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Election voting help


JaneH

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"Our bylaws state all vacancies shall be filled by the President.."

We recently held elections for office positions. We require two position to be held, there was one incumbent running and a new candidate on the ballot making the position uncontested. After elections were held and announcements were made the incumbent resigned and the new candidate declined the position prior to the next meeting when they would assume their duties.

My question is, would the new candidate's position be up for a new vote? Whereas, the incumbent position would filled by the President because they still held the position?

after reading "Rules of Order in Brief, pg.79-80" it appears that the one position, not the incumbent, would go back to a ballot until someone is willing to accept receives a majority?

If you could point me in the direction to support this or explain this better I would appreciate the help.

Thanks!

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Since you've read RONRIB pp. 79-80, should we conclude that the conditions in the last paragraph on p. 79 were met? In other words, the candidate was absent at the meeting where the result was announced, the candidate had not previously consented to serve, and the candidate immediately declined the position once notified? Note that the rules on p. 79 apply to the incumbent (who was re-elected) as well as to the brand new candidate. Was the incumbent present when the result was announced, and did he/she immediately decline the office? If the incumbent was absent, continue with the other questions (above) that apply to a candidate who is absent at the election meeting.

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Here, just so you'll have it all in one thread, is how I answered your question at the tail end of another thread, somewhat augmented. Thank you for reposting the question as a new topic, as suggested!

Well, you have a problem... In RONR land when someone is declared elected he/she takes office immediately so there is no opportunity to resign (before "taking office") or decline, unless the winner wasn't at the meeting and had NOT agreed to serve ahead of time, as Trina noted.

But it seems you have a gap between the election and taking office. RONR doesn't fill that gap, so you, collectively, will have to do so.

Can't point you to rules in RONR about the gap, because there aren't any.

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This gets a little tricky, now.

Per RONR, someone is not officially elected until the chair, having heard and repeated the tellers report at a meeting, declares the winners elected. At that point they are in office (unless absent).

Whether your e-mail notification "counts" as the "official" declaration of winning and being elected is going to be up to you to figure out, since your process isn't recognized as valid by RONR. Your bylaws, however, may make it so.

Whether you have an "incomplete election" or a "vacancy" in the case of the two who dropped out, will be for your association to decide - see p. 588 for help in doing the decision.

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I'm sorry for any confusion. I wanted to keep the issues seperate as to not be confusing. The officers have met on a regular basis but the membership has not held a general meeting. Members may attend regular officers meeting, yet they were changed and membership did not receive notification of time or location to attend that meeting.

PS. I only started with two issues...

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Candidates were willing until the voting procedures were in question and officers would not hear a motion of point of interest.

What questions were raised about the voting procedures?

And what is a motion of point of interest?

Also, since you say there have been no general membership meetings, at what sort of meeting were these two candidates elected??

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First let me say I may have used the incorrect terms regarding "motion" and "point of interest", let me take that back and just focus on the voting procedures.

Bylaws state elections shall take place in each building's library and overseen by the Building Representatives.

Voting was arbitrarily moved to another location within the building and overseen by officers instead of building representatives.

The candidates that were elected were due to take office at the next board/officers meeting which was not posted to the membership.

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First let me say I may have used the incorrect terms regarding "motion" and "point of interest", let me take that back and just focus on the voting procedures.

Bylaws state elections shall take place in each building's library and overseen by the Building Representatives.

Voting was arbitrarily moved to another location within the building and overseen by officers instead of building representatives.

The candidates that were elected were due to take office at the next board/officers meeting which was not posted to the membership.

So, does this mean voting just involves the use of a polling place (the library, according to bylaws), and that the voting does not actually take place at a meeting? Raising a point of order about the bylaws violation (if that's what you meant by the earlier mention of a point of interest) would not be possible if there was not actually a meeting going on at the time.

How was the decision made to move the election location? If a motion was adopted to hold the election in a different location, that would be an example where 'a main motion has been adopted that conflicts with the bylaws (or constitution) of the organization or assembly' (RONR 11th ed. p. 251 (a) ), and such a motion would be null and void. If some members missed their opportunity to vote because of the change of location (maybe some members weren't told about the new location), that would be a violation of p. 251 (e), which would also be a major problem -- violation of a rule protecting absentees.

However, if (for example) members showed up at the library to set up the polling place, found that there was construction underway in the library, and responded by moving the ballot box to a nearby meeting room, and leaving someone at the library door to direct all the other arriving members to the new voting location -- I don't think there would be much reason for complaint.

