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Sole nominees

Guest Andrew Laang

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The rules and bye laws of the club are silent on the question of sole nominees for office bearers.

The rules state that a Captain shall be elected at the AGM.

In the past when there has only been one nomination for Captain the Captain has been appointed  "on the nod".

I believe this to be incorrect as unopposed nomination is not the same as election, and denies the membership the opportunity to vote, ie elect a captain.

Guidance please!

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Do your bylaws require a ballot vote in all elections?  If so, this is improper and a ballot vote MUST be taken in all cases even if there is only one nominee.  It is a provision that cannot be waived or suspended.  Here is the language from pages 441-442 re the need for a ballot vote: 

"If the bylaws require the election of officers to be by ballot and there is only one nominee for an office, the ballot must nevertheless be taken for that office unless the bylaws provide for an exception in such a case. In the absence of the [page 442] latter provision, members still have the right, on the ballot, to cast "write-in votes" for other eligible persons."

If there is only one nominee and your bylaws do not require a ballot vote, and if one hasn't been ordered by means of a motion adopted at the meeting, then it is quite proper, after nominations have been closed, to declare the lone nominee elected.   Here is the applicable language from  page 443 of RONR: 

"If only one person is nominated and the bylaws do not require that a ballot vote be taken, the chair, after ensuring that, in fact, no members present wish to make further nominations, simply declares that the nominee is elected, thus effecting the election by unanimous consent or "acclamation." The motion to close nominations cannot be used as a means of moving the election of the candidate in such a case.
The assembly cannot make valid a viva-voce election if the bylaws require the election to be by ballot."


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