Rules of Order


1.       Composition: The Department Convention shall consist of:

a.       The Commander-in-Chief, Past Commander-in-Chief providing they are member in good standing of a Post within Department.

b.       The National Council Member, the Department Commander and all Past Department Commanders who are members in good standing in a Post within Department; all elective officers of the Department, Chief of Staff, Inspector and the Adjutant.

c.        District Commanders in the Department. If a District Commander is absent, the District Senior vice Commander, or in his absence the District Junior Vice Commander may register and function as a member of the Convention.

d.       All Post Commanders in the Department. If a Post Commander is absent, the Post Senior Vice Commander, or in his absence the Post Junior vice Commander may register and function as a member of the Convention.

e.        Delegates elected by the Post not less than 30 days prior to the Convention are to include one delegate and one alternate for each 30 members or fraction thereof in good standing in the Post and on record at the time of the election. All other aspects of delegate representation to the Department Convention shall be as prescribed in Section 222 of the National By-Laws and Manual of Procedure and Department By-Laws.

2.       Voting: Only members listed above may vote on matters brought before the Convention. The authorized voting shall be:

a.       Each voting member of the Convention, except delegates elected by a Post will have one (1) vote. Attendee who are listed in paragraph 1. A. through D. above that are named as delegates by their Posts shall be entitled to cast their pro rata share of the Post’s votes, if so desired. However, each attendee may only cast a single vote as an individual or with the Post as a delegate, but not both.

b.       The delegate or delegates of a Post present may vote the Post’s full delegate strength. If there is a division among the delegation of a Post each delegate present may cast his or her vote pro rata share of the Post authorized votes.

c.        If a Post Commander or in his absence the Senior Vice Commander, or in his absence the Junior Vice Commander is the only person in attendance at the Convention from a Post, he/she shall be entitled to one (1) vote plus the authorized delegate voting strength of the Post, providing that his/her name appears on the Post delegate letter as a delegate or alternate.

d.       The Credentials Committee prior to the first vote shall review the membership figures given by the Department Quartermaster and will poll the Posts to determine which members with separate votes are present, whether they will vote with their Post or separately, and determine total voting strength for each Post. The authorized voting strength for each Post at the Convention will be given in a report of Credentials Committee and shall be approved by the Convention.

e.        Roll call votes are governed as follows:

                                                               i.      For the election of officers when two (2) or more persons have been nominated for the same office, voting shall be by roll call of Post’s and any other member(s) who may vote separately.

                                                              ii.      Any Roll Call vote shall be in random manner by draw of Posts numbers out of a hat.

                                                            iii.      A roll call vote may be called for on any subject (question) to be voted on during the Convention at the discretion of any three (3) officers or delegates representing three (3) different Posts.

                                                            iv.      On roll call vote any delegate voting separately, any delegation casting its authorized votes together, or any member of the delegation voting separately may pass on the first roll call. If any individual or delegation abstains from voting on the second roll call vote, only the affirmative and negative votes cast will be counted to determine the number of votes necessary for a majority.

3.       Arrearages: The Credentials Committee will report on any Post (s) or District(s) in arrearage under the provisions of Section 213 and 413 of the National By-Laws, which includes Posts/Districts that have not submitted Election Reports to Department for the ensuing year by convening of the Convention. Those Posts/Districts in arrearage shall be deprived of all representation at the Convention. Such representation shall be restored promptly upon adjustment of such deficiencies.

4.       Quorum: A quorum for transacting business at the Convention will be not less than one (1) delegate from a majority of the Post’s in good standing at the time of the Convention and not less than four (4) members of the Department Council of Administration, one of whom must be the Commander, Senior vice Commander or Junior vice Commander.

5.       Discussion of motions:

a.       Any matter brought before the Convention for consideration must be presented as a motion and that motion must be seconded prior to any discussion. Acceptation to this would be motion from a committee that does not require a second.

b.       No member of the Convention may speak more than once on any motion until other members present have been given the opportunity to speak. The presiding officer may limit the time of discussion on a motion until all members present have been given an opportunity to discuss the motion once.

6.       Election of Department Officers:

a.       the Department Commander, Senior vice Commander, Junior vice Commander, Quartermaster, Judge Advocate, Chaplain and Surgeon shall be elected by the Convention. District Commanders, by virtue of their office, shall be officers of Department and voting members of the Council of Administration. District Commanders shall be ineligible to simultaneously hold an elected Department office.

b.       Any member in good standing in any Post in Department is eligible to hold a Department office. A member may hold one (1) elective and one or more appointed offices, no member may simultaneously hold two (2) elective Department offices.

c.        Before nominations are closed, any nominee to a Department office must have the opportunity to decline nomination to the office to which he or she has been nominated.

d.       Any member absent from the Convention who is nominated for an office must have written consent to such nomination in the hands of the Department Adjutant before nominations for that office.

e.        Nominations will remain open until the presiding officer declares them closed and the Convention is ready to vote. A majority of all votes cast is necessary to elect, and voting will continue until an election is declared. Should there be no election on the first roll call the name of the nominee receiving the lowest number of votes shall be dropped and so on in successive roll calls until a majority vote is reached.

f.        Officers will be installed before the Convention is adjourned.

7.       Caucus: Any member of the Convention may call for a caucus to discuss with his fellow delegates any matter to be voted on by the Convention. The presiding office may limit the time for a caucus.

8.       Other: Matters not covered by these Rules of Order, the provisions of the Congressional Charter and By-Laws and the Manual of Procedure of the VFW and Demeter’s Manual shall be the authority.

9.       Council of AdministrationRules of Order Incoming, Mid–Term and Outgoing

a.       Composition: The Council of Administration shall consist of the Commander, Senior Vice Commander, Junior Vice Commander, Adjutant, Quartermaster, Judge Advocate, Chief-of-Staff, Inspector, Chaplain, Surgeon, Junior Past Department Commander and all District Commanders. In the absence of a District Commander, the District Senior Vice Commander, or in their absence, the District Junior Vice Commander, may serve as a member of the Council.

b.       Motion - Procedural Guidelines:

                                                               i.      Once the Presiding Officer has acknowledged a motion and it has been seconded it may now be open for discussion.

                                                              ii.      Any member, when duly recognized by the Presiding Officer may speak on the motion for clarity, either for or against.

                                                            iii.      Every member is automatically entitled to speak once on a debatable motion before the body unless the body, by a 2/3 vote, has ordered the discussion closed. After discussion has been voted closed, no one can debate a motion—except by unanimous consent.

                                                            iv.      A member is also automatically entitled to speak a second time on the same question the same day, unless other members who have not yet spoken on the question actually rise to claim the floor to speak. If no one rises, he may speak a second time.

                                                             v.      No one may automatically speak a third or further time if anyone in the assembly objects.

                                                            vi.      Only Council members are allowed a vote on any motion before the body. (Including the Commander there are eighteen (18) voting Council members.

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