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Changing nomination DURING open nominations


Guest KimK
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I apologize in advance as I am new to all of this.

I'm a member of a national organization that runs its meetings using Roberts Rules of Order.  We have Regional and Local Chapters.  Each local chapter has a teen chapter that mimics the local city chapter.  The teen chapter has its own officers and bylaws and has 2 adults from our local chapter that serve as advisors.

It is election time.  Our new teen officers must be elected and installed before the end of this month.  We had one teen nominated for President last month, 3 for VP, and so on.  Yesterday the teens needed to give speeches and vote.  Prior to that,  the Adult advisor opened the floor to additional nominations. She listed the name of the one candidate running for  One of the teens (who is not currently an officer OR running for office) nominated one of the candidates that was ALREADY nominated for VP.  This person accepted the nomination and (I was told but don't know this officially), declined the nomination from last month for VP.  She accepted, the group, crossed out the title VP next to her name on the ballot and wrote in President (she won).  Is this allowed?  I've seen that a nominee can run for 2 offices at once but nothing like this.  And if she declined her previous nomination for VP, was she supposed to give a reason?  

Our teen, local adult, regional or national chapter bylaws do not cover this.  When something isn't covered by national bylaws, we are to adhere to Roberts Rules of Order.  Advice would be awesome thank you.

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12 minutes ago, Guest KimK said:

Is this allowed?  I've seen that a nominee can run for 2 offices at once but nothing like this.  And if she declined her previous nomination for VP, was she supposed to give a reason?  

So far as I understand, a nomination cannot be declined. A person can make clear that he does not desire a position, though, which is functionally the same (given that write-ins are generally valid anyway). In any event, it's hard to see that any harm was done. 

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14 minutes ago, Guest KimK said:

Yesterday the teens needed to give speeches and vote.  Prior to that,  the Adult advisor opened the floor to additional nominations.

This is the correct procedure. Nominations from the floor should be called for.

As you noted, she could have kept her name in for both positions. So that was also proper.

And the replies above have covered the rest.

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Thanks everyone.  Apparently there is contention and it seems like it is personal.  The Teen President did not run the election, the Adult Teen adviser did.  This adult also happens to be the mother of the teen who changed and decided that she would run for President instead.  The other Presidential nominee is the daughter of our new President whose election win was a shock to several of the "old" members.  

I have a knack for following the rules and I don't hold the position of Parliamentarian or Protocol chair but those officers do not contribute to meetings at all, therefore, I am the one who is called upon since everyone knows I read and am fascinated by this stuff.

The new (Adult) President met with the Adult advisers to say that the process was incorrect.  The teen bylaws do not spell out ANY sort of election process therefore, they are supposed to look to the adult group bylaws which indicate that a nominating committee is voted on by the body then that committee presents the names of candidates.  Does the President have any recourse in stating that the teens did not use a nominating committee as stated in the adult bylaws?

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4 minutes ago, KimK said:

The teen bylaws do not spell out ANY sort of election process therefore, they are supposed to look to the adult group bylaws which indicate that a nominating committee is voted on by the body then that committee presents the names of candidates.  Does the President have any recourse in stating that the teens did not use a nominating committee as stated in the adult bylaws?

You said the teen group has their own bylaws so I'm not sure why they would be bound by any provision in the other bylaws unless it's stated someplace else.  Either way, even if there was a breach of the rules in the nomination process the point of order would have needed to be timely, therefore, in my opinion, the election stands and it's time to move on.

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22 minutes ago, KimK said:

The Teen President did not run the election, the Adult Teen adviser did. 

How did that happen? By which I mean, did the assembly suspend the rules, or did this adviser simply take over?

22 minutes ago, KimK said:

The teen bylaws do not spell out ANY sort of election process therefore, they are supposed to look to the adult group bylaws which indicate that a nominating committee is voted on by the body then that committee presents the names of candidates. 

Do their bylaws say they're supposed to look at the adult group bylaws? Otherwise, it seems to me they should be looking to their parliamentary authority, not the bylaws of a different group. 

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Apparently the Adult adviser has been doing this all year.  She's supposed to advise but the Teens are supposed to run everything.  So I'd say she has taken over from day one (August of last year).  I don't attend the meetings but since I interpret our bylaws for our adult meetings, I'm being asked about this.

 

Our adult bylaws state that the local bylaws can't be more restrictive than the national bylaws.  The National bylaws state that if there is anything that is in question, Roberts Rules of Order is to be consulted.

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8 minutes ago, KimK said:

Apparently the Adult adviser has been doing this all year.  She's supposed to advise but the Teens are supposed to run everything.  So I'd say she has taken over from day one (August of last year).  I don't attend the meetings but since I interpret our bylaws for our adult meetings, I'm being asked about this.

 

Well, then the teens have been allowing a non-member, apparently, to preside over their meetings. They should stop allowing that. The adult organization should also instruct its members, in no uncertain terms, not to disrupt the proceedings of other organizations.

9 minutes ago, KimK said:

Our adult bylaws state that the local bylaws can't be more restrictive than the national bylaws.  The National bylaws state that if there is anything that is in question, Roberts Rules of Order is to be consulted.

But what do the teen bylaws say to do when the bylaws are silent? Do they say to look at the adult bylaws?

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1 hour ago, Joshua Katz said:

So far as I understand, a nomination cannot be declined. . . . 

