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Nomination Process for Elections

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I have several questions related to nomination procedure for an election that weren't answered in my guide to Robert's Rules nor could I find the answers by search.

We will be having the first election of 2 officers for a new organization/group, so there is no constitution, bylaws, etc. I am planning on having an e-mail or online nomination and online ballots. I'll delineate my questions since I have several.

  1. Is one person allowed to nominate more than 1 person for a position?
  2. Should the nominations be anonymous?
  3. After all nominations are collected, ballots can be made for each position. Do we then take a vote and give each elected person a chance to decline the position or do we ask each person who is nominated whether they would like to be on the ballot?
  4. It says in my Robert's Rules guide that a person does not need to be nominated to win an election. How can this happen, is it referring to write-in candidates? I can leave a space for a write-in candidate I suppose.
  5. I am planning on using a majority vote to win. I am not sure whether it should be plurality or not. There will probably be around 11 voting members. I appreciate for those of you who have been in this situation before what are some pros/cons. I like the idea of taking a majority vote but keeping everyone on the ballot for future votes in the case that a majority is not obtained.

Thanks everyone! I was just introduced to Robert's Rules about a month ago and find it quite interesting.

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Is one person allowed to nominate more than 1 person for a position?

Yes, unless the By-law state otherwise. While it makes sense for one person to only nominate one person per office, it is possible to nominate more than one person

Should the nominations be anonymous?

What's wrong with telling people who nominated each person? The Minutes should read as follows: "Joe Smith was appointed by Amanda Atlanta for the position of Director."

After all nominations are collected, ballots can be made for each position. Do we then take a vote and give each elected person a chance to decline the position or do we ask each person who is nominated whether they would like to be on the ballot?

Once nominated, the person is on the ballot. There should be a blank line for write-in candidates, or at least use a generic blank ballot that allows for the members to write in the candidate they are voting for (whether or not they were nominated.) If the elected member is present, he/she can either accept or reject the election. If not present, the person should either accept or reject election as soon as he/she is informed of his/her election.

It says in my Robert's Rules guide that a person does not need to be nominated to win an election. How can this happen, is it referring to write-in candidates? I can leave a space for a write-in candidate I suppose.

Yes, it is referring to write-in candidates. I as stated above, the ballot can list all the nominated people plus a blank line for write-ins or the ballot can simple have a blank line for each position. If you go with the blank line for each position, I would recommend having a list of nominated candidates on a large board (or a couple of large boards) in the meeting room so everyone knows who is nominated.

I am planning on using a majority vote to win. I am not sure whether it should be plurality or not. There will probably be around 11 voting members. I appreciate for those of you who have been in this situation before what are some pros/cons. I like the idea of taking a majority vote but keeping everyone on the ballot for future votes in the case that a majority is not obtained.

Unless the By-laws state otherwise, the organization (not you personally) must use a majority vote to elect. Unless the By-laws allow for it, all candidates remain on the ballot for each ballot unless a candidate states that he/she no longer wishes to be considered for the position. While the person would remain on the ballot technically, if a member states that he/she would not accept election people may not vote for them.

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I believe the prevailing thinking around here is that you really should be establishing bylaws as your first order of business, rather than electing officers. Think about it for a minute - without bylaws you have no defined officers, no defined term of office, and no defined responsibilities for whoever you elect. There is also the issue of who is and is not a member, and therefore eligible to vote, although this can be dealt with following the guidelines put forth in RONR. I suggest you look carefully at Chapter XVII of RONR, 11th ed., and in particular to section 54, Organization of a Permanent Society, for RONR's procedures for getting your new organization up and running. And don't be afraid to come back here and ask more questions.

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I should clarify my previous post to indicate that you can certainly go ahead and elect temporary officers to help start organizing your group, but the election of permanent officers is what should wait until you've adiopted bylaws.

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I have several questions related to nomination procedure for an election that weren't answered in my guide to Robert's Rules nor could I find the answers by search.

We will be having the first election of 2 officers for a new organization/group, so there is no constitution, bylaws, etc. I am planning on having an e-mail or online nomination and online ballots. I'll delineate my questions since I have several.

  1. Is one person allowed to nominate more than 1 person for a position?

Yes, unless the By-law state otherwise. While it makes sense for one person to only nominate one person per office, it is possible to nominate more than one person

"In no event may a member nominate more persons than there are places to fill." (RONR, 11th ed., p. 432, ll. 13-14)

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