Because numerous Republican Party officials in Washington State counties have, in the past, misrepresented Republican rules pertaining to the Convention/Caucus process as a means of violating those rules, and because some continue to do so, anyone partaking in the 2012 process needs direct access to the actual rules.
This article gives you that.
The complete set of State rules published in the manual that is given to Party leaders as a guide to run their conventions is attached, as a PDF file, Here: →2012 Caucus & Convention Manual←
Those rules were passed by authority of the Washington State Republican Central Committee, filed with the RNC in October of 2011 and cannot be changed by any County Party or individual Executive or elected officer the Republican Party.
No chair of any convention or caucus
has any rule making authority.
All a convention authority can do is enforce rules already made and transmitted to you in that document. Any additional rules governing a caucus or convention must be passed by motion, discussion and majority vote in that caucus or convention. No additional rules can be dictated by any chair or Party official.
For (in some ways) easier access than a PDF, here are (just) the Rules from that Manual, without the detailed explanations, calendar and formulas:
WSRP Rules for Precinct Caucus
and for Election of Delegates to
RULE 1 — Inventory of Precincts
No earlier than December 1, 2011 nor later than December 14, 2011the chairman of each county central committee shall submit a list of all precinct committee officers, all non-resident precinct “chairmen”, and all vacant precincts. In counties with three (3) or more legislative districts the list shall be organized by legislative district; in counties with less than three (3) legislative districts the list shall be organized in logical fashion. The list shall be coded in such a manner as to show (A) precinct committee officers, (B) non-resident precinct chairmen, and (C) vacant precincts. Such list shall be made available for inspection by anyone requesting the same from the county chairman without charge or copies made available at cost. Such list shall be forwarded to the Washington State Republican Party,
11811 NE 1st St, Suite A306, Bellevue, WA 98005, or email JenniferBontrager@wsrp.org, postmarked or submitted no later than December 14, 2011.
RULE 2 — County Convention Delegate Allocation Formula
Each county shall conform to the spirit and letter of the “one-man-one-vote” concept with reference to county convention/legislative district caucus delegate allocation to each precinct caucus. Each county shall determine for its convention the minimum number of potential delegates provided that each county shall allocate among the precincts a number of potential delegates to be elected which is at least two (2) times the number of precincts in its county.
Automatic delegates under Rule 14 shall be in addition to the number of delegates allowed for election under this rule. On the basis of such determination, it shall allocate those delegates to the various precincts in that county on a uniform basis on either registered voter information or the 2008 Republican vote. Registered voter information shall be based on the latest information available at the county elections department. Republican vote shall be determined by adding the Republican vote in each precinct in the 2008 general election for the offices of President, Governor, and Attorney General. Every delegate from a multi-delegate precinct shall represent substantially the same number of voters as each other delegate. “Substantially the same” shall mean a disparity no greater than fifty percent (50%) of the established voter value of a single delegate. In the case of precincts which have been created, or whose boundaries have been materially altered since the 2008 election, each county shall allocate delegates on the basis, which in the county’s judgment best reflects the principles of this rule.
Any precinct, however, which has less than a fifty percent (50%) voter value, shall be entitled to a single delegate to the county convention.
EXAMPLE: A county has 100 precincts and wishes to allocate for 200 potential delegates to the county convention based on Republican vote. In 2008, the Republican vote in the county was: President 23,000, Governor 22,000, and Attorney General 20,000, for a county-wide total of 65,000. The average precinct cast 650 Republican votes [total of all three positions].
A precinct which cast 487 Republican votes or less is entitled to one delegate; (3/4 of 650); a precinct which cast 488 total but not more than 812 Republican votes is entitled to two delegates; a precinct which cast 813, but not more than 1138 Republican votes is entitled to three delegates.
RULE 3 — Allocation Validity
Each county chairman shall cause to be submitted to the state chairman, postmarked no later than December 31, 2011 a statement showing the allocation of delegates to the county convention/legislative district caucus among the various precincts. Should the state chairman raise questions of validity, the county chairman shall be notified by January 15, 2012 and the
State Executive Board shall handle final disposition of any differences by January 22, 2012.
