Endorsement Rules

    Adopted by the Membership of the 34th LD Democrats at the April 14, 2021 meeting.


    2021 Endorsement Rules

    Section 1. Endorsement Notice & Calendar

    Notice of endorsement meetings must be distributed to all members of the 34th Legislative District Democrats (“Organization”) at least 9 days before a meeting at which endorsements will be considered. If no endorsement meeting is scheduled, or if the prior-notice requirement has not been met, endorsements may be considered with the support of 80% of members present and voting. Endorsement meetings shall occur; prior to any special election, prior to the primary election, and prior to the general election.

    Section 2. Eligible Nominees

    The Organization may endorse candidates for public office where the office’s jurisdiction includes any part of the 34th Legislative District (“District”), including judicial candidates. The Organization may also endorse policy measures which would impact any part of the District. Drafts submitted must be presented as they will appear on the ballot in the form of a ballot measure, referendum, levy, initiative, or signature campaign. Candidates seeking endorsement:

    1. Must be a Democratic candidate; and
    2. Must complete the questionnaire assigned by the Organization and submit it to the chair of the Resolutions & Endorsements Committee. Judicial candidates need not answer questions that might breach the Canons of Judicial Conduct. The questionnaire shall be the same for all candidates seeking the same office. Authorized questionnaires include:
      1. Those published by the King County Democrats, for which the Chair or a person appointed by the Chair is responsible for obtaining; or
      2. Any questionnaire drafted by the Organization, for which the Resolution & Endorsements Committee is responsible for drafting.
        1. The Resolutions & Endorsements Committee shall submit a draft questionnaire to the Board 60 days prior to the first endorsement meeting.
        2. The draft shall move to the membership with a majority vote of the Board.
        3. The draft shall be approved by the membership with a simple-majority vote at the next membership meeting following the Board vote.

    Section 3. Eligible Speakers & Voters

    Only residents of the District who establish or renew their membership by the membership meeting prior to the endorsement meeting may speak or vote during an endorsement meeting. If a resident of the District was a member in the previous calendar year and renews their membership at the endorsement meeting, they may also speak or vote during the endorsement meeting. If a meeting occurs in a virtual setting, residents of the District who were members in the previous calendar year must renew their membership by 9:00 PM on the night before the endorsement meeting. Elected or appointed Precinct Committee Officers meet these requirements, and may speak or vote, as a consequence of their position. Only those votes of eligible voting members present at the endorsement meeting shall be counted. Speakers for or against motions to endorse must identify themselves prior to speaking. Any registration for meetings occurring in a virtual setting must include a members first and last name, email, membership status (PCO, member, or guest), a form of membership status verification for use during voting, and any other information required for accessing or participating during the meeting.

    Section 4. Recommendations by the Board

    With a quorum and two-thirds vote by Board members present and voting, the Board may recommend the endorsement or rejection of any eligible nominee. The Board may also recommend the endorsement of a set of eligible nominees, who shall be collectively considered for endorsement as a “block”.

    1. Votes for a block shall be by show of credentials unless a motion to vote by other means is proposed, seconded, and passes with a simple majority vote.
    2. If a voting member objects to a candidate’s inclusion in a block, the candidate shall be removed from the block but shall remain eligible for endorsement.

    Section 5. Voting Method

    The method of voting shall be a signed ballot for all non-block endorsement considerations (see Section 4). If a signed or electronic ballot is used, any ballot submitted which is unsigned, incomplete, lacking clear intent, or including invalid nominees will not be counted in determining the number of votes cast. The Chair may also, at their discretion, recommend voting by show of credentials for specific endorsements. If no voting member objects, voting on endorsements specified by the Chair shall be by show of credentials. If a voting member objects, a vote shall be called to vote by show of credentials; which must receive a simple majority vote of voting members voting to pass.

