Call to Unassembled Virtual Caucus for the
Richmond City Democratic Committee’s 2022-23 Reorganization
The Richmond City Democratic Committee (RCDC) will hold a virtual unassembled caucus beginning on Thursday, December 2, 2021, 6:30 pm, and ending Saturday, December 4, 2021, 6:30 pm for the purpose of reorganizing committee membership for the 2020-21 biennium.
I. PARTICIPATION AND ORGANIZATION
A. Date & Location. By authority of the Richmond City Democratic Committee, acting pursuant to the Virginia Democratic Party Plan, a virtual unassembled caucus is hereby called to meet beginning on Thursday, December 2, 2021, 6:30 pm, and ending Saturday, December 4, 2021, 6:30 pm, for the purpose of reorganizing the Richmond City Democratic Committee.
B. Membership Positions. Electing 504 members of the Richmond City Democratic Committee. There shall be one (1) member elected from each precinct who shall be designated Precinct Chair of that precinct. Voting participants may vote for only one (1) Precinct Chair in their designated precinct. Forty (40) members shall be elected from each City Council District (“Ward”) and shall be designated Ward-at-Large Members. Voting participants may vote for up to forty (40) Ward-at-Large members in their designated ward. Seventy-five (75) members shall be elected from the City at large and shall be designated as Members-at-Large. Voting participants may vote for up to seventy-five (75) Members-at-Large.
C. Caucus Eligibility. The City of Richmond Democratic Caucus is open to all Democrats registered to vote in the City of Richmond. Any person attending the City of Richmond Caucus will need to complete a registration form by Tuesday, November 30, 11:59 pm, before participating in the Caucus, including a standardized declaration form, stating that the participant is a Democrat, does not intend to support any candidate who is opposed to a Democratic nominee in the next ensuing election, is not a member of any other political party, and indicating their voting address, telephone number, and e-mail address, if any. Applicants for membership will not need to complete a separate form to participate in the caucus.
D. Governance. The Virginia Democratic Party Plan and the Bylaws of the City of Richmond Democratic Committee are incorporated by reference into this call.
E. Caucus Officials. The Chair of the City of Richmond Democratic Committee shall be the Chair of the Unassembled Caucus and is authorized to appoint such officers as she deems necessary and to delegate to those appointees such duties as she deems appropriate for the proper conduct of the Unassembled Caucus.
F. Cancelation of Caucus. The Chair of the City of Richmond Democratic Committee may cancel the Unassembled Caucus scheduled to begin on Thursday, December 2, 2021, 6:30 pm, and ending Saturday, December 4, 2021, 6:30 pm, under the following conditions: After receiving all membership application forms on Tuesday, November 30, 11:59 pm, if the Chair finds that there is no opposition for any of the membership positions, then the Chair may cancel the Unassembled Caucus. If the Chair finds that one or more membership positions are contested, then the Unassembled Caucus will be held for only those contested positions.
II. FILING FOR MEMBERSHIP
A. Filing Deadline. In order to be eligible for election by the participants in the Unassembled Caucus, candidates for membership must file a candidate for membership form with the Chair of the Richmond City Democratic Committee or their designated representatives (Filing Officers) by Tuesday, November 30, 11:59 pm. Filing forms postmarked on or before Tuesday, November 30, but not received by 11:59 p.m. on November 30, 2021, will not be considered to be timely filed. Candidates for membership assume full responsibility for the timely filing of their own fully completed membership form. Membership candidates may file through a filing agent, but such action in no way alters the responsibility of the membership candidate nor extends the 11:59 p.m. November 30, 2021, filing deadline.
B. Membership Form. Each candidate for membership form shall include a certification by the person filing the form, that the candidate is a Democrat, a resident and lawfully registered to vote in the City of Richmond, VA, that they do not intend to support any candidate who is opposed to a Democratic nominee and that they are not a member of any other political party.
C. Disqualification of Membership Candidacy. A false or misleading statement or incomplete information on the membership form may invalidate the form and disqualify the person from being a candidate. Determination of invalidation shall be made by the Chair.
D. Voluntary Filing Fee. A voluntary administrative fee of $20.00 may accompany each membership form, made payable to the City of Richmond Democratic Committee. Payment of this fee is completely voluntary. No statement is required in order to waive payment. The fee shall constitute the member’s 2022 dues, if elected. The voluntary administrative fee will not be reimbursed.
E. Filing Method. Membership forms shall be available beginning on November 18, 2021, via email and electronically on the Richmond City Democratic Committee’s social media and website. Printed membership forms will also be available to pick up with the Chair and their designee(s). Each completed form may have the voluntary administration fee of $20.00 and shall be filed with any one of the following Filing Officers:
1. Jamie Nolan, 6935 Old Westham Rd, Richmond, VA, 23225, (804) 399-0330, email@example.com.
2. Tavarris Spinks, 1722 Floyd Ave, Richmond, VA 23220, (804) 350-5728, firstname.lastname@example.org
F. Membership Form Inspection. The Chair of the City of Richmond Democratic Committee shall make available for public inspection the lists of properly filed membership forms, if requested to do so, by no later than 12 noon, December 2, at 6935 Old Westham Rd, Richmond, VA 23225.
