Bylaws of the 40th District Democrats

Revised: April 18th, 2021 (PDF version)


1.1 The name of this organization shall be The 40th Legislative District Democratic Organization of the State of Washington referred to as the 40th Legislative District Democrats.


2.1 The 40th Legislative District Democrats support Democratic values, principles, philosophy and ideals.  It shall be the objective of this organization to encourage the growth, development and influence of the Democratic Party within the 40th Legislative District of Washington State through the avenues of leadership, participation, party responsibility, and creation of a civic spirit which will maintain harmony within the party ranks.

2.2 The 40th Legislative District Democrats are concerned not only with the human, environmental, social, civic and political issues within the District, but are also concerned with national and international issues.

2.3 The 40th District shall seek out and work to elect Democratic candidates on all levels who support and reflect our values and philosophy.

2.4 It shall be the policy of this organization to comply with and operate within all federal and state laws and the Washington State Democratic Charter and Bylaws.

Membership & Dues

3.1 Active membership in the 40th Legislative District Democrats shall be open to all persons professing Democratic status who reside within, or are registered voters of, the 40th Legislative District.

3.2 Associate membership is open to all who reside and vote outside the 40th Legislative District professing Democratic status and pay requisite membership dues. Associate members shall have all the rights and privileges of regular members except voting and holding office. Associate members may participate on committees, vote to provide recommendations, and propose resolutions for consideration by the membership.

3.3 Upon payment of dues and/or completion of a membership fee waiver, any registered voter or resident of the 40th Legislative District professing Democratic status becomes an active member in good standing until their membership lapses or they no longer reside nor vote within the 40th Legislative District.

3.4 Each active member in good standing may vote on all matters other than those exempt by state statute and the Washington State Democratic Charter or Bylaws.

3.5 Annual membership dues shall be determined by the Executive Board following the biennial organization meeting. No individual who is otherwise eligible shall be denied active membership for being unable to pay dues as a result of economic hardship or other limitations.

Precinct Committee Officers (PCOs)

4.1 “Elected PCO” means an individual who is elected to the office of Precinct Committee  Officer pursuant to state law.

4.2 “Appointed PCO” means an individual who is appointed to the office of Precinct Committee Officer pursuant to state law. Except as may be otherwise provided in these Bylaws,  Appointed PCOs have the same rights and responsibilities as Elected PCOs, and the term PCO refers to both. 

4.3 All PCOs, including those appointed, are voting members of the organization. PCOs are not required to pay dues, but may do so.

4.4 The County Chairs shall appoint PCOs as provided by state law and the Bylaws of the relevant county’s Democratic organization. 

4.5 The Chair of the 40th LD Democrats may recommend individuals to the relevant County Chair for appointment as PCO for vacant precincts.

4.6 No PCOs may be recommended to the County Chair or appointed between the certification of the primary election in even numbered years and the Reorganization Meeting following the general election. 

4.7 The term of an Elected PCO begins December 1st of the year they are elected and ends  November 30th of the next even-numbered year. The term of an Appointed PCO begins when the  County Chair signs the appointment and ends November 30th of the next even-numbered year. 

4.8 A precinct is deemed vacant if the PCO (a) dies; (b) resigns from office; (c) ceases to be a  registered voter; or (d) ceases to reside in the precinct from which the PCO was elected or  appointed. The Chair of the 40th LD Democrats shall notify the membership of any vacancies that occur.


5.1 The 40th Legislative District shall be presided over by the 40th Legislative District Executive Board. It shall be governed by a representative form of government. Members are entitled to attend meetings to discuss policy or hear and present resolutions. The Executive Board may transact such business as may be brought before them if unable to present it to the body in a timely manner.

5.2 Only elected Precinct Committee Officers (PCOs) are entitled to elect officers at the reorganization meetings held every two (2) years, following the election of new PCOs.  PCOs appointed by County Chairs after the 40th Reorganization Meeting are entitled to the same voting privileges as elected PCOs. 


6.1 Regular meetings of the 40th Legislative District shall be held at least quarterly, the first within 90 days after the reorganization meeting. Additional meetings may be called at the discretion of the District Chair.

6.2 Notice of all organization meetings shall be given not less than ten (10) business days in writing, text, or email.

6.3 Regular, or hybrid, meetings shall rotate among the respective counties within the 40th Legislative District. Exception to this policy must be by unanimous agreement of the Vice-Chairs. The Vice-Chairs may also unanimously agree to having an online meeting.

