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  1. Hello, I am a staff member for a municipal corporation supporting a citizen's advisory board. A question has arisen as to the proper procedure for nominating and voting to select the chair of an advisory board for the year. After nominations were made, each nominee gave a nominating speech. Two speeches were very short (two or there sentences), and one was longer. After each nominee spoke, another member, who has served as Chair in the past made a philosophical comment on the purpose and function of the board as an advisory committee. His comment was not specifically directed at the nominee who made the longer speech, but could be interpreted to take some exception to some of the ideas the nominee expressed. Next the vote was taken and the results announced. After the meeting, the nominee who gave the longer nominating speech, who was not elected, complained to staff that there should not have been allowed any deliberative or other comments made after nominations were complete and that immediately after nominations, the vote should have occurred without any comment or deliberation of the members. It seems to me that elections are sort of a special case of the standard progression of motion, deliberation and voting and that comments or deliberations by the members after nominations and before election voting by the members is appropriate. Are comments, deliberations, or recommendations by the members allowed after nominations are complete before voting occurs for electing a Chair? Thank you.
  2. election dates

    If the byLaws require an election in January, can the Board vote to move it to March?
  3. Our association elects a new Vice President every year in late spring for a one year term. He/She then automatically elevates to the position of President the following year. The current VP is thinking of taking a job beginning Fall 2018 that would preclude his ongoing membership in the Association, which means he would also not be able to serve as President next year. Under our Bylaws, any vacancy in an elected position can be filled by President, with the approval of the Executive Board. There are no provisions for special elections, and we have never had a President who was not Vice-President the year before. Assuming the current VP accepts the new position: 1. If he does not resign before the end of this year, does the membership or President even have the power to replace him before his term ends? 2. If he does resign before spring elections, is it proper for the President to appoint a replacement, given that the new appointee would then become president? (the concern is having an unelected President who would have been VP for just a few weeks before elevating to President). 3. Alternately, can we hold a special election to fill the position of President for next Fall, and can we place any restrictions on who may run (e.g. "only past presidents" since they would not need the training that comes with being VP the previous year). Thanks! Paul
  4. Elections

    can the treasurer also hold the secretaries position.
  5. We have a nomination for an officer position that will generate discussion as this person is controversial. The election process clearly states there is to be no discussion of each officer position and you cannot vote against a person without voting for someone else. I have two questions: first, why can't we have discussion? Second, no one will nominate anyone else from the floor. So we have one person nominated that some people won't vote for. However, no one wants to nominate anyone else. If board members are not allowed to vote a "yes or no" on a position how do they vote (or not vote) on this individual?
  6. Special Election

    Directors in our organization are elected to 3 year terms. We also elect an Alternate Director, who is to attend meetings of the parent organization in the event one of our Directors can't attend or as a temporary Director if a Director resigns. One of our Directors resigned, with 2 years remaining of his term. The position was filled by the Alternate Director. Our Bylaws state "When a vacancy in a Directorship occurs for any reason, it shall be filled through temporary appointment by the Regional Council; and the person temporarily appointed shall hold office until the next Annual Meeting, at which time such vacancy shall be filled by election for the unexpired portion of said term." After the Director resigned, the VP was asked if there was to be a special election and the VP answered "no" and did not add the position for election at our last Annual meeting. This was a violation of the Bylaws and was a failure by the VP. There is still a year remaining on the term of the Director who resigned. Where in Robert's Rules of Order can I find the specific article regarding a special election to fill the remainder of the term, per our Bylaws, to correct this violation? I appreciate your expert help. Robert Harris
  7. Floor nominations

