LPWI Constitution and Bylaws
(Amended 2023–Posted as current on Dec. 4, 2023)
ARTICLE I – Name
- The Name of the association shall be the “Libertarian Party of Wisconsin,” hereinafter referred to as the “Party”.
ARTICLE II – Purpose
- The Purpose of the Party is to implement and give voice to libertarian principles such as those in the “Statement of Principles” of the national Libertarian Party by:
- Promoting candidates for local and statewide public office within Wisconsin.
- Working for the election of the national Libertarian Party Nominees for President and Vice-President
- Promoting, chartering, and coordinating affiliate parties throughout the State of Wisconsin.
- Entering into informational and educational activities.
ARTICLE III – Principles
- The Party shall take no positions or actions inconsistent with the “Statement of Principles” of the national Libertarian Party.
ARTICLE IV – Membership
- Membership in the Party is not to be restricted by a person’s race, creed, color, sex, sexual preference, or national origin.
- Any requirements for membership in the Party that are not in conflict with Article IV, item 1 shall be set forth in the Party by-laws; these shall not include a residency requirement.
- Voting membership shall consist only of residents of the State of Wisconsin.
- The Executive committee shall have sole power to set membership dues for the Party.
ARTICLE V – Organization
Section 1 (Officers)
- The officers of the party shall be Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary and Treasurer. These officers shall be elected at the Annual Convention of the Party during odd numbered years by the attending Party members and shall take office immediate upon the close of such Convention and serve until the final adjournment of the next odd-numbered year Annual convention. The Chair of the Party must be elected by a 2/3 majority with all other officers elected by a simple majority.
- No offices shall be combined.
- The officers shall be full voting members of the Executive Committee.
- The officers shall have such powers and perform such duties as are prescribed in the Party by-laws and are not inconsistent with the provisions of this Constitution.
- Any officer of the Party may be temporarily suspended by a 4/5 vote of the Constitution and By-laws Committee subject to ratification by a 2/3 vote of the members attending a Special Convention called for such a p The members will then elect a replacement officer. Such officer will complete the term of the office vacated.
- The Executive Committee shall appoint new officers and Executive Committee members-at-Large if vacancies, not due to suspensions, occur, such officers and Executive Committee members to complete the term of the office. Vacancies occur by resignation, death, relocation, or failure to renew membership.
Section 2 (Executive Committee)
- The Executive Committee shall be responsible for the control and management of all the affairs, properties, and funds of the Party consistent with its by-laws and any resolutions which may be adopted in Convention. Only the Executive Committee may spend the monies of the Party. Executive Committee members will be elected by a simple majority of the members attending the Annual Convention during odd-numbered years. The Executive Committee shall take office immediately upon close of the Annual Convention in which it is elected and serve for two years, until the final adjournment of the next odd-numbered year Annual Convention No secret meeting will be held by the members of the Executive Committee of the Party; all meetings will be open to all Party members. The Executive Committee of the Party shall be composed of the following:
- The four elected officers of the Party.
- Two members-at-large of the Party elected at a state Convention.
- A Congressional District Member and Alternate from each-congressional District in the State of Wisconsin as elected from and by Party members residing within each particular Congressional District. The Executive Committee may appoint an interim member until such time as an election is held by Party members residing within the District in question. If the Executive Committee chooses to leave the office vacant, then that office shall not affect the number required for a Quorum. If a Congressional District member and/or Alternate fails to attend 3 consecutive Executive meetings, that position shall be declared vacant.”
- All members of the Executive Committee must be members in good standing of the Party.
- All voting concerning LPWI Party business must be recorded in a manner making each Executive Committee member’s vote available to the membership. No secret votes.
Section 3 (Constitution & By-Laws Committee)
- The Constitution and By-laws Committee shall be composed of up to five (5) Party members appointed by the Convention. The term of a member of the Constitution and By-laws Committee shall run through the period of the next Party Convention which elects the Constitution and By-Laws Committee and until a successor is appointed. No officer of the Party may serve on the Constitution and By-Laws Committee.
- If a duly appointed member of the Constitution and By-Laws Committee should be unwilling, unable, or ineligible to participate in Committee activities, the Executive Committee may, at its discretion following a request from the Constitution and By-Laws Chair, appoint a replacement member to maintain a full complement of members to the Committee.
