This page focuses on procedures found within the Bylaws and Constitutions of the Utah County Republican Party and the Utah Republican Party. This page will be particularly helpful to Party Officers, Precinct Officers, and Delegates. Knowledge is power! Understanding Party procedures gives us the power to act within the Party, and helps us know when others are overstepping their bounds.
In addition to the topics addressed below, a plethora of information is available in the Education Documents section of the Utah County Republican Party website.
WHAT IS THE CONSTITUTION & BYLAWS COMMITTEE?
The Constitution and Bylaws Committee is one of the two County Party standing committees (the Audit Committee is the other). The C&B Committee is the guardian of the Party Constitution and Bylaws. This committee is responsible for reviewing the Party Constitution and Bylaws (and any requested modifications thereto) and making recommendations to the County Central Committee for changes as the need arises.
The C&B Committee is composed of 7 members who are elected from among the County Party Central Committee members. The C&B Committee Chair and Vice Chair are nominated by the committee from among its members. The C&B Committee Chair is designated as a member of the Executive Committee, and is therefore an ex-officio State and County Delegate. No county-wide Party officer or county-wide Party employee may serve on the C&B Committee. All members are elected at the third-quarter Central Committee meeting in the “organizing” year, and all members serve for a term of 2 years. This committee meets as often as is needed to perform its duties.
(References: Utah County Republican Party Bylaws: Bylaw 9, D. Utah County Republican Party Constitution: Article III, E, 2 and F).
WHAT IS THE AUDIT COMMITTEE?
The Audit Committee is one of the two County Party standing committees (Constitution and Bylaws is the other). The purpose of the Audit Committee is to monitor financial matters and audit the Party’s financial records. The Audit Committee selects a CPA firm to review or audit the Party’s financial records for the past fiscal year; it also oversees the review/audit and presents the review/audit report to the Executive Committee for review and its recommendations for approval or disapproval before submitting the report to the County Central Committee for approval.
The Audit Committee is composed of 5 members who are elected from among the County Party Central Committee members. The Audit Committee Chair is designated as a member of the Executive Committee, and is therefore an ex-officio State and County Delegate. No county-wide Party officer or county-wide Party employee may serve on the Audit Committee. All members are elected at the third-quarter Central Committee meeting in the “organizing” year, and all members serve for a term of 2 years. This committee meets as often as is needed to perform its duties.
(References: Utah County Republican Party Bylaws: Bylaw 9, E. Utah County Republican Party Constitution: Article III, E, 2 and F; Article VIII, B).
ORGANIZATION CHART FOR THE UTAH COUNTY REPUBLICAN PARTY
The Utah County Republican Party is governed by three Committees: the Steering Committee, the Executive Committee and the Central Committee. In addition to these three Committees there are two Standing Committees: the Audit Committee and the Constitution and Bylaws Committee. The Party also has Legislative District leadership teams, Voting Precinct leadership teams and delegates. Additional ad-hoc committees may be instituted as needed.
For simplicity’s sake, this article will list the Utah County Republican Party organization positions from the top (or smallest) level down. For more information regarding Party organization, please see the Utah County Republican Party Constitution and Bylaws (www.utahgop.org).
The Steering Committee is at the top of the County Party org chart, and consists of the four elected Party Officers (Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer, Secretary) and the five Appointed Officers (Education, Finance, Volunteer, Organization, Public Relations/Media). The Appointed Officers are appointed by a majority of the Elected Officers. The Steering Committee is responsible for conducting the daily operations of the County Party. (For more information on the role of the Steering Committee, see the Utah County Republican Party Constitution, Article III, G, 3; also see Bylaw 9, A).
The Executive Committee is the second tier in the County Party organization. The Executive Committee consists of the Steering Committee, plus the Legislative District Chairs and the chairs of the two Standing Committees; namely, the Audit Committee and the Constitution and Bylaws Committee. The Executive Committee is primarily a screening committee for Party business and any intra-party controversies. (For more information on the role of the Executive Committee, see the Utah County Republican Party Constitution, Article III, G, 2; also see Bylaw 9, B).
Although the Central Committee is listed in the third tier position on the org chart, the Central Committee is the governing body of the Utah County Republican Party. All powers not specifically reserved for Party Conventions, delegated to other committees, or specifically delegated in the County Party Constitution, are vested in the Central Committee. It is the “buck stops here” committee. The Central Committee consists of the Voting Precinct Chairs and Vice Chairs; the four Elected County Officers; the five Appointed County Officers; the Legislative District Chairs, Vice Chairs, and Education Officers; all past full-term County Party Chairs (or those who succeeded as Chair and served at least 6 months); and all County, State, and Federal Elected Officials. Some of the responsibilities of the Central Committee include proposing and voting on Bylaw and Constitution amendments, and approving budgets. (For more information on the role of the Central Committee, see the Utah County Republican Party Constitution, Article III, G, 1; also see Bylaw 7, C, and Bylaw 9, C).
LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT LEADERSHIP
Utah County is divided into 13 Legislative Districts. Legislative District Leadership within the Utah County Republican Party consists of a Legislative District Chair, Vice Chair, Education Officer, Committee Member I and Committee Member II. The Legislative District Chair, Vice Chair, and Education Officer are elected at Legislative District caucuses (generally held in the fall of odd-numbered years); Committee Members are appointed as assistants by the Legislative District Chair. The Legislative District leadership team oversees Party affairs within their Legislative District and is responsible for training Voting Precinct Officers. (For more information on the role of Legislative District Leadership, see the Utah County Republican Party Constitution, Article III, C, as well as Article IV K-M; also see Bylaw 7, B).
