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Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party of Minnesota

St. Paul Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party



2005 Rules

Governing Authority and Agenda

1.       Any individual rule to which there is an objection will be considered separately.  The rest shall be considered jointly.


2.         Upon all matters not governed by the Official Call, the State DFL Party Constitution and Bylaws, the St. Paul City Party’s constitution and bylaws, and these Rules, Robert’s Rules of Order–most recently revised shall govern. Provisions of the Official Call shall take precedence over any other party rules at any level wherever a conflict exists.


3.         A majority vote of the convention is required to adopt these rules and the agenda. Once adopted, these rules and the agenda shall govern unless suspended or modified by a two-thirds vote of the convention.



4.         The quorum for conducting any business of the convention is a majority of the registered delegates (including upgraded alternates).

Seating of Delegates and Alternates

5.         Registration shall begin at 8:30 a.m. and shall remain open until adjournment of the Convention.  The Convention shall convene at 9:30 am.


6.         Each Ward delegation shall elect one or more delegation chairs for purposes of alternate seating, roll calls and ballot voting. The Convention Chair shall instruct the convention as to the duties each delegation chair will be expected to perform during the convention. The name of each delegation chair shall be reported promptly to the Convention Chair. Any delegate shall be eligible for election as delegation chair.


7.         The seating of delegates and alternates shall be governed by the following:

a.         All registered delegates (not alternates) on the temporary roll shall be seated.


b.         The convention shall hear and resolve any challenges regarding delegate or alternate seating pursuant to the Official Call.


c.         Any delegates or alternates entitled to be seated after all challenges have been resolved shall go to the registration table with their delegation chair so that proper seating can be arranged. As soon as practicable after verification of a quorum, the registration stall shall function inside the convention hall so as to permit its members to maintain a consistent and accurate delegate count by wards while participating as convention delegates.


d.         Alternates elected at large shall be upgraded to delegate status according to their numerical ranking on the ward report. Alternates elected through subcaucus voting systems will be upgraded to delegate status in the order reported within their subcaucus. If there are no alternates available within a subcaucus, alternates will be raised by lot from among the highest ranking alternates within the other subcaucuses. Each subcaucus will be represented in the lot system in proportion to its delegate allocation strength.


e.         The registration staff shall issue identification badges to delegates, alternates and visitors during the registration process. Badges issued to each group shall be of a different color.


f.          A temporary delegate badge shall be issued to an appropriate alternate when the alternate is raised to delegate status. There shall be no upgrading of alternates during any voting process. If the raised alternate is subsequently returned to alternate status, the alternate’s delegate badge shall be immediately surrendered to the registration table.


g.         Unseated alternates and visitors shall be seated separately from delegates and shall not be allowed on the convention floor during the convention.


8.         Upon application to the Credentials Committee chair, each candidate for endorsement for mayor shall be allotted fourteen floor passes and each candidate for endorsement for school board shall be allotted seven floor passes. All candidates and their representatives (using floor passes) must leave the convention floor at the time that ballots are distributed.  Floor passes issued for each race shall be returned to the Credentials Committee chair when the endorsement process for that race concludes.  Each candidate for endorsement for any City-wide office who is not a delegate or seated alternate will be given a permanent, personal floor pass for the convention.

General Convention Rules

9.         One or more Convention Chairs, with gender balance, if applicable, shall be elected by a plurality vote of the convention. The Convention Chairs shall appoint a convention secretary, timekeepers, judges, clerks, tellers, sergeants-at-arms, parliamentarians, pages and other assistants as they deem necessary to conduct convention business.


10.       All persons shall comply with rules established by Arlington High School.  No person may place any banners or posters on the Convention platform or in any way obstruct the view of the platform by delegates. All signs and other materials must comply with the rules of the Convention facility, and with any additional rules and procedures established by the City Central Committee.  Campaign signage will be prohibited in the registration area.  Campaign literature may not be distributed in the Convention hall during balloting.  No moving demonstrations are permitted during balloting.  There shall be no disruptive demonstrations in the galleries.  Each delegation will be responsible for collecting materials and garbage.  Whistles, air horns, bull horns and strobe lights, or other similar devices will not be allowed during the Convention in the Convention hall.