    Section 6. Motions & Speeches

    The Chair shall present, and consider motions regarding, any Board recommendations. Any seconded motion to endorse recommended nominees shall require a simple majority of voting members present and voting to pass. In the order determined by the Chair, the Chair shall call for motions to endorse candidates by office sought and any policy measure in the forms identified in Section 2.2. The endorsement vote for any office may only be called once all eligible nominees seeking that office have had an opportunity to be nominated. Motions for sole endorsement shall be out of order. Motions shall follow the following procedure:

    1. Candidates
      1. A voting member makes a motion to endorse a candidate.
      2. A voting member may second the motion. If seconded, the motion is considered. If not seconded, the motion is not considered.
      3. The person making the motion may speak for up to two minutes or cede all or part of their time to the candidate or a voting member.
      4. A person opposing the motion may speak for up to two minutes.
      5. If someone speaks against the motion, the person seconding the motion may speak for up to two minutes or cede all or part of their time to a voting member.
      6. If a second person speaks in favor of the motion, a second person opposing the motion may speak for up to  two minutes.
      7. Speeches are heard for each candidate being considered for endorsement.
      8. When speeches are complete, the Chair shall call for a vote.
    2. Policy Measure — Ballot Measures, Referenda, Levies, Initiatives, & Signature Campaigns
      1.  A voting member makes a motion to endorse a policy measure.
      2. A voting member may second the motion. If seconded, the motion is discussed. If not seconded, the motion is not considered.
      3. The person making the motion may speak for up to two minutes or cede all or part of their time to a voting member or a person representing a campaign supporting a policy measure.
      4. A person opposing the motion may speak for up to two minutes.
      5. If someone speaks against the motion, the person seconding the motion may speak for up to two minutes or cede all or part of their time to a voting member or a person representing a campaign supporting a policy measure.
      6. If a second person speaks in favor of the motion, a second person opposing the motion may speak for up to two minutes.
      7. When speeches are complete, the Chair shall call for a vote.

    Section 7. Voting Procedure

    For endorsements where the Board has made no recommendation, nominees require the approval of 60% of voting members present and voting to receive an endorsement. The Chair shall appoint an ad-hoc Tally Committee of at least three persons to certify and count votes. Each candidate included on a ballot may appoint up to two observers to oversee the certification and counting of votes.

    1. First Ballot 
      1. All candidates seeking the same office nominated in accordance with the Organization’s process (Section 6.1) and “no endorsement” shall be on the ballot.
      2. If a nominee receives 60% of the vote, that nominee is endorsed. If “no endorsement” receives 60% of the vote, no nominee is endorsed.
      3. If no choice receives 60% and there are:
        1. Two or fewer nominees, no candidate is endorsed.
        2. Three or more nominees, the two with the most votes advance to a second ballot.
    2. Second Ballot
      1. The second ballot follows the same process as the first ballot.
      2. “No endorsement” is no longer a valid vote.
      3. If either nominee receives 60% of the vote, that nominee is endorsed.
      4. If no nominee receives 60% of the vote, a third ballot is considered.
    3. Dual Endorsement
      1. If no candidate is endorsed in accordance with Section 7(1-2), a voting member may move to endorse both second-ballot candidates. If seconded, both candidates shall be endorsed with a 60% vote of voting members voting and present. If the motion does not meet the 60% threshold, neither candidate is endorsed.
      2. For the purpose of expedience, a voting member may move to vote by show of credentials. If seconded, the motion shall be approved with a simple majority vote.
    4. Policy Measure — Ballot Measures, Referenda, Levies, Initiatives, & Signature Campaigns
      1. First Ballot
        1. Only the choices of “support”, “reject”, and “no position” are valid votes.
        2. If any choice receives 60% of the vote, that choice is endorsed. If no choice receives 60% of the vote, the two with the most votes shall advance to a second ballot.
      2. Second Ballot
        1. If either choice receives 60% of the vote, that choice is endorsed.
        2. If neither choice receives 60% of the vote, the Organization shall take no position.

    Section 8. Reconsideration of Endorsement

    The Organization may reconsider endorsements using the methods and procedures outlined in these rules if the only candidate endorsed by the Organization fails to advance to the Primary or General Election, or any  candidate receiving the Organization’s endorsement violates the Organization’s Code of Conduct or is found guilty of illegal activity.

    Section 9. Publication & Support

    The Organization shall publish its endorsements in an email to members and newsletter, and on its website and social media accounts. It shall also commit to only supporting it’s endorsees. “Support” includes, but is not limited to; financial and in-kind contributions, doorbelling, and promotion activities.

    Section 10. Review & Amendment

    These rules shall be reviewed prior to the first endorsement meeting in odd-numbered years by the Resolution & Endorsements Committee or other designated committee as assigned by the Chair. After committee review, the rules shall be considered by the Board and sent to the membership with a simple majority vote. They shall then be considered during the membership meeting following the Board’s consideration and adopted with a simple majority vote.