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Voting by Acclamation


Guest Stephanie
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Hello!

I sit on a board that wants to have an election by acclamation but a majority has a concern with the slate due to conflict of interest. The board president is saying we will not be able to vote yes or no. What can we do to express our concern regarding their use of this procedure. 

 

Do they have to ask if anyone else wants to be on the slate? 

Thanks so much!

 

Stephanie

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24 minutes ago, Guest Stephanie said:

I sit on a board that wants to have an election by acclamation but a majority has a concern with the slate due to conflict of interest. The board president is saying we will not be able to vote yes or no. What can we do to express our concern regarding their use of this procedure. 

Do they have to ask if anyone else wants to be on the slate? 

The process of acclamation is used when there is only one nominee for each position and the bylaws do not require a ballot vote. The board president is absolutely correct that it is not proper to vote yes or no. The assembly needs to elect someone.

There is no such thing as a slate. There is simply a list of nominees. If an election is held, members are free to vote for a candidate of their choice for each open position. If multiple identical positions are being elected for a particular office, members may vote for up to a number of candidates equal to the number of positions available.

If nominations are made by a committee (which I assume is where this "slate" came from), the chair must call for additional nominations from the floor after the committee has presented its report. Election by acclamation would only be used for positions which remain uncontested after there has been an opportunity for nominations from the floor.

If nominations are made in some other manner, please clarify.

Edited by Josh Martin
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21 minutes ago, Guest Stephanie said:

Hello!

I sit on a board that wants to have an election by acclamation but a majority has a concern with the slate due to conflict of interest. The board president is saying we will not be able to vote yes or no. What can we do to express our concern regarding their use of this procedure. 

 

Do they have to ask if anyone else wants to be on the slate? 

Thanks so much!

 

Stephanie

What is the perceived conflict of interest and what does that have to do with voting by acclamation? If they bylaws do not require a ballot vote, and if there is only one nominee for an office, that person (or the entire slate if you are voting for a slate) can be declared the winner by acclamation. However, Per RONR, voting for a slate is not the preferred method. Instead, There should be one or more nominees for each office and the members should have the right to make additional nominations from the floor. 

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33 minutes ago, Richard Brown said:

What is the perceived conflict of interest and what does that have to do with voting by acclamation? If they bylaws do not require a ballot vote, and if there is only one nominee for an office, that person (or the entire slate if you are voting for a slate) can be declared the winner by acclamation.

I think the point is that they don't want to elect one of the nominees.

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3 hours ago, Guest Stephanie said:

I sit on a board that wants to have an election by acclamation but a majority has a concern with the slate due to conflict of interest. The board president is saying we will not be able to vote yes or no. What can we do to express our concern regarding their use of this procedure. 

 

Do they have to ask if anyone else wants to be on the slate? 

What they have to do, according to RONR, is give the voters an opportunity to nominate other people for those positions. I guess that you could use the phrase "ask if anyone else wants to be on the slate" but slate is not a term used in RONR.

"After the nominating committee has presented its report and before voting for the different offices takes place, the chair must call for further nominations from the floor" (RONR p. 435, lines 10-12)

In your case, the term "slate" would be the report of the nominating committee.

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  • 1 year later...

I have a follow-on question arising from a requirement that a ballot be held for elections in my organization. The by-law states:

" Voting for the positions of Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer will be by ranked-choice-ballot; or in cases where there are less than three (3) candidates for any position; a single choice vote will take place. " 

There are no provisions for nominations from the floor, since the voting is to be completed prior to the AGM.

A problem arises in that there is only a single candidate nominated for two of the Executive positions. Normally that would be a simple acclamation. However, the by-law requires a ballot so my question is what wording should be on the ballot?  A yes/no choice? or something else? Obviously, the ballot format was never intended to be a direct yes/ no vote, but what alternative is available?

Thank you in advance for your responses. 

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For future reference, even related questions should be asked in a new topic.

On 9/7/2021 at 3:13 PM, Guest Michael said:

less

Well, there's your first problem. 

On 9/7/2021 at 3:13 PM, Guest Michael said:

However, the by-law requires a ballot so my question is what wording should be on the ballot?  A yes/no choice? or something else? Obviously, the ballot format was never intended to be a direct yes/ no vote, but what alternative is available?

The ballot should include the (one) candidate and room for a write-in, unless your organization prohibits write-ins. (Does it?) If it does prohibit write-ins, well, I guess it will be rather silly, but you're right that it should not be yes/no, so it would just be one candidate for whom you must vote, or not vote at all, I guess. But most likely, write-ins are allowed.

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Duly noted on new topic.

As for the write-in option, the by-laws neither permit nor ban such options, though as noted the nomination process is completed well in advance of the vote. Also, no one can be on the ballot unless both eligibility and willingness to serve have been previously established.

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On 9/7/2021 at 3:38 PM, Guest Michael said:

the by-laws neither permit nor ban such options

Then, per RONR, they are permitted.

On 9/7/2021 at 3:38 PM, Guest Michael said:

Also, no one can be on the ballot unless both eligibility and willingness to serve have been previously established.

By definition, a write-in is not on the ballot, though. If these are requirements to be on the ballot, they are not obstacles to write-ins. If they are qualifications to serve, that may be another question.

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Eligibility for nomination is coextensive with the qualification to serve in executive posts in this instance, so it is indeed a different question. However, in all likelihood, a write-in candidate would meet the qualification requirements for service, as could be established during an actual vote count. So a write-in option would be an alternative way to proceed, however messy.

Something to ponder.

Thanks for the suggestions.

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On 9/7/2021 at 4:33 PM, Guest Michael said:

Eligibility for nomination is coextensive with the qualification to serve in executive posts in this instance

Are you certain that the bylaws actually say this? I am confident that they say willingness to serve is a requirement to be nominated / on the ballot; I suggest you confirm that it is a qualification to be elected. It is an important distinction.

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