RULE 4 — Precinct Committee Officers Shall Determine Caucus Location
Each precinct committee officer shall be responsible for obtaining a location and making necessary arrangements for a precinct caucus and so advising the county chairman by
December 15, 2011. The location shall be within a reasonable distance to the precinct, and of reasonable public access. “Reasonable” shall mean that any Republican wishing to attend shall not be hindered as a matter of purpose. Precinct committee officers may choose to hold caucuses at a joint location with others where communities in the same area will serve to create better attendance. In the event that there are two (2) or more incumbent precinct committee officers as the result of merged precincts or realignment of precinct boundaries, the county chairman shall determine the caucus location and temporary presiding officers.
RULE 5 — County Chairman Shall Determine Vacant Precinct Caucus Location The county chairman shall be responsible for obtaining a location and making necessary arrangements for a precinct caucus in all precincts listed as vacant. The county chairman shall determine who will act as the caucus temporary chairman.
RULE 6 — Precinct Committee Officer’s Failure to Comply
Any precinct committee officer who neglects or refuses to establish a precinct caucus location by December 15, 2011 shall forfeit such right to the county chairman, who shall then establish such precinct caucus under the guidelines of Rule 5.
RULE 7 — List of Precinct Caucus Locations
Each county chairman shall cause to be compiled a list of caucus locations within the county. Such list shall be compiled and forwarded to the State Headquarters postmarked no later than January 15, 2012. Such list shall be organized in such a manner as required by Rule 1. Such list shall be made available for inspection by anyone requesting the same from the county chairman without charge, and copies shall be made available at cost.
RULE 8 — Publishing of Caucus Locations
Each county chairman shall make every reasonable effort to publish in a newspaper of general circulation or electronic media the complete compiled list of caucus locations (display advertising may be used) before January 22, 2012. “General circulation” shall mean any newspaper circulated within the county or portions of the county in question, which may include dailies, weeklies, and other community newspapers. “Electronic media” shall mean any website appropriate to such county, including county and state party websites. Such list shall be placed on file with the election department at the county courthouse by January 22, 2012.
RULE 9 — Precinct Caucus Date
The precinct caucus shall be held on Saturday, March 3, 2012 at 10:00 A.M.
RULE 10 — Who May Participate in the Precinct Caucus
Any registered voter of the precinct in which the caucus is being conducted who is willing to state by signing a Registration form and List of Participants at Precinct Caucus form that he/she considers him/herself to be a Republican and has not participated and will not participate in the 2012 caucus or convention system of any other party shall be eligible to participate in the caucus. Said form shall be in triplicate, one copy to be retained by the caucus chairman and the remaining two (2) to be forwarded to the county chairman by March 10, 2012. The county chairman shall forward one (1) of his two (2) copies to the state chairman seven (7) days prior to a Legislative District Caucus, or no later than March 17, 2012.
RULE 11 — Caucus Agenda
No earlier than 10:00AM, March 3, 2012 the precinct committee officer, or in the case of vacant precincts the temporary caucus chairman designated by the county chairman, shall cause the caucus to be called to order. The precinct committee officer elected or appointed shall be the permanent chairman of the caucus. In vacant precincts, those that have been appointed by the county chairman to act as temporary chairmen of the caucus shall do so until the election of a permanent chairman. No caucus shall be recessed or moved to another location except where necessary for the holding of the caucus and after reasonable efforts under the circumstances to provide notice. The agenda shall be as follows:
1. Call to order
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Appointment of temporary secretary
4. Election of permanent caucus chairman, if necessary
5. Election of permanent caucus secretary, if necessary
6. Resolutions, platform discussion
7. Nomination and election of delegate(s)
8. Nomination and election of alternate(s)
9. Such other business as may be appropriate for the caucus
RULE 12 — Pooled Caucuses and “Town Meetings”
A county central committee may elect to convene precinct caucuses in “pooled” or “town meeting” configurations consisting of all precincts in a region, town or section of the county. If a county so elects, the county chairman shall notify the PCOs not later than January 4, 2012 and the county chairman shall be responsible for obtaining locations and making necessary arrangements for said caucuses. The location shall be within a reasonable distance of the precincts served and of reasonable public access.
