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Guest Jason
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My question is we had our elections for our fire dept last month and found we only had two people become board of directors.  We actually need 3.  But under our requirements to be able to get nominated there was only 2 people that could be voted in.  How do we handle the 3 person we need get in there.

 

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Normally, you would re-open nominations and then hold an election, including a blank line on the ballot for write-in candidates, if your rules allow for election to office without being nominated. But it sounds like you may have specific requirements that must be met for someone to be nominated for a director position. If your problem is that you don't have enough members who meet these requirements, then maybe it's time to think about amending the bylaws to remove or lessen the requirements. Until you can do that you may be stuck, since requirements for holding office contained in the bylaws cannot be suspended.

Edited to add - If the requirements are specifically to be nominated - rather than to hold office - and your rules don't require candidates to be nominated per se, you can elect via write-ins, But I suspect that's not the case.

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12 minutes ago, Guest Jason said:

My question is we had our elections for our fire dept last month and found we only had two people become board of directors.  We actually need 3.  But under our requirements to be able to get nominated there was only 2 people that could be voted in.  How do we handle the 3 person we need get in there.

 

How large is your board? It's one thing to have an empty seat on a 9-man board, and another on a 5 or even 3...

you could have an incomplete election, or a vacancy, or both, and your bylaws might have guidance, check there for sure

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21 minutes ago, Guest Jason said:

My question is we had our elections for our fire dept last month and found we only had two people become board of directors.  We actually need 3.  But under our requirements to be able to get nominated there was only 2 people that could be voted in.  How do we handle the 3 person we need get in there.

 

Ok - so what are the qualifications to be nominated?  That might be the problem right off - I can understand being a member of the fire department, and being a member in good standing (i.e. if there were any dues that they were paid up, or the member is not currently under any disciplinary action.)  But that might be the problem.  It's never a good idea, in my humble opinion, to have too many qualifications.  It only eliminates good candidates from being elected.  Otherwise, you may need to start knocking on doors to get someone willing to serve, and then hold a special meeting (if allowed in the By-laws, and assuming that the regular meeting was adjourned full stop.)

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21 minutes ago, Bruce Lages said:

Edited to add - If the requirements are specifically to be nominated - rather than to hold office - and your rules don't require candidates to be nominated per se, you can elect via write-ins, But I suspect that's not the case.

No one has ever satisfactorily explained to me why, if you're not eligible to be nominated because of some bylaw qualification, that the same qualification is in no way a prohibition against being elected via a ballot vote.  "Oh, Mr. A, you can't be nominated for President because you haven't been a member for 5 years, but, no worries, we'll just mount a write-in campaign and that 5 year requirement is out the door."    

And I'm not taking a pot shot at Mr. Lages, by the way.  I always enjoy reading his replies.

Edited by George Mervosh
Edited to add last sentence
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I think it is a prohibition:  after all, before you, as a voting individual, can actually vote for the person in question, you have to mentally nominate him to yourself.  If you are honest with yourself, you might think "Hey, I can't suggest Fred to myself, he isn't nominatable".  Who knows, you might mentally nominate more than one person, then pick (vote for) the one who is eligible.

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1 hour ago, George Mervosh said:

No one has ever satisfactorily explained to me why, if you're not eligible to be nominated because of some bylaw qualification, that the same qualification is in no way a prohibition against being elected via a ballot vote.  "Oh, Mr. A, you can't be nominated for President because you haven't been a member for 5 years, but, no worries, we'll just mount a write-in campaign and that 5 year requirement is out the door."   

George, for me "Qualifications for Nomination" is synonymous for "Qualifications for Election".  In both cases, you cannot get elected unless you meet those qualifications.

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2 hours ago, George Mervosh said:

No one has ever satisfactorily explained to me why, if you're not eligible to be nominated because of some bylaw qualification, that the same qualification is in no way a prohibition against being elected via a ballot vote.  "Oh, Mr. A, you can't be nominated for President because you haven't been a member for 5 years, but, no worries, we'll just mount a write-in campaign and that 5 year requirement is out the door."    

And I'm not taking a pot shot at Mr. Lages, by the way.  I always enjoy reading his replies.

Obviously such things will depend on the wording, and the placement and context of that wording, in the bylaws. However, some organizations have detailed  procedures for being nominated, involving things like submitting statements to a committee, having names printed on the ballot or circulated in a newsletter, etc. So it is not unfathomable that a member who is ineligible for nomination to an office is not ineligible for election to the same office, is it? (Or isn't it?) :)

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12 hours ago, Shmuel Gerber said:

Obviously such things will depend on the wording, and the placement and context of that wording, in the bylaws. However, some organizations have detailed  procedures for being nominated, involving things like submitting statements to a committee, having names printed on the ballot or circulated in a newsletter, etc. So it is not unfathomable that a member who is ineligible for nomination to an office is not ineligible for election to the same office, is it? (Or isn't it?) :)

I agree that this is a bylaw interpretation question, if that's your ultimate point.  I'd be content if we proceeded in the future to just clearly point that out, and let the organization figure it out for themselves.