Section 4 (Affiliate Parties)
- The Executive Committee of the Party shall charter affiliate parties from those organizations requesting such status to represent such geographical areas as the Executive Committee may deem appropriate.
- Every organization so chartered shall ratify the “Statement of Principles” of the national Libertarian Party. The affiliate parties shall operate under the Party’s Constitution and By-Laws.
- The Executive Committee shall have the power to suspend or revoke affiliate party status from any organization by a 4/5 vote of the Committee.
- Except as provided herein, the autonomy of the affiliate parties shall not be abridged by the Party.
ARTICLE VI – Convention
- The Party shall hold a Convention every year at the time and place selected by the Executive Committee. The Party may have such additional conventions as may be deemed necessary by the Executive Committee. A Special Convention may be called by presenting a petition signed by 1/2 of the dues-paying members of the Party, such Convention to be held within 30 days of the presentation of the petition to the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shall appoint a Convention Committee to arrange the Convention.
- Any member in good standing attending any Convention of the Party may cast his vote.
ARTICLE VII – Platform
- The Party shall adopt a platform giving the Party’s positions on important issues as planks. Platform planks shall be adopted/deleted/revised only at an Annual Convention held in an even-numbered year. The platform will continue to be the platform of the Party until modified at an Annual Convention held in an even-numbered year. If not modified by that convention, the existing platform remains in effect until it is modified at a future Annual Convention held in an even numbered year.
- A 2/3 majority of the members present and voting is required to approve each plank (whether adopting a new plank, deleting an existing plank or revising an existing plank). The process to adopt/delete/revise platform planks is defined in the By-Laws Article VIII.
ARTICLE VIII – Nomination Of Candidates
- Candidates for public office shall be nominated pursuant to Chapter 8 of the Wisconsin Statutes.
ARTICLE IX – By-Laws
- The By-Laws may be amended by a 2/3 vote of the members voting on that particular issue at the Annual Convention. The process to amend the By-Laws is defined in the By-Laws Article VII.
ARTICLE X – Amendments
- 1. This Constitution may be amended by a 2/3 vote of the members voting on that particular issue at the Annual Convention. The process to amend this Constitution is defined in the By-Laws Article VII.
- Article IV, 1, Article V, 1.5, and Article X, 2 shall not be amendable.
- Article IV, 1, Article V, 5, Article X, 2, and Article X,3 shall not be suspendable.
ARTICLE XI – None Of The Above
- Votes cast for “None of the Above” in voting for delegates to the national Libertarian Party conventions, representatives to the national Libertarian Party’s Platform Committee, and all Party offices shall be considered valid and properly recorded.
- Any candidate for delegate to the national Libertarian Party convention, representative to the national Libertarian Party’s Platform Committee, or any Party office who receives fewer votes than does “None of the Above” for that position will not be eligible for that position for the term covered by that election.
ARTICLE I – Affiliate Parties
- Organizations applying for a charter as an affiliate party shall make such application on a standard petition form as adopted by the Executive Committee, which petition shall be signed by at least one party member in that geographical area.
- The Executive Committee shall have power to set the geographical area.
- All Party membership dues are to be remitted to the Party Treasurer, who shall return a percentage of the moneys collected to that member’s affiliate party. The Executive Committee shall have the sole power to determine the percentage of each membership fee that is returned to each affiliate party. The percentage rate shall be applied at the same rate to all of the affiliate parties. The Party Treasurer shall not remit moneys to any affiliate party that is not in compliance with applicable state law and administrative code.
ARTICLE II – Duties of Officers
- The Chair shall be the chief executive officer of the Party, holding the powers of administration pertaining to the ordinary business affairs of the Party and such other powers as may be delegated by the Executive Committee.
- 2. The Vice-Chair shall be the chief assistant to the Chair, performing such duties as the Chair may prescribe and having such powers as the Chair may delegate. The Vice-Chair shall serve as Acting Chair upon death, disability, resignation, or absence of the Chair until the Executive Committee appoints a new Chair.
- The Secretary shall assist the Chair and Executive Committee. The Secretary shall attend all meetings of the Executive Committee and keep such minutes and records as are necessary. The Secretary shall make an annual report to the Executive Committee containing such information as the Executive Committee may require.
