How to Run an Election

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How to Run an Election
+
==Introduction==
by Fran Carter
+
 
INTRODUCTION
+
Regardless of how informal or small an organization is, every election should be conducted as if it could be subjected to the closest scrutiny. From nominations, to vote, to ballot, to count, it is important that the integrity of the election be preserved AND documented.  
Regardless of how informal or small an  
+
 
organization is, every election should be  
+
==Rules For Election==
conducted as if it could be subjected to the closest  
+
 
scrutiny. From nominations, to vote, to ballot, to  
+
By-laws outline the method to follow when electing officers. First, they identify the officers or positions to be elected. By-laws were considered when the organization was first created, and may have been changed to fit varying situations. The specific time is outlined and prescribed for each event as it leads to the actual elections. By-laws should contain information concerning:  
count, it is important that the integrity of the  
+
 
election be preserved AND documented.  
+
<ul><li>When the elections are held (annual meetings or ______.)</li>
RULES FOR ELECTIONS
+
<li>Nominations—how and when.</li>
By-laws outline the method to follow when  
+
<li>Voting—how and when.</li></ul>
electing officers. First, they identify the officers or  
+
 
positions to be elected. By-laws were considered  
+
Rules of Order (or procedure manuals) are the written rules of parliamentary procedure adopted by the organization. These usually refer to efficient transaction of business in meetings and usually speak to officers’ duties.  
when the organization was first created, and may  
+
 
have been changed to fit varying situations. The  
+
Most Rules of Order name an authority, such as ''Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised'', and create rules to supplement or clarify the named authority. Rules of Order address such things as:  
specific time is outlined and prescribed for each  
+
 
event as it leads to the actual elections. By-laws  
+
<ul><li>How the business meetings are conducted </li>
should contain information concerning:  
+
<li>Duties of officers </li>
C When the elections are held (annual  
+
<li>Standing committee duties </li></ul>
meetings or .)  
+
 
C Nominations—how and when.  
+
By-laws also address organizational business such as:  
C Voting—how and when.  
+
 
Rules of Order (or procedure manuals) are the  
+
<ul><li>Objectives </li>
written rules of parliamentary procedure adopted  
+
<li>Membership and Dues </li>
by the organization. These usually refer to  
+
<li>Meetings (schedule, special, business, quorum, etc.)</li>
efficient transaction of business in meetings and  
+
<li>Officers (describe office, how elected, term time, etc.)</li>
usually speak to officers’ duties.  
+
<li>Board of Directors (describe office, who is elected, and who is appointed)</li>
Most Rules of Order name an authority, such as  
+
<li>Duties of officers</li>
Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised, and  
+
<li>Committees (defined, duties etc.) </li>
create rules to supplement or clarify the named  
+
<li>Nominations and elections </li></ul>
authority. Rules of Order address such things as:  
+
 
C How the business meetings are conducted  
+
Following this procedure gives an organization structure and direction. Rules and regulations are guidelines which give parameters within which members must work.
C Duties of officers  
+
 
C Standing committee duties  
+
==Nominating Committee==
By-laws also address organizational business such  
+
 
as:  
+
A Nominating Committee may be the most important committee within your organization. The key to the future rests in their hands. The bylaws or Rules of Order usually describe exactly how this committee is initiated and convened, whether appointed from the board or officers, or elected at a general meeting. Whatever mode is selected for determining this committee, great consideration should be taken in choosing members.
C Objectives  
+
 
C Membership and Dues  
+
The President does not “appoint” a nominating committee and should not serve even as an exofficio member of a nominating committee. Members who serve on this committee should have a good understanding of the duties and responsibilities of the organization’s officeholders.
C Meetings (schedule, special, business,  
+
 
quorum, etc.)  
+
Once the committee is in place, and a convener or chairman chosen, a search for nominees begins. Names of persons submitted should be studied carefully. Popularity is not a sufficient reason for choosing a leader.
C Officers (describe office, how elected, term  
+
 
time, etc.)  
+
Qualities and abilities of candidates should be considered before availability. It is a disservice to the organization to select someone because they will “take the job.” The nominating committee should study the duties of each office and search for the candidate(s) most able to perform these duties. The committee should provide the candidate with a job description and hope for a positive response.
C Board of Directors (describe office, who is  
+
 
elected, and who is appointed)  
+
==Nominating Committee Report==
C Duties of officers  
+
 