11.       If a contest exists, all elections shall be done by secret written ballot. In the event of a tie vote, there will be a run-off ballot including only the names of the tied candidates.  If a tie still exists, it will be broken by lot. All other voting shall be by voice vote or standing division unless a secret ballot vote is requested by the Convention Chair or by one-third of the delegates present.


12.       Convention tellers shall distribute ballots to the chair of each ward delegation on matters to be determined by secret ballot. Ballots shall be distributed only to delegates and upgraded alternates seated under the rules of this convention. These ballots shall be returned by the precinct delegation chair to the tellers.


13.       Smoking and use of intoxicants is prohibited on the convention floor. No smoking is allowed in the hallways adjacent to the convention hall, or outside the main entry to the building. All persons shall comply with any additional rules established by the convention facility.


14.       Incumbent DFL office holders, declared DFL candidates for public office, and other party dignitaries may address the convention at the discretion of the Convention Chair only after the 1st ballot for endorsement for Mayor has been cast.  Such visitors will be requested to limit their remarks to no more than two minutes.


Voting and Procedures


15.    All voting shall be by delegates and alternates serving as delegates who are sitting in the location designation for their ward.


16.  No ballot shall be distributed until at least five minutes after appropriate notice that delegates shall return to the floor has been given.


17.  Unless otherwise provided in these rules, all voting shall be by voice vote or standing division unless a counted division or a secret ballot vote is requested by the chair or by a one-third vote of Convention delegates.  All votes on contested endorsements shall be a secret ballot.  No roll call votes shall be allowed.


18.  On a counted division, each ward delegation chair will poll the delegation and deliver a signed tally sheet to the Convention chair.


19.  On a secret ballot vote, each ward delegation chair will receive an envelope from the tellers containing sufficient ballots for each delegate and upgraded alternates as listed by the Credentials committee. Each ward delegation chair shall distribute and collect ballots for their ward.  A delegate will cast only ballot, but each delegate may vote for as many candidates as there are persons to be elected or endorsed, but voting for each candidate only once.


20.  If no candidate for endorsement has received sixty percent of the votes cast, a motion to have no endorsement will be in order at any time thereafter, and will pass with a majority vote.  In that event, balloting shall terminate and no body of the DFL will endorse for that position prior to the primary election. There will no limit on the number of ballots cast for endorsement.


21.  The phrase “sixty percent affirmative vote” means that to be endorsed, a candidate must receive sixty percent of the votes cast on that ballot excluding blanks and abstentions.  Ballot marked “No endorsement” shall be counted for purposes of determining the sixty percent necessary for endorsement.  Uncounted ballots shall include blank ballots, ballots marked as abstaining, ballots marked with the name of a dropped candidate or unnominated candidate, and unintelligible or spoiled ballots.  A spoiled ballot is defined as containing the name of a dropped candidate or too many names in a multiple endorsement race.  All ballots cast shall count toward a test of quorum.

Election of Party Officers

22.       For each Party office, the chair shall call for nominations by name only. After the candidates have been nominated, the chair shall determine speaking order by lot.  Each candidate for Party office will have one minute to address the Convention. Party Officers shall be elected by simple majority. Voting will be conducted by separate ballot for each position. If none of the nominees for an office receives a majority vote on a ballot, the nominee with the least number of votes will be dropped on the next ballot, provided that at least two candidates remain on that ballot.


Speech and Debate Rules

23.       No delegate may speak until recognized by the Convention Chair. Speakers will first state their name and ward. No person may speak more than once on an item of business until all others on that side who wish to do so have had an opportunity.


24.       Unless otherwise provided for in these rules, no delegate shall speak for more than one minute on any item. The chair will rotate speaking privileges among floor microphones and between proponents and opponents of a measure to the extent possible. Debate will terminate when three speakers have been heard on each side.


25.       With respect to credentials challenges to delegations, prior to floor debate, speakers on behalf of both the challenged delegation and the challenging delegation shall each be allowed two minutes in total to present their positions, with the challenged delegation speaking last.


