The Republican Party of Texas recently headed back to Midland for a very successful fundraiser, which was once again hosted by former Mayor Ernie Angelo and his wife Penny.
Precinct Convention Sample Script
in the ___________ Party in the State of Texas
IMPORTANT NOTE TO TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN: This script is intended to serve as a guide and can be read to assist the Temporary Chairman through a simple precinct convention. Read this entire sample script. You may fill in known items in the blank spaces before your precinct convention. This script is intended to conform to the Texas Election Code, the Rules of the Party and Roberts Rules of Order Newly Revised, as required. This note and others shown are not intended to be part of the script but rather are provided as notes, suggestions, information, cautions or warnings. It is convenient when the temporary chair of the precinct convention is also the election judge, but if this is not the case in your precinct, then the temporary chair and the election judge should coordinate efforts for a successful precinct convention. The election judge is required to provide the temporary precinct convention chair a list of those who voted (TEC §172.1141). All Election Judges and Election Clerks who are in the precinct & who voted are permitted to participate in the precinct convention before returning ballots and election returns, and it makes no difference how long a precinct convention lasts (TEC §161.007), with a few very rare exceptions (TEC §66.053). If an elections administrator refuses to cooperate, as some have, then ask them how they justify keeping a person from voting in their Precinct Convention. This usually solves the problem. However, ballots and election returns must be returned to the general custodian of election records as soon as possible (TEC §66.053). This does not preclude an election judge’s legal responsibility to safeguard and protect voted ballots under his or her authority (TEC §66.051-66.055). Be Careful, Be Right, and Be Legal!
If any voice vote in your convention is close (or even seems close), you should call for a second vote by division (a standing vote). If your assembly is a large one, it is wise to ask for assistance in counting, such as a teller from each side (representing each major faction, if any) to assist you.
A. CALL TO ORDER: The Convention of Precinct #____ will now come to order. It is now ____ p.m., the time designated by the Executive Committee of the ____________ Party, to call our
Precinct Convention to Order. My name is ___________________________, the Temporary Chairman of the Convention. I have asked ____________________________ to serve as Temporary Secretary of the Convention and (if necessary) _________________________ to serve as Temporary Assistant Secretary (ies) and ________________________ to serve as Temporary Sergeant-at-Arms.
B. INVOCATION AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE: We ask everyone to stand for the Invocation followed by the Pledge of Allegiance to our Flags. I have asked ____________________ to lead us in the Invocation and _______________________________ to lead us in the Pledge of Allegiance to the U.S. Flag and ______________________________ to lead us in the Pledge to the Texas Flag.
INFORMATION: The Invocation and Pledges are optional agenda items. They are not mandatory in the agenda for a precinct convention. Should you choose to include these items in your agenda, be sure you have pre-arranged with a person assigned to perform each function and that flags are present. The pledge to the U.S. Flag is: “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands; one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” The pledge of allegiance to the Texas Flag is: “Honor the Texas flag - I pledge allegiance to thee, Texas, one and indivisible.”
C. PREPARATION OF A LIST OF QUALIFIED PARTICIPANTS: The next business in order is the preparation of a list of qualified participants. State law (TEC § 162.001-162.005 & 174.024) and the Rules of the ________ Party, require that only registered voters of this election precinct who voted in the current Primary Election either in person, early or by mail may participate in this precinct convention. Proxy voting is not permitted. Members of the media may remain and children may remain as long as they are quiet and not disruptive (TEC § 174.002).
For all who are qualified to participate, we are circulating a list of those in attendance and we ask you to “print legibly” on this sheet rather than to sign it since it is easier to read when we prepare the minutes for this precinct convention (refer to the next suggestion). Please include your residence address and telephone number(s). When completed, we will ask the Secretary (ies) to confirm the list by comparing it to the list of those who voted or ask each of you to show evidence that you voted.
SUGGESTION: You can save time if your Convention Secretary registers those persons who desire to participate in the Precinct Convention as they enter the meeting room beginning a few minutes before the precinct convention begins. Be careful not to interfere with any voters who may still be in line to vote. After you have prepared your list of participants, then proceed.
The Secretary has confirmed that we have _______ present and qualified to participate in this Precinct Convention. Are there any questions? If we have any late arrivals, we will add then to the list of participants after we confirm their eligibility to participate. Late arrivals will then be permitted to participate beginning with the vote following the one in progress (if any). If anyone is present other than minor children and the media who did not vote in the Primary Election in the ______________ Party in this voting precinct, we ask you not to participate (or sit in another area of the meeting room or leave the convention). This is not intended to be mean spirited it is a legal requirement. Are there any questions or is there any objection? Observing none, we will proceed.