C Committees (defined, duties etc.)  
+
The Nominating Committee presents a written list of candidates for each available office to the board of directors, usually with written agreement of each nominee to serve if elected. Before the election, the committee formally presents a written report at a regular board meeting.
C Nominations and elections  
+
 
Following this procedure gives an organization  
+
Nominations should be solicited from the general membership. These names, (after all Rules of Order are observed) accompanied by acceptances, should be presented to the general membership for election.
structure and direction. Rules and regulations are  
+
 
guidelines which give parameters within which  
+
==Voting==
members must work.
+
 
 +
Voting is the right and privilege of every current member in good standing. Members who reside in various parts of the country should be given the same right and privilege to vote as those who attend an annual meeting.
 +
 
 +
Voting may be accomplished by voice, by written ballot, or by electronic voting. If the vote is taken by voice, members unable to attend should have another option. If more than one candidate is proposed for an office, the voting process should always be in writing. Alternatively, electronic balloting can be accomplished using any of a number of free or inexpensive software options, available from the Internet. The by-laws should provide for such action.
 +
 
 +
If officers are to be elected by a majority vote, the organization's by-laws should define “majority” as meaning either more than half, or a two-thirds vote.
 +
 
 +
==Ballots==
  
NOMINATING COMMITTEE
 
A Nominating Committee may be the most
 
important committee within your organization.
 
The key to the future rests in their hands. The bylaws
 
or Rules of Order usually describe exactly
 
how this committee is initiated and convened,
 
whether appointed from the board or officers, or
 
elected at a general meeting. Whatever mode is
 
selected for determining this committee, great
 
consideration should be taken in choosing
 
members.
 
The President does not “appoint” a nominating
 
committee and should not serve even as an exofficio
 
member of a nominating committee.
 
Members who serve on this committee should
 
have a good understanding of the duties and
 
responsibilities of the organization’s officeholders.
 
Once the committee is in place, and a convener or
 
chairman chosen, a search for nominees begins.
 
Names of persons submitted should be studied
 
carefully. Popularity is not a sufficient reason for
 
choosing a leader.
 
Qualities and abilities of candidates should be
 
considered before availability. It is a disservice to
 
the organization to select someone because they
 
will “take the job.” The nominating committee
 
should study the duties of each office and search
 
for the candidate(s) most able to perform these
 
duties. The committee should provide the
 
candidate with a job description and hope for a
 
positive response.
 
NOMINATING COMMITTEE
 
REPORT
 
The Nominating Committee presents a written list
 
of candidates for each available office to the board
 
of directors, usually with written agreement of
 
each nominee to serve if elected. Before the
 
election, the committee formally presents a
 
written report at a regular board meeting.
 
Nominations should be solicited from the general
 
membership. These names, (after all Rules of
 
Order are observed) accompanied by acceptances,
 
should be presented to the general membership for
 
election.
 
VOTING
 
Voting is the right and privilege of
 
every current member in good
 
standing. Members who reside in
 
various parts of the country should be given the
 
same right and privilege to vote as those who
 
attend an annual meeting.
 
Voting may be accomplished by voice or by
 
written ballot. If the vote is taken by voice,
 
members unable to attend should have another
 
option. If more than one candidate is proposed for
 
an office, the voting process should always be in
 
writing. The by-laws should provide for such
 
action.
 
If officers are to be elected by a majority vote, the
 
organization's by-laws should define “majority” as
 
meaning either more than half, or a two-thirds
 
vote.
 
