Convention Rules for Scott County House District 55A Endorsement

Note:  Sections in Italics come directly from the Republican Party of Minnesota Constitution and cannot be changed.  Sections underlined come directly from the Scott County GOP Basic Political Organization Unit (BPOU) Constitution.


  1. Parliamentary Rules


Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised, shall govern the conduct of the business of this Convention when not in conflict with the laws of the State of Minnesota, the Constitution and By-Laws of the Minnesota Republican Party, the Scott County GOP Constitution and Rules adopted by this Convention.


  1. Order of Business


The order of business for this Convention shall be as outlined in the official Agenda of the Convention which is an integral part of these Rules.


III.    Registration


  1. Convention registration opens at 8:00 AM. The Convention shall convene at 9:00 AM.  Convention registration shall close at 10:00AM or with the final passage of these rules, whichever is later.


  1. Article V: Conventions and Endorsements – General Provisions, Section 2:  Registration
  2. Once a Delegate or a seated Alternate has registered for the convention he/she remains part of the voting strength of the convention even if he/she leaves the convention prior to the convention’s official adjournment.


  1. Convention Roll and Quorum


  1. The permanent roll of the Delegates entitled to speak and vote at this Convention shall consist of the duly elected Delegates who are registered and such Alternates who shall be registered and seated in accordance with these Rules.
  2. The Scott County GOP Republican Party BPOU Convention shall be composed of the registered delegates and alternates elected by the February 25, 2020 Precinct Caucuses. Attendees must be elected from Precinct Caucuses in House Districts 55A.
  3. The House District 55A Endorsement shall be composed of the registered delegates and alternates elected by the February 25, 2020 Precinct Caucuses. Attendees must be elected from Precinct Caucuses in House District 55A.
  4. A majority of the total number of Delegates registered shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of convening the Convention. Thereafter, a call for a quorum shall be out of order. No action except adjournment shall be transacted by the Convention without an affirmative vote of 25% of the registered Delegates and seated Alternates as established by the most recent report of the Credentials Committee.



  1. Seating of Alternates


  1. The Delegates of the Convention shall be seated and constituted as follows:


  1. The Credentials Committee shall seat only duly accredited Delegates of each precinct, as such precincts were constituted on February 25, 2020, who are in attendance prior to the closing of convention registration. In the event no Delegates are present from a precinct, the Credentials Committee shall seat all accredited Alternates from the precinct after the first credentials report.

  2. The precincts shall caucus after acceptance of the First report of the Credentials Committee. The Convention shall then proceed to the seating of the Alternates, which shall be accomplished as follows:  Unless the precinct caucus specifies the seating of Alternates to fill delegations in another manner (for example; rank order determined at 2020 precinct caucus), the seated Delegates of each precinct shall fill all vacancies by the vote of the seated Delegates and only from accredited Alternates from that precinct.  In case of a tie, the Precinct Chair(s) shall appoint one of those who are tied to fill that particular vacancy.


If the precinct chair is not present, then the Vice Chair shall serve as chair.  If neither are present, then the remaining Delegates and seated Alternates will elect a person to serve in that capacity.


  1. In the event questions arise concerning the seating of Delegates or Alternates, the question may be referred to the Credentials Committee for decision. Decisions of the Credentials Committee may be appealed to the Convention.


  1. A vacancy shall be deemed to exist if at the time of the Convention such Delegate or Alternate does not reside within the precinct from which they were elected, was elected by a precinct in which they no longer reside, or has resigned their Delegate or Alternate position.


  1. Seating of registered Alternates shall be permissible at any time, if a Delegate or seated Alternate is absent, provided that upon return of the Delegate, the Delegate shall be immediately seated. However, at the start of any ballot, there shall be no change in seating until that ballot has been completed.


  1. There shall be no cross-seating; a Delegate or Alternate from one precinct cannot be seated in a different precinct.


  1. Amendment or Suspension


After adoption of these Rules, they may be suspended or amended only by a vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the Delegates and seated Alternates present and voting.


VII.   Addressing the Convention


  1. The permanent roll of the Delegates entitled to speak and vote at this Convention shall consist of the duly elected Delegates who are registered and such Alternates who are registered and seated in accordance with these Rules. In addition, candidates for Endorsement are allowed to speak during the Endorsement Process.  Their supporters may speak during the “speech” portion of the Endorsement Process (see VIII. B. d.).


