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Guest Gaudias

Nominated candidate not present as election meeting

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Guest Gaudias

Recently, our assembly held its annual Board of Directors election.  One assembly member had agreed that I nominate him for one of the officer positions, although he was unable able to attend the election meeting.  I submitted his nomination prior to the meeting and again I reconfirmed his willingness to stand for that position, if approved by the members.  However, during the meeting, restating my nomination (from the floor), the President of the assembly objected and insisted that the  candidate should be present.  To make matter more difficult, reconfirming my nomination of that member, our assembly (200+ members) has been conducting Virtual meetings, using some electronic meeting platforms, due to the COVID 19 challenges. .  

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Unless you have a customized rule  to the contrary, a candidate need not be present at the election in order to be elected and his prior permission is technically not necessary, although advisable.

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2 hours ago, Guest Gaudias said:

Recently, our assembly held its annual Board of Directors election.  One assembly member had agreed that I nominate him for one of the officer positions, although he was unable able to attend the election meeting.  I submitted his nomination prior to the meeting and again I reconfirmed his willingness to stand for that position, if approved by the members.  However, during the meeting, restating my nomination (from the floor), the President of the assembly objected and insisted that the  candidate should be present.

The President was certainly incorrect if he was suggesting that the candidate needed to be present in order to be elected.

"An election to an office becomes final immediately if the candidate is present and does not decline, or if he is absent but has consented to his candidacy. If he is absent and has not consented to his candidacy, the election becomes final when he is notified of his election, provided that he does not immediately decline." (RONR, 11th ed., pg. 444)

Although it seems possible that no one was present, which might be a bigger problem. :)

2 hours ago, Guest Gaudias said:

To make matter more difficult, reconfirming my nomination of that member, our assembly (200+ members) has been conducting Virtual meetings, using some electronic meeting platforms, due to the COVID 19 challenges. .  

Do the organization's bylaws authorize meeting in this manner?

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Guest Gaudias

Thank you all for your responses and much appreciated.  In respond to your your queries or comments:

Our By-Laws do not refer to, nor authorize "electronic meetings and voting."  However, recently some exceptions (with options/instructions) were made by our international Head Quarter (HQ)  in response to the restrictions of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.  (See background below).

Our By-Laws do not state whether a candidate need to be present at the election in order to be elected.  However, the guideline from our international HQ recommends that the candidate's permission is advisable.

The nominated member was elected by acclamation and an excellent choice.  Unfortunately, his nomination was somewhat tainted by the "debated" between the President of the assembly and the nominator  (me).  No uninterrupted time was allowed for me to speak on behalf of the nominee (e.g. his qualifications, long service with the assembly, etc).    

Special thanks to Josh Martin.  I am still on the learning curve re. RRO and my version of the RRO (RRO In Brief, 2011) is limited.  I appreciate Mr. Martin's reference to RONR 11th edition and pg  444 in particular). I have benefitted from this specific reference.  

 OUR ORGANIZATION: A 501(C) FRATERNAL SOCIETY

Our international head office (HQ) has established laws and rule for the Society and  that are applicable to all local chapters and assemblies.  Each local chapter or assembly has its own By-Laws that are consistent with the Society Laws & Rules but that may be adopted, to some extent, by local chapters and assemblies. 

The existing and effective Laws & Rules of the Society nor By-Laws of local chapters/assemblies  do not  allow (cover) electronic meetings and/or electronic elections.  The recent  guidelines and exceptions deal mainly with the use of the Virtual meetings and elections (use of electronic meeting/voting platforms and/or use of e-mail/regular mail (e.g. submitting nominations and for voting) as many of our members do not have access to the Internet or e-mail.  . 

Our HQ however stipulated that the existing rules governing officer elections (found in the Laws & Rules and By-Laws) should be followed  (e.g. nomination/election processes;  established time lines,  Slate of Candidates and nominations from the floor,   etc)

Thank you again.  

Gaudias

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43 minutes ago, Guest Gaudias said:

Our By-Laws do not state whether a candidate need to be present at the election in order to be elected.  However, the guideline from our international HQ recommends that the candidate's permission is advisable.

The International HQ is correct in this regard. If a candidate will not be present at the time of election, it is indeed advisable (but not required) to have obtained the candidate's consent to his candidacy in advance.

45 minutes ago, Guest Gaudias said:

The nominated member was elected by acclamation and an excellent choice.  Unfortunately, his nomination was somewhat tainted by the "debated" between the President of the assembly and the nominator  (me).  No uninterrupted time was allowed for me to speak on behalf of the nominee (e.g. his qualifications, long service with the assembly, etc).    

Nominations are debatable, and it is indeed in order for the member making the nomination to make a speech on behalf of the nominee, within the limitations on debate adopted by the assembly (or if the assembly has adopted no such limits, the speech may be for up to ten minutes). It is generally not in order to interrupt a member who is currently speaking in debate. Other members would need to wait their turn. In addition, the President should not speak in debate unless he first relinquishes the chair to the Vice President, since the President should maintain the appearance of impartiality.

It is too late to raise a Point of Order regarding these issues at this time, and it appears that the member was ultimately elected anyway.

49 minutes ago, Guest Gaudias said:

Our international head office (HQ) has established laws and rule for the Society and  that are applicable to all local chapters and assemblies.  Each local chapter or assembly has its own By-Laws that are consistent with the Society Laws & Rules but that may be adopted, to some extent, by local chapters and assemblies. 

The existing and effective Laws & Rules of the Society nor By-Laws of local chapters/assemblies  do not  allow (cover) electronic meetings and/or electronic elections.  The recent  guidelines and exceptions deal mainly with the use of the Virtual meetings and elections (use of electronic meeting/voting platforms and/or use of e-mail/regular mail (e.g. submitting nominations and for voting) as many of our members do not have access to the Internet or e-mail.  . 

Our HQ however stipulated that the existing rules governing officer elections (found in the Laws & Rules and By-Laws) should be followed  (e.g. nomination/election processes;  established time lines,  Slate of Candidates and nominations from the floor,   etc)

I am somewhat skeptical as to whether the recent guidelines and exceptions were properly adopted. RONR is clear that electronic meetings and absentee voting may only be authorized by a provision in the bylaws, and we are told that no such provision exists either in the bylaws of the local society or in the bylaws of the parent society. The only other possibility would be if applicable law required the society to allow for meetings in this manner. Because the local society has been instructed in this matter by the parent society, however, I'm not sure the local society can do anything about this.

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