NOW New York City Chapter Election Rules
(Excerpted from NOW-NYC Chapter Bylaws, Article XIII, Elections)
SECTION 2. Candidates
A candidate for Officer must be a member of the Chapter for six months prior to the Biennial Election Meeting. A candidate for President or Vice President must be a Chapter member for one year and must have been either an active member of a committee or must have held a position on the Board of Directors for one year. Each candidate shall provide a biographical description to the Elections Committee. The Elections Committee shall distribute these biographies to the Membership in the month of the Biennial Election Meeting.
No Officer shall be eligible for more than four consecutive terms in the same office. Appointments to fill vacancies in Committee Coordinator positions shall not constitute a full term for purposes of this provision.
SECTION 3. Election
Members must be present at the Biennial Election Meeting in order to vote in the Election. Membership in the Chapter for at least 30 days at the time of the Biennial Election Meeting shall be required in order to vote.
The President, Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer shall be elected by a majority of ballots cast at the Biennial Election Meeting. If there is no majority for any candidate for an officer position, a plurality shall elect.
Three Vice Presidents shall be elected by the following means. All candidates for Vice President shall be listed on the ballot, with instructions to vote for up to three of said candidates and to cast no more than one vote for any candidate. The three candidates receiving the most votes shall be elected Vice Presidents. In the event that two candidates are tied for third place, both candidates may be seated as Vice Presidents (in which case there may be more than three Vice Presidents).
Five elected Board members at large shall be elected by the following means. All candidates for Board member at-large positions shall be listed on the ballot, with instructions to vote for up to five of said candidates and to cast no more than one vote for any candidate. The five candidates receiving the most votes shall be elected Board members at-large. In the event that two candidates are tied for fifth place, both candidates may be seated as elected Board members (in which case there may be more than five elected Board members at-large; in this circumstance the Board may still appoint up to five additional Board members).
SECTION 4. Election Rules
I. Biennial Election Meeting
- Time and Place. The time and place of the Biennial Election Meeting will be decided upon by the Elections Committee in accordance with these bylaws. The 2016 election will be held on Tuesday, January 12th.
- Notice. A notice of the election, descriptions of the positions to be elected and the election rules will be placed on the NOW-NYC website and published in the winter newsletter.
- Speeches. Each candidate, in the order listed on the ballot, shall make a verbal presentation of no more than five minutes for presidential candidates and of three minutes for all other candidates.
- Declaration of Candidacy. Each candidate shall submit a Declaration of Candidacy (Declaration) accompanied by a feminist resume of no more than 750 words for candidates for president and 500 words for all other candidates. Each Declaration must contain the candidate’s name, contact information and statement of how the candidate meets the eligibility requirements for that office.
- Submission of Declaration. The Declaration and resume must be e-mailed to the address designated by the Elections Committee. [firstname.lastname@example.org]
- Deadline for Nominations. The deadline for receipt of Declarations of Candidacy and resumes will be decided upon by the Elections Committee and published in the winter newsletter. There will be no nominations from the floor at the Biennial Election Meeting.
- Eligibility for Office. The Elections Committee will determine a candidate’s eligibility to run based on the NOW-NYC bylaws requirements for each position. The Committee will notify candidates of their eligibility to run for the office chosen.
- Notice to Members. The names and resumes of eligible candidates shall be posted on the NOW-NYC website within five business days of the deadline for declarations of candidacy. All members can request paper copies of candidate’s information. Furthermore, copies of candidate information will be made available to voters at the Biennial Election Meeting.
III. Membership Lists/Rosters
- Access for Candidates. All candidates shall have access to the NOW-NYC complete membership lists for campaigning purposes, including copies of all new-join membership forms for members joining on or before December 31 of the year prior to the election with credit card information blacked out. Photocopies of these new-join membership forms may be made by candidates at no cost. The original membership list shall not be taken from the Chapter office. However, membership rosters shall be provided electronically by e-mail to all candidates, on request, for use for this election only and for no other purpose. As a condition of receipt, candidates shall sign a statement certifying that they will not distribute or disseminate the list or any portion thereof to any individual or organization.
- Ordering of Rosters. The NOW-NYC Elections Committee chair shall order the electronic membership roster from National NOW on the same days as the orders are placed that the aforementioned orders are approved.
- “In-Chapter new joins.” Two copies shall be made of each NOW-NYC “chapter new-join” and its attached proof of payment received by December 31, the month before the election. One copy shall be sent to the Elections Committee chair, and a separate file in the Chapter office shall maintain one copy.
IV. Voter Eligibility/Credentialing
- Voter Eligibility. In order to vote, one must have been a chapter member for at least 30 days at the time of the Biennial Election Meeting. [Must be member by December 13th, 2015] The membership form and dues payment must have been received at the NOW-NYC office or at the National NOW office by that date. The Elections Committee shall verify the eligibility of voters and check documentation when necessary.
- Proof. Proof of membership shall consist of: (1) the voter’s name appearing on the roster from National NOW or (2) a cancelled dues check or a credit card billing statement, or (3) a receipt of payment made by cash.
- Photo ID. Photo identification (e.g. driver’s license, work ID or student ID) must be presented at the time of credentialing.
- Opening and closing of credentialing. Credentialing of voters shall begin at 5:30pm and continue thereafter with no one allowed at the credentialing lines after 9:15pm. The close of credentialing shall be 10 minutes after the last person on line at 9:15pm shall have received a ballot or been declared ineligible to vote.
- Ballots. Once a voter has been determined eligible a ballot initialed by a member of the Elections Committee shall be issued to the voter. The voter will be required to sign her/his name in one or more places to acknowledge receipt of the ballot.
- Each voter shall receive only one ballot. A listing of the candidates and the office for which they are running shall appear on each ballot, with a method of signifying voting choice. Under each position, the candidates’ names will be listed in alphabetical order.
- Ballots may be deposited in one or more ballot boxes from the time that credentialing opens until 15 minutes after the close of credentialing. There shall be no replacement of lost ballots.
VI. Election by Acclamation
A. If there is only one candidate for each position to be filled, a motion shall be made at the Biennial Election Meeting to elect all candidates by acclamation. When this motion passes, all candidates are elected to office and voting procedures for balloting are rendered unnecessary. If there is a contested election for any position, there must be balloting for all positions.
VII. Poll watchers and electioneering
- Poll Watchers. Each candidate in a contested election may appoint a poll watcher to be present during credentialing and the counting of ballots. Poll watchers may also inspect the balloting box(es) before balloting begins. Candidates at the first level, contested office, going in the order presented in the bylaws, may select one poll watcher at each credentialing table and two at the balloting box(es).
- Electioneering. There shall be no election material, such as posters, buttons, stickers, literature (except for candidate resumes, candidate biographies, or lists of candidates who are running together as a slate) or other campaign paraphernalia distributed or worn on the premises during the night of the Election Meeting. The Elections Committee shall enforce this rule.
- Election results. The Elections Committee will announce the results of the election after they are tabulated. The Elections Committee chair will keep the original ballots/signatures/rosters with one copy made and sent by the Elections Committee chair to the National NOW VP-Membership.