BALLOTS
 
 
Ballots should include:  
 
Ballots should include:  
C Names of candidates and offices to be  
+
 
filled  
+
<ul><li>Names of candidates and offices to be filled </li>
C Brief biographical information (see below)  
+
<li>Brief biographical information (see below) </li>
C Length of time office is held  
+
<li>Length of time office is held </li>
C When and where the announcement of  
+
<li>When and where the announcement of those elected will take place </li>
those elected will take place  
+
<li>Instructions for voting </li>
C Instructions for voting  
+
<li>Instructions for return (see below) </li></ul>
C Instructions for return (see below)  
+
 
BIOGRAPHY INSERT
+
==Biography Insert==
The inclusion of candidate biographies along with  
+
 
the ballot is appreciated by members, particularly  
+
The inclusion of candidate biographies along with the ballot is appreciated by members, particularly those who are out of state. These biographies should emphasize the qualifications most suited to the office sought, be brief and pointed, and each should be approximately the same length. It is good practice to let the candidate review their biography before printing and distributing.
those who are out of state. These biographies  
+
 
should emphasize the qualifications most suited to  
+
==Return of Ballot==
the office sought, be brief and pointed, and each  
+
 
should be approximately the same length. It is  
+
Instructions may require the ballot to be placed in a sealed “blind” envelope (one having no markings). The “Blind” envelope goes into a return envelope prepared by the organization. This return, or “ballot” envelope, should be addressed to the society with a bold entry, “BALLOT.” Space is provided for the voter’s name and return address to verify membership.  
good practice to let the candidate review their  
+
 
biography before printing and distributing.
+
Marking a return envelope “Ballot” insures that returns come from only those eligible to vote.
RETURN OF BALLOT
+
 
Instructions may require the ballot to be placed in  
+
==Cost Savers==
a sealed “blind” envelope (one having no  
+
 
markings). The “Blind” envelope goes into a  
+
When cost is critical, print biographies in reduced print on both sides of the paper. Consider using a ballot that can be reproduced on one third of a sheet, reducing printing and mailing expenses. Both ballot and biographies may be printed on light weight paper.  
return envelope prepared by the organization. This  
+
 
return, or “ballot” envelope, should be addressed  
+
==Counting and Reporting==
to the society with a bold entry, “BALLOT.”  
+
 
Space is provided for the voter’s name and return  
+
A special committee is usually appointed or elected to count and report the ballots. In a mail election, as stated above, two envelopes are used to protect the secret balloting. These are the ballot, or outside envelope, and the “blind,” or inside envelope. Ballot envelopes should be collected and not opened until the deadline has passed. Then, each envelope should be opened in the presence of at least three persons. Their instructions might be:  
address to verify membership.  
+
 
Marking a return envelope “Ballot” insures that  
+
<ol type="a"><li>Verify that return name/address on the ballot (or outside) envelope is on the membership list. </li>
returns come from only those eligible to vote.  
+
<li>As each ballot envelope is opened, set aside the inside or “blind” envelope to be counted later. </li>
COST SAVERS
+
<li>Verify that only one “blind” envelope is in each ballot envelope received. </li>
When cost is critical, print biographies in reduced  
+
<li>After all ballot envelopes are opened, they should be counted, rubber-banded, and labeled with a tally slip giving the count and signed by all three counters.</li> 
print on both sides of the paper. Consider using a  
+
<li>Match the number of ballot envelopes against “blind” envelopes. The count should be the same. </li>
ballot that can be reproduced on one third of a  
+
<li>Open each “blind” envelope within view of all counters. </li>
sheet, reducing printing and mailing expenses.  
+
<li>Begin tally and counting process. </li>
Both ballot and biographies may be printed on  
+
<li>One counter slowly reads each vote and passes the ballot to the second counter to verify as the third counter does the tally.</li> 
light weight paper.  
+
<li>When completed, repeat the process, with a new tally sheet with each counter taking a different role. </li>
COUNTING AND REPORTING
+
<li>Total both tally sheets and note discrepancies.  
A special committee is usually appointed or  
+
All counters should again shift roles and votes for the office in question should be read and tallied again.</li> 
elected to count and report the ballots. In a mail  
+
<li>Ballots should be counted and, with a copy of the tally sheet signed by all three counters, placed in a sealed envelope for storage in a secure place. </li>
election, as stated above, two envelopes are used  
+
<li>A copy of the final tally sheet, signed by all counters, is presented to the Board.</li></ol>
to protect the secret balloting. These are the ballot,  
+
 