III. CONDUCTING THE VIRTUAL UNASSEMBLED CAUCUS
A. Commencement of the Caucus. At 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 2, 2021, registered caucus participants will begin to receive their ballot at the email address provided in their registration. The virtual ballot will close on Saturday, December 4, 2021, 6:30 pm.
B. Required declaration form. All registered participants will have signed the Democratic Party declaration form, which will require each participant’s full name and address, and a location for the participant to sign the following pledge: “I certify that I am a resident of and registered to vote in the City of Richmond, Virginia; I am a Democrat; I believe in the principles of the Democratic Party; and I do not intend to support, endorse or assist any candidate who is opposed to the Democratic nominee in the next ensuing election.” No participant will be permitted to vote in the Caucus unless they register and complete the virtual declaration form.
C. Use of information. The list of voters who participate in the Caucus is the property of RCDC, and RCDC has the right to disclose to any person the fact that a person has participated in the Caucus.
D. Standards for participant verification. A participant fulfilling the requirements of Rule III-B above is eligible to vote if they are validly registered as a voter in Richmond City at the time they seek to participate in the Caucus. If a participant is not listed on the Caucus copy of the registered voter list, they may offer a certificate of voting eligibility issued by the Richmond Voter Registrar (i.e., a voter registration card or receipt) or demonstrate their registration via the Virginia Department of Elections website, in which case the participant will be eligible to vote in the ordinary fashion.
E. Provisional voting. If a participant believes that they are registered to vote in Richmond, but cannot demonstrate registration via the foregoing methods, the Chair, or their designee, will provide the participant with a ballot to cast provisionally. If provisional ballots cast could impact the Caucus results, RCDC will seek to have the Richmond Registrar of Voters verify by Thursday, December 9, 2021 whether those individuals who cast provisional ballots were registered voters at the time of their participation in the caucus. Those verified as registered voters of the City of Richmond as of the time specified in this Rule will have their provisional ballot included in the official count.
F. Ballot format. Ballots will be prepared listing the first name, middle initial, and last name of each candidate properly filed in alphabetical order.
G. Marking of ballots. Caucus participants will be instructed when they receive their virtual ballot as to the maximum number of candidates for whom they may vote.
H. Ballot Support. A participant may request assistance of one or more Caucus officials to execute any of the tasks listed in this section (e.g., to read and/or mark any form).
I. Full participation. Full participation without discrimination on the basis of race, sex, age, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, ethnic identity, or economic status is encouraged.
IV. COUNTING OF VOTES, ANNOUNCEMENT OF RESULTS
A. Ballot preservation. No ballots will be counted until the virtual ballot closes on Saturday, December 4, 6:30 pm.
B. Teller Committee. The Chair will appoint a Teller Committee to count the votes. The Teller Committee will comprise a Head Teller and up to four Tellers.
D. Conduct of Teller Committee. The Teller Committee will count, record, and verify the results of the Caucus voting. At the conclusion of their activities, the Teller Committee must agree upon their tabulations and affix their signatures upon the written certification of the results. All activities of the Teller Committee will occur under the direction of the Head Teller.
F. Tallying. The members of the Teller Committee will tally vote totals for each contested membership position. Ballots showing votes for more candidates than are allowed will be declared invalid.
G. Certification of results. Immediately upon the conclusion of all counting, the Chair will ensure that each member of the Teller Committee certifies the tabulation; no announcement of the results will be made until all reasonable efforts at this certification have been undertaken. If there are provisional ballots that would affect the outcome and those provisional ballots are ultimately validated, they will be used to adjust the outcome.
H. Announcement of results. Unless the disposition of provisional ballots could determine the outcome, the candidate(s) will be declared the winner(s).
1. The one (1) candidate with the most votes for each contested Precinct Captain position
2. The forty (40) candidates with the most votes for each Ward with contested Ward-At Large positions
3. The seventy-five (75) candidates with the most votes for Member-at-Large positions
The Chair will announce the certified result to those assembled.
K. Provisional ballots. If provisional ballots are cast during the Caucus, and the number of those provisional ballots could potentially alter the outcome of the Caucus (i.e. the result of the membership election) if added to the results certified by the Teller Committee, the Chair will announce the results, but the declaration of an elected member will not be made until the provisional ballots are verified and counted on the day specified in Rule V. If no provisional ballots are cast or if an insufficient number of provisional ballots are cast to potentially alter the outcome of the Caucus if added to the results certified by the Teller Committee, the Chair will declare the results and the provisional ballots will not be counted.
In the event two candidates are tied, the Chair will flip a coin to determine the nominee. In the event three or more candidates are tied for first place, one candidate will be determined by drawing of lots by the Chair.
If there are any challenges to the conduct of the election, they will be resolved by the Chair of the RCDC. If there are further challenges to the Chair’s decision, they will be resolved by referring to the Democratic Party of Virginia Party Plan.