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Election of directors

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Guest Ron S.

Our organization elects three directors each year. Question is: Must there be three separate votes and have them voted in one at a time, or can we have members vote for three nominees on one ballot with the top three vote-getters declared elected. If we can go with "top 3", is there a percentage of votes that must be attained before being declared "elected"?

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You can have one ballot for each round of voting. Unless the By-laws state otherwise, only candidates who receive a majority of votes cast are elected. Thus if you have four candidates, and only one person receives a majority of votes cast on the first ballot, then the one candidate would be declared elected and another round of balloting with three candidates contesting for two positions. Round after round would go on until the three positions are filled by candidates with a majority vote.

Also, unless the By-laws state otherwise, write-in candidates are allowed as well.

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or, can we have members vote for three nominees on one ballot ?

Unless some higher rule prohibits this from occuring, for instance your bylaws, yes this is permited.

can we go with "top 3", ?

Only if your bylaws provide for a plurality to determine the outcome, otherwise to be elected the first three to receive a majority of all votes cast for the office of director would be elected.

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Either way works, but the one-position-at-a-time sequence of votes has no advantage since all three positions are the "same" - just "member of the Board".

So put all the candidates names on one ballot (per voter, of course) and tell them to vote for "not more than three". Voting for one, (or two) and abstaining on the others, is perfectly proper - it is called "bullet voting".

But the winner, to be a winner, has to be not just in the "top three" of the number of votes received, but has to get a majority of the number of ballots cast with any (1,2, or 3) votes on it. The majority is calculated with respect to the number of marked ballots cast, NOT the total number of votes cast. Majority= "more than half". So with a large field of candidates, it is quite possible that not all three (or even anybody) gets a majority. So be ready for a long night of voting , counting, and re-voting. See p. 441 for more details.

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