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Write In Membership Requirements


Guest Election Curious

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Guest Election Curious

I know RRoR allows ballots to have write in's for an election. My question is about the qualifications for those who are written in. In this case it's a written ballot. voted by mail.

Our bylaws have a nominating period and specify that those nominating themselves must be members in good standing at their time of self nomination. They also specify that if you pay your dues you immediately become a member in good standing with voting privileges.

Write in's clearly don't go through the normal nominating period. So are they required to be members as of the nominating period or when they are written in or what?.

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1 hour ago, Guest Election Curious said:

I know RRoR allows ballots to have write in's for an election. My question is about the qualifications for those who are written in. In this case it's a written ballot. voted by mail.

Our bylaws have a nominating period and specify that those nominating themselves must be members in good standing at their time of self nomination. They also specify that if you pay your dues you immediately become a member in good standing with voting privileges.

Write in's clearly don't go through the normal nominating period. So are they required to be members as of the nominating period or when they are written in or what?.

I am inclined to think it would be at the time the individuals are written in, although it will ultimately be up to the organization to interpret its own rules.

In the event a situation arises where the person who wins the election was a member in good standing at the time they were written in, but was not a member in good standing at the time the nominating period ended, a member could raise a Point of Order regarding the matter, followed by an appeal if a member disagrees with the chair's ruling.

Edited by Josh Martin
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As a practical matter, I would say that if the person is a member in good standing at the time the "polls are closed," i.e. a deadline for receiving votes is reached, he would be eligible. 

The ballots are sent out on May 1st, and must be received by 5:00 PM on May 15th.  A John joins the society on May 5th.  So long as John was a member as of 5:00 PM on May 15th, his election would be valid.  I would not know how to determine if John was a member at the time the voter actually marked his ballot. 

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6 hours ago, J. J. said:

As a practical matter, I would say that if the person is a member in good standing at the time the "polls are closed," i.e. a deadline for receiving votes is reached, he would be eligible. 

The ballots are sent out on May 1st, and must be received by 5:00 PM on May 15th.  A John joins the society on May 5th.  So long as John was a member as of 5:00 PM on May 15th, his election would be valid.  I would not know how to determine if John was a member at the time the voter actually marked his ballot. 

I concur with this clarification. I missed the part where the vote was taken by mail, and therefore did not consider that there may be a significant period of time in between when the vote was cast and when the polls close. I agree that, assuming the society is doing it right, by the time the society knows that a write-in vote was cast, it will not be possible to know when that vote was received, let alone when the vote was cast.

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2 hours ago, Josh Martin said:

I concur with this clarification. I missed the part where the vote was taken by mail, and therefore did not consider that there may be a significant period of time in between when the vote was cast and when the polls close. I agree that, assuming the society is doing it right, by the time the society knows that a write-in vote was cast, it will not be possible to know when that vote was received, let alone when the vote was cast.

Just to expand a bit further, this could happen with an in person ballot vote, if the time for the polls to be open would be long enough that membership could be established prior to the polls closing.  It is much more likely with mail voting, however.

For example, the polls are open between 9:00 AM and 10:00 AM.  Mary joins the society at 9:15 AM; she hands her dues to the treasurer at that point.  She is elected to an office by write-in votes that can only be held by a member.  You would have the same situation.  While less likely, it could happen. 

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