6.4 Quorum

6.4.1 At the Reorganization Meeting, a quorum shall consist of at least ten percent (10%) of elected PCOs as defined by the State Democratic Party.

6.4.2 For General Membership meetings, a quorum shall consist of ten percent (10%) of the members in good standing, but not less than 10 people.

6.4.3 A quorum will be based on members present at the beginning of the meeting.

Executive Board

7.1 The Executive Board and Organizational Officers shall consist of the District Chair, one First Vice-Chair of a different gender than the Chair, to the extent practicable, and one Vice-Chair from each county at least partially within the 40th LD, Secretary, Treasurer, and two State Committee Members of different genders who are all elected at the biennial reorganization meeting. Standing Committee Chairs and the Young Democrats Representative, upon their confirmation by the Executive Board, shall be voting members of the Executive Board.

7.2 Each Executive Board Officer shall hold office for two (2) years, or if filling out an unexpired term, until the next reorganizational meeting or special election to fill any vacancy. The term of office shall begin immediately following the election or appointment of the officer. Each officer shall have one (1) vote and each position may only be held by one (1) individual at any time.  

7.3 The Executive Board shall adopt the budget, recommend policies and activities to the District Organization, approve bills and payment of those bills within the budget, and preside over the organization.

7.4 The Executive Board shall meet at the call of the Chair, or a majority of the Executive Board.

7.5 A majority of the voting members of the Executive Board shall constitute a quorum for their meetings. All members of the Executive Board will be apprised of the time and place of the meeting. Teleconference and/or web-based meetings may be held.

7.6 Each Officer shall keep all pertinent records and correspondence. They will surrender relevant materials, documents, and resources as necessary to their successor, along with the duties of the office, following the reorganization meeting.

7.7 Voting for Executive Board business may be done via email in the event of time-sensitive matters.

Duties of Officers

8.1 Legislative District Chair

8.1.1 All meetings of the 40th Legislative District shall be called and presided over by the District Chair or in the absence of the Chair, the First Vice-Chair, or in the absence of the First Vice-Chair, the Secretary shall preside.

8.1.2 The Chair shall, as soon as possible after the reorganization meeting, appoint the various Committee Chairs.

8.1.3 The Chair shall be an ex-officio member of all committees and shall have the power and the duty to appoint such additional committees as are deemed necessary for the effective operation of the 40th District Democrats.

8.1.4 The outgoing Chair shall arrange the Reorganization Meeting and preside over the election of the new Chair. If the outgoing Chair is running for reelection as Chair, they shall appoint a person, who is not running for office, to serve as temporary Chair.  Upon the election of the new Chair, the outgoing or temporary chair shall relinquish control of the meeting to the incoming chair.

8.1.5 The Chair shall have the power to appoint an assistant to any officer whenever, in their opinion, such an assistant is necessary or beneficial. Such assistants are non-voting members of the Executive Board.

8.1.6 The Chair shall be the chairperson of the Executive Board.

8.1.7 The Chair shall be the Public Relations officer and serve as the spokesperson of the Organization. Other persons may not represent the Organization without authorization by the Chair.

8.2 Vice-Chairs

8.2.1 The Vice-Chairs shall aid the District Chair. Vice-Chairs shall serve as liaisons to their respective counties and serve as an officer of their respective County’s Democratic Organization as allowed by their respective bylaws.

8.2.2 The First Vice-Chair will preside at meetings in the absence of the Chair.

8.2.3 The First Vice-Chair will be of a different gender than the Chair.

8.2.4 The Vice-Chairs, other than the First Vice-Chair, will be from each county represented at least partially within the 40th LD.


8.3 Secretary

8.3.1 The Secretary shall record the minutes of the Executive Board meetings, the reorganization meeting and all regular and special meetings of the 40th District Organization. The Secretary shall transmit copies of the minutes of these meetings to the Executive Board members. There shall also be a copy sent to PCOs and general membership as requested. This shall be executed promptly. The minutes of all meetings shall be submitted for approval by the relevant body at their next regular meeting.

8.4 Treasurer 

8.4.1 It shall be the duty of the Treasurer to supervise the financial affairs of the organization. The Treasurer shall prepare and file all Financial Disclosure reports as required by law. The Treasurer shall supervise the collection and disbursement of all funds, keep all financial records and give financial accounting at all quarterly meetings.