    When the governing documents allow for Board Nominations from the floor, can the Chair of the assembly make a floor nomination, or is the chair required to act as an impartial agent during this process?
  8. Hi, quick question - Can our PTO President rescind the nomination of the VP prior to elections? There wasn't a formal closing of nominations last month. Thanks!
  9. Can a person be nominated for a position that they do not hold all the qualifications for, as long as they will meet said qualifications prior to taking office, should they win he election.
  10. We have a club election coming up and I have a question about the order of business. Our chairman plans to hold the elections at the beginning of the meeting during the refreshments. I'm concerned about the distractions and uncontrolled chaos around the secretary's table that would make it hard to control ballots and verify eligible voters. We vote by written ballot;nominations were made at the last meeting. Two questions: Is it proper or advisable to hold elections in this environment? Absent a published agenda which our chairman has steadfastly refused to produce, does RONR offer any guidance as to what point in a meeting elections should be held: during new business, unfinished business, etc.? We do have an order of business published in our Standing Rules of Order which I pasted verbatim below. Thanks. Refreshments and Roundtable Discussion (6:00 – 6:30) Educational Program/Speaker 6:30-7:15 Call to Order (President or Presiding Officer) 7:15-7:20 Invocation 7:15-7:20 Pledge of Allegiance 7:15-7:20 Recognition of New Members and Guests (President) 7:20-7:30 Reading of the minutes (Secretary) 7:30-7:35 Treasurer’s Report (Treasurer) 7:35-7:40 Committee Reports (Committee Chairs) 7:40-7:50 Break 7:50-8:00 Board of Directors Reports (President) 8:00-8:10 Other Officers Reports 8:10-8:20 Unfinished Business 8:20-8:45 New Business 8:45-9:00 Adjournment (President) 9:00
  11. Hello Robert Rulers, This is my very first post but I've come here and read posts when I needed help in the past. I was just elected President of my neighborhood association last month. The association went inactive for a couple of years and I worked with a small group of neighbors and our city to reactivate it. Since it was the first meeting of the fiscal year we held elections. I ran for President because no one in our small group wanted to and we didn't know if anyone else would. We all ran unopposed and were elected by acclimation/unanimous consent. We had a lady from the city run the meeting until I was elected since we had no prior President to preside over the meeting. The lady that was elected President last gave up being a part of the association and there was no Vice President elected at the time. Once I was elected I thanked the 50+ people for electing me to the 2017-18 term. When I announced each of the other officers I announced them elected to the 2017-18 term. No one objected. After the meeting, the very first President of the association said we would have to hold elections again after October 1st. We have the date for our next meeting set for October 18th which happens to be just after our fiscal year of October 1. Is there a motion someone can make to reaffirm all the elections from our last meeting or do we have to open up nominations again and go through the entire process again? One concern I have is that a woman in our neighborhood (who does not like me, has bothered me so much in the past that I had to ask her to leave me alone multiple times, and who would not leave me alone to the point I sent her a notice of harassment telling her if she contacted me or anyone to contact me that I would seek an anti-harassment order against her) may show up and talk poorly of me by saying I threatened to sue her, etc. She was unable to attend last month's meeting and an hour before the meeting she suggested (online) that we do not elect officer at the meeting, and later she said she did not receive the post card the city mailed to all addresses in our neighborhood and that the 2 weeks notice she got online wasn't enough because her work schedule is set 2 months in advance and she wasn't able to get anyone to cover her shift at the hospital. This woman's behavior toward me is really concerning because I have been severely cyber stalked/harassed by a man who is a complete and total stranger to the point that I did get an anti-harassment order of protection against him and his wife and now the police are investigating him for felony cyber stalking. One of my concerns is this lady will start saying untrue and disparaging things about me during the nomination process. I feel like I could win the election, even if she ran against me but I'm worried if she begins to mistreat me or talk about me in unjust ways I will be triggered and have a difficult time presiding over the meeting. I believe I have accomplished a lot for our neighborhood and the association in the short amount of time I've been involved in reactivating the association and sine I have been elected President. My worry is my neighbors are fairly conservative and I'm very progressive and that she may say enough to trigger the trauma of being harassed and I may not handle it well and then I may lose the election. Her and I are part of local political groups and we have had serious disagreements that turn ugly which has prompted me to tell her to leave me alone repeatedly. To the point, I blocked her on Facebook so she could no longer comment on my posts, etc. Even months after I blocked her on Facebook, she was still contacting people we know and having them contact me about whatever problems she said she had with me, etc. As recent as July she was telling people in our political groups that I threatened to sue her. Her behavior reminded me too much of the man that would not stop contacting me online and who would create new accounts just to get around me blocking him, etc. Any advice on how to handle this? Our charter/bylaws: http://www.cityofvancouver.us/sites/default/files/fileattachments/city_manager039s_office/neighborhood/8329/parkside.pdf
  12. This is my first posting, thanks in advance. Our organization has a constitution and by-laws committee and they are in charge of suggesting changes to the by-laws. However, during a board meeting of the the entire board, the board voted unanimously to make a specific change to the bylaws. The committee chair states that this was improper because it did not go through the committee. However, the president, vice president and executive director believe that the board can discuss and vote on any issue of import to the organization and the entire board's decision supersedes any committee (composed of non-board members) and that the board is the only legally statutory body of the organization and that once the board votes, the decision is final (assuming that the vote was legally carried out). Can someone help and clarify this? A reference to rules of order would be most helpful. Thanks in advance, Tom
  13. If I understand correctly, a written ballot form prepared in advance of a meeting to elect directors need only include (for each office) the names of all qualified nominees, a place for write-ins, and a way to vote "for". It is proper for the ballot also to include statements that show partiality in some way, e.g., "The above nominees have been vetted by the Board Development Committee, whereas those below have not."? Note: vetting by the committee is not a qualification for office. Or, does the ballot design need to impartial, listing nominees alphabetically, for example, or in the order in which they were nominated? What are the standards, if any, for the proper design of an election ballot form?
  14. We are to elect 3 members at large. 6 candidates are running. Our bylaws require that all positions must be won by a majority of votes cast. Because there are three positions, each member may cast three votes. Let's say 1 of the 6 achieves a majority in the first round of voting: do we have another roun with all 5 who did not make the threshold, or is the lowest vote-getter eliminated? Is the answer different if 2 of the six achieves majority the first time through? There is a clause in our bylaws that states that if no one receives a majority, then the top two candidates go to a second round, but that presumes three or more people vying for a single position instead of three slots, which is what we have here.
  15. A person is running for two positions in our ballot election next week. If he wins both positions, I understand he can just decide not to do one or the other. If that happens, does the second place winner in the position he rejected then automatically win that position? Our bylaws are silent on running/winning two positions. Thanks.
  16. We advertised starting in January that elections would be held at the May meeting. We asked at meetings, in email blasts and on our Facebook page if anyone was interested in joining the board. We had 3 ladies step up- one each for secretary, treasurer and VP. I asked again at the May meeting. I presented the 3 ladies who had stepped up. A motion was made to accept the new board members. The motion was passed unanimously. All positions were uncontested. Is this valid?
  17. Election Contested