or outside envelope, and the “blind,” or inside  
+
Winners and losers alike should be notified immediately by the nominating committee (or in some cases the counters). The notification process should be written and well understood at the beginning of any election either through the procedure manual or by-laws.  
envelope. Ballot envelopes should be collected  
+
 
and not opened until the deadline has passed.  
+
Procedures which prove effective should be written and passed along to next year's committee, or presented to the board for inclusion in a policy statement or procedure manual. The same holds true for something that did not work well.  
Then, each envelope should be opened in the  
+
 
presence of at least three persons. Their  
+
==Leadership Qualities==
instructions might be:  
+
 
a. Verify that return name/address on the  
+
Cooperation and communication are qualities needed in prospective officers. Each nominee should also have the overall welfare of the organization in mind. Displaying respect, integrity, courtesy, tolerance, compassion, and humility to each society member should be qualities each member should possess, but qualities especially sought in leaders.  
ballot (or outside) envelope is on the  
+
 
membership list.  
+
Ideals, objectives and the future of the organization are at stake when any new officer takes a position. The above qualities should be sought by the nominating committee when selecting candidates and weighed by members when exercising their right to vote.  
b. As each ballot envelope is opened, set  
+
 
aside the inside or “blind” envelope to be  
+
“Always ask a busy person, they know how to get a job done,” is a quote heard often by a nominating committee. Busy people are usually well organized and energetic. But qualities possessed by the quiet, shy person may be invaluable. It might take time to search for that unsung hero in your membership who is willing, but not the usual volunteer. Look for the individual who gets things done in a quiet manner, with respect for fellow members and pride in membership in their organization.  
counted later.  
+
 
c. Verify that only one “blind” envelope is in  
+
==More Than One Candidate==
each ballot envelope received.  
+
 
d. After all ballot envelopes are opened, they  
+
Freedom of choice is what democracy is all about. Whenever possible, select two or more good, qualified candidates for each vacancy to be filled. More than one candidate means there are several people willing to become a part of an active, viable organization. It means the organization is growing and prospering.  
should be counted, rubber-banded, and  
+
 
labeled with a tally slip giving the count  
+
Each candidate's abilities and background should be studied; personalities and friendship should be put aside when voting. Which candidate has the qualities needed for the position? Careful thought and consideration should be spent on your vote.  
and signed by all three counters.  
+
 
e. Match the number of ballot envelopes  
+
When you find yourself in the position of being one of two candidates proposed for a vacancy—be thankful. There is more than one person willing to accept such an honor. And if the time comes and the vote is for the other person, then smile, congratulate that person, volunteer to help in any way possible, and mean it. After all, the organization comes first. If you believe in it enough, you should be willing to do your share in the operation and business of OUR organization.  
against “blind” envelopes. The count  
+
 
should be the same.  
+
==References==
f. Open each “blind” envelope within view  
+
 
of all counters.  
+
Lindley, Marcia Struthers. [Installation of Officers.] Title 1:21 in the ''FGS Society Strategy Series''. Austin, Texas; Federation of Genealogical Societies, 2000.  
g. Begin tally and counting process.  
+
 
h. One counter slowly reads each vote and  
+
Luebking, Sandra H., editor. ''A Guide for the Organization and Management of Genealogical Societies''. Austin, Texas: Federation of Genealogical Societies, 2000.  
passes the ballot to the second counter to  
+
 
verify as the third counter does the tally.  
+
Roberts, Henry M. (General). ''Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised''. 9th edition. Glenview: Scott, Foresman & Co., 1990
i. When completed, repeat the process, with  
+
 