Well, as evidenced by prior discussions on this subject, there is disagreement among some of the regular contributors to the forum as to whether a nomination can be declined and whether a person who has been nominated can withdraw as a candidate.  The disagreement is caused by two references in RONR which seem to indicate quite clearly to some of us that a candidate MAY withdraw his name from nomination and if he does, his name is removed from the ballot and if he was nominated by a nominating committee, the committee should  meet again if there is time and come up with a new nominee.  Those references are on pages 435, 441 and the footnote on 441.  There would be no reason for either of those references in RONR if a member could be compelled to remain a candidate (or in nomination) against his will.

However, regardless of that issue, I agree with the previous posters who don't see anything wrong with the procedure that was followed and who say that even if proper procedure was not followed, the breach would have required a timely point of order and it is too late now to complain about it.  It was not what RONR refers to as a "continuing breach" which would cause the action to be invalid and capable of being set aside on a point of order raised after the fact.  It is simply too late now.

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3 hours ago, KimK said:

The Teen President did not run the election, the Adult Teen adviser did. 

This may be done, but only with the consent of the current President, Vice President, and the assembly (by majority vote). If either the current President or Vice President objected, this may be done with a 2/3 vote of the assembly. Nonetheless, it is too late to raise a Point of Order regarding this matter at this time.

3 hours ago, KimK said:

This adult also happens to be the mother of the teen who changed and decided that she would run for President instead.

I understand why some members may be concerned about this, and if they believed the advisor would not be able to preside in an impartial manner, they could have insisted that some other person preside. Nonetheless, it is too late to raise a Point of Order regarding this matter at this time, and in any event, it appears that this person ruled correctly on the questions of order concerning the election.

3 hours ago, KimK said:

The other Presidential nominee is the daughter of our new President whose election win was a shock to several of the "old" members.  

This fact has no parliamentary relevance. 

3 hours ago, KimK said:

The new (Adult) President met with the Adult advisers to say that the process was incorrect.

The new Adult President appears to be mistaken.

3 hours ago, KimK said:

The teen bylaws do not spell out ANY sort of election process therefore, they are supposed to look to the adult group bylaws which indicate that a nominating committee is voted on by the body then that committee presents the names of candidates.  Does the President have any recourse in stating that the teens did not use a nominating committee as stated in the adult bylaws?

No, for two reasons:

1.) The teen group is not required to use the procedure the adult group uses for its elections, unless the adult group is the parent organization of the teen group and its rules specifically require the teen group to use the adult group’s election rules for its own elections.

2.) Even if the teen group were required to use the adult group’s election rules, it would be too late to raise a Point of Order regarding the lack of a nominating committee at this time.

2 hours ago, KimK said:

Apparently the Adult adviser has been doing this all year.  She's supposed to advise but the Teens are supposed to run everything.  So I'd say she has taken over from day one (August of last year). 

I agree that this practice is problematic and should be corrected as soon as possible. The President of the teen group should preside over its meetings. Nonetheless, this fact does not invalidate the election.

2 hours ago, KimK said:

Our adult bylaws state that the local bylaws can't be more restrictive than the national bylaws

Okay, but I don’t see how this has any relevance concerning the bylaws of the teen group. (I also wonder if there is more context to this rule, as it doesn’t make too much sense as a general statement.) Even in the event that this rule is applicable to this situation, it seems to me that the procedure used by the teen group was, if anything, less restrictive than the procedure in the adult group’s bylaws.

2 hours ago, KimK said:

The National bylaws state that if there is anything that is in question, Roberts Rules of Order is to be consulted.

So far as RONR is concerned, the procedure used regarding the election was entirely proper, excepting the fact that a person other than the regular presiding officer was presiding without approval, and it is too late to raise a Point of Order regarding that issue at this time.

Edited by Josh Martin
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3 hours ago, KimK said:

The new (Adult) President met with the Adult advisers to say that the process was incorrect.  The teen bylaws do not spell out ANY sort of election process therefore, they are supposed to look to the adult group bylaws which indicate that a nominating committee is voted on by the body then that committee presents the names of candidates.  Does the President have any recourse in stating that the teens did not use a nominating committee as stated in the adult bylaws?

You might want to consider amending your own bylaws to include a process for nominations and elections in order to address such issues in the future. There are sample bylaws in Roberts Rules of Order Newly Revised, 11th edition (which should be your parliamentary authority). If you are comfortable with the nomination and election procedures in those sample bylaws you could incorporate those into your own bylaws. You are also free to modify those  procedures to fit your own situation. Even if you don't add nomination and election procedures to your bylaws, RONR spells out in some detail the recommended method for handling nominations and elections in the absence of bylaw-mandated provisions.

I am always somewhat disheartened when I hear of adults taking over youth activities. I've worked with young people in various capacities and am always impressed by their ability to adapt to unfamiliar and/or controversial situations, usually doing much better than just 'muddling through'. I hope your group and the adult group will make every effort to let you run your own meetings, dealing with the inevitable mistakes that will be made and learning from them. Your advisors should consider their role to be a very narrow one, strictly advisory only. If one of them happens to be familiar with RONR, that would be an appropriate application of their advisory - and strictly advisory only - capacity. Look in RONR to see how it defines the role of a parliamentarian, and use that as a guide.

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