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Guest Christine

Candidate withdraws after accepting nomination...election by acclamation?

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Guest Christine

I am hoping someone can point me to where in RONR this scenario might be addressed:

For a committee position, two candidates were nominated and accepted the nomination.  Before the election happened, one of the candidates withdrew from consideration and the remaining candidate was declared a winner by acclamation.  

I believe that the  nominations might turn out differently; if someone was considering nominating someone but saw that a candidate who would do a good job and represent his/her interests is already in the running, they may remain silent in support of the nominee who later withdrew.

I am particularly concerned that this is a dangerous precedent which could become a tactic employed to manipulate the outcome of future elections. 

My apologies for being unfamiliar with Roberts Rules, but I need help finding what rule should apply here.  Thanks! 

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2 hours ago, Guest Christine said:

I am hoping someone can point me to where in RONR this scenario might be addressed:

For a committee position, two candidates were nominated and accepted the nomination.  Before the election happened, one of the candidates withdrew from consideration and the remaining candidate was declared a winner by acclamation.  

I believe that the  nominations might turn out differently; if someone was considering nominating someone but saw that a candidate who would do a good job and represent his/her interests is already in the running, they may remain silent in support of the nominee who later withdrew.

I am particularly concerned that this is a dangerous precedent which could become a tactic employed to manipulate the outcome of future elections. 

My apologies for being unfamiliar with Roberts Rules, but I need help finding what rule should apply here.  Thanks! 

Assuming the bylaws do not require a ballot vote, what happened was entirely proper.

I would note that so far as RONR is concerned, the assembly is free to reopen nominations, by majority vote.

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Although it is too late to complain about it now, I'm not at all sure that what happened was entirely proper since there appears to have been more than one nominee. A nominee can say that he is withdrawing as a candidate, but that doesn't change the fact that he has been nominated. 

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Guest Zev

Would it do any good to amend the bylaws and require ballot elections regardless of how many candidates are in the running thereby making possible write-in candidates whether they have been nominated or not?

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4 hours ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

Although it is too late to complain about it now, I'm not at all sure that what happened was entirely proper since there appears to have been more than one nominee. A nominee can say that he is withdrawing as a candidate, but that doesn't change the fact that he has been nominated. 

So if there are two nominees, and one of them indicates that he wishes to withdraw, and the bylaws do not require a ballot vote, a vote must still be taken? Would it change anything if the member who made the nomination also withdrew the nomination? Alternately, could the chair request unanimous consent to forego the election? 

1 hour ago, Guest Zev said:

Would it do any good to amend the bylaws and require ballot elections regardless of how many candidates are in the running thereby making possible write-in candidates whether they have been nominated or not?

If the bylaws were amended to include such a requirement, this would certainly seem to resolve the OP’s complaint.

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Guest Guest Christine (OP)

Thank you very much for the replies.  I think you've helped me understand better.  To clarify a few things: nominations (and acceptance of the nomination by the candidate) are done at an in-person meeting.  The subsequent voting is done online, using a survey listing only the candidates' names (no write-in).  Candidate A and Candidate B both accepted the nomination at the meeting, but before the voting survey went out Candidate B withdrew interest in serving.  Candidate A was declared the winner by acclamation and no survey went out for the election.  I can't help but think either 1.) nominations should have been re-opened,  or 2.) the survey ballots should still have gone out with both candidates listed, even if Candidate B didn't want to serve if elected.  

Please tell me if I am understanding the rules correctly: if Candidate B had been elected, but decided then not to serve, we would've had to have new nominations and a new election, correct?   

The problem with what happened here is that there were other people who were interested in the position, but felt that Candidate B would have represented them well and declined nomination in order to maintain support for Candidate B.    

The problem with the implications of this decision are that the precedent could allow manipulation of elections by having nominees accept nomination with the intention of withdrawing later to "fix" the election results.  

If there's anywhere in RONR that you can point me to cite a rule or a process that applies here, please let me know.  Thanks so much! 

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Guest Zev

As Mr. Honemann has indicated, it is too late. The only thing to be done now is to change the bylaws as I have suggested, hope that Candidate A's term of office is uneventful, and at the next election do not nominate Candidate B.

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5 hours ago, Guest Guest Christine (OP) said:

Thank you very much for the replies.  I think you've helped me understand better.  To clarify a few things: nominations (and acceptance of the nomination by the candidate) are done at an in-person meeting.  The subsequent voting is done online, using a survey listing only the candidates' names (no write-in).  Candidate A and Candidate B both accepted the nomination at the meeting, but before the voting survey went out Candidate B withdrew interest in serving.  Candidate A was declared the winner by acclamation and no survey went out for the election.  I can't help but think either 1.) nominations should have been re-opened,  or 2.) the survey ballots should still have gone out with both candidates listed, even if Candidate B didn't want to serve if elected.  

Guest Christine, I think some further clarification is needed. You say that Candidate B withdrew and that Candidate A was declared the winner by acclamation. Did these events occur during a meeting? If not, how did they occur?

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13 hours ago, Josh Martin said:

So if there are two nominees, and one of them indicates that he wishes to withdraw, and the bylaws do not require a ballot vote, a vote must still be taken? Would it change anything if the member who made the nomination also withdrew the nomination? Alternately, could the chair request unanimous consent to forego the election? 

I'm not aware of anything in RONR that specifically addresses withdrawal of nominations.

