Constitution Party







Delegates to National Convention


Adopted by State Central Committee September 24, 2015  [Obsolete by State Convention August 4, 2018]

The Constitution Party of Idaho—Regulations [Adopted 24 September 2015]


Effective July 3, 2015, Idaho Code was amended by Senate Bill 1066 to allow for a statewide, state funded presidential primary to be held the second Tuesday in the month of March in each presidential election year.  To comply with the new election law requirements, and pursuant to the Constitution Party of Idaho By-Laws, these Rules & Procedures are herewith set forth to govern the election or appointment of the National Delegates of the Constitution Party of Idaho, and to comply with Idaho Elections Code.


Pursuant to Constitution Party of Idaho By-Laws, Section 6.2 State Convention, B. Convention Business (6)(d)(i)—the principal authority to select the National Delegate slate of the Constitution Party of Idaho in National Convention rests with the State Convention of the Constitution Party of Idaho by ballot of the State Convention Delegates.  Section 6.3 National Affiliation, A. Selection of Delegates to National Conventions describes the methodology of the ballot selection.

By custom and practice, State Convention of the Constitution Party of Idaho generally convenes on the Saturday closest to the first of August in an election year—i.e. each even numbered year.

The National Convention originally convened in late summer—from late August to early September.  However, following the 2004 Constitution Party National Convention at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, the date of National Convention has migrated forward on the calendar.  National Convention has now apparently settled on the third week of April in the Presidential election year.

Because of the disparity between the respective dates of the state and national conventions, the By-Laws of the Constitution Party of Idaho were amended.  In the event that the National Convention takes place before the State Convention, Section 6.3 A. (1)(a), provides for the selection of National Delegates by the State Central Committee, which is to meet in special session for such purpose no less than sixty (60) days prior to the National Convention.

Pursuant to §34-507, state convention delegates (who select their national delegates) “shall be selected in the manner prescribed by rules and regulations promulgated and adopted by the state central committee”.  Due to the intractable schedule of the state and the national conventions, for the foreseeable future the Idaho State Central Committee shall therefore remain the de facto authority to select national delegates until such time as the state and national convention dates can be reconciled.

Idaho Code grants to each qualified political party the authority over their respective conventions, at §34-707.  “Each state convention shall write and adopt rules and regulations governing the conduct of their respective conventions”.  Further, each state convention may “Adopt rules, regulations and directives regarding party policies, practices and procedures.”

These Rules & Procedures claim authority to govern the selection of Constitution Party National Delegates under the aforesaid §34-707 and under the Constitution Party of Idaho By-Laws, Article V, Organization, Section 5.1 State Central Committee, E. Duties. 1. State Central Committee (a), which states:

“The State Central Committee shall be the governing body of the Constitution Party of Idaho and shall formulate and provide for the execution of such policies, plans and measures as it may deem conducive to the best interest of the party, and in conformity with these By Laws.”


In accordance with §34-731, recognized political parties who plan to participate in the presidential primary are required to notify the secretary of state’s office by the last Tuesday in the November prior to the presidential primary.  The Constitution Party of Idaho met this obligation, notifying the secretary of state’s office in writing, which was personally delivered by the Vice Chairman in July 2015 and stamped as received into the official state records, with copies retained.

Pursuant to the 2015 amended  Idaho Code §34-736, upon receiving the results of the presidential primary, each party participating in the presidential primary shall select, according to national and state party rules, the allotted delegates and their alternates to the national party convention.


National Rules—State Delegate Allotment

The national by-laws, at Article IV—National Convention, define the allotment of national delegates:

Each state affiliate (whether ballot qualified or not) receives two (2) national delegates.

A state having achieved ballot qualification is assigned “additional” delegates, the number of additional delegates being equal to the number of congressional districts in the ballot qualified state.  Idaho is entitled to two (2) additional national delegates.

For each year, subsequent to the previous presidential election, that a state affiliate fulfills is annual assessment, it is entitled to one (1) “additional” national delegate per annual assessment met.

For each National Committee attended by the state affiliate national committee members, subsequent to the previous presidential election, the state affiliate is entitled to one (1) “additional” national delegate.

[At the conclusion of the Fall 2015 National Committee Meeting in Albuquerque, Idaho will be entitled to eight (8) national delegates, having attended four (4) National Committee Meetings.]

National Rules—Delegate Weighting

A delegate weighting procedure based on the individual state’s entitled national delegates was established in the 1999 U.S. Taxpayers Party, held at the Regal Riverfront Hotel, in St. Louis, September 1-6, 1999.  This was the national convention which changed the name of the party to its current Constitution Party.  The weighted percentage is presumed to still be in effect.