8.4.2 The Treasurer shall be an ex-officio member of all committees relating to the financial health of the organization. 

8.5 State Committee Members (2)

8.5.1 The State Committee Members shall represent the 40th Legislative District to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee (WSDCC) and its subcommittees. They shall be responsible for soliciting input from the membership regarding future and ongoing business of the WSDCC and reporting upon actions taken by the WSDCC to the membership.

Nominations and Elections

9.1 Formal nomination of officers shall be made and seconded from the floor by elected PCOs at the reorganization meeting or by any PCO for a special election. With the exception of the First Vice-Chair, Vice-Chairs will be nominated and elected from a caucus of PCOs from their respective county.

9.2 Per the Washington State Democratic Charter, “When a person votes as an elected representative, open ballots shall be used except that this provision does not apply to the election by precinct committee officers of organizational officers (e.g. Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, State Committee Members), provided that there is a mechanism to ensure the eligibility of those who cast ballots (e.g. a check-off list, sign-in-sheet, ballot receipts)”.

9.3 Nomination and election of each office shall be held one at a time. The Presiding Officer will determine time limits for nominating and candidate speeches.

9.4 Officers, except for the Young Democrats Representative and Standing Committee Chairs, shall be elected by a majority of PCOs present and voting. If no individual receives a majority in a round of voting, the individual receiving the fewest votes shall be eliminated from  consideration in the next round of voting. In case of a tie for fewest votes, there shall be a run off among those with the lowest vote total, eliminating the candidate receiving the lowest total in the runoff. Voting continues until an individual is elected. In the case of contested elections, voting is conducted by signed ballot. Any ties shall be determined by a coin flip.

9.5 The Young Democrats Representative shall be appointed by the Chair subject to the approval of a majority of the Executive Board present and voting at a Meeting. Any individual who is a member of a Young Democrats organization and votes or resides within the 40th Legislative District is eligible for appointment. 

9.6 Proxy and absentee voting shall not be allowed.

Removal of Officers

10.1 Officers shall be expected to attend membership and Executive Board meetings of the 40th LD Democrats.  Any officer with three consecutive unexcused absences from properly called meetings, may be considered to be in violation of these Bylaws, which may make the officer subject to removal.

10.2 An officer of the 40th LD Democrats, or a member of the Executive Board, may resign by submitting written notice to the Secretary and Chair, or, in the case of resignation of the Chair, to the Secretary and First Vice-Chair. 

10.3 The Executive Board may define other positions within the 40th District Democrats at their  discretion. All such positions shall be appointed by the Chair. Positions not specified in the Bylaws are not voting members of the Executive Board and expire at the next reorganization meeting. 

10.4 Upon petition for removal signed by at least one-third (1/3) of the PCOs or at least three-fourths (¾) of the Executive Board, the 40th District Democrats shall consider the removal of any elected Executive Board officer. Any of these positions may be removed by approval of two-thirds (2/3) majority of the PCOs present and voting at the Meeting.

10.5 A petition for removal must be published at least ten (10) business days before the Meeting at which the removal of an Officer will be considered. 

10.6 The following procedures shall be used in the following order during the Meeting at which the removal of an Officer is considered:

10.6.1 The Chair or Presiding Officer shall read a description to the body of what the grounds are for consideration of removal. Such will also be sent to the PCOs prior to the meeting in written format.

10.6.2 The Officer whose removal is being considered shall have up to five minutes to orally present a defense or explain why they believe removal is not justified. They may speak on behalf of themselves for the entire five minutes, have individuals speak on their behalf, or a combination of such. The Officer may also provide written statements on their behalf to the PCOs either before or during the Meeting. Unless read aloud, written statements shall not be considered against their allotted five minutes.

10.6.3 If the Officer is not in attendance, they may authorize individuals to present their defense in their absence so long as the Officer notifies the Chair or other Presiding Officer and Secretary or the PCOs of this authorization. Should the Officer not be in attendance nor authorize any other persons to speak on their behalf, this shall be considered forfeiture of their allotted time.

10.6.4 Following a defense being presented, the body shall enter debate which shall last no more than thirty minutes for all Officers other than Chair and forty minutes for Chair. Debate may end prior to the allotted time if the list of persons wanting to speak is exhausted.

