|2003 Ventana Election Rules and Timeline
The timeline and rules listed below are based on the Sierra Club’s guidelines
for chapter and group elections of members to Executive Committees.
I. Chapter/Group Election Timetable
II. Election Rules and Procedures.
- June: Election Rules and Timeline published in Ventana.
- June-August: Nominating Committees consider chapter/group
members for Executive Committees; choose at least two more candidates than the
number of openings on each ExCom.
- July 1: Petition candidates may begin to circulate petitions.
They may contact the chapter Election Committee Chair, Mary Gale, 422-6970 to
determine whether they are being considered for nomination.
- August 28: Chapter and Group NomComs submit names of candidates
to Chapter ExCom.
- September 8: Election Committee Chair provides candidate
names to Chapter/group offices and to webmaster for member information.
- September. 30: Election Committee Chair submits election
article to Ventana Editor for inclusion in Nov. Ventana.
- October 9: All candidate petitions and statements with photos
for inclusion in election mailing to members must be submitted to Election Chair;
materials not received by the deadline may not be included in the mailing.
- October 23: Election materials delivered to mailing house.
- November 14: Election materials mailed to members.
- December 11: Deadline for postmark on returned ballots.
- December 18: Counting of ballots.
- December 30: Election Committee Chair reports election results
to Chapter ExCom.
Nominating Committees consist of not fewer than 3 members, appointed each year
by ExComs in spring, and whose term expires on Dec. 31. Their membership is published
in the August Ventana.
Duties: select nominees and report names to Chapter ExCom by
the end of August. NomComs shall nominate at least 2 more candidates than the
number of ExCom members to be elected; all must have given their consent to the
Deliberation of the NomCom may be open or closed at NomCom discretion; no committee
members may be nominated. Names of nominees shall be published in the October
Petition Candidates: the name of any chapter or group member
proposed in writing by 25 members and who gives consent shall also be included
on the ballot. The petition must be postmarked or delivered to the Election Chair
by October 9. July 1 is the first day for circulation of a nominating petition,
and shall be in a form prepared by the Secretary and made available to petition
candidates at the Chapter/Group offices. The form shall provide for names, signature,
and addresses of signers and dates of signature. The Secretary shall verify the
membership of signers to determine if a sufficient number appear on the petition.
A candidate statement in the form prescribed by the Election Chair shall accompany
the petition when it is submitted to the Secretary.
Candidate Statements: the Election Chair shall provide to all
candidates a standard format for statements, specifying the length, organization,
and content. All candidates shall submit statements which conform to these specifications;
material may be edited for accuracy, suitability, and length, and is confidential
until published. Statements not received by the Oct. 9 deadline will not be included
in the mailing to members.
III. Balloting Committee: This committee of not less than 3 members
is appointed by ExCom. No candidate may serve on this committee. Balloting Committee
shall prepare for mailing by November 14 a brief description of the election procedure,
the candidates’ statements, and ballots with return envelopes. Separate
ballots, accompanied by the candidates’ statements, shall be mailed to each
member. The return envelope shall bear a distinctive return address so as to insure
prompt receipt by the Secretary, who shall hold the ballots unopened until the
election closes, and then give them to the Balloting Committee for opening, validation,
and counting of ballots. The counting process shall be subject to observers, one
appointed by each candidate. Balloting Committee shall notify candidates of the
time and place for opening and counting of the ballots. If the winning candidates’
margin of victory is 10 votes or fewer, the ballots shall be counted again. Before
counting ballots, Balloting Committee shall check names off a master list of Chapter
members, unless computer printed labels are part of the ballot.
Election Results: shall be reported to the Secretary, who shall
report to the candidates and the ExComs. Within 5 days the Balloting Committee
shall submit a written report of the election results to the ExCom. The election
is not deemed complete until the report is received. The ballots shall be held
for 30 days following opening and counting, after which they may be destroyed
by direction of ExCom, if no objection to the election has been made.
ExCom shall establish a formal objection procedure, which shall be initiated within
30 days of the submission of the formal report of Balloting Committee to ExCom.
The ballots shall not be destroyed before the end of that 30 day period, or before
any formal objection has been processed, including the time during which the election
is protested to the national Sierra Club.
IV. Election campaigning:
Campaigning for chapter/group office is permitted; however, no campaign statements
other than those submitted to and approved by the Election Chair, and no advertisements,
shall appear in the Ventana or any other Sierra Club publication. After publication
of names of candidates, no article by or about a candidate may appear in the Ventana
unless it pertains to the ordinary performance of the duties of the candidate
as a member of the Sierra Club. Each candidate shall have an equal opportunity
to respond to published or circulated campaign statements of other candidates
and shall be given an equal opportunity to address Sierra Club meetings concerning
their candidacy. No candidate may spend more than $100 for campaign expenses,
regardless of source. The Chapter membership mailing list shall be made available
to candidates for the purpose of sending campaign material. Campaign material
shall be identified by source, and copies shall be sent to the NomCom and to all
candidates in time to permit timely responses. Sierra Club entities shall not
endorse candidates, but any member may endorse and speak for a candidate as an
individual, as distinguished from a chapter/group official. Editors of the Ventana
are not permitted to endorse a candidate. Candidates may not sign arguments accompanying
ballot issues such as by-law changes. Candidates may address such issues in their
V. Amendments to Election Rules:
Any amendments may be considered and made each year, by May, by ExCom. The rules,
as they may have been amended, shall by published each year in the Ventana for
VI. Election Timetable:
ExCom shall adopt this annually, in June, setting out the dates for all procedures
specified in the by-laws and these rules. The timetable shall by published in
the Ventana for Jul/Aug.
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