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Eligibility, Nominations, Election


Charlie Arnold

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This question is directed toward the timing of the Eligibility of a candidate for an office.  The question has risen in this fashion. Someone would like to run for an office that he accepts he is not qualified for at the time of the nomination, however, will have or could have the qualification met by the time the election takes place. Can the candidate be nominated for the office? This question can also be pushed to: can he be nominated and elected if he has the qualification met by the time he is to take office? The current by-laws provide the following:  "Nominations for Elective Officers shall be made on the regularly scheduled meeting nights in October and November.  Nominations and ballots will be closed at the end of the November meeting.  Any write-in names will not be counted and will disqualify the entire ballot.  Nominations shall be limited to eligible Regular Members only." 

-"In order for any member to hold the office of Fire Chief he/she must meet the following qualifications..."

The point being raised is the by-laws state "to hold office"  "he/she must meet the following qualification. 

Specifically: When must a person meet the qualifications listed above? At the time of the nominations or at the time of election or by the time the elected candidate would take the office, in essence, "hold the office". 

When the nominations were held the same night as the election this seemed a mute point, but now there is a month gap between the closing of nomination and elections the question has been brought up as a point to be debated. The current President ruled on the floor that the person must be eligible at the time of the nomination to be a valid nomination. It would seem that he is correct, but if he was not the ruling would still stand because a point of order was not further raised or contested within that meeting. 

Thoughts?

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This is ultimately a question of bylaw interpretation, which is one only your organization can decide.  In my personal opinion, though, "In order for a member to hold..." means just that, and the requirement only applies when holding office.  Therefore, my opinion would be that the person can be nominated.

Since your bylaws provide that nominations are limited to eligible Regular members, and define eligibility for office, and prohibit write-ins, my opinion is that such individuals may not be nominated.  However, it is ultimately a question of bylaw interpretation, which only your organization can decide.

Edited by Joshua Katz
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1 minute ago, Joshua Katz said:

This is ultimately a question of bylaw interpretation, which is one only your organization can decide.  In my personal opinion, though, "In order for a member to hold..." means just that, and the requirement only applies when holding office.  Therefore, my opinion would be that the person can be nominated.

 

Even although the bylaws clearly provide that "Nominations shall be limited to eligible Regular Members only"?

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25 minutes ago, Charlie Arnold said:

When the nominations were held the same night as the election this seemed a mute point, but now there is a month gap between the closing of nomination and elections the question has been brought up as a point to be debated. The current President ruled on the floor that the person must be eligible at the time of the nomination to be a valid nomination. It would seem that he is correct, but if he was not the ruling would still stand because a point of order was not further raised or contested within that meeting. 

 

This, though, is not correct.  If there was an incorrect ruling made on nominations, and the nominated people remain nominated, and the election has not yet happened, a point of order remains timely.  

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We are told that "The current President ruled on the floor that the person must be eligible at the time of the nomination to be a valid nomination."

If this means that an attempt was made to nominate someone, and the chair ruled that the nomination was not in order because the person sought to be nominated was ineligible, it is now too late to appeal from that ruling (RONR, 11th ed., p. 257, ll. 29-31).

 

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