  1. Convention and Standing Committee Chair and/or Members are entitled to speak during their committee’s presentation and discussion.


  1. A Delegate or seated Alternate wishing to speak shall rise, address the Convention Chair, and when recognized, state his or her name and precinct and the purpose for which he or she rises.


  1. Debate on any motion or subject shall be limited to one (1) minute by each Speaker. No person shall be allowed to speak a second time upon the same question until all others wishing to be recognized have been heard, except for the author of the motion, who should be allowed to speak more than twice on the same subject. A point of clarification shall not count as a speaking opportunity.


  1. At least two speakers on each side of a question shall be afforded the opportunity to speak on an issue before a call for the question or motion to effectively table (i.e. table, Postpone Indefinitely, Commit or Refer, etc.) shall be in order. After six (6) minutes of elapsed debate, the Chair may call for the vote. If there are fewer than two speakers for a side of the question, and no speakers come forward when the Chair makes a final call, the Chair may call the question early.


  1. Anyone that is not a delegate or seated alternate wishing to address the convention shall inform the Sergeant-at-Arms of their desire to speak. The chair, at a time of his/her discretion, shall allow the speaker to address the convention.


  1. The Convention Chair or designees shall keep an accurate record of each speaker’s time and shall rigorously enforce any time limitations.


  1. Those recognized will be allowed to address the convention for 5 minutes.


VIII. Endorsement Process


Article V:  Conventions and Endorsements – General Provisions, Section 3:  Endorsements


  1. General Rules.
  2. It shall first be determined by a majority vote whether endorsement shall be considered for an office.
  3. Voting on a candidate for endorsement for an office shall be by secret ballot. The convention or committee may decide by a two-thirds vote to endorse by a rising vote for any office for which there is only one candidate.
  4. Votes may be cast for any person who by law is eligible for election to the office under consideration and who is eligible under this constitution to seek the endorsement, even though he/she has not been nominated or has withdrawn from nomination. Ballots may also be cast stating ‘no preference’ or ‘undecided’, or indicating no endorsement. Blank ballots or abstentions, unintelligible ballots, ballots marked only ‘ü’ or ‘X’, or ballots cast for an ineligible person or a fictional character shall not be included in determining the 60% vote needed for endorsement. No preprinted ballot shall be allowed unless options for 'no preference', 'undecided' and 'no endorsement' are included.
  5. A motion of no endorsement may be adopted by a majority vote. The rules of a convention may limit how often or when such a motion may be made. However on any round of voting for endorsement, a motion of no endorsement shall be considered adopted if a majority of the ballots (excluding blanks) or a majority of the votes on a voice vote (excluding abstentions) is for ‘no’, ‘none’ or ‘no endorsement’.
  6. Excepting the 60% requirement in this Article, BPOU constitutions may establish different rules of endorsement for conventions relating to legislative districts or other areas entirely within the BPOU.
  7. An endorsement may carry with it the commitment of party resources, finances and volunteers only when made at a convention that is representative of the entire electorate for the office. In the case of a proposal for endorsement of a candidate whose constituency is not coterminous with the territory of the convention, only those Delegates residing within such constituency shall vote upon the proposal. An endorsement for public office at a convention below the level of the one that is representative of the entire electorate for the office shall be no more than an expression of the sentiment of the convention.


  1. Pre-Primary Endorsement
  2. If the public office sought by the candidate is legally partisan, the candidate must agree prior to being considered for pre-primary endorsement to seek the office as a Republican if he/she receives the endorsement.
  3. Any candidate for any elective public office may be granted pre-primary endorsement by any state, Congressional District, BPOU or other authorized convention if he/she receives a 60% vote of the convention and if the 60% is greater than or equal to at least a majority of the registered Delegates and seated Alternates as established by the last report of the credentials committee preceding such vote.
  4. Only one candidate may be endorsed per seat for a particular office.
  5. When more than one candidate is nominated for endorsement for an office, none of the candidates for that office shall be voted upon separately.