In my view of it, a request for permission to withdraw a nomination can be made only when nominations are in order, and unanimous consent is required in order to obtain such permission. If unanimous consent is obtained, if the bylaws do not require that a ballot vote be taken, and if there is only one nominee remaining, the chair (after making certain that no further nominations will be forthcoming) should declare that the sole nominee is elected.

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I opine that there really is no such thing as the "withdrawal" of a nomination. The member making this kind of remark is really giving notice to the body that he intends to reject his election if he wins. He does this courteously to assist the members to coalesce around some other member and not prolong the election unnecessarily.

In no way do I criticize a member for doing what I describe above, but the remarks should be framed as I have indicated. However, a member "withdrawing" his nomination, in whatever form, should be put to vote. In the unlikely event that the member wins the election, he is certainly free to accept his election, notwithstanding his previous remarks, upon the strong evidence that the electors have expressed a persistent judgment that he is the best-suited person.

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46 minutes ago, reelsman said:

I opine that there really is no such thing as the "withdrawal" of a nomination.

First, I accept Mr. Honemann's explanation as fact, whether it's in the book or not and I only respectfully disagree with Mr. Elsman's suggestion that there is no such thing as withdrawal, as RONR points out the possibility in one spot -  "A nominating committee is automatically discharged when its report is formally presented to the assembly, although if one of the nominees withdraws before the election, the committee is revived and should meet immediately to agree upon another nomination if there is time. "  RONR (11th ed), p. 435  So, yes, there is precious little about withdrawing.

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To the extent that the original poster and RONR have used the word "withdraw", I could agree with Mr. Mervosh; however, the word, in this context, seems to me to be a term of art. Strictly speaking, RONR does not require someone to accept or reject a nomination, so I really don't think someone can, technically, withdraw, either. The nomination is just a fact. No rule in RONR prohibits the election of someone who would prefer not to be elected, even if the person has openly stated his preference. Indeed, in some organizations, the winner has a duty to undertake an office to which he has been elected.

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5 hours ago, reelsman said:

I opine that there really is no such thing as the "withdrawal" of a nomination. The member making this kind of remark is really giving notice to the body that he intends to reject his election if he wins. He does this courteously to assist the members to coalesce around some other member and not prolong the election unnecessarily.

In no way do I criticize a member for doing what I describe above, but the remarks should be framed as I have indicated. However, a member "withdrawing" his nomination, in whatever form, should be put to vote. In the unlikely event that the member wins the election, he is certainly free to accept his election, notwithstanding his previous remarks, upon the strong evidence that the electors have expressed a persistent judgment that he is the best-suited person.

It should be noted that the last portion of the conversation in this thread went off on a bit of a tangent by discussing withdrawal of a nomination by the member who made the nomination, and not by the nominee. As previously noted, I agree that a nomination cannot be "withdrawn" by the person nominated (unless he nominated himself).

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11 minutes ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

It should be noted that the last portion of the conversation in this thread went off on a bit of a tangent by discussing withdrawal of a nomination by the member who made the nomination, and not by the nominee. As previously noted, I agree that a nomination cannot be "withdrawn" by the person nominated (unless he nominated himself).

Who is doing the withdrawing in the quotation from p. 435? (if one of the nominees withdraws before the election, …)  

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2 hours ago, Ann Rempel said:

Who is doing the withdrawing in the quotation from p. 435? (if one of the nominees withdraws before the election, …)  

The nominee referred to there is the one doing the withdrawing, but he is not withdrawing his nomination (which he didn't make, and so he can't withdraw it), he is withdrawing himself from the race. 

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3 minutes ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

The nominee referred to there is the one doing the withdrawing, but he is not withdrawing his nomination (which he didn't make, and so he can't withdraw it), he is withdrawing himself from the race. 

Okay, but if he did, RONR suggests that his name would be dropped from the ballot in succeeding rounds of balloting.  Why would this not apply just as well to the first ballot, thereby allowing for election by acclamation?

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8 hours ago, George Mervosh said:

First, I accept Mr. Honemann's explanation as fact, whether it's in the book or not and I only respectfully disagree with Mr. Elsman's suggestion that there is no such thing as withdrawal, as RONR points out the possibility in one spot -  "A nominating committee is automatically discharged when its report is formally presented to the assembly, although if one of the nominees withdraws before the election, the committee is revived and should meet immediately to agree upon another nomination if there is time. "  RONR (11th ed), p. 435  So, yes, there is precious little about withdrawing.

There is another spot under Ballot Voting: 

Quote

 

When repeated balloting for an office is necessary, individuals are never removed from candidacy on the next ballot unless they voluntarily withdraw—which they are not obligated to do.*

 

Quote

__________
*An organization could suspend the rules, or adopt a special rule of order, so that the nominee with the fewest votes is dropped from the list of nominees for succeeding ballots in the expectation that voters will then confine their choice to the remaining nominees. Only a bylaws provision, however, could make the dropped nominee ineligible for election so as to render illegal any subsequent votes cast for that nominee. (see pp. 430–31.)

 

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10 hours ago, Gary Novosielski said:

Okay, but if he did, RONR suggests that his name would be dropped from the ballot in succeeding rounds of balloting.  Why would this not apply just as well to the first ballot, thereby allowing for election by acclamation?

What RONR says on page 441 relates to a candidate for an office voluntarily withdrawing when repeated balloting for an office is necessary, and the footnote on that page makes it plain that further balloting will nevertheless take place. Further balloting will take place even if, after such a withdrawal, only one candidate remains who is still seeking the office. 

This does not suggest to me that, if the withdrawal of one of two candidates occurs prior to the first ballot, the chair is to declare the sole remaining candidate elected by acclamation. 

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