WARNING: Use good judgment in addressing the matter of qualifying participants. The intent is clearly to preclude non-qualified persons from participating and voting in your precinct convention. It is not uncommon to permit interested observers to remain if space permits and if they do not participate. If you find a conflict between your list of participants and your list of voters, address the matter carefully since a person may be registered to vote under a former name, hyphenated name, etc. If your election judge was less than cooperative and does not provide you with a list of those who voted, you must prove it by another method such a rubber stamp on the “Voter Registration Certificate” indicating “Your Primary of Choice” or a “Certificate of Party Affiliation” indicating the person voted in the primary election. Non-qualified persons must not participate it is illegal. Any violation of this could subject your precinct convention to a challenge. Be Careful, Be Right, and Be Legal. If an objection occurs, you may need to ask all persons except children (if quiet and not disruptive) and the media to leave the meeting room. If necessary, remind them, “This is not intended to be mean spirited - it is a legal requirement.” The media must be permitted to remain (TEC § 174.002).
D. ANNOUNCEMENT OF AGENDA AND RULES OF PROCEDURE: The Rules of the _______________ Party provide that certain items must be included in the agenda for a Precinct Convention. Following the Call to Order and Preparation of a List of Qualified Participants, we will Elect Permanent Officers of this Convention, Announce the Time and Location of our County or Senatorial District Convention and the Time and Location of Temporary Committee Meetings (if known). After our preliminary work is done, we will address the main reasons for being here to elect Delegates and Alternates to the County or Senatorial District Convention, followed by addressing any resolutions that may come forth. This will be followed by other business including significant announcements, then Adjournment. This Precinct Convention must be conducted in accordance with the Texas Election Code (TEC), the Rules of the ______________ Party and Roberts Rules of Order Newly Revised (RONR). Are there any comments or questions? (Pause and wait for any comments or questions, then proceed.)
E. ELECTION OF PERMANENT OFFICERS: The next business in order is the election of permanent officers of this convention. Nominations for permanent officers are now in order. The Chair recognizes _________________ for the purpose of a nomination.
SUGGESTION: Continue with nominations until all officers are elected. The election of officers will usually include the Chairman, the Secretary and the Sergeant-at-Arms. Other officers may be elected if the convention so chooses. It is not uncommon for a single motion to be made to nominate all temporary officers of the convention as permanent officers in a friendly convention. A motion such as this is acceptable, but should never be used to shut out further nominations. Nominating speeches are acceptable but are not common in Precinct Conventions. Continue with nominations until there are no further nominations. Do not close nominations, permit a motion to close nominations or accept a motion to elect by acclamation until adequate opportunity has occurred for nominations to be made. Such motions typically require a two-thirds vote for adoption. You must be flexible depending on the number of nominations made. At a precinct convention, it is wise to vote by division (standing) and to ask for two or more counters (one representing each major faction, if any). After the elections, the Permanent Chairman assumes the Chair and continues. This election is sometimes viewed as a test vote to see how future votes in the convention will go. Refer to the “CAUTIONS” following the “ELECTION OF DELEGATES AND ALTERNATES” and “CONSIDERATION OF RESOLUTIONS.”
__________________________ has/have been nominated for Chairman. If there is no objection, we will vote in the order nominated. All in favor of __________________, please stand and remain standing until you are counted. All in favor of _______________________, please stand and remain standing until you are counted. The vote totals are _______ for _______________________ and _______ for _______________________.
Mr./Ms. _______________ has been elected Permanent Chairman of this Precinct Convention.
WARNING: If the Temporary Chairman is seeking election to be the Permanent Chairman and is defeated, he/she should turn control of the Chair to the new Permanent Chairman. Do not be vindictive. Such conduct is unacceptable and may subject one to embarrassment, challenge and/or discipline. The Temporary Chairman should provide the Permanent Chairman all forms and official documents necessary for the proper conduct of the remainder of the precinct convention and the preparation of the minutes. Nominations continue for other officers in the same manner. It is not uncommon for one motion to be made to elect all temporary officers as permanent officers of the convention. However, if the convention chooses to elect each officer individually, then repeat this process for each officer.
Nominations are now in order for permanent Secretary . . . . then Sergeant-at-Arms, etc.
F. ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE COUNTY OR SENATORIAL DISTRICT CONVENTION: We are in _______ county or State Senatorial District # ____ (The convention for our county/district will be on Saturday, April ____, 2____ at __________________________. Registration will begin at _____ a.m., and the Call to Order is scheduled at _________________. If you are nominated and elected as a delegate or alternate, it is recommended that you allocate the entire day for the convention since the most important items of business at all conventions generally occur near the end of the convention.
Our Precinct, Precinct # ____, has been allocated ____ delegates and an equal number of alternates to our County/State Senatorial District Convention. This allocation is based on the Rules of the Party and in those precincts which had boundary changes since the last gubernatorial election, by an allocation method ratified by resolution at the statutory meeting of the Executive Committee of the Party. It may bear repeating that the only requirement to be a delegate or alternate is that a nominee must have voted in this precinct in this year’s Primary election in the ______________ Party, in person, early or by mail and receive a majority vote of this precinct convention. Are there any questions? (Pause and wait for questions or comments before moving to the next item.)
CAUTION: It is important that there be no questions. You are about to address the most important business of the convention. It is also very important that if anyone arrives at this point in the convention, they may participate provided that they meet all other qualifications. If a vote is pending, they may not vote on the pending question but may participate in subsequent votes. Under some circumstances a late comer will alter the outcome. If this happens, so be it; that’s the way our system works.