            Endorsement Procedure for Minnesota State Representative from House Districts 55A:

  1. Prior to the start of the Endorsement Process, the convention will determine by majority vote if the convention will consider endorsing a candidate for State House Representative.
  2. The Nominations Committee will announce all candidate(s) for State Representative that appeared before the Nominations Committee. The Nominations Committee will place all candidate names in nomination except those deemed unqualified.  All candidates must appear before the Nominations Committee in order to be considered for endorsement.
  3. The order of nominating, seconding and candidate speeches for each office will be by lot and candidate speeches will immediately follow his or her nominating and seconding speeches. Candidates have a total of 10 minutes for their nominating, seconding and candidate speeches.  No seconding shall be required.
  4. If there is only one candidate for endorsement, the convention may decide by a two-thirds vote to endorse by a rising vote. If affirmative, then a rising vote shall be taken to endorse.  If affirmative, the endorsed candidate is allowed 5 minutes with no nominating and seconding speeches.
  5. In contested races, voting shall be by secret ballot. Balloting shall continue until a candidate has been endorsed by receiving 60% of valid ballots cast and more than 50% of the voting strength of the convention according to the last credentials committee report preceding such vote.
  6. Any candidate receiving less than 20% of the vote on any ballot after the second ballot shall cease to be considered a candidate for endorsement. Candidates automatically withdrawn from consideration under this rule may not address the convention. Prior to the commencement of any ballot any candidate still remaining for consideration may address the Convention for one (1) minute for the purpose of withdrawing.
  7. After three rounds of ballots have been completed, candidates shall have three minutes to address the convention and shall speak in reverse order of the previous speech order selected by rule c.
  8. Once there are only two candidates left, voting will continue until the fifth ballot. At that time, the convention may adopt a motion of no endorsement by a majority vote.  If approved, balloting ceases for endorsement for that legislative seat at this convention.  Otherwise, the balloting process will continue.
  9. After endorsement, the endorsed candidate may address the convention for up to three (3) minutes.



  1. Voting


  1. The vote on all questions shall be by voice except as follows:


  1. At the request of at least five (5) Delegates or seated Alternates or at the discretion of the Chair, a rising vote shall be taken.


  1. Voting for contested endorsements shall be by secret ballot.


  1. The precinct chair shall collect ballots cast by each delegation or a person designated by the precinct chair and turned over to the tellers.  If the precinct chair is not present, then the Vice Chair shall serve as chair.  If neither are present, then the remaining Delegates and seated Alternates will elect a person to serve in that capacity.


  1. The Chief Teller shall verify the number of ballots cast by a delegation and the Convention Chair shall announce any discrepancies before the ballots are comingled with other ballots.


  1. Precinct Chairs shall ensure that each Delegate and seated Alternate in his or her delegation will cast only one vote and that unused ballots are returned unmarked.


  1. The Chief Teller shall report back to the Convention Chair the total number of votes cast for each candidate and the Convention Chair shall announce the results to the Convention.


  1. If there is a dispute as to the number of ballots cast by any delegation, the said delegation challenge shall be made before the ballots from that delegation are comingled with those of other delegations. Upon such a challenge, the Convention officers selected by the Chief Teller shall count the ballots cast by said delegation.


  1. Each Delegate or seated Alternate shall have one full vote. Voting by unit rule is forbidden.


  1. No Delegate or seated Alternate shall be required to vote for any number of candidates


  1. Tellers will count any ballot specifically marked “No Preference”, “Undecided”, “No endorsement” or “None” in any vote totals. The ballots shall not count for any specific candidate.


  1. Tellers will report the blank, abstentions, unintelligible ballots, or ballots cast for an ineligible person or fictional character. These ballots will not be included in the total vote count for that particular election for purposes of calculating the 60%.


  1. For Endorsement: Ballots marked for more than one (1) candidate to be endorsed shall not be counted for any candidate.


  1. Each candidate for Minnesota State House District Endorsement may have two observers in the “counting room”.


  1. Ballots will be destroyed after the close of the convention.


  1. Miscellaneous


  1. All literature distributed at the Convention must have its source(s) prominently displayed.
  2. All non-compliant literature must be immediately removed. The Convention Chair determines compliance.
  3. Removal of literature following the convention, other than official Convention documents, is the responsibility of the source(s). The Scott County GOP BPOU may recover reasonable clean-up cost.
  4. Any person, campaign, or organization found to have violated the venue property owner’s policies shall be liable for associated fines, fees, and damages.
  5. Campaigns may have up to 5 volunteers to be on the convention floor on behalf of their campaigns.
  6. The convention chair shall not wear any buttons, stickers or any item with a candidate’s name.