10.6.5 Debate shall alternate between those in favor of removal and those against, to the greatest extent possible. If one side of the issue exhausts speakers on that side’s behalf, nothing shall preclude the other side from continuing to speak, so long as all other debate rules and limitations are followed.

10.6.6 Any PCO may speak in debate for up to two minutes and shall be limited to only one opportunity to speak in debate. During debate, each PCO may ask up to two questions of the Chair, Presiding Officer, or Officer whose removal is being considered, so long as such questions are germane to the grounds for removal. Questions do not count towards the two minute limitation nor limit their ability to participate in debate.

10.6.7 Following the conclusion of debate a vote shall occur by signed, written ballot. The Chair, Presiding Officer, or their designee shall announce the vote totals once all votes have been tallied.

10.7 In addition to the removal process as outlined above, the Executive Board may remove any person from an appointed position, including Chairs of Standing Committees, with a 2/3rds vote of the eligible voters present and voting.

10.8 Vacancies in any office shall be filled by special election as soon as it is feasible, either at a regular meeting or a special meeting, after giving the PCOs and membership at least ten (10) business days of notice.


11.1 PCOs, Members, Associate Members, and individuals sponsored by these persons may propose resolutions. 

11.2 Except as provided in 11.3, proposed resolutions must be submitted in writing, or  electronically to the Chair and Secretary, at least ten (10) business days before the Meeting at which the proposed resolution shall be considered. Proposed resolutions must be sent to the membership at least five (5) business days before the Meeting at which the proposed resolution will be considered. 

11.3 Proposed resolutions that are not timely submitted or published may nonetheless be  considered at a meeting if (a) the proposed resolution is submitted in writing to the Chair before  the scheduled start time of the Meeting; (b) the proponent supplies at least fifty (50) copies of  the proposed resolution for distribution to Members at the Meeting if the proposed resolution shall be considered at an in-person meeting; and (c) two-thirds (2/3) of the Members present vote to consider the resolution. 

11.4 Resolutions must be approved by a majority of the Members present and voting at the  Meeting, except that proposed resolutions considered under 11.3 must be approved by two-thirds (2/3) of the Members present and voting at the Meeting. 

11.5 Resolutions with regard to highly time-sensitive issues may be approved by the Executive Board at an Executive Board meeting or over email with a two-thirds (⅔) vote. All resolutions approved in this manner must be sent to the Membership within 48 hours of approval.

11.6 Except for as provided in these bylaws, the 40th District Democrats shall not consider  resolutions that (a) endorse a candidate for elected office; (b) endorse a ballot issue position; or  (c) censure an individual. 


12.1 The 40th District Democrats may endorse candidates for elected office and take positions on ballot measures. Endorsements may be revoked using the same procedures used for making them. 

12.2 The Executive Board, or Endorsement Committee as authorized by the Executive Board, shall propose procedures for endorsing candidates and ballot measures. These procedures must be published at least ten (10) business days before the meeting at which an endorsement will be considered. These procedures shall be adopted by the membership. The procedures may require candidates to interview or submit a questionnaire in a timely manner prerequisite to endorsement. 

12.3 Notice that endorsements will be considered must be published at least ten (10) business days before the Meeting at which they are to be considered.

12.4 Any 40th District Democrat defined as an active voting member or PCO is eligible to vote on motions involving endorsements.

12.5 Voting members participating in the endorsement process must be either PCOs or paid members in good standing at least ten (10) business days in advance. An exception will be made for those who have been members who have let their membership lapse less than 12 months if they pay before the consideration of endorsements.

12.6 To be endorsed, candidates must receive an affirmative vote of at least sixty percent (60%) of the members present and voting at the General Membership Meeting at which endorsements are considered. More than one (1) candidate for the same office may be endorsed.

Budget and Expenditures

13.1 No money shall be paid from the funds of the 40th District Democrats except by bank or  credit union account transaction through the Treasurer or the Chair. No Member other than the  Treasurer or Chair may incur a debt or otherwise obligate the 40th District Democrats for the future payment of funds without approval of the Treasurer, Chair, or Executive Board. In the case that either or both the Chair and Treasurer are incapacitated, the First Vice Chair or Deputy Treasurer (or Secretary, should there be no acting Deputy Treasurer) will assume the fiduciary duties of either the Chair or Treasurer respectively, with email notice to the Executive Board, within 24 hours of learning either the Chair or Treasurer is unable to perform their fiduciary duties. Membership will be notified of these special circumstances within five (5) business days.

