Communique #5 – Laws
National Past President and Chairperson of Laws Margaret Ann Jacobs, November 21, 2019
Nominations and elections procedures continued.
Now it is time for the election! As indicated in the previous communique, do carefully review the steps to be followed as outlined in the National Manual of Policy and Procedure (P&P) and the Constitution & Bylaws (C&B).
Confidentiality must be respected throughout the election procedures. The chairperson will find it most beneficial to have a chart outlining the tentative outcome of the election based on the nominations received. It could include a checklist with the council name, receipt of nomination form, presence at election (based on roll call) and name of the nominee for each position.
The roll call of voting delegates must be taken to ascertain the majority number required for election. Since only those councils that have returned the nomination form can vote, it is necessary only to confirm their presence at this time. Careful attention should be paid to the information under Elections in the P&P (pages 107-109). Note particularly, “If the voting delegate does not have an instructed vote from the executive, the council forfeits its privilege to vote on the first ballot and all subsequent ballots for that position” (#8). It has become accepted procedure that if the instructed vote contains a majority for a candidate, she is declared elected and no ballot need be required. If there is only one candidate for office, a voting delegate moves that the candidate be declared elected, to be seconded by another voting delegate, and then voted on by all voting delegates. The president remains in the chair and announces the voting results provided to her by the elections committee. The formal installation of officers may take place at the convenience of the council in consultation with the spiritual advisor.
Many questions arise regarding offices left vacant following the election. These vacancies are to be filled from those eligible for nomination, appointed by the president in consultation with the executive and spiritual advisor. Because of this consultation process, appointed officers are not installed with the executive if the installation takes place immediately following the convention where the election occurred.
Councils face many challenges concerning election to office—a limited number of members on the eligibility list, not enough people accepting nomination, members unwilling to accept an appointment, a need to appoint members to position who are ineligible but willing to serve, etc. What to do???
“The national executive has approved the National Manual of Policy and Procedure (P&P) for use by councils and members at all levels to ensure an orderly administration of League affairs. This manual is complementary to the Constitution & Bylaws (C&B) and must be used in conjunction with that document” (P&P page 1).
The P&P and C&B were created to serve the members and form a strong foundation for the organization. These documents are the first source of information and all members should endeavour to follow the guidelines as much as possible. As national chairperson of laws, it will be the source I reference. Although councils are not always able to follow the letter of the law, they must at all costs try to follow the spirit in which the laws were created.
Please ask for clarification should issues arise. It would be beneficial for counterparts to share common concerns and resources at a meeting. Seeing how another council creates an Eligibility List or sharing templates for the various correspondence issued would be helpful for those on elections and nominations committees.
May the Spirit guide you as you prepare for this most valuable process which will bear much fruit for the League of the future.
Margaret Ann Jacobs
National Past President and Chairperson of Laws