Rebuttal: Arizona State Republican Party Bylaws Consistent With Laws

By Van DiCarlo

Mr. Dicksion, My name is Van DiCarlo and I am 1st Vice Chair of LD22.

In the Arizona Daily Independent and in an e-mail dated January 2, 2019, represented to have been authored by you and published under your name, you alleged the Arizona State Republican Party bylaws and Maricopa County Republican Party bylaws are in conflict with State statute. While I have not yet compared all provisions of the respective bylaws with Arizona Revised Statutes, I have researched Arizona Laws and parliamentary rules regarding the use of proxies. I feel compelled to respectfully rebut your averment that provisions of the State and county Republican bylaw documents, allowing the use of proxies in the conduct of business at party meetings, is inconsistent with Arizona State statute.

The legislature is empowered by the Arizona Constitution to create statute (Ariz. Const. Art. IV Sec.1(1)): “The legislative authority of the State shall be vested in a Legislature, consisting of a Senate and a House of Representatives,…”). It is a well-grounded principle of law that provisions of statute prohibiting certain activity apply generally within the state unless further provisions allow the prohibited activity in specific instances.

In your analysis, you correctly state that provisions of Arizona law create a prohibition of the use of proxies in all elections in the State. (Ariz. Rev. Stat. Sec.16-102 ). The same prohibition is solidified in subsequent statute which provides, “…the provisions of this title [Title 16] apply to all elections in this state.” (Ariz. Rev. Stat. Sec. 16-191A ).

Further examination of ARS Title 16 however, reveals the use of a proxy is specifically allowed at meetings of a political party: “A political party may choose, through its bylaws, to allow the use of proxies at its meetings,….” (Ariz. Rev. Stat. Sec. 16-828 A ) (Emphasis added). Consequently, the use of proxies at a meeting of a political party are specifically allowed by State statute if so provided for in the party bylaws. The Continuing Bylaws of the Maricopa County Republican Committee provide for the use of proxies during “all meetings of the MCRC” (Maricopa County Republican Party, Continuing Bylaws of the MCRC, Art IV Sec 3 A, (2014)) (emphasis added). The State Republican Party bylaws provide, in relevant part, “At all meetings of the state committee, members shall be entitled to vote in person or by proxy…..” (Arizona Republican Party, Continuing Bylaws of the Arizona Republican Party, Art.3 Sec. E (2011)). Therefore, the use of a proxy to cast votes during meetings of the MCRC Statutory and Mandatory meetings and the State Republican Party Statutory and Mandatory meetings, is expressly permitted by law and a legal method of casting a vote if the member is unable to attend the meeting in person, provided the form of proxy is correct and it is properly executed.

I understand the use of proxies is a hotly contested issue within the party however, the sweeping argument that the “State and Maricopa County bylaws are in conflict with state laws” with respect to the use of proxies is in my opinion, false.

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Under the leadership of Editor in Chief Huey Freeman, the Editorial Board of the Arizona Daily Independent offers readers an opportunity to comments on current events and the pressing issues of the day. Occasionally, the Board weighs-in on issues of concern for the residents of Arizona and the US.