VOTING PRECINCT LEADERSHIP
The fundamental level of the Utah County Republican Party is the Voting Precinct. Voting Precinct Leadership consists of a Precinct Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer. The Voting Precinct leadership team oversees Party affairs within the Voting Precinct (such as fund raising and voter registration drives). (For more information on the role of Voting Precinct Leadership, see the Utah County Republican Party Constitution, Article IV N-Q; also see Bylaw 7, A).
STATE AND COUNTY DELEGATES
State and County Delegates are elected within the precinct at Voting Precinct Caucuses. Delegates are responsible for attending both nominating and organizing conventions. (For more information on the role of Delegates, see the Utah County Republican Party Constitution Article IV, R ; also see Bylaw 1 and Bylaw 2).
The two Standing Committees (the Audit Committee and the Constitution and Bylaws Committee) do not necessarily fit linearly into the County Party org chart, but they are important bodies which deserve mentioning. The Audit Committee monitors financial matters, and the Constitution and Bylaws Committee accepts and proposes changes to the Party’s Constitution and Bylaws. For more information on the Audit Committee and the Constitution and Bylaws Committee, see the Utah County Republican Party Constitution, Article III, F; as well as Bylaw 9, D and E). We will cover more information regarding these committees in another article.
The organization chart for the Utah State Republican Party is quite similar to the Utah County Republican Party org chart. For more information regarding the state Party organization, visit their website (www.utgop.org).
ROBERT’S RULES OF ORDER PRIMER
Robert’s Rules of Order was first published in 1876 by then US Army Major Henry Martyn Robert as a collection of procedural rules with which to conduct an orderly meeting. Robert’s Rules of Order is used to conduct both Utah State and Utah County Republican Party conventions. It can be a little confusing the first time a delegate attends a convention governed by Robert’s Rules. To help delegates more confidently participate in conventions, here is a quick primer of the Robert’s Rules parliamentary procedures that delegates will most frequently encounter at a Republican Party convention:
- Main Motion – A main motion (or simply “motion”) brings an order of business to the floor. All main motions must be seconded and are adopted by majority vote, unless otherwise noted. All main motions may be debated and are subject to amendment, unless otherwise noted.
- Motion to Amend – Request to amend a motion currently under consideration. If made before the main motion is finalized by vote, an amendment requires a majority vote to pass. If made after a final vote, it requires a two-thirds vote to pass. Amendments may also be amended.
- Point of Information – A request for information, such as a specific question for the speaker, or a question or request for clarification about the content of the current motion.
- The Previous Question – (Also known as “Call the Question”) Closes debate and brings the assembly to an immediate vote on the pending question. Requires a two-thirds vote for approval.
- Division of the Assembly – “Division” may be called when there is doubt about the outcome of a voice vote. When a division is called, the chair will call for the vote to be repeated, this time by having ‘yeas’ and ‘nays’ stand in turn. If the chair is unable to visually ascertain the outcome of the vote, a count will be taken of those standing for, and then those standing against, the proposal.
- Suspend the Rules – Used if an assembly wishes to do something that would violate the rules of the assembly (but it cannot violate constitution/bylaws). For example, it would require a suspension of the rules to alter an aspect of business on an agenda already approved by the body.
- Parliamentary Inquiry – Request for parliamentary assistance regarding how to address the business at hand.
- Point of Order – This point allows one to bring to the chair’s attention an error in procedure, an infraction of rules, or a lack of decorum in debate. Must be raised immediately after the error is made.
- Point of Personal Privilege -A point addressing a personal need, such as climate or noise control within the room, a direct response to a comment defaming one’s character, or to recognize special guests. Should only be used when truly necessary.
To utilize any of these rules during convention, a delegate should stand at one of the microphones on the floor and state his/her parliamentary intention (for example, “Point of Information”). When recognized by the chair, the delegate should state his/her name and county (for state conventions) or precinct (for county conventions), and then state his/her question/request. Calls for division, the previous question, and other similar rules may be made from the delegate’s seat without requiring the delegate to approach the microphone. The Convention is supervised by a parliamentarian. If you wish to speak but are unsure of how to phrase your request, you may state, “Parliamentary Inquiry” and ask the chair or parliamentarian how to proceed.
See the Convention Rules posted for state and county conventions for more information regarding any posted departures from Robert’s Rules (such as debate time allowed, etc). Robert’s Rules helps a convention run in an orderly, efficient manner, and helps ensure that all participants have equal rights. Enjoy convention!
REPUBLICAN PARTY STATE CENTRAL COMMITTEE
What exactly is the State Central Committee? The State Central Committee is the governing and policy-making body of our state Republican Party (the state-wide counterpart to our Utah County Republican Party Central Committee). Their responsibilities include (but are not limited to) adopting bylaws, amending the state Party constitution (must be subsequently ratified by delegates), filling Officer vacancies, voting on state Party standing committee member appointments, electing voting members to the state Constitution and Bylaws committee, approving the state Party budget, and other tasks. This committee meets at least quarterly, its members serve for 2-year terms, and its members include (as listed in the state Party constitution):
Article IV, State Central Committee, B:
The voting members of the State Central Committee shall consist of the State Party Chair, State Party Vice-Chair, State Party Secretary, State Party Treasurer, National Committeeman, National Committeewoman, Chair and Vice-Chair of each County Republican Party, County Representatives elected at the county organizing conventions, and Presidents or Chairs of any organization designated as a Party Auxiliary by the State Central Committee. The following elected officials, if Republicans, shall each be a voting member of the State Central Committee: Governor, U.S. Senator, U.S. Representative, State Attorney General, State Treasurer, State Auditor, and the Republican leader in both the Utah House and Utah Senate.
If you’d like more info regarding the State Central Committee, visit the Utah State Republican Party website at utgop.org.