18 posts in this topic

We have a situation where someone nominated for an office is trying to drop out of a two person election in order to force the election of the other  member. This has enraged other members believing that when the nominations were closed that the person who is intending to drop out to manipulate the election was willing to serve and would easily be elected, thus there were no further nominations and were closed per our By-laws. Also per our by-laws nominations were closed a month ago, with no provision for re-opening. Those who are outraged by the threat of this nominee to  drop out of the race, in order to give the election to the other person who many people do not get along with has caused great concern and conflict. The two members involved have publicly told others there is nothing anyone can do about it and if members try to do something about it, the one if not elected will sue the company.  Those who are outraged have held a caucus and are planning to write-in another name. If I understand ROR correctly, since our by-laws do not cover this action, once the person accepted the nomination and was present during the nomination process, that person remains on the ballot regardless of what they say about trying to decline. I saw someone in this forum has stated that a person once nominated "can not un-nominate themselves".  Therefore, there is a ballot and not an election the member by being unopposed and because there is a ballot election, a write-in is possible. Is that correct? As one of the parliamentarians I have been asked by both sides what is possible and what is not. 

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Is it also correct that the one nominee can not un-nominate himself, once he accepted his candidacy and thus the nomination, to force a unanimous election by creating an un-opposed election? 

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I don't see how anyone can respond to your questions with any confidence, since a great deal more information as to the relevant facts and familiarity with all relevant provisions in your bylaws is necessary in order to do so.

Generally speaking, however, I think it highly unlikely that an assembly can be forced, under any circumstances, to elect someone by acclamation against its will. 

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14 minutes ago, Hieu H. Huynh said:

A nominee could withdraw (see RONR 11th ed., p. 435, ll. 6-8).

I think that what is said on page 435 means that a nominee can indicate that he does not wish to be a candidate and will refuse to serve if elected, but this does not mean that he can "un-nominate himself", as Mr. Arnold phrases it. If the nominating committee is unable to meet and agree upon another nominee, I think the reluctant nominee will remain a nominee whether he likes it or not.

Of course, we don't even know whether or not a nominating committee is involved in any of this.

Edited by Daniel H. Honemann

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2 hours ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

I think that what is said on page 435 means that a nominee can indicate that he does not wish to be a candidate and will refuse to serve if elected, but this does not mean that he can "un-nominate himself", as Mr. Arnold phrases it. If the nominating committee is unable to meet and agree upon another nominee, I think the reluctant nominee will remain a nominee whether he likes it or not.

Of course, we don't even know whether or not a nominating committee is involved in any of this.

I have uploaded the relevant portions of our Constitution and By-Laws for your review. The President and Vice-President for this election were unopposed as nominations were voted to be closed in November, therefore our practice has been for someone to make a motion for the secretary to cast the ballot for the unopposed offices.  As for the office the contention is about,  there were several names voiced during the nomination process, however anyone who declined their candidacy (nomination) at that time were not listed as nominees. Two remained as accepting the nominations. Now prior to the election next week, both sides of an issue have been made public, including threats of a law suit if a certain nominee does not win because of a parliamentary point of order or procedure. The issues stated again is as follows: Two nominees exist at this time for said office, "A". I have been told that Nominee 1 has declared publicly that he now intends to drop out of the race by declining his nomination prior to the moment of election. It has been rumored that he has stated this action is for the purpose to assist Nominee 2 win the election of the office by Nominee 1 dropping out at the last moment and that our by-laws state that nominations are closed in the prior meeting so no other name can be added for the election. Therefore, electing the Nominee 2.  It is rumored that Nominee 2 has stated something similar to the fact that "we gott'em" and there is nothing the membership can do about it and if they do I am gonna take them to court. Therefore, I have been asked the following: (1) Can Nominee 1, after being present and accepting the nomination and nominations being closed, decline the nomination just prior to the election. Ballots have already been printed for election between Nominee 1 and Nominee 2.  (2) If Nominee 1 can not "un-nominate himself" at this point then the election ballot would proceed, which would also allow a write-in opportunity since there would still be a ballot election. Is this correct? (3) Should this ruling be voted on by our membership if statement (2) was the parliamentarians' ruling to avoid the accusation of it being manipulated by the president or parliamentarians'? (4) If Nominee 1 drops out of the race, say he is even allowed to withdraw his name from nomination, leaving Nominee 2 as the only candidate is a motion in order to NOT ALLOW the secretary to cast the ballot for the un-opposed office, thus forcing a ballot election where a write in name could be placed into the race for possible election. (5) There is nothing the membership can do, Nominee 2 will be elected because Nominee 1 dropped out of the race at the last minute by declining the nomination. Based upon previous practices, President shall entertain a motion for the Secretary to cast the ballot for the unopposed office of "A".  (6)  If that motion passes FOR THE SECRETARY TO CAST THE BALLOT, then Nominee is elected to the office, if the motion does not pass, then we are back to a ballot election by the membership where a write-in name could be placed on the ballot for possible election.  

