As many of you know, the Florida Democratic Party is one of ten state parties that still operates under an antiquated and unfair weighted vote system. This system allows for 14 people to hold the majority voting power in the State Executive Committee of the Democratic Party in Florida, and it also under represents minority communities.
We have known for some time that this weighted vote system ran afoul of the DNC rules that one person should have one vote. However, FDP leaders have insisted that there is no other way. In the last year the Miami-Dade delegation joined other smaller and mid-size counties to push this issue and bring it back to the forefront - only to be met by the same naysayers who have the most to lose from changing the system.
At its meeting on August 22, 2019, in conjunction with the recent Democratic National Committee meeting in San Francisco, the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee (RBC) approved the attached resolution concerning the use of weighted votes by State Democratic Parties.
The issue of individual state committee members casting weighted or multiple votes was initially raised as part of a challenge to a state’s selection of its DNC members. While the Credentials Committee ultimately dismissed the challenge raising this issue, they did direct the RBC to review the use of weighted votes by state parties in order to determine if the practice is consistent with both the spirit and intent of the Party’s rules.
To date, DNC Staff has identified 10 states that use some type of weighted vote process for conducting business -- including the selection of Democratic National Committee members. Those states include Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, New York, North Carolina, and South Dakota. In order to do the necessary due diligence to fully assess the use of weighted voting in our process, the RBC is seeking to gather additional information about State Party voting structures.
To aid the RBC’s review of State Party voting structures and to address any potential issues that may be identified prior to your state’s selection of DNC members next year, we have asked PADS Staff to reach out to you and to gather the following information. Staff will schedule a call with you and your team in order to have the information below by Tuesday, October 15, 2019:
- A copy of the State Party’s current bylaws and any other relevant rules or procedures related to voting by the State Committee members;
- Any relevant statutory language describing the composition and/or voting structure of the State Party.
- A description and number of members that serve on the State Committee;
- A description of the method used for calculating the number of votes allocated to members and the total number of votes (weighted or otherwise) cast by State Committee members;
- A description of how votes are allotted to members, and a chart showing how many votes each member casts;
- A description of the procedures used to elect the state’s DNC members and Party officers, including the time frames in which those elections occur;
- A description of how the committee provides for the equal division of its membership in accordance with Article 9, Section 16 of the National Party’s Charter; and
- A chart indicating the demographic composition of the State Committee membership.
We will note that the RBC’s resolution allows one year for any State Party whose voting system is found not to comply with the Party’s rules to bring its voting system into compliance. As also noted in the resolution, any voting process that is found not to comply, could possibly put into question the election of the DNC Members for the 2021 term, a scenario we want to avoid.
We sincerely appreciate your assistance in providing this information to the RBC by October 15. Should you have any questions about the resolution or the materials being requested for this review, please contact us directly, or the office of Party Affairs and Delegate Selection at the firstname.lastname@example.org.