If a state does not send its total entitled national delegates to national convention, each delegate vote is weighted to allow for the state’s total entitled delegate count.  For example, if Idaho sends five (5) national delegates to the next national convention but it is entitled to send eight (8), votes of those Idaho national delegates present will be weighted to 1.6 votes per delegate present.

National Rules—Placed in Nomination Only by Majority of Two States

With the exception of a provision [Article IV, Bylaws of the Constitution Party] that “In order for the name of any candidate for President or Vice President to be placed in nomination it shall be necessary that such nomination shall have been approved by a majority of the delegates from two (2) states.”—the national delegate votes are not further encumbered in any way.

However, this provision requiring the majority of delegates in two states before a national candidate is placed in nomination could infringe upon the Idaho presidential primary winner—if no second state approves that individual being placed into nomination.

If a majority of national delegates from a second state cannot be found to approve placing the Idaho presidential primary winner in nomination, then the effect would be equivalent to the Idaho presidential primary winner failing to survive the first round of convention voting for the nomination.

National Rules—Majority of Delegates Present 

At National Convention, the Credentials Committee must present an accurate tally of national delegates entitled to each state affiliate, the number present in convention, and declare whether a quorum is present in order to open the national convention.

Based upon documentary evidence provided by the National Secretary of an image scan of what is purported to be page 4 of the 2012 National Convention Rules & Procedures.  Under Article V, QUORUM REQUIREMENTS TO CONDUCT CONVENTION BUSINESS is found:

A quorum shall consist of not less than a majority of the registered delegates.
All questions shall be decided by majority vote.

The national convention presidential nomination process is an “exhaustive ballot,” meaning the nomination voting shall continue in successive ballot rounds until one candidate obtains a majority.

National Rules—Single Elimination Exhaustive Ballot Method

Inquiries made in the summer of 2015 with the National Chairman, National Chairman Emeritus and National Secretary sought certainty upon the national party’s presidential and vice presidential nomination balloting procedure at National Convention.  It was finally determined that a single elimination exhaustive ballot was used by the immediate preceding National Convention in 2012.

The National Secretary provided an image scan of what is purported to be page 4 of the 2012 National Convention Rules & Procedures.  Under Article VI, SELECTION OF PRESIDENTIAL AND VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEES, Section E is found:

E.  If no nominee for President or Vice President receives a majority of delegate votes, the nominee with the lowest vote will be eliminated and the roll call vote will be repeated.

The scan of the relevant balloting procedure, which indicates a single elimination exhaustive ballot procedure is including below as an addendum.

National Rules—Party Petitioning

In states where the Constitution Party is not yet a qualified party, to gain ballot qualification a petition is circulated, called a “party petition”.  Its purpose is to qualify the party.  Normally, these petitions do not carry the names of candidates.  However, eleven (11) states do not recognize “party petitions” or other procedures to qualify a party in advance of an election.

These states require a candidate petition, and generally it is legal to show a stand-in candidate on the candidate petition.  Politically experienced minor parties understand this, and will choose a stand-in presidential candidate—until the actual presidential candidate becomes known from the national convention nomination. The Constitution Party, at least during the 1996 election in Massachusetts and the 2006 election in West Virginia, has employed stand-in presidential candidates.

Presumably this falls under National Executive Committee oversight. The procedure and responsibility national delegates may have in the selection “for petitioning” by a “Stand In” presidential candidate and are not clearly stated in national documentation.  This procedure is referenced here to preclude confusion.  Again, its purpose is for qualifying a state for printed ballot, and not for candidate election purposes, per se.


State Affiliate Rules—Bound by Mandatory Primary

By participating in the Idaho Presidential Primary, the Constitution Party of Idaho accepts the state primary as a “mandatory primary”—meaning its national delegates are “bound” by the results.

State Affiliate Rules—Winner Takes All

The state party enters the presidential primary with an unlisted slate of delegates who are then automatically pledged to the winner of the Idaho Presidential Primary.  The winner of the Idaho Presidential Primary therefore takes all national delegates.  “Winner Takes All” is the current method under state elections statutes for Presidential Electors of the State of Idaho.

No proportional delegate distribution shall be permitted or recognized under Constitution Party of Idaho Rules & Procedures.

State Affiliate Rules—At Large Delegates

Pursuant to Idaho Code §34-736, following receipt of the results of the presidential primary from the Idaho Secretary of State’s office, the Constitution Party of Idaho shall then select the number of national delegates allotted to it under national party rules.

These national delegates are to be considered “at large”—meaning they are to be drawn from the whole state.  County, Legislative District and Congressional District are notwithstanding.