- The Treasurer shall receive all moneys paid to the Party and shall deposit same in such banks or bank as designated by the Executive Committee. The Treasurer shall make an annual report to the Executive Committee and to the membership at large and any other reports as the Executive Committee shall request with respect to the finances of the Party. The Treasurer shall file all reports required by the State and National authorities.
ARTICLE III – Executive Committee
- 1. The Executive Committee shall meet at least quarterly and the chair shall determine the times and places of their quarterly meetings and announce them three weeks prior to the meeting.
- 2. More than one-half (1/2) of the membership thereof shall constitute a quorum at all meetings for the transaction of business, except where a larger vote is required by Constitution.
- Except as otherwise provided in the Constitution and By-laws a majority vote of those present at a meeting shall rule.
ARTICLE IV – Finance and Accounting
- The Executive Committee shall cause an efficient system of accounts to be installed and maintained.
- The Executive Committee shall have the power to designate the depository of all funds of the Party and shall appoint such officers and employees as in its judgment may seem advisable to deposit and withdraw from said depository.
- The Executive Committee shall designate an annual audit.
- It shall require a 90% approval of all the voting members of the Executive Committee to incur debt on behalf of the party.
- . It shall require a 2/3 majority of the Executive Committee to spend any amount greater than $6000 on any one line item.
ARTICLE V – Parliamentary Authority
- Robert’s Rules of Order shall be parliamentary authority for all matters of procedure not specifically covered by the Constitution or By-Laws of the Party.
- The Executive Committee may suspend Robert’s Rules of order to suit the Party’s needs.
ARTICLE VI – Membership
- Applicants for membership in the Party shall make application by payment of at least the minimum fee set by the Executive Committee. Upon payment of such fees, they will become members in good standing.
- If any candidate, officer, or holder of public office who is a member of the Party should substantially misrepresent or violate the statement of principles or platform of the Party, such person may be censured at the next annual Convention by a 3/4 majority of voting members present.
- A censured member loses his/her member in good standing status and therefore may not vote at an annual convention in which the censured status applies. A censured status remains in effect for 12 months or until the next annual convention, whichever is greater.
- A censured member who runs for political office as a Libertarian will receive no recognition or support for the campaign from the Party.
ARTICLE VII – Amendments
- Amendments to the Constitution or By-Laws must be provided to the chair of the Constitution and By-laws Committee in printed form at least three months before the Annual Convention. Such amendments must be considered by the Constitution and By-laws Committee for proposal at the Annual Convention. The chair of the Constitution and By-laws Committee shall notify the author(s) of such an amendment of the final status of the amendment no later than two months prior to the Annual Convention.
- Any amendment submitted to the Constitution and By-laws Committee under paragraph 1 of this article that is rejected by the Constitution and By-laws Committee may be proposed to the convention by the author(s) of that amendment. The author(s) of such an amendment shall provide the chair of the Constitution and By-laws Committee or the Party Chair a printed copy of the proposed amendment at least one month before the Annual Convention. No changes may be made to the proposed amendment after this deadline.
- The Constitution and By-laws Committee Chair will insure that printed copies of all proposed amendments are made available to all Convention attendees at the registration and sign-in desk.
- Amendments shall be discussed and voted on under the following rules:
- Amendments may be identified as “replacement amendments” when introduced. Approval of a replacement amendment removes the replaced verbiage from the appropriate document.
- Amendments recommended by the Constitution and Bylaws Committee may be amended from the floor of the convention.
- Discussion shall be limited to 5 minutes per person per amendment.
- Amendments shall take effect after the close of the convention in which they are enacted.
- The Constitution and By-laws Committee shall have the responsibility and authority to format the new and/or revised by-laws into the previous Constitution/By-laws. The Executive Committee, by a majority vote, within 60 days of the state convention, must then either approve the revised Constitution and/or By-laws or return them to the Committee for further edits/revisions.
ARTICLE VIII – Platform
- The Executive Committee shall appoint a Platform Committee at least twelve months prior to the Annual Convention All Platform Committee meetings shall be open to any party member wishing to attend. A schedule of Platform Committee meetings shall be published in the party newsletter.
