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DNC Rules & Bylaws Committee Looks Forward to 2016

[UPDATED] The DNC’s Rules & Bylaws Committee met today and approved most of the proposed Delegate Selection Rules for 2016.  The Rules are substantially similar to the 2012 Rules.  Highlights:

  • The RBC adopted Rule 11 governing the calendar – Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina may have their primaries/caucuses in February 2016; everyone else starts on March 1 and must be finished by June 13.  This schedule is similar to GOP Rules which allow the same four states in February and others to start on March 1. 
  • Outreach provisions are strenghened to provide that states “should” (rather than “may”) have inclusion goals for youth, people with disabilities, and the LGBT community.  RBC staff will provide states with information to assist in setting outreach goals – there was no specific discussion of people with disabilties, but states definately need guidance on that issue.  
  • There was some discussion of ways of making caucuses more open, including allowing internet participation, but nothing concrete. 
  • There was also discussion about lowering petition requirements – currently the upper limit is 5,000 signatures.  Virginia had a 10,000 signature requirement, which required legislative efforts to change and ultimately hard-earned waivers from the DNC in 2004, 2008, and 2012.  In 2013 the Virginia General Assembly lowered the requirement in Va.Code sec. 24.2-545(B) from 10,000 to 5,000 statewide, and from 400 per CD to 200 per CD.  It also added language requiring the State Party Chair (who reviews the petitions) to certifiy that the requirements had been met.  (Candidates for statewide office – Senate, Governor, Lt. Governor, and Attorney General still must obtain 10,000 signatures.  Va. Code sec. 24.2-521(1).
  • If an elected delegate dies or resigns before the delegation is certified, the presidential campaign gets to pick a replacement – it is supposed to consult with the state party, but it is the campaign’s choice.
  • The RBC will next meet on August 1-2, 2014 in DC to adopt the remainder of the Rules, the Call, and the Regulations.  It will send these materials out to state parties by December 14, 2014.  State parties will then prepare their delegate selection plans in spring of 2015.
  • Although the RBC was scheduled to meet for about 8 hours today and tomorrow, it finished its work in about 3.
  • Well done!