The county chairman shall designate a temporary chairman for the pooled caucus who shall convene the caucus. The caucus agenda shall be as follows:
1. Call to order.
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Appointment of temporary secretary.
4. Election of permanent caucus chairman.
5. Election of permanent caucus secretary.
6. Resolutions and platform discussion.
7. Such other business as may be appropriate for the caucus.
8. Adjournment to individual caucuses.
The precinct committee officer, if any, shall preside over the caucus of his or her precinct. The agenda of the caucus shall be:
1. Call to order.
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Appointment of temporary secretary.
4. Election of permanent caucus chairman if necessary.
5. Election of permanent caucus secretary.
6. Nomination and election of delegate(s).
7. Nomination and election of alternate(s).
RULE 13 — When Balloting Shall Commence
Nomination and balloting for delegates shall not commence earlier than 10:30 AM. nor commence later than 11:30 AM. March 3, 2012.
RULE 14 — Automatic Delegates
All precinct committee officers duly elected or appointed no later than December 14 , 2011, and who remain precinct committee officers and residents of their precinct through the date of the county convention shall automatically serve as delegates to the county convention in addition to delegates allocated to the precinct. Any precinct committee officer who neglects or refuses to carry out his duties as established in Rule 4, Rule 11, and Rule 17 shall forfeit his eligibility to serve as an automatic delegate to the county convention. If a precinct caucus is scheduled to be held pursuant to Rule 12, the precinct committee officer shall forfeit his eligibility to serve as an automatic delegate to the county convention if he neglects or refuses to preside, or make arrangements for someone to preside temporarily, at his individual precinct caucus. In addition, in order to encourage participation by all Republican elected officials, the county central committee may seat as automatic delegates in the county and district in which they reside, all Republicans holding elected partisan county, legislature, state-wide or federal office. The county chairman shall certify to the Credentials Committee of the county convention the list of individuals eligible to serve as automatic delegates no later than March 10, 2012.
RULE 15 — Election of Delegates to the County Convention
To be eligible for election, as a delegate to the county convention, an individual must be a registered voter in the precinct from which elected. Nomination for delegates, other than the precinct committee officer, to the county convention shall be made from the floor of the caucus. Nominations shall remain open until the caucus chairman shall have called for further nominations three (3) times with no response. Each nominee shall be given a reasonable period of time to express the nominee’s views concerning the nominee’s candidacy. Nominees shall indicate Presidential preference or declare themselves uncommitted.
If the number of nominees exceeds the number of delegate positions, the chairman shall appoint an election teller to supervise the election. Those nominees receiving majority vote shall be deemed elected with succeeding ballots conducted until all delegate positions are filled by majority vote. If more candidates receive a majority vote than there are delegate positions, those candidates receiving the highest number of votes shall be elected. Following the second ballot, the nominee receiving the least votes shall be removed from consideration. In the event of ties for election or elimination, the winner shall be decided by lot. Each delegate to the county convention, other than the precinct committee officer, must be elected from a precinct caucus but need not have been in attendance at the caucus for election.
RULE 16 — Election of Alternates to the County Convention
Alternates shall be elected by position number for each elected delegate with separate nominations and elections for each position. In each alternate election the candidate receiving the most votes shall be deemed elected. In the absence of a delegate at the county convention, alternates shall be seated in the order of their position number.
RULE 17 — Custodian Reports
The precinct committee officer or the elected permanent chairman of each caucus shall become the custodian of the permanent records of the caucus and shall be responsible for forwarding caucus reports to the county organization as may be required in these rules.
RULE 18 — Caucus Results
The precinct committee officer or the elected permanent chairman of each caucus or “pooled” caucus shall cause to be postmarked or delivered to the place designated for return no later than March 10, 2012 the following results:
1. Registration Form and List of Participants at Precinct Caucus
2. Report of Precinct Caucus, showing the elected delegates and alternates to the county convention.
Should the precinct committee officer or caucus chairman fail to file the report of the precinct caucus, any participant in the caucus may cause it to be filed by March 10, 2012. Caucus results filed after the deadline shall not be invalidated unless the late filing in fact prevents the credentials committee from investigating and evaluating them. If the caucus results are not filed in a timely manner, but are received in time for the credentials committee to investigate and evaluate them, the credentials committee may include the elected delegates and alternates on the role of the convention.