G. ELECTION OF DELEGATES AND ALTERNATES: The next business in order is the Election of Delegates and Alternates to the County/Senatorial District Convention of the ______________ Party. Nominations for Delegates and Alternates are now in order. Are there any nominations? The Chair recognizes ____________________ for a nomination.
CAUTION: All nominations are debatable, amendable and require a majority vote for adoption. It is suggested that you not limit debate or discussion on nominations. The use of motions to “Close Nominations” or “Move the Previous Question” are strongly discouraged as they can be used to thwart the intent of rules and frustrate the intent of the majority. Try to avoid these motions; however, if they are used, an affirmative vote of two-thirds is typically required. Nominations can be made by slate, individually or a combination. If any voice vote is close, it is wise to have a second vote by division (standing) and to ask for two or more counters (one representing each major faction, if any). The illegal parliamentary method called “railroading” has no place in any convention or meeting of our Party. Persons guilty of this kind of conduct are subject to discipline under the Party Rules. The ends never justify the means, period.
H. CONSIDERATION OF RESOLUTIONS: The next business in order is the Consideration of Resolutions. Are there any Resolutions? The Chair recognizes __________________ for a motion.
CAUTION: All resolutions are debatable, amendable and require a majority vote for adoption. It is suggested that debate and discussion on resolutions not be limited unless a previous motion to limit debate was adopted and such a motion is fair and consistent with Rules. Be careful! A motion to “Table” with the intent to kill a resolution or a motion to “Refer” without a vote on a Resolution are both out of order and must not be considered. A motion to “Table” or “Lay on the Table” a resolution at a Precinct Convention is almost always out of order. Try to avoid such potential problems in your convention. They just might create problems for you later. If any voice vote is close, it is wise to have a second vote by division (standing) and to ask for two or more counters (one representing each major faction, if any). There are no limitations on the number of resolutions that may be presented.
(After discussion, debate, etc.) All in favor indicate by saying “AYE”, opposed “NAY”. The “AYES” have it (if they really do) and the resolution passes or the “NAYS” have it (if they really do) and the resolution fails adoption.
I. OTHER BUSINESS: We have one important final announcement. Pursuant to the Rules of the Party, a copy of the written records of this convention will be available for copying by any participant in the Precinct Convention for a period of thirty (30) minutes immediately following adjournment and this record includes a list of Delegates and Alternates elected at this Convention (compliance with this is not optional, it’s mandatory). Are there any questions? . . . Comments? . . . Any other business to come before this convention (pause ... pause ... pause ... do not move too fast ... if there is none ... then move on)? OK
J. ADJOURNMENT: The last item on our agenda is adjournment. Do we have a motion to adjourn? (A motion to adjourn must be made and seconded or it can be made by unanimous consent) All in favor indicate by saying “AYE”, those opposed say “NAY” or “NO”. The “AYES” have it and the 20__ convention of this precinct is adjourned sine die.
VERY IMPORTANT WARNING: This warning is intended to alarm you and is a must read. The most common grounds for a precinct convention challenge of credentials at the County or Senatorial District Convention is that minutes are late, incomplete, illegible or a combination of these.
Two copies of the precinct convention minutes must be turned in to the County Chairman of the ________________ Party, not later than the third day after the date of the precinct convention. However, if they are mailed, they must be mailed not later than the second day after the date of the precinct convention. If mailed, it is always wise to send by certified mail, with a return receipt requested. There are no provisions for sending precinct convention minutes by facsimile or e-mail because original signatures are required. So, do not send by fax or e-mail. Be certain the minutes are legible, complete, signed with original signatures and all exhibits are attached. This means that the second copy must also be legible. If not, it is your responsibility to make copies so they are legible. The state party usually provides the county chairmen or state executive committee members with a minutes form. Included is usually an Exhibit “A” for the list of participants in your precinct convention; Exhibit “B” for the list of Delegates elected to your County or Senatorial District Convention; Exhibit “C for the list of Alternates elected to your County or Senatorial District Convention; Exhibit “D” for the list of resolutions adopted by title, and Exhibit “E” for the list of resolutions that failed adoption by title. Exhibits A, B, and C must show the names, addresses and telephone numbers of those listed (E-mail addresses are highly encouraged). After adjournment, discuss the minutes with your convention secretary. This is very important. If you err on this matter, you could be disciplined, challenged, embarrassed or a combination of these or the delegates and alternates elected at your convention may not be seated. Be Careful!
The Republican National Committee, which is the governing body of the national Republican Party, met in Los Angeles, CA the week of April 8.
In March, the Republican Party of Texas hosted another very successful annual fundraiser. This is the third annual legislative fundraiser since Chairman Munisteri was elected in 2010.
The SREC has elected Toni Anne Dashiell to fill the vacancy for National Committeewoman to the RNC
This week, the Republican Party of Texas hosted a lunch for Grassroots Club members with Special Guest and fellow Grassroots Club member, U.S. Senator John Cornyn.