Robert’s Rules Reminders:


  1. All debate, amendments, or procedural points must be germane to the business under consideration. Germane simply means that whatever is being said must be relevant. In other words, free association, streams of consciousness, spontaneous inspiration or revelations are usually not germane. There should be a logical connection between all statements and/or actions, and what is going on.


  1. There is no such thing as a friendly amendment. Once a matter is before the group, it is the property of the convention, and no one or two people, not even the maker and the seconder of the motion, may change it without going through the amendment process.


III.       Once a committee makes a report and motion, it belongs to the group not the committee.  All matters on interpretation of rules or motions (once passed) are made by the convention chair and may be appealed to the convention.


  1. Everyone (Committee Chairs, Executive committee members, elected officials, the person submitting a resolution or motion, etc…) is treated the same as any other Convention members during the debate. They are governed by the same rules limiting both time and amount of debate.


  1. How to End Debate

            “Call for the Previous Question” — This will close debate on a pending question and require immediate vote by the group on whether to close debate.

            A two-thirds (2/3) vote is required.


  1. Debate cannot begin until the Chair has stated the motion or resolution and asked "are you ready for the question?" If no one rises, the chair calls for the vote!


VII.     Before the motion is stated by the Chair (the question) members may suggest modification of the motion; the mover can modify as he pleases, or even withdraw the motion without consent of the seconder; if mover modifies, the seconder can withdraw the second.



Common Terms


Point of Privilege: Pertains to noise, personal comfort, etc. - may interrupt only if necessary!


Parliamentary Inquiry: Inquire as to the correct motion - to accomplish a desired result, or raise a point of order.


Point of Information: Generally applies to information desired from the speaker: "I should like to ask the (speaker) a question."


Point of Order: Infraction of the rules, or improper decorum in speaking.  It must be raised immediately after the error is made.  It must state what specific rule(s) was violated.



2020 Scott County GOP Basic Political Organization Unit (BPOU),

House District 55A Endorsing Convention


  1. Call to Order and Welcome. 9:00 AM.  Joseph Ditto, Scott County GOP Chair
  2. Pledge of Allegiance – Todd Vollmers, US Army, Retired
  3. Invocation – Pastor Art Hansen
  4. Reading of the Convention Call
  5. Election of Temporary Chair of the Convention –
  6. Election of Temporary Secretary of the Convention –
  7. Motion authorizing Temporary Chair to appoint Parliamentarian (Barb Lerschen) and Tellers (Anne Meurer head teller)
  8. Motion authorizing Temporary Chair to appoint the following committee chairs: Credentials (Jonathan Painter) Rules (Tony LaLonde), Nominations (Joe Ditto),  Arrangements (Tony LaLonde)
  9. First Credentials Report – Jonathan Painter
  10. Motion to adopt proposed Rule V (Seating of Alternates) – Tony LaLonde
  11. Caucus to seat Alternates
  12. Motion to make Temporary Organization Permanent
  13. Final Rules Committee Report – Tony LaLonde
  14. Convention Registration Closes
  15. Final Credentials Committee Report – Jonathan Painter
  16. Endorsement:
    1. Motion to Consider Republican Endorsement for a Legislative Candidate for Minnesota House of Representatives from House District 55A
    2. Nominations Committee Report
    3. Endorsement of a Republican Candidate for Minnesota House District 55A


  1. Other Business
  2. Adjourn



  • Guest Speakers will be recognized at the discretion of the chair throughout the convention as time allows.


Convention Registration closes at 10:00AM or with the approval of the Rules, whichever comes later.


Nominations Committee will meet at 8:30AM with Candidates for Endorsement for House District 55A that have not yet met with the committee.


Joe Ditto


Scott County GOP is in MN. Incumbents are: Sen. Eric Pratt (SD55) Rep. Bob Vogel (HD20A) Rep. Bob Loonan (HD55A) Rep. Tony Albright (HD55B)