a new tally sheet with each counter taking  
+
[[Category:Strategies for Societies]][[Category:Carter]][[Category:Elections]]
a different role.  
+
j. Total both tally sheets and note discrepancies.  
+
All counters should again shift  
+
roles and votes for the office in question  
+
should be read and tallied again.  
+
k. Ballots should be counted and, with a  
+
copy of the tally sheet signed by all three  
+
counters, placed in a sealed envelope for  
+
storage in a secure place.  
+
l. A copy of the final tally sheet, signed by  
+
all counters, is presented to the Board.  
+
Winners and losers alike should be notified  
+
immediately by the nominating committee (or in  
+
some cases the counters). The notification process  
+
should be written and well understood at the  
+
beginning of any election either through the  
+
procedure manual or by-laws.  
+
Procedures which prove effective should be  
+
written and passed along to next year's committee,  
+
or presented to the board for inclusion in a policy  
+
statement or procedure manual. The same holds  
+
true for something that did not work well.  
+
LEADERSHIP QUALITIES
+
Cooperation and communication are qualities  
+
needed in prospective officers. Each nominee  
+
should also have the overall welfare of the  
+
organization in mind. Displaying respect,  
+
integrity, courtesy, tolerance, compassion, and  
+
humility to each society member should be  
+
qualities each member should possess, but  
+
qualities especially sought in leaders.  
+
Ideals, objectives and the future of the
+
organization are at stake when any new officer  
+
takes a position. The above qualities should be  
+
sought by the nominating committee when  
+
selecting candidates and weighed by members  
+
when exercising their right to vote.  
+
“Always ask a busy person, they know how to get  
+
a job done,” is a quote heard often by a  
+
nominating committee. Busy people are usually  
+
well organized and energetic. But qualities  
+
possessed by the quiet, shy person may be  
+
invaluable. It might take time to search for that  
+
unsung hero in your membership who is willing,  
+
but not the usual volunteer. Look for the  
+
individual who gets things done in a quiet manner,  
+
with respect for fellow members and pride in  
+
membership in their organization.  
+
MORE THAN ONE CANDIDATE
+
Freedom of choice is what democracy is all about.  
+
Whenever possible, select two or more good,  
+
qualified candidates for each vacancy to be filled.  
+
More than one candidate means there are several  
+
people willing to become a part of an active,  
+
viable organization. It means the organization is  
+
growing and prospering.  
+
Each candidate's abilities and background should  
+
be studied; personalities and friendship should be  
+
put aside when voting. Which candidate has the  
+
qualities needed for the position? Careful thought  
+
and consideration should be spent on your vote.  
+
When you find yourself in the position of being  
+
one of two candidates proposed for a vacancy—be  
+
thankful. There is more than one person willing  
+
to accept such an honor. And if the time comes  
+
and the vote is for the other person, then smile,  
+
congratulate that person, volunteer to help in any  
+
way possible, and mean it. After all, the  
+
organization comes first. If you believe in it  
+
enough, you should be willing to do your share in  
+
the operation and business of OUR organization.  
+
REFERENCES
+
Lindley, Marcia Struthers. “Installation of  
+
Officers.Title 1:21 in the FGS Society Strategy  
+
Series. Austin, Texas; Federation of Genealogical  
+
Societies, 2000.  
+
Luebking, Sandra H., editor. A Guide for the  
+
Organization and Management of Genealogical  
+
Societies. Austin, Texas: Federation of  
+
Genealogical Societies, 2000.  
+
Roberts, Henry M. (General). Robert’s Rules of  
+
Order, Newly Revised. 9th edition. Glenview:  
+
Scott, Foresman & Co., 1990
+

Latest revision as of 07:39, 30 August 2013

Contents

[edit] Introduction

Regardless of how informal or small an organization is, every election should be conducted as if it could be subjected to the closest scrutiny. From nominations, to vote, to ballot, to count, it is important that the integrity of the election be preserved AND documented.