I truly need advice as to which of these are correct and could be followed. Any and all recommendations for help on this would be appreciated. 

VOTING PROCEDURES CONSTITUTION.docx

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It has also been pointed out that even though our bylaws state nominations are closed the month previous, that the members can vote to re-open nominations. Would that require a 2/3 vote to re-open and would it require a suspension of the bylaws first?

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1 hour ago, Charlie Arnold said:

It has also been pointed out that even though our bylaws state nominations are closed the month previous, that the members can vote to re-open nominations. Would that require a 2/3 vote to re-open and would it require a suspension of the bylaws first?

Let's take one step at a time.

Do you now understand that if, as appears to be the case, your bylaws require a ballot vote for the election of officers, your past practice of having someone make a motion for the secretary to cast the ballot for the unopposed offices is very much out of order, and that it must not be allowed to happen again?

This is what previously seemed to be your main concern.

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1 minute ago, Charlie Arnold said:

I do see that now, yes. I think it is a common error I have seen in multiple organizations. 

Good, now let's take one more step forward. As Mr, Huynh pointed out, it will be up to your organization to determine whether your bylaws prevent re-opening nominations. The way you can make that determination is to offer a motion to re-open nominations at your next meeting. If the chair rules that nominations may not be re-opened, be prepared to appeal that decision, making sure you have someone lined up to second the appeal. Then the assembly gets to decide.  And it only takes a majority vote to re-open nominations.

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15 minutes ago, Charlie Arnold said:

I do see that now, yes. I think it is a common error I have seen in multiple organizations. 

Okay, and just to be clear, it seems that those who you say "are outraged" and "have held a caucus and are planning to write-in another name", will certainly be able to do so.

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2 hours ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

Based solely upon what you have posted from your Bylaws, a ballot election is required.

2 hours ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:
5 hours ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

 

 

Dan, it looks to me as if Mr Arnold's postings have been ambiguous and inconsistent on this point.  Do you see anything that Mr Arnold has written that says a ballot election is required, and that hasn't been contradicted by something else he wrote?

(Well, Great Glittering Gobbets of Goo.  (I shouldn't be so vulgar and throw around vituperative billingsgate where easily shocked flowers of femininity or others with delicate sensibilities might be exposed to it -- I expect that after the traumatic discussion about proscribing the entertaining of an issue and the last part of Article 5 of the US Constitution, Ann will have retired to her reclining couch to recover from the vapours, unless I'm remembering wrong and the vapours are not the cause of distress but the cure of it, with the ever-ready absinthe there on the nighttable just as a supplement; but maybe she's peeking, and/or maybe, mirabile dictu, other women)   )

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3 hours ago, Charlie Arnold said:

 

5 minutes ago, Guest Guest Gary c Tesser said:

 Do you see anything that Mr Arnold has written that says a ballot election is required, and that hasn't been contradicted by something else he wrote?

Maybe he read the link Mr. Arnold provided.

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14 minutes ago, George Mervosh said:

 

Maybe he read the link Mr. Arnold provided.

Yeah, I was going to get to that ; but the computer glaciated, which is why my guest-post is incomplete at a number of places.

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