The county chairman shall forward copies of the registration forms, list of participants and report of precinct caucus showing the elected delegates and alternates to the county convention to the State Chairman no later than March 17, 2012.
RULE 19 — Time of County Convention/Legislative District Caucus
Each county convention at which delegates to the State Convention are to be elected shall be held not earlier than March 24, 2012 and not later than April 21, 2012. The state chairman shall receive notice of such convention.
In case a County has more than seven (7) Legislative Districts and elects delegates to the State Convention at each legislative district caucus, said legislative caucus shall be held not earlier than March 17, 2012 and not later than April 21, 2012. The state chairman shall receive notice of such convention.
RULE 20 — Counties Containing Three or More Whole Legislative Districts
In counties which have solely contained within their borders more than three (3) state legislative districts, each legislative district’s proportionate share of the county delegates to the state convention shall be apportioned to the legislative district, and shall be elected at a caucus of the precincts within that legislative district. (This rule currently applies to the following counties: King, Pierce, Snohomish and Spokane. Because these rules are submitted prior to Redistricting Boundaries drawn, counties may be added or deleted from this count.) Any partial legislative district too small to be entitled to at least one (1) delegate at the state convention shall be combined with an adjacent district as determined by the county central committee for the purpose of electing delegates.
RULE 21 — Counties Which Contain More than One but not more than Two Whole Legislative Districts
Counties which contain one (1) or two (2) whole legislative districts may elect delegates to the state convention based on legislative district, county commissioner or county council districts, whichever the county central committee provides in its bylaws or in its call for the convention or, if the central committee fails to specify, then as determined by the county convention. (This rule applies to the following counties: Benton, Clark, Kitsap, Thurston, Whatcom, and Yakima. Because these rules are submitted prior to Redistricting Boundaries drawn, counties may be added or deleted from this count.) Any partial legislative district too small to be entitled to at least one (1) delegate at the state convention shall be combined with an adjacent district as determined by the county central committee for the purpose of electing delegates.
RULE 22 — Other Counties
Counties not governed by Rule 20 or Rule 21 may elect delegates to the state convention at large or by county commissioner or county council districts as the county central committee provides in its bylaws or in its call for the convention, or if the central committee fails to specify them as determined by the county convention.
RULE 23 — County Convention/District Caucuses Notice
Notice of the time and place of the county convention/district caucus shall be postmarked by the county central committee no later than ten (10) days prior to the county convention/legislative district caucus to every delegate and alternate elected at the precinct caucus. Nothing herein shall prevent counties from convening district caucuses on a date other than the date on which the county convention is held.
RULE 24 — County Convention Committee
The county chairman shall cause to be appointed such convention committees as deemed appropriate, which shall include a committee on rules and a committee on credentials.
RULES FOR ELECTING DELEGATES TO STATE CONVENTION
RULE 25 — Automatic Delegates to State Convention
Voting members of the State Committee and of the Executive Board, Elected officers of the State Committee, and County Chairmen, who are in office on the opening date of the State Convention, shall automatically serve as delegates to the State Convention in addition to the elected delegates. No alternates shall be designated for Automatic Delegates. Any county failing to hold a county convention and elect delegates shall forfeit its automatic delegates. The State Chairman shall certify to the credentials committee no later than May 4, 2012, the list of individuals then eligible to serve as automatic delegates.
RULE 26 — Declaration of Candidacy for Delegate to the State Convention
In any county which is required or elects to have a printed ballot under Rule 27, any Republican who is a registered voter within the County/District he seeks to represent, wishing to be considered for the position of delegate to the state convention and wishing to have his/her name appear on an alphabetized printed ballot for such post shall notify the county chairman or the chairman’s designated representative in writing at least 72 hours prior to the opening gavel of the county convention/legislative district caucus. Notice of this procedure shall be contained in the convention/caucus call.
RULE 27 — Printed State Delegate Ballot
In the case of any district election or any at-large county election in which five (5) or more delegate positions are to be elected, the county chairman shall cause to be printed a ballot listing each declared candidate for delegate to the state convention in alphabetical order. Said ballot shall be used in the first ballot only for delegates to the state convention. Said ballot shall contain blank spaces equal to the number of delegates allotted for the purpose of write-in candidates or those nominated from the floor.