- Planks (herein meaning new planks for adoption, deleted planks or revised planks) must be provided to the chair of the Platform Committee in printed form at least four months before the Annual Convention. Such planks must be considered by the Platform Committee at its next meeting for proposal at the Annual Convention. The chair of the Platform Committee shall notify the author(s) of such a plank of the final status of the plank no later than two months prior to the Annual Convention.
- Any plank submitted to the Platform Committee under paragraph 2 of this article that is rejected by the Platform Committee may be proposed to the convention by the author(s) of that plank. The author(s) of such a plank shall provide the chair of the Platform Committee or the Party Chair a printed copy of the proposed plank at least one month before the Annual Convention. No changes may be made to the proposed plank after this deadline.
- The Platform Committee Chair will insure that printed copies of all proposed planks are made available to all convention attendees at the registration and sign-in desk.
- Platform planks shall be discussed and voted on by the Convention in the following order:
- Planks proposed by the Platform Committee.
- Planks proposed under paragraph 3 of this article.
- Platform planks shall be discussed and voted on under the following rules:
- Planks may be identified as replacement planks when introduced. Approval of a replacement plank removes the existing plank from the platform.
- Planks may not be amended before being voted on.
- Discussion shall be limited to 5 minutes per person per plank.
- A 2/3 majority of the members present and voting is required to approve each plank or an entire new platform.
- Any plank in the existing platform that is not deleted or revised by a 2/3 majority vote will remain intact in the new platform.
- If an entire platform is passed as a replacement for the existing platform, then all planks in the existing platform are replaced by the adoption of the new platform and the previous bullet item does not apply.
ARTICLE IX- Endorsement Of Candidates For Statewide Offices
- All voting shall be done by secret ballot.
- The endorsed candidate for Governor shall have the power to veto any candidate for Lieutenant Governor with whom he/she does not wish to run before balloting for Lt. Governor.
- 3. The support of the Party may be granted or withdrawn from a candidate for statewide office after the Convention by a three-fourths (3/4) vote of the Executive Committee.
ARTICLE X – Election Of Delegates To Regular National Libertarian Party Functions
- Persons seeking delegate or alternate status must be members in good standing of the Libertarian Party of Wisconsin.
- Election of delegates and alternates to national Libertarian Party Conventions shall be by majority vote of Party members registered at the Annual Convention held during the year of the national Convention.
Election of Delegates:
- Party members attending the convention may nominate any number of candidates for delegate.
- The Convention shall vote by secret ballot for up to as many delegates as are allotted by the national Libertarian Party Secretary. All candidates receiving more votes than does None of the Above shall be eligible to be delegates.
- Candidates are ranked in descending order by number of votes received. The ranked list of delegates shall then be used to fill the delegate slots available as reported by the national Libertarian Party Secretary.
Election of Alternates:
- Party members attending the convention may nominate any number of candidates for alternate.
- The Convention shall vote by secret ballot for up to as many alternates as there are delegates allotted by the national Libertarian Party Secretary. All candidates receiving more votes than does None of the Above shall be eligible to be alternates.
- Candidates are ranked in descending order by number of votes received. In the event that there are open delegate positions the top ranking alternates shall be delegates. Those remaining on the ranked list shall be alternates (subject to any limitations imposed by the national Libertarian Party).
Election of the Delegation Leaders:
- The chair of the delegation shall be nominated and elected from among and by the persons who have been elected as delegates.
- A vice-chair of the delegation shall also be elected by the same method.
- The persons selected for these positions shall be announced before the close of the convention.
Ranking of Alternate Delegates:
- Alternates shall substitute in rank order for delegates absent from the convention floor.
- Any disputes about substitutions shall be settled by the delegation chair, if present, or the delegation vice-chair
- If the Party is eligible to elect a national Libertarian Party Platform Committee member under the Constitution, by-laws and Rules of the national Libertarian Party, election of this committee member shall be done at the Annual Convention held during the applicable year. Voting shall be done by secret ballot and a majority vote will be r An alternate shall also be elected for this position using the same method
- The delegates and alternates selected at convention are the only persons eligible to be seated within the LPWI delegation. Any person who is not elected before the close of the LPWI state convention will not be granted a seat with the LPWI delegation.