[edit] Rules For Election

By-laws outline the method to follow when electing officers. First, they identify the officers or positions to be elected. By-laws were considered when the organization was first created, and may have been changed to fit varying situations. The specific time is outlined and prescribed for each event as it leads to the actual elections. By-laws should contain information concerning:

  • When the elections are held (annual meetings or ______.)
  • Nominations—how and when.
  • Voting—how and when.

Rules of Order (or procedure manuals) are the written rules of parliamentary procedure adopted by the organization. These usually refer to efficient transaction of business in meetings and usually speak to officers’ duties.

Most Rules of Order name an authority, such as Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised, and create rules to supplement or clarify the named authority. Rules of Order address such things as:

  • How the business meetings are conducted
  • Duties of officers
  • Standing committee duties

By-laws also address organizational business such as:

  • Objectives
  • Membership and Dues
  • Meetings (schedule, special, business, quorum, etc.)
  • Officers (describe office, how elected, term time, etc.)
  • Board of Directors (describe office, who is elected, and who is appointed)
  • Duties of officers
  • Committees (defined, duties etc.)
  • Nominations and elections

Following this procedure gives an organization structure and direction. Rules and regulations are guidelines which give parameters within which members must work.

[edit] Nominating Committee

A Nominating Committee may be the most important committee within your organization. The key to the future rests in their hands. The bylaws or Rules of Order usually describe exactly how this committee is initiated and convened, whether appointed from the board or officers, or elected at a general meeting. Whatever mode is selected for determining this committee, great consideration should be taken in choosing members.

The President does not “appoint” a nominating committee and should not serve even as an exofficio member of a nominating committee. Members who serve on this committee should have a good understanding of the duties and responsibilities of the organization’s officeholders.

Once the committee is in place, and a convener or chairman chosen, a search for nominees begins. Names of persons submitted should be studied carefully. Popularity is not a sufficient reason for choosing a leader.

Qualities and abilities of candidates should be considered before availability. It is a disservice to the organization to select someone because they will “take the job.” The nominating committee should study the duties of each office and search for the candidate(s) most able to perform these duties. The committee should provide the candidate with a job description and hope for a positive response.

[edit] Nominating Committee Report

The Nominating Committee presents a written list of candidates for each available office to the board of directors, usually with written agreement of each nominee to serve if elected. Before the election, the committee formally presents a written report at a regular board meeting.

Nominations should be solicited from the general membership. These names, (after all Rules of Order are observed) accompanied by acceptances, should be presented to the general membership for election.

[edit] Voting

Voting is the right and privilege of every current member in good standing. Members who reside in various parts of the country should be given the same right and privilege to vote as those who attend an annual meeting.

Voting may be accomplished by voice, by written ballot, or by electronic voting. If the vote is taken by voice, members unable to attend should have another option. If more than one candidate is proposed for an office, the voting process should always be in writing. Alternatively, electronic balloting can be accomplished using any of a number of free or inexpensive software options, available from the Internet. The by-laws should provide for such action.

If officers are to be elected by a majority vote, the organization's by-laws should define “majority” as meaning either more than half, or a two-thirds vote.

[edit] Ballots

Ballots should include:

  • Names of candidates and offices to be filled
  • Brief biographical information (see below)
  • Length of time office is held
  • When and where the announcement of those elected will take place
  • Instructions for voting
  • Instructions for return (see below)

[edit] Biography Insert

The inclusion of candidate biographies along with the ballot is appreciated by members, particularly those who are out of state. These biographies should emphasize the qualifications most suited to the office sought, be brief and pointed, and each should be approximately the same length. It is good practice to let the candidate review their biography before printing and distributing.

[edit] Return of Ballot

Instructions may require the ballot to be placed in a sealed “blind” envelope (one having no markings). The “Blind” envelope goes into a return envelope prepared by the organization. This return, or “ballot” envelope, should be addressed to the society with a bold entry, “BALLOT.” Space is provided for the voter’s name and return address to verify membership.

Marking a return envelope “Ballot” insures that returns come from only those eligible to vote.

