Bylaws of the Libertarian Party of Tennessee
Updated: March 12, 2023
Article I: NAME
The name of this organization shall be the Libertarian Party of Tennessee, hereinafter abbreviated as LPTN.
Article II: PURPOSE
The Primary Purpose of the Libertarian Party is to help restore the Libertarian Principles of Free Enterprise, Property Rights, Individual Freedom coupled with Individual Responsibility and Small Limited Government in whatever Entrepreneurial Fashion we can. It is the purpose of these bylaws to limit the party officers and not the party members.
Article III: DEFINITIONS
A. These terms as listed below shall be defined as follows for the purpose of use within these By-Laws:
- Member: An individual who has met the requirements for membership with the state party.
- Voting Member: An individual who has met the requirements for voting status and has the ability to vote in state party business at convention.
- Delegate: An individual who has met the requirements, and is elected by the body to vote in national LP conventions as a voice for the state party.
Article IV: MEMBERSHIP
A. In addition to being a resident of the state of Tennessee, membership in the LPTN shall consist of any of the following:
- National, and therefore State, Libertarian Party membership as defined by the National Libertarian Party bylaws; or
- Certification as an eligible voting delegate at any previous LPTN convention; or
- Membership in good standing of an LPTN affiliated county or LPTN affiliated regional party, as certified by the respective county or regional chair. County parties and the LPTN Secretary shall maintain a list of non-national members who are certified as LPTN members. This list shall be perpetual and updated as necessary; or
- Membership in good standing of the state party as certified by an LPTN Regional Coordinator or elected officer of the LPTN.
B. Voting Membership and Dues
- Voting Members: A voting member is a person who meets all of the qualifications of membership above and is also a Dues-Paying member.
- Dues Paying Members: A dues paying member is a person who meets the membership qualification and the minimum Annual Dues
- Annual Dues: Annual dues shall be $25
- Dues Waiver: A dues waiver will be a waiver of a voting member’s annual dues by one of the following methods:
- In-Kind donation waiver. An in-kind donation is a donation made meeting of exceeding the value of the annual dues
- Service-based waiver. A service-based waiver is a waiver made to a person or persons working the number of hours deemed sufficient by a county, regional or state chair. (Note: in no event shall a member of a committee be given a dues waiver for services directly related to fulfilling the duties of their office.)
Article V: OFFICERS
A. Elected officers shall consist of Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer, and Secretary. Officers shall take office at the close of the convention in which they are elected, and they shall serve until their successors are elected or confirmed. All officers of the LPTN shall have signed the National pledge rejecting the initiation of force and be dues-paying members of the LPTN (as outlined in article IV section B.)
B. Any officer of the LPTN can be recalled by any of:
- A request for such a recall by a simple majority of the County and Regional Chairs, which is confirmed by a 2/3 majority of the members qualified to vote in convention; or
- A request for such recall from a simple majority of the members which is then confirmed by ⅔ of the County and Regional chairs; or
- A request for such recall by two (2) LPTN elected Officers or Regional Coordinators, which is then confirmed by a 3/4 vote of the LPTN elected Officers and LPTN Regional Coordinators.
C. Duties of Officers:
- Chair: It is the responsibility of the state Chair to assist coordinators, Regional Chairs and County Chairs. The Chair shall also chair meetings and request special meetings. The Chair shall also efficiently represent the LPTN as a spokesperson to the National Libertarian Party, the media, the State and all others. Additionally, the Chair may recognize and assist Coordinators from time to time for temporary and or ongoing projects, who once so recognized shall serve at the discretion of the Chair.
- Vice Chair: It is the responsibility of the Vice Chair to replace the Chair in the event the Chair is unable
to serve. The Vice Chair shall also be responsible for maintaining a communications program with and
among the county and regional chairs and the state officers.
- Treasurer: It is the responsibility of the Treasurer to account for funds and disburse those funds for
their intended use. The Treasurer shall also present a detailed accounting of the expenditures for the
previous year. The Treasurer shall also propose new budgets to the membership in convention.
- Take meeting minutes at all LPTN meetings and State Party sanctioned events. When the Secretary is not available to take the minutes, the presiding meeting chair shall appoint a person as a stand in. The stand in secretary will provide the notes to the Secretary after the meeting for recording purposes.
- Work with LPTN Elected Officers in the creation and release of State Party press releases and official LPTN correspondence.
