as a Party or elected official on the Republican ticket to influence the outcome of any election against a Republican Nominee may be declared ineligible to hold office under the Plan of Organization at the State, District, County and Precinct level for Party disloyalty by 2/3 vote of the State Executive Committee. Charges of Party disloyalty may be brought by petition of 50 members of the State Executive Committee, or by resolution of a County or District Republican Executive Committee. The State Executive Committee may declare a Republican found to have engaged in Party disloyalty as ineligible to serve in any office under the Plan of Organization for a period of time between six months and five years.
- Behavior in Republican Primaries
Each Officer and each Member of any Committee created by this Plan of Organization shall refrain from utilizing the powers and dignity of his or office in any Republican Primary for public office at any level. No Committee created by this Plan of Organization may issue in any way, manner or form any endorsement, or contrary endorsement in any Republican Primary for public office.
- Party Officers as Candidates
In the event the Chairman or either Vice Chairman announces his or her intentions to run for public office, or files a notice of candidacy with the County Board of Elections, that person shall be deemed to have resigned his office in the Party, effective seven days after the close of filing, and the then-existing vacancy shall be filled as provided by this Plan. However, if there is no Primary for that office, if the County Executive Committee by a two thirds vote grants an exemption, the Party Official shall remain in his capacity.
- Endorsements in Non-Partisan Elections
In non-partisan elections where the district is entirely within Orange County, the County Executive Committee may issue endorsements for registered Republicans only. Members of the Executive Committee may vote on the endorsement even if they do not live in that district.
- PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY
The most current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern all conventions and meetings, except when inconsistent with this Plan of Organization or properly adopted Convention Rules.
REFERENCES TO STATE AND DISTRICT PARTY COMMITTEES
When this Plan refers to the terms “District Chairman, District Executive Committee, State Chairman, State Executive Committee, State Headquarters and State Central Committee” the complete meaning of these terms shall be interpreted according to the meaning they are given in the current North Carolina Republican Party Plan of Organization.
AMENDMENTS AND EFFECTIVENESS OF THIS PLAN
This Plan of Organization may be amended, not inconsistent with the North Carolina Republican Party Plan of Organization, by majority vote of delegates present and voting at any County Convention. The effective date of this plan is March 17, 2018.