[edit] Cost Savers

When cost is critical, print biographies in reduced print on both sides of the paper. Consider using a ballot that can be reproduced on one third of a sheet, reducing printing and mailing expenses. Both ballot and biographies may be printed on light weight paper.

[edit] Counting and Reporting

A special committee is usually appointed or elected to count and report the ballots. In a mail election, as stated above, two envelopes are used to protect the secret balloting. These are the ballot, or outside envelope, and the “blind,” or inside envelope. Ballot envelopes should be collected and not opened until the deadline has passed. Then, each envelope should be opened in the presence of at least three persons. Their instructions might be:

  1. Verify that return name/address on the ballot (or outside) envelope is on the membership list.
  2. As each ballot envelope is opened, set aside the inside or “blind” envelope to be counted later.
  3. Verify that only one “blind” envelope is in each ballot envelope received.
  4. After all ballot envelopes are opened, they should be counted, rubber-banded, and labeled with a tally slip giving the count and signed by all three counters.
  5. Match the number of ballot envelopes against “blind” envelopes. The count should be the same.
  6. Open each “blind” envelope within view of all counters.
  7. Begin tally and counting process.
  8. One counter slowly reads each vote and passes the ballot to the second counter to verify as the third counter does the tally.
  9. When completed, repeat the process, with a new tally sheet with each counter taking a different role.
  10. Total both tally sheets and note discrepancies. All counters should again shift roles and votes for the office in question should be read and tallied again.
  11. Ballots should be counted and, with a copy of the tally sheet signed by all three counters, placed in a sealed envelope for storage in a secure place.
  12. A copy of the final tally sheet, signed by all counters, is presented to the Board.

Winners and losers alike should be notified immediately by the nominating committee (or in some cases the counters). The notification process should be written and well understood at the beginning of any election either through the procedure manual or by-laws.

Procedures which prove effective should be written and passed along to next year's committee, or presented to the board for inclusion in a policy statement or procedure manual. The same holds true for something that did not work well.

[edit] Leadership Qualities

Cooperation and communication are qualities needed in prospective officers. Each nominee should also have the overall welfare of the organization in mind. Displaying respect, integrity, courtesy, tolerance, compassion, and humility to each society member should be qualities each member should possess, but qualities especially sought in leaders.

Ideals, objectives and the future of the organization are at stake when any new officer takes a position. The above qualities should be sought by the nominating committee when selecting candidates and weighed by members when exercising their right to vote.

“Always ask a busy person, they know how to get a job done,” is a quote heard often by a nominating committee. Busy people are usually well organized and energetic. But qualities possessed by the quiet, shy person may be invaluable. It might take time to search for that unsung hero in your membership who is willing, but not the usual volunteer. Look for the individual who gets things done in a quiet manner, with respect for fellow members and pride in membership in their organization.

[edit] More Than One Candidate

Freedom of choice is what democracy is all about. Whenever possible, select two or more good, qualified candidates for each vacancy to be filled. More than one candidate means there are several people willing to become a part of an active, viable organization. It means the organization is growing and prospering.

Each candidate's abilities and background should be studied; personalities and friendship should be put aside when voting. Which candidate has the qualities needed for the position? Careful thought and consideration should be spent on your vote.

When you find yourself in the position of being one of two candidates proposed for a vacancy—be thankful. There is more than one person willing to accept such an honor. And if the time comes and the vote is for the other person, then smile, congratulate that person, volunteer to help in any way possible, and mean it. After all, the organization comes first. If you believe in it enough, you should be willing to do your share in the operation and business of OUR organization.

[edit] References

Lindley, Marcia Struthers. [Installation of Officers.] Title 1:21 in the FGS Society Strategy Series. Austin, Texas; Federation of Genealogical Societies, 2000.

Luebking, Sandra H., editor. A Guide for the Organization and Management of Genealogical Societies. Austin, Texas: Federation of Genealogical Societies, 2000.

Roberts, Henry M. (General). Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised. 9th edition. Glenview: Scott, Foresman & Co., 1990

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