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Voting Absentee.. ballots opened before election


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My organization will be voting for open Board of Director spots and a few officers at this month’s members meeting, the voting rules and eligibility have been hotly debated but absentee ballots have been sent out in accordance to RRO (2 envelopes, ballots, signatures etc.) and some have already been returned. The membership had agreed that when they can into the organizations building they were to be dropped into the safe and remain there till the meeting, and then following RRO, they would be opened, validated and counted during the election.

It has come to my attention today, that the current secretary of our non-profit has removed the ballots from the safe, opened the envelopes and removed the inner envelope. She is said to have indicated that she needed to know who to send "reminders" too, I believe this is a totally uncalled for and it is being viewed by many as an attempt to influence the vote or maybe even remove ballots of people opposed to her group. I have long been an election chairperson and teller in other organizations and if it were up to me I would determine that all those ballots to be "spoiled", and that we notify the membership and start all over again... all the way back to the nomination level. Your comments on what should be done in this situation will certainly be appreciated.

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Your idea seems reasonable.

Note, however, that Robert's Rules of Order totally prohibits a mail-in vote, unless specifically authorized by your bylaws. The two-envelope procedure, etc., is described in the book only for the convenience of associations that choose to have such provisions in their bylaws. I also hope you won't be mixing "live" votes in with these absentee votes, since that's absolutely really a very bad idea, and not in any way recommended, suggested, or described in Robert's Rules.

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Thank you Dan for your reply. We do provide for mail-in absentee ballots in our by-laws and I would hope that our current teller's know not to mix the ballots, but I will be sure to mention that in the meeting.

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We do provide for mail-in absentee ballots in our by-laws and I would hope that our current teller's know not to mix the ballots, but I will be sure to mention that in the meeting.

Note that it's not just a case of not physically "mixing" mailed-in ballots with the ballots cast by those present at the meeting, it's an admonition against the use of both kinds of ballots (i.e. counting them together) for the same question.

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Nomination process may be too far back to go to. How about just to the point where ballots are mailed out? Make sure you follow any timing procedure as to how long people have to return ballots. I would use a different color paper for them to make sure only the new ballots are counted. Good luck.

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