- Maintain LPTN membership rolls. Provide semi-annual reports of the LPTN current membership to the elected party officers, as well as provide an up-to-date listing upon requested by an elected officer. The Secretary is to ensure the privacy of the membership roles by only disseminating the list to elected officers.
- The Secretary is responsible for the filing of the following reports, collaborating with the Treasurer and/or other LPTN Party officers as needed.
- Secretary of State, Articles of Incorporation
- FEC Filings
- Ensure the LPTN has liability insurance to protect the party members from liability at LPTN events
- IRS Filings
D. In the event of a vacancy of an elected Officer position, the remaining board members should make known the vacancy and distributed to all LPTN members via the email distribution list and begin taking nominations of qualified candidates (as outlined in Article V, Section A) over an agreed upon number of days not to exceed 10 days, but no less than 3 days. When all nominations have been submitted, electronic ballots will be distributed by the board to eligible voting members to vote on over an agreed upon number of days, not to exceed 10 days, but no less than 3 days. Eligible voting members are those who meet the qualifications listed in Article IV Section B within 3 days of the vacancy. The quorum for this vote is 10% of eligible. The ballot should reflect ranked choice voting format in order to reach a simple majority in one voting round. The ballot should contain the choice of NOTA. If NOTA reaches a majority in the runoff, then nominations should be taken again, and must exclude all previous candidates, with the exception of NOTA. Once a qualified candidate meets the simple majority threshold, this person will assume the role they are elected to until the next business convention that falls on an odd year.
E. Elected Regional Officers shall consist of Chair and may consist of a Vice Chair, Treasurer, and
Secretary. Officers shall take office at the close of the convention in which they are elected, and they shall serve until their successors are elected or confirmed. All regional officers of the LPTN shall have signed the National pledge rejecting the initiation of force and be dues-paying members of the LPTN (as outlined in article IV section B.) Officers can be recalled by the same procedures listed in Section B. of Article V of the LPTN Bylaws. Officer Duties will be the same as listed in Section C of Article V of the LPTN Bylaws except to their designated region. All officers shall reside in their respective region and no Tennessee Regional Officer may be a currently elected State officer. Should a region not already have adopted regional bylaws directing otherwise, elected Regional Officers shall be elected at each business convention (odd years) by a majority of the convention voting members residing within their respective region. If a majority cannot be achieved, the current chair will cast the tie breaking vote.
F. Elected County Officers shall consist of Chair and may consist Vice Chair, Treasurer, and Secretary. Officers shall take office at the close of the convention in which they are elected, and they shall serve until their successors are elected or confirmed. All county officers of the LPTN shall have signed the National pledge rejecting the initiation of force and be dues-paying members of the LPTN (as outlined in article IV section B.) Officers can be recalled by the same procedures listed in Section B. of Article V of the LPTN Bylaws. Officer Duties will be the same as listed in Section C of Article V of the LPTN Bylaws except to their designated region.
All County officers shall reside in their respective county and no Tennessee Chair may be a currently elected State officer, which includes Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, or Treasurer. The County Chair may however serve as a regional officer. Elected County Chairs shall be elected by a 51% majority of the respective county’s Libertarian members. If there is no county activity, an interim chair may be appointed by the State Chair until a minimum number of 4 active LP members exist, at which time an election will be held. An inactive interim county chair may be replaced at the discretion of the state chair.
Article VI: CONVENTIONS
A. Conventions will be held annually. Business conventions for the election of officers will be held in the years without statewide public elections. Conventions held in years with statewide elections will be for LPTN candidates for public office. Elections for regional officers will happen bi-annually. Party business (Other than the annual budget and approval, as required in Article VIII, and election of delegates to the national convention) may only be conducted if a bylaw amendment meeting the requirements as stated in Article VII has been presented with the proper advance notification.
B. To be eligible to vote at an LPTN convention, one must be a member, as defined in Article IV, Section B.1 as of 60 days prior to the start of the convention
C. The Convention will, by absolute majority vote, certify all state level or higher candidates who will be eligible to have “Libertarian” next to their names on the ballot and/or represent the Libertarian Party of Tennessee as a candidate for a state level or higher elected office.
The endorsement of local candidates will be at the discretion of the county affiliates and regional coordinator involved. Candidates can have their endorsement recalled by the same procedure for recalling officers in Article IV section B.
