Democratically governed organizations usually
nominate and elect their leaders once a year, under the relevant
articles in their governing documents (e.g.: Bylaws). Some Bylaws
stipulate that leaders are elected at the annual meeting
(which offers the advantage of hearing candidates’ statements
and asking them questions before voting), while others stipulate
elections by mail ballot (with the advantage
of giving members who miss the annual meeting an opportunity to
cast their votes).
The script below assumes an election at the
annual meeting, with prior nominations made by a Nominating Committee
and by petitions, and additional nominations made from the floor
at the meeting. It also assumes that Officers (Chair, Vice-Chair,
etc.) are elected by the Directors after the annual meeting.
This script must be
modified if it conflicts with your Bylaws.
Next on the agenda is the election of directors. For your
information, our Bylaws stipulate that the members elect the directors
at the annual meeting, and the directors elect the Officers from
among themselves at the first Board meeting after the annual meeting.
Under our Bylaws, our Board is composed
of 11 directors, with 6 elected in even numbered years and 5 elected
in odd numbered years. This year, 2005, five directors are to
be elected for a two-year term each. To be elected as a Director,
an individual must be a member of the organization in good standing.
I would now ask the Nominating Committee
to report on the nominations process.
The nominating Committee reports the names
of 5 individuals that it nominated. The Committee also explains
how it searched for nominees and what qualities it was looking
for in the candidates. It then reports that 3 additional nominations
were made by member petitions, as permitted under the Bylaws.
I would like to thank the Nominating Committee for its work.
The next step is for staff to hand out the election ballots. Before
this is done, I need to remind the members to not mark the ballots
until I’ve explained the balloting process.
In order to receive your ballot, please
show your voting card as evidence that you are eligible to vote.
Please do not pass your ballot to anyone else, because proxy voting
is not permitted. Only you are entitled to cast your own vote.
Wait while ballots are handed out.
Have all those with voting cards received
their ballots? Thank you. Again, please do not mark your ballots
until I announce that it’s time to vote.
Your ballots show the names of 8 nominees,
and have spaces for additional nominations from the floor. For
your information, our Bylaws are silent on whether nominations
from the floor are permitted, but our parliamentary authority,
Robert’s Rules of Order, permit them. Are there any nominations
from the floor for the position of director?
Take nominations from the floor. Check whether
each nominee is eligible to serve as a director. Then ask the
nominee whether he or she will serve if elected. If yes, ask the
members to add the name to the list on the ballot. You should
also consider having a flip chart or a blackboard or whiteboard
to display the names of nominees in front of the group. This will
clarify the spelling of names.
Are there any further nominations from
the floor for the position of director?
There being no further nominations, I
declare nominations closed.
Note: There is no requirement in Robert's Rules
of Order to call for nominations three times. All the Chair is
required to do is make sure that the members have a reasonable
opportunity to nominate, and that the process is not rushed.
With the two nominations from the floor, you should now have
10 names on your ballot for the 5 openings on the Board. Please
do not mark your ballots yet. Our next step is to hear the candidates’
speeches. Under our rules, candidate speeches are limited to two
minutes each. I will now invite ______ to speak.
Introduce the candidates in sequence. Monitor
the clock and advise speakers when their time is about to run
out. Make sure each nominee is treated equally. Some organizations
allow a question period after all speeches ended. If you do so,
you may want to set a time limit on the question period, e.g.:
Thank you. The candidates have spoken, and it is now time
to explain the voting process. Each member is entitled to vote
for up to 5 nominees. You may vote for less than 5 (1, 2, 3 or
4), but not more than 5. If you vote for 6 or more candidates,
your ballot will be invalidated.
You may mark the box next to the candidate’s
name with an X, a V, or another sign, as long as your voting intention
is clear. When you finish voting, please go to the ballot boxes
in the back of the room, where your name will be checked and your
ballot will be collected. If it is difficult for you to walk,
let us know and a staff member with a ballot box will come to
you. But please do not give your ballot to someone else to deposit
on your behalf. Proxy voting is prohibited.
Are the voting instructions clear? Are
there any questions? Thank you. Please go ahead and mark your
ballots with no more than five names.
Note: Some organizations ask staff to collect
the ballots while members remain seated. Although this method
takes less time, it does not provide for verification of the identity
of the voter. In a tight election, this practice may prove to
I have the results of the election. The votes are as follows:
Total number of ballots cast
Necessary for election
Rob Smith received
Tina Short received
Sonia Goldstein received
The following individuals were elected
to the Board for a two-year term:
Congratulations to our new leaders.
Note: Under Robert’s Rules of Order,
the number of votes that a person must receive to be elected is
a majority of the ballots cast, i.e.: more than half. However,
many Bylaws specify a “plurality” election, whereby
the candidates receiving the largest number of votes are elected.
Is there a motion that the ballots be retained for 30
days, and that the Secretary be authorized to destroy them on
December 15, 2005? Is there a second?
Is there any discussion on this motion?
If not, we will vote on the motion that
the ballots be retained for 30 days, and that the Secretary be
authorized to destroy them on December 15, 2005. Those in favor
of this motion please raise your hands. Thank you. Those opposed
please raise your hands. Thank you. The motion is adopted.
This concludes the election of directors.
The next item of business is ___.