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Guidance for nominations

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I'm new to forum so please excuse any errors.

What is the procedure when the bylaws name specific requirements for nomination to office and the candidate named (no other nominees given) barely misses the requirments? For example the bylaws say that a person must be a member of the orgianzation for one year to receive a nomination. The nominating commitee submitted one candidate, who is running unopposed, and she has been a member less than one year.

If there is a motion and a subesquent 2/3 vote that can be used to qualify the nomination, what is it and when should it be offered?

If this is not allowed, where in RONR should I look for guidance?

Thanks!

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What is the procedure when the bylaws name specific requirements for nomination to office and the candidate named (no other nominees given) barely misses the requirments? For example the bylaws say that a person must be a member of the orgianzation for one year to receive a nomination. The nominating commitee submitted one candidate, who is running unopposed, and she has been a member less than one year.

The chair should rule that the candidate is not eligible to serve. The assembly may choose to reopen nominations if it wishes, and either way the assembly proceeds with the election. Since write-in votes are permissible, the election may proceed even if there are no nominees.

If there is a motion and a subesquent 2/3 vote that can be used to qualify the nomination, what is it and when should it be offered?

If this is not allowed, where in RONR should I look for guidance?

The rule may not be suspended unless the Bylaws so provide. See RONR, 11th ed., pg. 263, lines 1-7.

Your society could try to find another eligible person or amend the Bylaws to make this person eligible. If you cannot find another person and it is not possible to amend the Bylaws in time, one possible workaround would be to elect a supporter of the ineligible candidate to the office, amend the Bylaws to remove the requirement (or in this case, simply wait until he is eligible), have the supporter resign and then elect the desired person. I would advise this only as a last resort.

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the bylaws say that a person must be a member of the orgianzation for one year to receive a nomination. The nominating commitee submitted one candidate...has been a member less than one year.

The nominating committee report, therefore, is not in order, and the candidate is not eligible to receive a nomination. It is unclear, however, if your bylaws also say that a person must be a member for one year to serve or to be elected.

Can you clarify? If it's only a requirement to be a member for a year to be nominated, then just announce that she can't be nominated, but that if people choose to write-in her name on the ballot, then she could be elected.

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Guest Edgar

If it's only a requirement to be a member for a year to be nominated, then just announce that she can't be nominated, but that if people choose to write-in her name on the ballot, then she could be elected.

Not having seen the bylaws, I'm not sure it's wise to open up the whole "run for/nominated/elected/serve/hold office" can of worms. Best just to assume this person isn't eligible.

In other words, I'm not sure we want to turn into "Loopholes R Us".

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The nominating committee report, therefore, is not in order, and the candidate is not eligible to receive a nomination. It is unclear, however, if your bylaws also say that a person must be a member for one year to serve or to be elected.

Can you clarify? If it's only a requirement to be a member for a year to be nominated, then just announce that she can't be nominated, but that if people choose to write-in her name on the ballot, then she could be elected.

It is ultimately up to the society to interpret its own Bylaws, and some Principles of Interpretation can be found in RONR, 11th ed., pgs. 588-591.

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Thanks all. Our bylaws require a member to active for one year to be nominated. As a result, I have advised the presider to announce that she cannot be nominated, but if people choose to write in her name on the ballot, she can be elected. The bylaws are currently being reviewed, so we will enter this issue for future discussion.

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Guest Edgar

Our bylaws require a member to active for one year to be nominated. As a result, I have advised the presider to announce that she cannot be nominated, but if people choose to write in her name on the ballot, she can be elected.

So I guess we are "Loopholes R Us".

Good luck.

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Not having seen the bylaws, I'm not sure it's wise to open up the whole "run for/nominated/elected/serve/hold office" can of worms. Best just to assume this person isn't eligible.

In other words, I'm not sure we want to turn into "Loopholes R Us".

I'm not so sure that is a loophole, or if it is a loophole, that it is not an intentional loophole.