26.       Any motion to table shall be considered as though it were a motion to postpone indefinitely. A motion to postpone indefinitely does not preclude amendments to the main motion. The motions “to reconsider and enter on the minutes” and “to object to consideration” are not in order. The motion to reconsider is in order and will require a two-thirds vote.


27.       Any amendment to a motion or resolution that removes, changes or adds five or more words must be submitted in writing to the Convention Chair before being considered. When the motion to amend is made, it must be seconded by at least one other delegate. Amendments take a majority vote for adoption.

Endorsement Rules

28.       General Endorsement Rules:

            a.         When a public office that will be contested on the general-election ballot contains more than one person to be elected, the Convention may endorse as many persons as there will be positions for that office.

b.               For each public office to be considered, the chair shall first call for nominations from the floor for endorsement.  Nominations shall be by name only.  After the candidates have been named, the chair shall determine an order for speaking time by lot.

c.                No time shall be given to individuals who are not seeking DFL endorsement.


Endorsement Ballot for Mayor and School Board


29.       Candidates nominated shall be allotted for nominating speeches, seconding speeches, floor demonstrations, and addressing the convention the following time:

a.               Mayor: up to fifteen minutes

b.               Board of Education: up to five minutes.


30.       Speaking order shall be determined by lot.


31.       There will be up to a thirty-minute question-and-answer period following the nominating speeches for Mayor and a twenty-minute question-and-answer period for School Board at the beginning of the Convention. All candidates seeking endorsement will be invited to participate.

a.               Delegates and alternates are entitled to submit written, signed questions.  All questions must be submitted to the Convention secretary prior to the question-and-answer period.  All questions must be submitted in writing and only one question per submission is permitted.  All questions must be general in nature and be addressed to all of the candidates.  No preliminary remarks, statements, or explanations may be included and are cause for disqualifications of the questions. No question deemed to be in the nature of personal attacks on any or all candidates will be accepted.  All questions should be possible to answer within a one-minute period.

b.               Each candidate will have up to one minute to respond to each question.  The order of response for the first question will be determined by lot and rotation will follow for subsequent questions.  All candidates will have the opportunity to answer the last question asked even if the time frame elapses prior to completion of the rotation.  The first question all candidates will be asked will be: “In the event that you are not endorsed, will you run against the candidate(s) endorsed for the office the nominee seeks?”


32.       Endorsement for Mayor and School Board shall proceed in alternating ballots, beginning with Mayor.  The first ballot for School Board endorsement shall occur before the results of the first endorsement ballot for Mayor are announced.  Thereafter, each successive endorsement ballot for Mayor shall occur before the results of the preceding endorsement ballot for School Board are announced, and each successive endorsement ballot for School Board shall occur before the results of the preceding endorsement ballot for Mayor are announced. This rule expires once the convention concludes endorsement balloting for either Mayor or School Board.


33.            The endorsed candidate for Mayor may be allotted up to five minutes for an acceptance speech


34.               Drop Rule.  Candidates receiving less than ten percent will be dropped after the first ballot.  On subsequent ballots, the drop-off percent will be raised by five percent each ballot.  In addition, after the fourth ballot, the lowest remaining candidate will be dropped regardless of the percent.  However, in no case will this drop off rule be used to reduce the number of candidates remaining on the next ballot to less than two.


35.            Resolutions

a.         Ballots shall be distributed to delegates and upgraded alternates at registration and each delegation chair will collect resolutions ballots no later the distribution of the first Mayoral endorsement ballot. There will be no time specifically devoted to the resolutions balloting process.

b.         A resolution shall be adopted by a 60 percent affirmative vote of all non-spoiled ballots cast, including abstentions.

c.         Resolutions may be made by petition.  Such resolutions must be submitted in writing to the resolutions committee chair, before the second resolutions committee report, with the signatures of at least 50 delegates or alternates and must involve issues not covered in the Resolutions Committee Report.

d.         Petition resolutions, shall be debated in between balloting for endorsements. 

e.         Any amendment which removes, changes or adds five words or more must be submitted in writing to the convention chair.

f.          Only resolutions pertaining to city or school district issues shall be considered by the convention.

                          g.       Once a resolution has been adopted or rejected, it shall not be reconsidered.