The Constitution of the Libertarian Association of Massachusetts
As amended at the 2010 Regular State Convention
Preamble, Name and Purpose
We, the Libertarians of Massachusetts, do hereby unite to form the Libertarian Association of Massachusetts, in order to give voice to and implement the fundamental principle of libertarianism: that no person, group of people, or government has the right to initiate force against any other person, group of people, or government. We shall do this by supporting candidates for public office, publicizing the principles and goals of libertarianism, and taking any actions that the State Convention or the State Committee deem will further our aims. The Association, its Bylaws, and State Committee exist solely as a path for reaching the objectives of this preamble.
Article I: Membership
1. Members are all dues-paying members in Massachusetts, and all other persons who may so qualify under uniform rules of non-dues paying membership for which the State Committee may provide in its Bylaws.
Article II: State Convention
1. A Regular State Convention shall be held in every year.
2. Persons, who are Members of this Organization whose dues are current, and who joined the Organization at least 30 days prior to the date of the State Convention, are eligible to vote and participate in the business meeting at the State Convention. Persons who were dues-paying Members of the Organization, or Sustaining Members of the National Libertarian Party, within the past three years, including a period at least 90 days before the day of the State Convention, but whose Organization dues are not current, may join or rejoin this Organization at the State Convention by paying their yearly dues. They may then vote and participate in the business meeting at the State Convention.
3. The State Convention may endorse candidates for office or it may explicitly endorse running no candidate for an office. If it does so, the Organization will support those candidates to within the limits of State and Federal law and other demands on its resources, and will not support any competing candidates for the same office. In the absence of a State Convention endorsement, either for a candidate or for no candidate, the State Committee may support a candidate for that office, again within the limits of law and competition for resources.
4. The convention shall have the authority by two-thirds vote to adopt or amend a platform.
5. If 10% or 500 (whichever is less) of the current dues paying membership signs a petition requesting a special state convention, and mails or presents the petition papers to the state committee, the state committee must organize a state convention to be held between 30 and 60 days of the date of delivery of the petition to the state committee. In a single calendar year a state party member may not sign more than one petition requesting a special state convention.
The petition shall specify the agenda of the special state convention, and the state committee may, by majority vote, append items to the end of that agenda, but may not otherwise change the agenda. The quorum for a special state convention shall be 10% or 500 (whichever is less) of the current dues paying membership of the party. If one or more dues paying state party members mails or presents to the state committee a written request to assemble a petition requesting a special state convention, then, within 60 days, the state committee must inform the dues paying members of this request, and the names and contact information for the party members who made the request. Other relevant information may also be included. State party members must be informed about the petition by placing the information on the first page of the party newsletter, and prominently on any electronic media controlled by the state committee.
Article III: Candidates
1. The responsibility for meeting the legal requirements for ballot access rests with each candidate.
2. In the event State or Federal Law authorizes this Organization to place candidates on the ballot, whether to replace candidates, fill vacant ballot lines, or for whatever other reason, in the absence of contrary legal specification or directive of the State Convention, the State Committee is authorized to act on behalf of the Organization for this purpose.
Article IV: State Committee
1. Each Regular State Convention shall elect, as provided in the Bylaws, up to nine State Committee members.
2. Within 30 days of their election, the newly-elected State Committee shall meet and elect a Chair, a Treasurer, and such other officers as are specified in the Bylaws.
3. The State Committee shall elect officers to fill any vacancies. The State Committee may by majority vote appoint to itself additional members.
4. All members of the State Committee shall hold office until adjournment of the next State Convention at which their successors are chosen.
5. The State Committee may make rules for its proceedings, for the calling of State Conventions, and for the selection of Delegates and Alternates to the National Convention. Delegates to the Libertarian Party National Convention shall be chosen at the State Convention held immediately prior to that National Convention.
If elections for State Committee and Convention Delegates happen at the same State Convention, the State Committee is elected first. Persons who will be members of the State Committee at the time of the National Convention are entitled ex officio to be named as Delegates or Alternates, but must so request prior to the election of Delegates and Alternates. The State Convention or State Committee may promulgate Bylaws consistent with this Constitution to ensure a full delegation at the National Convention.
6. To be eligible to be elected as a Massachusetts Delegate to the National Convention, a person must, at the time of the National Convention, be:
a. A legal resident of Massachusetts, and
b. A Member in good standing of the Organization.
7. The State Committee shall have the authority to adopt or amend the Bylaws by a two-thirds vote, two weeks’ notice and an opportunity to respond having been given.
8. To be elected or serve as a member or officer of the State Committee, a person must be a Member of the Organization whose dues are current.
9. Every member of the State Committee must make available their name, their office in the Organization if any, and a working way to contact them, in the Organization’s newsletter and on the Organization’s web site. This may be a physical mailing address, e-mail address, telephone number, or some combination of these.
10. The State Committee may by two-thirds vote of its entire membership expel a person from the State Committee, for cause, after affording the accused reasonable access to due process. Expiration of membership in the Organization is cause, but payment of membership dues to renew membership, prior to the vote, constitutes an absolute defense.
Article V: Bylaws, Rules and Amendments
1. Bylaws to implement and clarify the authority and duties of persons and bodies authorized by this Constitution may be adopted or amended by a majority vote at a State Convention, or by a two-thirds vote of the State Committee. When each State Committee meets for the first time to organize, any Bylaws previously in force shall remain in force unless a two-thirds vote of the State Committee shall specify otherwise, provided that any amendments to the Bylaws shall be consistent with this Constitution and with actions at State Conventions.
2. Each body authorized by this Constitution may adopt rules for its proceedings.
3. This Constitution may be amended by a two-thirds vote of all persons eligible to vote and registered as attending the State Convention at which the vote is being taken, whether or not voting, provided that there is a quorum, if and only if the following conditions are met:
a. The amendment has been approved beforehand by the State Committee, or has been endorsed beforehand by the signatures of at least ten percent of the Members whose dues are current, which amendment and endorsement shall be submitted in writing to the Chair of the State Committee, and
b. A copy of the proposed amendment has been sent by mail to each Member of the Organization whose dues are current, postmarked at least two weeks prior to the date of the State Convention in which the amendment is to be considered.