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North of 60

Election for multiple positions

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An organisation wishes to hold their election for executive by electronic ballot.

This is somehat covered in the bylaws under s.22(2) which states:

22

(1) A member in good standing is entitled to one vote.

(2) Election of incoming directors shall be by electronic or paper ballot managed in a manner deemed appropriate by the director. The election process shall be observed by an independent Returning Officer appointed by the Directors to ensure integrity of the voting process.

(3) Voting for special resolutions shall be by electronic or paper ballot managed in a manner deemed appropriate by the director. The voting process shall be observed by an independent Returning Officer appointed by the Directors to ensure integrity of the voting process.

(4) All other voting may be conducted at a general meeting by either a show of hands, or a secret ballot, or by electronic means as deemed appropriate by the members present at the meeting.

The problem lies in what they are considering "appropriate".

Nominations have opened, and one person is being nominated for multiple positions - President, Vice President and Director.

Once nominations have closed, voting will take place electronically (whole other question as to who has the ability to see the votes that are cast, but I digress), with a ranking system for each candidate.

Just the candidates, and not the position(s) they are running for, is listed on the ballot.

What they want to do is look at the total ballots for each candidate, and essentially give the top finisher first dibs at being President. If they have not let their name stand for President, they would be Vice President. The next highest number of votes would get the next position, all the way down the line until all positions are filled.

Is this in keeping in any way shape or form with RR?

The results are announced at the AGM, with the successful candidates taking their positions from that date.

Thanks for any comments you might have.

North of 60 ---> Above the Arctic Circle and beating my head against an ice floe!

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"Is this in keeping in any way shape or form with RR?"

Nope.

But it doesn't have to be. You, clearly, have your own rules and customary way of doing things which supersede Robert's Rules. So follow your rules.

As for what is "appropriate", that appears to be entirely in the hands of "The Director".

To find out what is "in keeping" with RONR, read Chapters XIII & XIV.

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Just the candidates, and not the position(s) they are running for, is listed on the ballot.

So, if I like Jane Smith for President and John Doe for Vice President and Billy-Joe-Jim-Bob Schmenkman for Director, I can't vote that way? And if I vote for all three, Billie-Joe-Jim-Bob could actually end up as President?

Don't much like the sound of that. (No offense, Billie-Joe-Jim-Bob)

Is this the way you've always done it, or is this some new practice the director is instituting??

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Election of incoming directors shall be by electronic or paper ballot managed in a manner deemed appropriate by the director. The election process shall be observed by an independent Returning Officer appointed by the Directors to ensure integrity of the voting process.

So, who is 'the director', as distinguished from 'the Directors'? Is that really what it says?

I think the word 'managed' is so vague that you have a situation where your organization needs to interpret its bylaws do decide what that means. Does 'manage' just cover the mechanics of voting (i.e. paper versus electronic, how names are listed on the ballot, who counts ballots, stuff like that)? Or does it include reaching into the substance of the voting process (using plurality voting rather than majority vote, not listing candidates for specific offices)? See RONR (11th ed.) pp. 588-591 for some useful principles of bylaws interpretation.

(And please consider amending the bylaws in the future to clarify what is supposed to happen during the election process).

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It strikes me that these bylaws are next to useless.

If the director happens to decide that the election should be decided by a footrace, it sounds like he'd have that power.

Well, it goes without saying that Billy-Joe-Jim-Bob would be President then, tha's fer sure.

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