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Guest Georgia Nielsen

voting process for Directors of a 50l (c) 3 organization

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Guest Georgia Nielsen

A Bylaws committee of a 50l © 3 organization has the following paragraph for voting in new directors for the organization. All candidates must run for relection or election for the upcoming term.

Here is the language.


  • (E.) The names of all candidates will be read. There will be multiple rounds of votes cast. The votes will be counted for each round of voting. Each eligible voter will indicate which candidate they are voting for. The candidates with a majority of the votes will be considered as elected. This method will be used until all the vacant positions are filled. In the event there is a tie during any round, a run off vote will be conducted between those who received an equal number of votes.


  • My question: Is this paragraph clear on the procedure?

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My answer: No.

But it will be up to you and your association to (collectively) figure out what you do mean. See p. 588 for some "how-to" help in this connection.

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It's usually superfluous, but I endorse Dr Stackpole's first sentence.

Of course his second sentence is spot on also, but I feel it misses the point. Don't interpret pseudo-legalese gibberish manque -- fix it. Please read RONR, Section 46, covering Nominations and Elections (meetly, the section's title) and some of Section 45 (how to count -- the quoted material seems not to have made up its mind as to how) -- which will probably take you 20 minutes or so for your first reading.

(I fear Ms Nielsen may have been the drafter of the language I maligned, in which case, while I won't apologize or retract what I said, I do hope it doesn't distress her unduly. Or keep her up nights. I get kept up nights, but that's usually after an evening of watching The Walking Dead marathons. Also sometimes I wake up at 4 AM in a cold sweat wondering what the specific gravity and isotope numbers of timonium are. And am I the only one. Should we form a club.)

I will add that I don't understand how a bylaws committee seems to be in charge of electing the organization's directors. That's not just me liking to type, although yes that's part of it.

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There are a number of issues with that language, but this board can't help you with fixing bylaw language. Read up on the sample bylaws in RONR, and you may also find it of benefit to review some of the questions often asked about voting - such as do members have to vote for a candidate, what happens if only one person is running, what do we do if we have a tie, etc.

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I get kept up nights, but that's usually after an evening of watching The Walking Dead marathons. Also sometimes I wake up at 4 AM in a cold sweat wondering what the specific gravity and isotope numbers of timonium are. And am I the only one. Should we form a club.)

I didn't even know there's an element called timonium, which there isn't. It must be all this kryptonite here in Brooklyn that's keeping people awake at nights.

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