RULE 28 — Nominations From the Floor to Be Allowed
Unless otherwise provided by county rule, nominations from the floor for delegates to the state convention shall be in order and remain open until the chair has called for further nominations three (3) times without response. The county organization shall not be responsible for publishing, posting or alphabetizing nominations from the floor on the first ballot.
RULE 29 — Majority Vote Required for State Convention Delegates
Where there are more nominees than positions to be elected, all voting shall be by written ballot. Each delegate may vote for as many candidates as there shall be positions to be voted for on that ballot. There shall be no cumulative voting. Those candidates for delegate to the state convention who receive a majority of the votes cast (over fifty percent [50%] of the amount of delegates voting, EXAMPLE: fifty  voting delegates, twenty-six  votes represents a majority) shall be deemed elected with succeeding ballots being conducted until all delegate positions have been elected by a majority of the votes cast except as provided in subsection 3 below.
The following rules of elimination shall be used:
1. On the second ballot, each candidate who received less than 10% of the total vote on the first ballot shall be eliminated.
2. On the third ballot, each candidate who received less than 20% of the total vote on the previous ballot shall be eliminated.
3. On the fourth ballot, sufficient candidates receiving the lowest number of votes on the previous ballot shall be eliminated so that the ballot includes twice the number of unfilled positions to be voted on. These candidates receiving the most votes shall be elected without regard to whether they have a majority of the votes cast.
4. However, regardless of the foregoing rules for elimination, every ballot shall include a number of candidates not less than twice the number of unfilled positions to be voted on if sufficient candidates have been nominated. When this requirement conflicts with the above rules, the candidate receiving the highest votes on the previous ballot who was eliminated shall be included until the number of candidates remaining is twice the number of unfilled positions.
5. In the event of ties for election or elimination, the result shall be determined by lot.
6. Delegates must complete registration and payment for the convention within ten (10) business days of their election. If registration and payment is not submitted, an additional five (5) business days will be given, but a late payment penalty will be enforced of at least 50% more than registration cost. Should any elected delegate fail to complete registration and payment within said time, their position is forfeited, and delegate status awarded to the first alternate. Said elected delegate will be moved to the last alternate position slot available. The State Party Chairman will notify the county chair and alternate within 24 hours. Said newly designated delegate shall complete registration and payment within five (5) business days, and shall forfeit their delegate position if they do not. The newly designated delegate shall receive a credit towards delegate registration any amount paid for alternate registration.
7. If the first ranked alternate declines the delegate position, the next ranked alternate shall be the designated delegate and notified in the same manner as above (see Rule 29 section 6); provided that all registration fees and forms shall be paid and completed for the newly designated delegate(s) not later than May 11, 2012.
8. State Headquarters shall make Delegate/Alternate Registration Packets available to all counties prior to their county or legislative district conventions.
For purposes of this Rule and Rule 30, “business day” shall mean any day excluding Saturday, Sunday, or holiday recognized by the State of Washington.
RULE 30 — Election of State Convention Alternates
Alternate delegates shall be allocated in the same manner as delegates under Rules 20, 21, and 22. Nominations for alternate delegate to the state convention shall be made from the floor. There shall be two ballots, if necessary, for the position of alternate delegate. On the first ballot all candidates receiving a majority of the votes cast shall be elected to position numbers in accordance to the highest vote-getter following in a diminishing order. The second ballot shall fill the remaining vacant alternate delegate positions by a plurality vote, also in diminishing order. If fewer candidates are nominated than the number of positions allocated, a single ballot shall suffice. Alternates shall complete and pay registration fees to be received by the state headquarters by May 11, 2012.
RULE 31 — Custodian of Convention/Legislative District Caucus Records
The county chairman of each county shall be the custodian of the permanent records of the county convention/legislative district caucus and shall be responsible for forwarding required reports and certifications to the state organization.