It appears that your problem is really more whether the whole election was valid; not so much whether the two candidates you mentioned in your original post left behind a vacancy, or an incomplete election.

If the election was valid, I think they left behind vacancies (you said the candidates were willing, meaning they had consented to their candidacies). In reading RONR (11th ed.) p. 444 (includes the same language you mentioned from RONRIB p. 79), I don't believe the fact that they would not have taken over their duties until the next board meeting matters -- the description of what makes an election 'final' seems to be independent of the exact time that an officer-elect takes possession of his office (the last paragraph under TIME AT WHICH AN ELECTION TAKES EFFECT specifically mentions the possibility of taking office at a later time).

You really should get a copy of RONR (the big book), especially if there is any thought of contesting the result of the election (see pp. 444-446), or raising points of order about possible continuing breaches (see p. 251).

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[...]

the description of what makes an election 'final' seems to be independent of the exact time that an officer-elect takes possession of his office (the last paragraph under TIME AT WHICH AN ELECTION TAKES EFFECT specifically mentions the possibility of taking office at a later time).

But the delay of taking office is supposed to be a bylaw or "other rule". It isn't clear if JaneH's association ever adopted such a rule (or bylaw).

Furthermore, if there is a gap between the election being final (by declaration of the president) and the date for taking office (some orgs I have seen have a gap of two or three months), the association had better spell out what happens if a declared electee leaves town, drops dead, or whatever, before "taking office". It can't be treated as a "vacancy" in the usual sense since the "officer-elect" isn't in an office (yet) so cannot vacate it. (If "officer-elect" IS an "office" per the bylaws, then there can be a vacancy.) Nor can it be treated as an "incomplete election" since the president's declaration of the winner(s) completed the election.

Departing from RONR's rules is always a risky business.

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But the delay of taking office is supposed to be a bylaw or "other rule". It isn't clear if JaneH's association ever adopted such a rule (or bylaw).

Furthermore, if there is a gap between the election being final (by declaration of the president) and the date for taking office (some orgs I have seen have a gap of two or three months), the association had better spell out what happens if a declared electee leaves town, drops dead, or whatever, before "taking office". It can't be treated as a "vacancy" in the usual sense since the "officer-elect" isn't in an office (yet) so cannot vacate it. (If "officer-elect" IS an "office" per the bylaws, then there can be a vacancy.) Nor can it be treated as an "incomplete election" since the president's declaration of the winner(s) completed the election.

Departing from RONR's rules is always a risky business.

I see what you're saying -- although an election might be final (according to p. 444), the resignation of the electee doesn't clearly lead to a vacancy at the time of resignation. However, when the time of assuming the office rolls around, wouldn't you have a normal vacancy at that point? Looking at it another way, the resignation can't be formally accepted until the next meeting anyway. At the next meeting (when the electee would have taken over the duties of office) the resignation is accepted. On p. 291 there is reference to 'the filling of a vacancy created by the acceptance of a resignation' -- that seems to go along with my suggestion that the electee (very briefly) assumes the office, and then a vacancy (in the normal sense) occurs when the previously offered resignation is accepted.

I guess it would be more complicated if a number of meetings take place between the time of election and the time of assuming office (but that doesn't seem to be the situation in JaneH's organization).

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Agreed, a "resignation" from a non-existent office is a little difficult to grasp, but your next meeting proposal resolves that problem. Seems to me it would work just as well even if there were multiple meetings in the "gap".

The association could start casting about for a replacement to fill the (eventual) vacancy, but not (formally) do the filling until the "take office" meeting rolls around.

A more serious problem could come up if there was a bylaw-defined "President-Elect" position and the P-E winner did resign. Then if the common bylaw provision that "The Board fills all vacancies, except one in the presidency" was in place and kicked in, the association could end up with a non-elected president at the end of the P-E's term in office.

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Imagine Edgar being confused by irregular sign-in habits.

Hey, my sign-in habits are very regular . . . to the point of being obsessive . . . to the point of being insane.

What I'm questioning is whether "Guest_Guest_" is being intentionally obscure or whether he is simply neglecting to enter a name at all in which case, if I recall correctly, the system defaults to "Guest_Guest_". Now a simple solution would be to (1) require that something is entered for a name and (2) prohibit that something from being "Guest" (or "guest"). But I suspect that change will come only after the CAPTCHA code is changed. In other words, not in my lifetime.

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