State Affiliate Rules—Hard Count Delegates

National Delegates of the Constitution Party of Idaho shall be deemed “Hard Count” delegates, having been formally allocated by the results of the presidential primary.

These delegates shall be bound to the winning Idaho presidential primary candidate.  They shall remain “Committed until Released”…until such time as the Idaho delegates are duly “unbound” by the winner of the Idaho Presidential Primary.

But in no instance shall the votes of Constitution Party of Idaho National Delegates be negotiable.

State Affiliate Rules—Automatic Resignation

Any delegate voting in National Convention contrary to the binding committal of the Idaho Presidential Primary results shall be, upon seeking to cast said contrary vote, deemed as having automatically resigned as an Idaho National Delegate being unable to fulfill delegate instructions.  Said contrary ballot shall be deemed null and void under these Rules & Procedures.

Upon automatic resignation, the resigning delegate shall be replaced by an alternate, with said alternate replacement taken from the Idaho Alternate Delegate roster, ranked alphabetically.

State Affiliate Rules—Conditional Unbinding 

In the event that the winning candidate of the Idaho Presidential Primary is eliminated under any successive National Convention balloting and so long as any candidate participant in the Idaho Presidential Primary remains in contention for the national nomination, the Idaho delegate slate may elect to release the delegation and to rebind it in support of the remaining presidential candidate who received the largest Idaho Presidential Primary vote.

In the event of a “vote of the whole delegation,” a simple majority in favor shall be deemed to release the Idaho delegates and rebind them to the next most preferred presidential candidate, as determined by the Idaho Presidential Primary candidate vote totals.

State Affiliate Rules—Conditions Which Prevent Unbinding 

However, in the event that no participant from the Idaho Presidential Primary remains in nomination under successive National Convention ballots, the Idaho delegation must, and shall, remain bound to the winner of the Idaho Presidential Primary as Hard Count Delegates.

State Affiliate Rules—Primary Participation Is Required for State Certification

Pursuant to Idaho Code §34-732, which states: “The name of any candidate for a political party nomination for president of the United States shall be printed on the ballots only if the candidate files with the secretary of state a declaration of candidacy accompanied by a one thousand dollar ($1,000) filing fee not less than ninety (90) days prior to the presidential primary,” the State Convention of the Constitution Party of Idaho shall not certify to the Secretary of State the name of any Constitution Party presidential candidate who has not properly declared their candidacy in Idaho under Idaho Code §34-732.

Said certification is required to be made in writing by the state chairman to the Secretary of State pursuant to Idaho Code §34-711, prior to September 1 in the year of the presidential election.

Presidential candidates of the Constitution Party who do not file a declaration of candidacy with the Idaho Secretary of State, accompanied by the appropriate filing fee, shall not be certified, and therefore shall not be listed on the state party’s November General Ballot, irrespective of the final nomination decision of the Constitution Party National Convention.

In the event that a national Constitution Party presidential candidate has been nominated at National Convention, and yet who has not participated in the Idaho Presidential Primary, the same is considered to have chosen not to run in Idaho.  In which case, the winner of the Idaho Presidential Primary shall be placed upon the Idaho November General Ballot, and the Idaho Presidential Primary runner up shall be named as Vice President on the November General Ballot, so long as this selection does not violate Amendment 12 of the Constitution of the United States.

State Affiliate Rules—Claim Upon Ballot Rights

The Constitution Party of Idaho insists upon the whole of its rights, at all times and in all places within the jurisdiction of the Gem State.

Article III, paragraph 3 of the Constitution of the Constitution Party states:  “Nothing in this Constitution or the bylaws of the Constitution Party shall confer upon the national party any authority to direct the internal affairs of any state affiliate.”  The Constitution Party of Idaho reads this paragraph strictly.

Election rules and procedures are an internal affair under the strict authority of the state affiliate, in compliance with Idaho elections law.  Under the authority enumerated through the Idaho Code, at §34-707, the Constitution Party of Idaho takes up its power of ballot right and political association.

National Constitution Party candidates who seek ballot participation in Idaho shall follow the rules and procedures set forth by this state affiliate.

State Affiliate Rules—Amendments, Reconciliation 

Amendments which may be necessary in order to reconcile these Rules & Procedures to Idaho Code and the By-Laws of The Constitution Party of Idaho may be brought under the process of Amendment, as enumerated under Article XI of this state affiliate’s By-Laws.

Herewith complete Rules & Procedures • Delegates to National Convention

Adopted By Voice of the State Central Committee

24 September 2015





[As of 24 September 2015, evidenced under this addendum these Rules & Procedures have been revised to reflect the 2012 National Convention’s use of a single elimination exhaustive ballot rule.]

National Rules—Copy of Single Elimination Exhaustive Ballot Method Used in 2012