Suppose this organization's bylaw committee, when initially debugging their bylaws, had a conversation about the qualifications that nominees that should, and decided that it was best if nominees had at least one year's worth of experience. "But wait", someone said, "what if we don't have anyone interested in being nominated who has that much experience?" "Not a problem", replied another member, "they can't be nominated, but write-in votes are allowed, according to RONR."

An organization that I'm with, for example, has a specific requirement for being elected to office, but it was intentionally not made a requirement for being appointed to office to replace an officer who left midway through their term. That was quite intentionally done.

I don't know if it is really considered a "loophole" to follow bylaws as written, and to follow the rules of RONR.

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Guest Edgar

I don't know if it is really considered a "loophole" to follow bylaws as written, and to follow the rules of RONR.

Well, I don't know either and I suspect, and regret, that my initial comments may have been a bit harsh.

But I can't help think that a society that adopted requirements for being nominated thought it was, in effect, adopting requirements for holding office (even if it's possible to imagine a scenario where that's not the case). And so I expect that, when this bylaw is adhered to in letter if not in spirit, there will be many members crying "foul". I guess the joke's on them.

Of course the members can always decide not to elect this technically eligible candidate and, if nothing else, this experience may result in a closer examination of the bylaws; always a good thing.

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I'm not so sure that is a loophole, or if it is a loophole, that it is not an intentional loophole.

Suppose this organization's bylaw committee, when initially debugging their bylaws, had a conversation about the qualifications that nominees that should, and decided that it was best if nominees had at least one year's worth of experience. "But wait", someone said, "what if we don't have anyone interested in being nominated who has that much experience?" "Not a problem", replied another member, "they can't be nominated, but write-in votes are allowed, according to RONR."

An organization that I'm with, for example, has a specific requirement for being elected to office, but it was intentionally not made a requirement for being appointed to office to replace an officer who left midway through their term. That was quite intentionally done.

I don't know if it is really considered a "loophole" to follow bylaws as written, and to follow the rules of RONR.

Edgar is right. It is a bad idea to give advice such as this based upon pure speculation.

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Your society could try to find another eligible person or amend the Bylaws to make this person eligible. If you cannot find another person and it is not possible to amend the Bylaws in time, one possible workaround would be to elect a supporter of the ineligible candidate to the office, amend the Bylaws to remove the requirement (or in this case, simply wait until he is eligible), have the supporter resign and then elect the desired person. I would advise this only as a last resort.

I think this is the problem with many organizations - theyhave laden ithe By-laws with too many requirements for office. Better to have too many candidates to choose from.

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I do apologize if anyone took my speculative story telling for an attempt to guess what was in the minds of the creators of the bylaws.

My point, though, is that the bylaws are written in such a way that there is a certain requirement to be nominated, but that requirement is not required in order to actually be elected to office - and that RONR allows for write-in votes.

We don't know if the writers of the bylaws knew this. Was this intentional or not? Beats the heck out of me. Assuming that we should give advice, though, based on the bylaw writers not knowing what they were doing, seems to be a dis-service to the association.

Going by the actual words in the bylaws and RONR should not be considered mere nitpickery. If we don't go by an associations written rules and RONR, what do we go by?

As it is, the members of the OP's association have the right to exercise their democratic voice in voting, and in amending their bylaws if they see fit.

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Guest Edgar

Assuming that we should give advice, though, based on the bylaw writers not knowing what they were doing, seems to be a dis-service to the association.

I agree. But I think that also goes for basing any speculative advice on the bylaw writers knowing what they were doing (which seems even more unlikely). Which is why, not having seen the actual bylaws, I suggested not opening up the can of worms. Though I confess I have a particular pet peeve against the whole "it says you can't be elected but it doesn't say you can't hold office" nitpickery (not that that's the precise situation in this instance).

And, without doubting the OP's understanding of the bylaws, we've still only seen a brief paraphrase of the rule in question.

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