    Hello Your help needed. We have a couple of members that want to contest our election based on the fact that our membership did not recieve 10 days notification of election. Our bylaws state "Prior written notice of ten days for any election shall be given to chapter members via U.S. postal service communication." Which is debatable, because the President did send notice out via US mail, but it was sent out with other information as: campaign information and again with sample ballot. Also, it is in our bylaws that all elections are to be held in April and it was announced at a previous meetings. Based on RONR (11th ed.) pp. 444-446 shouldn't this have been done prior to voting and not after these candidates lost election? What other recourse do we have in dealing with this issue? Thank you!!
  18. Hello, This Tuesday our student government voted to pass a motion affirming the results of the election commission. However, it has come to my attention that a portion of the election commission bylaws violates students' fundamental rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. The election results were tabulated with deductions for campaign violations, as per the election bylaws. For example, a candidate violated the university's posting policy and 80 votes were subtracted from his vote total, causing him to lose the election. There is no mechanism for appeal. If this action is unconstitutional, and therefore is in violation of a fundamental principal of parliamentary law, namely the principle of following own specific rules, could I call a point of order violation at the next meeting and make our vote to accept the election commison's results null and void? Essentially, I am asking how I should approach fixing our vote to affirm election results that were tabulated based on election bylaws that are against the Constitution. I mean we basically passed a motion to affirmed an action that violated our students' Constitutional rights. There has to be a remedy for this, right? (FYI, I am in no way involved in the election and do not know any of the cafaiates. I just do not want to see this happening at my campus.) Best, Chris
  19. Hello everyone, I apologize for the convoluted situation I am about to describe. My university recently held an election for student body president. During this election there were violations of the election bylaws by numerous candidates. As a penalty, votes were subtracted from their vote totals. These subtracts completely changed the outcome of the election. It seems to me that these rules in the bylaws are illegal. Student senate has already confirmed the election results. Essentially, I am wondering if the confirmation vote by student senate can be retracted and if Roberts rules says anything about bylaws needing to be legal in terms of U.S. law to be followed. If so, could we ignore the portion of the election bylaws that call for votes to be thrown out based on campaign violations after retracting our confirmation? Otherwise, could this election somehow be deemed null and void because of this and a new election take place under amended bylaws? Best, Chris
  20. Elections

