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Guest Steve

We use a ballot system for election of officers. Our president interpreted the rules to mean that voting members can write any name on the ballot, even if the person they write on the ballot was not a nominee. I interpreted the rules to I my once tje nomination process was closed, only the nominees could be voted for. Which interpretation is correct?

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If you were disagreeing about the rules in RONR, then I agree with the President. If you were disagreeing about the rules of the organization, I do not know the answer, because it depends on those rules.

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3 hours ago, Guest Steve said:

We use a ballot system for election of officers. Our president interpreted the rules to mean that voting members can write any name on the ballot, even if the person they write on the ballot was not a nominee. I interpreted the rules to I my once tje nomination process was closed, only the nominees could be voted for. Which interpretation is correct?

The president's interpretation is correct.

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12 hours ago, Guest Steve said:

We use a ballot system for election of officers. Our president interpreted the rules to mean that voting members can write any name on the ballot, even if the person they write on the ballot was not a nominee. I interpreted the rules to I my once tje nomination process was closed, only the nominees could be voted for. Which interpretation is correct?

Assuming there is no rule in the bylaws to the contrary, the President is correct. RONR is explicit on this point.

“Strictly speaking, nominations are not necessary when an election is by ballot or roll call, since each member is free to vote for any eligible person, whether he has been nominated or not. In most societies, however, it is impractical to proceed to an election without first making nominations. While members are always free to "write in," on a ballot, the name of an eligible person who has not been nominated, or to vote for an eligible non-nominee during a roll-call vote, under normal conditions it is likely that most members will confine their choice to the nominees. Without nominations, voting might have to be repeated many times before a candidate achieved the required majority.” (RONR, 11th ed., pgs. 430-431, emphasis added)

”Votes can be cast for any person who is eligible for election, even if he has not been nominated.” (RONR, 11th ed., pg. 439)

Edited by Josh Martin

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Guest Guest Steve

Our by-laws state that if there are 3 or more members being considered for a position, and after ballots are counted none recieve a majority vote, the person with the lowest vote total is dropped and another round of voting is held. This continues until one member recieves the majority vote. The question is: if a member is written in during the first round of balloting and recieves the lowest total of votes, does that mean that member is dropped and can not be written in during subsequent votes? 

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Guest Follow up question

If our by laws state that if 3 or more members are running for a position and during the first ballot no member recieves the required majority, the member with the lowest vote total is dropped. This continues until one member recieves a majority of the votes. The question is: if a write in member recieves the lowest vote total on the first ballot, is that member dropped and not eligible to be written in on the second round of ballots?

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14 minutes ago, Guest Follow up question said:

If our by laws state that if 3 or more members are running for a position and during the first ballot no member recieves the required majority, the member with the lowest vote total is dropped. This continues until one member recieves a majority of the votes. The question is: if a write in member recieves the lowest vote total on the first ballot, is that member dropped and not eligible to be written in on the second round of ballots?

This is a bit unusual (of course, or you wouldn't be asking about it here) but...

Page 441 (including the footnote) suggests that the write-in person cannot be excluded from being written-in on subsequent ballots. 

About all you can do is either trust in the judgement of the voters not to write-in his/her name repeatedly, and/or encourage the person to announce (like W.T. Sherman) "If elected I will not serve".

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Guest Follow up question

It is a bit unusual. Last year we had multiple positions where there were 3 nominees and multiple write-ins. Noone was dropped after each ballot and noone changed their vote through multiple ballots. We ended up having to call a special meeting at a later date to complete our election process. It seems that there would have to be a proper way to avoid this from happening?

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In my view, the write-in was never on the ballot, and thus cannot be dropped from it. The lowest vote-getter on the ballot would be dropped in such a circumstance, and the write-ins ignored for this purpose.

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40 minutes ago, Guest Follow up question said:

It seems that there would have to be a proper way to avoid this from happening?

You would have to adopt a bylaw provision to permanently exclude the lowest vote getter (whether on the original ballot or as written in) from future repeated election attempts. (Page 441, footnote)

Be careful what you wish for; as RONR notes, the "low man" might turn out to be a dark horse compromise favorite, eventually.

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Guest Follow up

That would make sense, however what would prevent voters from writing in the nominee that was dropped? That is why we did not drop any names from the ballot last year.

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Ballots with a name for an ineligible person (properly identified, of course) are treated as "illegal votes" p. 441 & 416.

Enough "illegal votes" can cause a legitimate candidate to fail to reach a majority.

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Simply dropping a name from the ballot does not necessarily disqualify that person from receiving legal votes, unless the rule explicitly says they are ineligible.

So, write-in votes for someone eligible to serve are counted for that person, whether formerly on the ballot or not.

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13 hours ago, Guest Follow up said:

That would make sense, however what would prevent voters from writing in the nominee that was dropped? That is why we did not drop any names from the ballot last year.

Nothing. I don't see that as a problem, though.

 

10 hours ago, jstackpo said:

Ballots with a name for an ineligible person (properly identified, of course) are treated as "illegal votes" p. 441 & 416.

Enough "illegal votes" can cause a legitimate candidate to fail to reach a majority.

Okay, but who is ineligible here?

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5 hours ago, Joshua Katz said:

Okay, but who is ineligible here?

Whoever the bylaws say are.  That's the footnote on p. 441.

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Guest Bernie

If a position is running unopposed does the sect. cast one vote or does the position still need the majority of the votes cast

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Hi Guest Bern. We ask that you post a new question in a new thread, rather than adding to a different thread, no matter how similar the topics seem to be.

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Guest
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