13 hours ago, Rev Ed said:

George, for me "Qualifications for Nomination" is synonymous for "Qualifications for Election".  In both cases, you cannot get elected unless you meet those qualifications.

As noted this might not always be true, but i'd suspect that's what organizations mean more often than not.

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16 hours ago, George Mervosh said:

No one has ever satisfactorily explained to me why, if you're not eligible to be nominated because of some bylaw qualification, that the same qualification is in no way a prohibition against being elected via a ballot vote.  "Oh, Mr. A, you can't be nominated for President because you haven't been a member for 5 years, but, no worries, we'll just mount a write-in campaign and that 5 year requirement is out the door."    

And I'm not taking a pot shot at Mr. Lages, by the way.  I always enjoy reading his replies.

Because words mean things. A nomination is not the same thing as an election.  A qualification for being nominated is not the same thing as a requirement for holding the office or for serving. Perhaps the drafters of the bylaws intended for qualifications to be nominated to also be requirements for serving or for actually holding the office. But, in my opinion, the bylaws must clearly say so. 

Someone who is elected through a write in campaign has never been nominated. 

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7 minutes ago, Guest Meed said:

True but tangential, because maybe he meets the nom. reqs, and maybe he doesn't; so maybe all his votes are illegal.

Only if it is determined after a point of order that the requirements for being nominated also apply to bring eligible to serve or to actually hold the office.

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17 hours ago, Bruce Lages said:

Edited to add - If the requirements are specifically to be nominated - rather than to hold office - and your rules don't require candidates to be nominated per se, you can elect via write-ins, But I suspect that's not the case.

 

17 hours ago, George Mervosh said:

No one has ever satisfactorily explained to me why, if you're not eligible to be nominated because of some bylaw qualification, that the same qualification is in no way a prohibition against being elected via a ballot vote.

 

14 hours ago, Shmuel Gerber said:

some organizations have detailed  procedures for being nominated, involving things like submitting statements to a committee, having names printed on the ballot or circulated in a newsletter, etc.

 

1 hour ago, George Mervosh said:

I agree that this is a bylaw interpretation question, if that's your ultimate point.  I'd be content if we proceeded in the future to just clearly point that out, and let the organization figure it out for themselves.

My point was to offer a satisfactory explain as to why an eligibility requirement for nomination is not necessarily the same thing as a requirement for election, which is what I thought you were looking for. But obviously you're not satisfied. :)

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4 minutes ago, Richard Brown said:

Only if it is determined after a point of order that the requirements for being nominated also apply to bring eligible to serve or to actually hold the office.

And I agree completely with your first paragraph, that they don't unless it's explicit, but that last line was a bad plank, doesn't really support your case

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1 hour ago, Shmuel Gerber said:

My point was to offer a satisfactory explain as to why an eligibility requirement for nomination is not necessarily the same thing as a requirement for election, which is what I thought you were looking for. But obviously you're not satisfied. :)

I'm always appreciative and satisfied.  I focused a bit too much on your first sentence earlier but the whole reply is good enough for me.  Happy New Year, SG. :)

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This is not dissimilar to running for public office as an independent candidate, sometimes called "Nomination by Petition".  There are all sorts of requirements for getting on the ballot, depending on the state, and hoops to jump through like number petition signatures, etc.  But failing to meet the requirements for "nomination", while it means you won't be on the ballot, doesn't preclude winning through write-ins.   Or losing through write-ins--don't ask me how I know that.

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7 hours ago, George Mervosh said:

As noted this might not always be true, but i'd suspect that's what organizations mean more often than not.

6 hours ago, Richard Brown said:

Because words mean things. A nomination is not the same thing as an election.  A qualification for being nominated is not the same thing as a requirement for holding the office or for serving. Perhaps the drafters of the bylaws intended for qualifications to be nominated to also be requirements for serving or for actually holding the office. But, in my opinion, the bylaws must clearly say so. 

Someone who is elected through a write in campaign has never been nominated. 

I get that it that the ideal option would be to say something to the effect of "In order to be nominated and elected to office, a person must meet the following requirements ..." it still seems to me that either way, the intention is clear: to be eligible to be elected one must meet the qualifications to be nominated.  To a certain extent, I guess it depends on whether or not a write-in vote is essentially the same thing as a nomination - you are still voting for the person whether or not the person was officially 'nominated' or not.

Of course, a good recommendation would be for an organization not to have too many qualifications to begin with and allow the members to decide through their vote.

 

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