D. Delegates to National Libertarian Party conventions, and Presidential Electors in Presidential election years, are elected at the previous state convention, by proportional approval voting, along with alternates. In the event that a delegate cannot attend, the duty will fall upon the Head of the Delegation to select the replacement from among the previously elected alternates. The Chair shall be designated as the Head of the Delegation; in the event (s)he is unable to attend, (s)he shall be entitled to appoint a replacement from among the delegates attending. In the event that additional LPTN members in good standing are able to attend a National Convention, they shall be named as Alternates at the discretion of the Head of the Delegation. Presidential elector positions unfilled at convention may be named by the chair at a later date.
The convention shall have the ability to confirm or deny the State Chair as the Head of the Delegation. All other delegate and alternate positions shall be voted on by convention in two (2) ballots. The first ballot shall consist of floor nominations of attendees present at the convention. Any remaining delegate and alternate positions shall be filled from a second ballot consisting of floor nominations of LPTN members not present at convention. In the event that the State Chair is not confirmed as Head of the Delegation, the person receiving the most votes on the first ballot shall become Head of the Delegation.
E. The LPTN convention shall have the power to secede from and to surrender all ties with the National LP by a 9/10 (90%) vote of LPTN convention delegates and to make such alliances with other state parties as it deems necessary. Alliances shall be approved by a 3/4 vote of the LPTN officers and regional coordinators or a 75% vote of LPTN delegates at convention.
Article VII: AMENDMENTS
A. It shall require a 3/4 (75%) majority of members attending the Convention, who are eligible to vote as defined by Article VI, to amend these bylaws. It shall require a 1/3 vote to close debate on a bylaw amendment.
B. Bylaws may be changed during any LPTN Convention, with at least 60 days written notice to the Secretary, and distributed to all LPTN members via the email distribution list 30 days prior to the convention.
C. All bylaws and amendments shall take effect at the close of the convention during which they are adopted.
Article VIII: BUDGETS
A. The Treasurer will request from the delegates that the LPTN shall spend money in the same general manner for operations as the previous year, and shall set the following year’s budget at an amount not to exceed the balance of LPTN funds in the bank at the time of the Convention. The budget shall be approved by a majority vote at the convention.
B. The budget shall include a Chair’s Discretionary Fund and a Reserve Fund.
- The Chair’s Discretionary Fund shall not exceed 10% of the total budget or $2500, whichever is less. The Chair shall have discretionary authority to disburse these funds for LPTN purposes.
- Reserve Fund monies may only be disbursed after approval of 10 or more of the following people: LPTN Chair, LPTN Vice-Chair, LPTN Secretary, LPTN Treasurer and the nine LPTN Tennessee Regional Chairs. LPTN County or Regional Chairs may submit a written request for Reserve Funds to the Secretary for Consideration. Submitted requests shall contain a specified amount and purpose for the funds.
C. The books of the LPTN shall be open to the membership upon request.
D. Such funds may and be raised for specific purposes, (I.E. Ballot Access, Election Initiatives, Ballot Drives, Special Events, Special Conventions, etc ), must be spent for the specific purposes only, within the time frame for which they were raised. These funds must be raised and spent in accordance with State and Federal Laws.
ARTICLE IX: JUDICIAL COMMITTEE
A. The Judicial Committee shall be composed of Five (5) Party members elected at each LPTN state Business convention by LPTN voting members. No current State officer, Regional officer or County officer may be a member of the Judicial Committee. The Judicial Committee, once selected, shall select the Chair of the Judicial Committee at the first meeting following convention. The Judicial Committee shall take office immediately upon the close of the convention at which elected and shall serve until the final adjournment of the next state Business convention. All Judicial Committee members shall have been Party members at least four years at the time of their selection and are preferred to have experience as state or regional officers and/or working knowledge of parliamentary procedures. If vacancies occur, the remaining members of the Judicial Committee shall appoint new members to fill such vacancies and such appointees will serve until the final adjournment of the next Business convention. Should all Judicial Committee positions be vacant, an Intervening convention may fill such vacancies.
B. The subject matter jurisdiction of the Judicial Committee is limited to the discussion, consideration, and facilitating, per the bylaws Of The Libertarian Party Of Tennessee, of only the matters expressly identified as follows:
- Recalling of county, regional and state officers (via procedures listed in Section B. of Article V of the LPTN Bylaws)
- Fielding complaints made against the LPTN voting member for acting in opposition of the LPTN bylaws