RULE 32 — Proxies; Unit Rule; Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised
At the county convention/district caucus, the unit rule shall not be permitted nor shall any county convention or District caucus adopt a resolution binding its delegates to vote as a unit at the State Convention. Proxies shall not be accepted. All business shall be governed by Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised, and the county bylaws or rules, except where either is inconsistent with these rules.
RULE 33 — Certification of Delegates and Alternates
The county chairman of each county shall cause to be postmarked no later than April 29, 2012 a Certification of Delegates and Alternates form to the State Headquarters. Such form shall contain the legal address, including zip code, congressional and legislative district designations of each delegate and alternate elected. It shall contain the position number of each alternate elected to the state convention. Attached shall be the minutes of the county/district caucus attested to by the permanent chairman and secretary of such convention or district caucus. The minutes shall include the report of the rules committee and credentials committee.
RULE 34 — State Convention Committees
Each county shall select a chairman of its delegation and one person to serve on the State Convention Platform Committee, one person to serve on the State Convention Rules and Order of Business Committee, and one person to serve on the State Convention Credentials Committee. The chairman of the delegation and members of the above committees shall be chosen in such a manner as the county convention rules provide or, in the absence of a rule, as the county convention determines. Each county may choose a vice chairman of the delegation and alternate members of the above committees in such a manner as the county convention rules provide, or in the absence of a rule, as the county convention determines. The last day to elect or appoint members to the State Convention Committees is April 28, 2012. The names of those selected to the above committees and the chairman of the delegation shall be forwarded with the Certification of 2012 Delegates and Alternates form, postmarked no later than April 29, 2012 to the State Headquarters. The chairmen of the State Convention Platform Committee, Rules and Order of Business Committee and Credentials Committee shall be designated by the State Committee not later than its January 2012 meeting.
RULE 35 — Credentials Challenges
Any Republican within a county, commissioner district or legislative district (the original electing unit) that wishes to challenge the certifications of delegates and alternate delegates elected to the state convention or elected to be a member of a state convention committee shall cause to be postmarked or delivered to the State Headquarters a Notice of Challenge no later than ten (10) days following the election in question. Upon receipt of a Notice of Challenge, the State Headquarters shall promptly notify the Chairman of the County of the challenged delegates. Not later than twenty (20) days after the election in question, or ten (10) days prior to the commencing of the state convention, (whichever shall occur first), the person filing the challenge shall file with State Headquarters all documents and statements (which may be in the form of affidavits) supporting the challenge and setting forth the facts upon which the challenge is made accompanied by a statement of position giving fair notice to all of the nature and grounds of challenge. Documents and written statements in response (which may be in the form of affidavits) shall be filed with State Headquarters not later than five (5) days prior to the meeting of the Credentials Committee. A non-resident of the county, commissioner’s district or legislative district may not initiate challenges in question. The state convention credentials committee shall consider each challenge in the order that it was received.
RULE 36 — Delegate Allocation Formula
There shall be 1500 elected delegates and 1500 alternates to the state convention in addition to the automatic delegates. The elected delegates shall be apportioned to the respective counties and districts on the basis of the Republican vote therein. Republican vote shall be determined by adding the Republican vote in each county in the 2008 general election for the
offices of President, Governor, and Attorney General.
The 2008 results of precincts, which now fall, in two separate legislative or
commissioner/councilman districts shall be apportioned equally between the two new districts.
R U L E 3 7 – A L L O C A T I O N O F D E L E G A T E S T O
N A T I O N A L C O N V E N T I O N
The ten (10) at-large delegates shall be elected to represent the State of Washington at the 2012 Republican National Convention from the floor at the State Convention. Candidates for National Convention Delegate will declare at their nomination their Presidential preference, or that they are uncommitted, and be bound on the first ballot to their commitment at the 2012 Republican National Convention.
Three (3) delegates from each Congressional District Caucus shall be elected to represent the State of Washington at the 2012 Republican National Convention. Candidates for National Convention Delegate will declare at their nomination their Presidential preference, or that they are uncommitted, and be bound on the first ballot to their commitment at the 2012 Republican National Convention.
RULE 38 – Candidate Qualification and Nomination
Any convention or caucus nominating or qualifying a candidate for the ballot shall follow the rules for nomination of Republican candidates as adopted by the state committee.