The following generally describes the method used by most conventions that use Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised, and that address resolutions from a Precinct Convention.
Convention Process Consideration of Resolutions
Voters attending a precinct convention may present Resolutions at the precinct convention for the purpose of sending instructions and comments about issues to the next higher level of convention, e.g. either the county convention or the senatorial district convention. Once resolutions reach the county or senatorial district convention, they are open for debate, amendment and adoption or rejection.
Before getting to the floor of the county or the senatorial district convention, a Resolutions Committee will often review all of the resolutions received from the precincts within the county or the district and then make a Committee report recommending the resolutions to be presented to the full body of the county or the senatorial district convention. Resolutions adopted at the county or the senatorial district convention are then forwarded to the state convention for debate, amendment and adoption or rejection.
There will be a Temporary Platform/Resolutions Committee at the state convention that will review the thousands of resolutions adopted by counties and senatorial districts throughout the State of Texas. The Committee will report to the Permanent Platform/Resolutions Committee that is elected at the state convention. The Permanent Platform/Resolutions Committee will then offer its report containing many of those resolutions to the full body of the state convention for debate, amendment, and adoption or rejection. Because the state convention is so large, you should attend and testify before the Temporary and/or Permanent Platform/Resolutions Committee if you want to have specific input on a subject of special interest to you.
Precinct Convention Consideration of Resolutions
If you are attending a precinct convention, come prepared if you have a resolution that you want to present. The precinct convention chairman must include copies of resolutions that pass or fail with the minutes of the precinct convention that are submitted to the county party for the next convention level. So, you should have your resolution(s) typed or written.
You should have at least 4 copies, 1 for yourself & 1 for each of the 3 sets of minutes that are made. The Chairman cannot refuse to hear your resolution if you have only 1 copy, but he can require that any resolutions longer than a few words be in writing. You should try to have copies for all or most of the delegates attending the precinct convention in order to speed up the process. Also, you are less likely to have your resolution rejected simply because the delegates cannot read or understand it.
Order of Business
In the normal course of business of a precinct convention, the following events will occur:
The Chairman will announce: “The next business of order is the Consideration of Resolutions. Are there any Resolutions? The Chair recognizes ______________ for a motion.
If you have a resolution you want to present, you should raise your hand. You must be recognized by the chairman to move for adoption of a resolution. When you are recognized, you may state:
“Mr./Madame Chairman, I move adoption of the following resolution….”
Then immediately proceed to read your resolution. If you have not already passed out copies of your resolution, ask someone in attendance to pass out the resolutions for you.
Your motion must be seconded in order for the delegates to discuss and vote on it. Once the motion is “on the floor” (it has been moved and seconded), it is debatable and amendable as long as the amendment is “germane” (relevant) to the issue in your resolution. Also, motions to limit or close debate are permissible.
Your resolution requires a majority vote to pass.
Preferred Form of Resolutions
Generally, resolutions follow a preferred form. They are made up of “Whereas” clauses and “Resolved” clauses.
“Whereas” clauses are the introductory lines that explain and justify your resolution.
“Resolved” clauses set forth the action you wish to be taken.
A suffix is usually added that sets forth the date adopted and the body that passed it.
Grammar, spelling, concise drafting and clarity of thought are extremely helpful in the successful consideration and adoption of your resolution.
A sample resolution:
Whereas the right of American citizens to govern themselves is a bedrock principle recognized in the Declaration of Independence; and
Whereas ensuring the integrity of elections is essential to continuing the representative democracy or republican form of government on which America and its States now enjoy; and
Whereas, despite efforts to protect the integrity of elections, election fraud still exists and, in such cases, serves to undermine the very foundation of our government; and
Whereas, States have the right and obligation to protect the election process and its citizens’ right to participate in them; now therefore
Be it resolved that we urge the Texas Legislature to enact legislation requiring that voters provide valid photo identification in order to cast a ballot in any and all elections conducted in the State of Texas.
Adopted this ____ day of _______, 20__, at the Precinct Convention of Precinct # ____ of the _______ Party of Texas.