Well, what a disaster yesterday was for the NH GOP – with races set for NH GOP officials and a few controversial ByLaws on the docket, this was prime time for what is up to 400 people or so to meeting, yak, and vote as demanded by the NH GOP ByLaws:
(2) Purpose: The purpose of meetings of the State Committee is to elect officers in accordance with Article II, 3, A, and the National Committeeman and Committeewoman in accordance with Article III, to consider and vote on proposed amendments to these bylaws and proposed resolutions, and, except as provided in Article I, 4, A, (4), (b), to conduct any other business permissible under the rules adopted for the meeting.
But right off the bat, the NH GOP Executive Board / Chair / Vice Chair / <insert something here> decided that they could ignore the ByLaws when it came to VOTING at the Annual Meeting (as well as when it was overseeing a lot of more local Committees, more later):
A. The State Chairman will also call biennial meetings of the Party nominees and elected Party delegates for the purpose of holding a caucus to elect members of the State Committee. These meetings must take place during the period beginning immediately following the biennial election and ending by December 15th. All qualified registered Republicans nominated shall be included on the ballot for consideration of election at these meetings. All voting shall be conducted by printed ballot, unless the race is uncontested. The State Chairman will be responsible for notifying all party nominees and elected Party delegates by mail at least ten days before the day of the meeting. Only members of the State Committee shall elect the County and City Committee officers.
And we know that this was blown out the window. Now, I was not privy to what went into the decision to allow for electric voting – but that’s an important decision and one that has roiled the entire Party – the failure of electronic voting on Saturday. One person’s reaction below which I have “Skip-ified”:
What a complete clown circle the NH GOP State Committee meeting on Zoom yesterday. An absolute disaster. Embarrassing to have been associated with this mess. I have, over the years, been part of small, medium, and large meetings – yesterday proved that massive waste of time can happen at any and it wasted ALL of my time from 10am to 3pm.
Supposed to elect officers for the NH GOP and changes to the ByLaws. Five hours – NOTHING DONE! No elections, no proposals, no votes. Nada, nein, zippo.
Only those considered State Party Committee members were supposed to be able to vote for the above – those there were elected as delegates in their towns and cities as well as those who won their primaries in September. The total membership of the state party committee works out to be somewhere between 350 and 400 individuals.
So, the day started with a late start to the meeting as committee members had to be “credentialled” by the party leadership in order to be allowed to sign onto the Zoom meeting. An agonizingly slow process that apparently had never been tested before.
After the meeting itself finally started off with a few reports from officers, the chair turned over the meeting to the designated parliamentarian to run the elections. The result was a complete and unmitigated freaking disaster that should have never have happened. You know the full bit about “..poor performance”.
Nominations were made for the Chair / Vice-Chair offices (two incumbents and challengers for both) and then closed; a motion was made to allow floor nominations for the remaining positions; a majority vote needed to do so. And that’s when the voting fireworks turned into duds.
SurveyMonkey had been chosen by NH GOP staff as the voting tool; apparently had never been tested with so many people voting. After numerous long delays, with several voters casting votes multiples times and with several voters claiming that their votes were not counted, the powers that be announced that the vote on the motion was tied so it failed. A firestorm of protest erupted but since the powers that be controlled the mute function, they were quickly shut off.
More delays ensued as the powers that be tried to get a Survey Monkey ballot that would work for all of the officer positions. But they finally gave up.
While all that was going on, many on the Zoom meeting who could actually be heard because their muting was not always fully effective were calling for a re-vote on the floor nomination motion, an adjournment until we could meet and vote in person, a loss of confidence vote, etc. In other words, clearly a man-made disaster in which the powers that be were turning on our own people (either on purpose or because technology incompetence).
There were numerous participants seeking recognition via the Zoom function called “raise your hand” whether to make motions or whatever, but there is no telling what they wanted since they were ignored and were never allowed to speak.
End Result: paper ballots on the officer elections would be mailed out on Monday with two weeks in which to mark and return them. Any consideration of ByLaw changes and resolutions will be put off. The meeting was officially adjourned after wasting about 5 hours.
Complete incompetence was the watchword of the day.
The result of all of this was a firestorm of very intense discontent and rebellion at the very time when unity within the party should be the goal.
Like I’ve said, I’ve participated in many truly awful meetings. Yesterday was the absolute worst and an enormous waste of time for nearly 400 people.
And I’ve heard similarly from others.
I’ll have my own thoughts about this later on from listening to others.