    I have a question about nominations / elections. In our fire department, we have a process for elections where in November we have nominations from the floor, then ballot elections in December for our officers. The question is this. If a candidate nominates himself, for a position, which would be an unopposed position, how can the body not elect them. I know one way is the run someone against the person. But trying to find people to hold office is difficult if not impossible. The problem is that 90% of the department does not like the individual. The problem is that the person meets all the election requirements but he has poor leadership skills. Since we cannot use "yes/no" votes during the elections, what do we do? Can we not accept the person during the nomination process? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
  21. I am the president of a non-profit group that will be holding an election of officers at the next meeting. Several members of the group are wanting to amend the bylaws to make certain individuals eligible to hold office that currently are not eligible. They would also like to change the voting process to secret ballot rather than verbal. They want to do all this before the election is conducted. The election would be considered old business and the changing of the bylaws would be new business. Is there a ruling that allows us to change the order of business and how would I proceed?
  22. Election material

    A nomination committee is chosen and ballots are prepared and sent to financial member to vote on two candidates that have approved being on the ballot for the position of Vice President. Candidate A submits his bio to sent with the ballot. Should the committee contact the other candidate as to his option to submit a bio? If committee doesn't contact candidate B to request his bio be included; is this improper?
  23. elections

    If there are fewer members signed up for open board positions than the are positions available, can the existing president and/or board simply appoint members and avoid the time and expense of balloting ?
  24. Our organization has a bylaws requirement for the NomCom's report to be published to the voting members prior to the annual meeting. Specifically, the bylaws state: "The director shall submit the nominating committee report to the members of the district council at least four weeks prior to the annual meeting." For the first time in our 50+ year history, this notice requirement was not met. I understand from previous posts that the prevailing wisdom on this scenario is that the "report" of the NomCom is "invalidated" at the annual meeting. My naive conceptualization of a NomCom report is that it is functionally consists of two parts: a] an informational report consisting of summary of the committee's work and 'recommendations' (e.g. nominations) much like any report and b] an implied incidental main motion to actually place the slate into nomination (I theorize that it is implied because the report affects this outcome despite no explicit motion being made). Questions: Is this a correct understanding? If so, should not the 'invalidation' only apply to the implied motion and not the whole report? (i.e. the report can be given but the committee cannot place names into nomination) If not, how can a procedural provision of the bylaws silence the work of a whole committee who has correctly executed their duty? Speaking of procedural provisions... would this notice requirement be exempt from being overridden by suspending the rules? What has been proposed is to have the NomCom report that they nominated X, Y, Z candidates but that the lack of notice prevents these people from being nominated by the committee and, thus, they are merely recommendations. (Our election protocol includes a section that requires the NomCom Chair's report to include the oral reading of each office and each candidate(s).) Then, we would proceed with taking nominations from the floor - including those people who would otherwise have been nominated by the committee. Does this make sense? Any other thoughts, input, or ideas? I, as relatively new parliamentarian, will likely have to help the Chair with many questions from an unhappy crowd. I'd like to be fully prepared as well as having an easily understandable explanation for a membership not versed in parli pro. Thanks, in advance, for any thoughts, advice, and help.
  25. Once someone has "accepted" a nomination for a board position, what is the correct procedure to later "decline" the nomination? Is it appropriate to later decline the nomination to a current board member or is it required for them to decline in person at board meeting?