13.2 The Executive Board shall approve a budget. The budget must be adopted and may be  amended by a majority of the Executive Board present and voting at a Meeting, not counting abstentions. Notice that the adoption or amendment of the budget will be considered must be sent to the Executive Board at least ten (10) business days before the Meeting at which action on the budget will be considered, unless said notice is waived by the Executive Board by a 3/4ths vote of members present and voting.

13.3 The Chair or Treasurer may authorize expenditures for budgeted items. The Executive Board may approve non-budgeted items by a 2/3rds vote of members present and voting. Non-budgeted expenditures by the Chair or Treasurer may be allowed for emergencies or for amounts no greater than $50. The Executive Board must be notified of such expenditures at their next regular meeting.

13.4 Contributions to any campaign, candidate, ballot initiative, or PAC must be proposed to and approved by the Executive Board. The membership shall be notified of all campaign contributions within one month of the expenditure or at the next General Meeting, whichever comes first. The Executive Board is encouraged to maintain further standing rules governing their campaign contributions.

13.5 The organization shall approve its budget prior to the start of each new fiscal year and its budget shall begin and end therein.

13.6 Upon election of a new Treasurer, the outgoing Treasurer, along with the Deputy Treasurer  (outgoing and incoming, if applicable) and Chair and First Vice-Chair (outgoing and incoming, if  applicable) shall formally transfer the treasury. This shall include a review of the financial books and transfer of control and access to all accounts used by the 40th District Democrats (such as bank, merchant services, and other financial, as well as reporting, databases). All shall sign a transfer document attesting to the completeness of the records. 


14.1 Following the Reorganization Meeting or at subsequent meetings, the Chair shall appoint Chairs to the organization’s Standing Committees. Standing Committee Chairs shall become voting members of the Executive Board upon their confirmation by the Executive Board and hold office until the next reorganization meeting. 

14.2 Each Standing Committee must have at least 3 (three) members and be meeting regularly, with at least one meeting a quarter. All members of the committees serve at the discretion of the respective Committee Chair. 

14.3 All disagreements, disputes, and conflicts regarding the jurisdiction, powers, membership, or other such business of committees, shall be resolved at the discretion of the Executive Board with the authority vested in them by the Membership. Each committee may create or amend standing rules to govern their business and conduct. Such standing rules require approval of the Executive Board, who may approve, amend, or deny the committee’s recommendation. 

14.4 Standing Committees

14.4.1 The Finance Committee shall develop and recommend an annual budget, fundraise, and provide oversight of our financial documents as well as our compliance with campaign finance regulations.

14.4.2 The Actions Committee shall develop and implement a plan for recruitment, training, and support of the District’s PCOs and volunteers to support endorsed candidates, ballot measure positions, and policies consistent with the values of the organization. This may include the establishment and training of volunteer coordinators, and the development or distribution of campaign literature for elections.

14.4.3 The Community Committee shall facilitate the growth and satisfaction of the membership, for maintaining the membership data in the district database, and for providing a credentials report at the call of the Chair. They shall also be responsible for fostering relationships, cooperation, and solidarity with local community organizations and developing recommendations to ensure the inclusion of marginalized individuals within the organization.

14.5 Special committees, as are deemed necessary for effective operations of the organization, may be appointed by the Chair. These include but are not limited to:

14.5.1 The Bylaws Committee, which shall aid in the consideration or review of any Standing Rules or amendments to the Bylaws, and be responsible in odd-number years for the review of the Bylaws.

14.5.2 The Platform Committee, which shall be responsible in even-numbered years, and as requested, for developing, and proposing for adoption by the membership, a platform which is representative of our values and views on matters of political relevance. Suggested positions highly specific in nature, or on transitory issues, shall be considered proposed Resolutions.

Parliamentary Authority

15.1 Rules contained in Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised, shall be the parliamentary authority for all matters of procedure not specifically covered by these Bylaws, Washington State Democratic Party governing documents, or State statutes.


16.1 These Bylaws may only be amended by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of PCOs present and voting at any regular or special meeting. Proposed amendments must be given in writing to the Executive Board three weeks prior to the next regular or special meeting at which they will be considered. The Executive Board shall instruct the Secretary or their designees to email all proposed amendments to the Bylaws to all members ten (10) or more business days prior to the next regular or special meeting. These Bylaws shall remain in effect until amended.