NASIG NOMINATIONS AND ELECTIONS PROCESS DETAILED
In the fall of 2006, the Executive Board formed a working group to write a document that would provide a clear explanation of NASIG’s nominations and elections process to the membership. The working group consisted of the current chair of the Nominations & Elections Committee, David Burke, and three former N&E members, Anne McKee, Christine Stamison, and Kathryn Wesley. The resulting document, revised in June 2007 to reflect changes to NASIG’s bylaws affecting the election process, follows.
NASIG NOMINATIONS AND ELECTIONS PROCEDURE
Nominations and elections are governed by NASIG Bylaws, Article VII (http://www.nasig.org/public/bylaws.html) and are carried out by the Nominations & Elections Committee.
COMPOSITION OF THE COMMITTEE
The Nominations & Elections Committee is appointed by the incoming president in the spring of each year. The number of members on the committee may vary, but there should be an odd number. The term of service is one year. Members may be reappointed for one succeeding term. The chair may serve only one term as chair. At least one half of the committee each year should consist of new appointees. The past president serves as the committee’s board liaison. Previous past presidents may serve as members of, or consultants to, the committee. Committee members are not eligible to be nominated for office during their terms of service.
The Nominations & Elections Committee will solicit nominations of vice president/president elect, secretary, treasurer and board members, review proposed candidates’ qualifications, prepare a slate of candidates, prepare the ballot, carry out the election, report the results to the NASIG membership and review any challenges to the election. The committee’s deliberations will be strictly confidential. The committee will adopt all necessary and proper precautions to ensure the conduct of a trustworthy election.
THE NOMINATION PROCESS
A vice president/president-elect and three members-at-large are elected each year. Nominations for secretary and treasurer are solicited when appropriate. The term of office for the secretary is three years. The treasurer is elected during the second year of the sitting treasurer’s term, and serves for an ex officio training period of one year followed by a three year official term, for a total commitment of four years.
Nominations may be made by committee, by petition, or by write-in.
Nomination by Committee
The committee solicits nominations from the membership in a number of ways. A printed call for nominations form is included in the conference packet distributed at the annual conference. Following the conference, the forms are turned over to the incoming chair of the Nominations & Elections Committee. An electronic form is made available on NASIGWeb, with submissions directed to the chair of the committee. Nominations may also be made by email, in writing, or by phone to any member of the committee. The chair of N&E issues one or more reminders on NASIG-L to encourage members to submit nominations. Members do not have to secure the permission of nominees before submitting their names, as the committee will contact them to determine if they wish to proceed with the process.
Nominees must be members in good standing for the year of the election in order to be considered by the committee, i.e., dues must be paid for the next year’s membership before the committee may vet the nominee. The chair confirms membership status of nominees with the treasurer. No NASIG member may be denied a place on the ballot due to race, color, creed, sex, etc., in accordance with federal equal opportunity laws.
When the deadline for nominations has passed, the committee contacts all nominees to determine their interest in running for office and to secure their permission to consider them for the ballot. All nominees who agree to be considered by the committee receive a nominee profile form. The form solicits information on their activities within NASIG, their relevant professional activities outside of NASIG, and a position statement regarding their potential contribution as a NASIG board member. The committee also sends the nominee a link to a NASIG web page with a job description of the position for which he or she has been nominated, and gives a deadline for submitting the forms to the committee.
The nominee profile form also asks for the name of three references who can comment knowledgeably on the nominee’s previous work in NASIG. For members who have served on committees, at least one of the three references should be the relevant committee chair(s). For current or past committee chairs or co-chairs, two of the three references should be the appointing president and relevant committee liaison(s). Current or past board members must include the presidents they served under as references.
Each committee member reviews the nominee profile forms and rates nominees. The nominee profile forms assign specific weights for the committee members to rate nominees on NASIG activities, other professional activities, and the position statement. For vice president/president-elect, secretary, and treasurer, these are respectively 50% for NASIG activities, 25% for other professional activities, and 25% for the position statement. For members-at-large, the weights are distributed evenly at 33 1/3 % for each category. The chair and committee have leeway in deciding exactly how the review process is carried out. The chair compiles results and the committee decides who the strongest contenders are among the nominees.
References are asked a list of standard questions soliciting information on the nominee’s reliability, enthusiasm, and creativity. If current board members are running for reelection or for other office, the chair contacts those references. References remain confidential between the contacting member and the chair, though the chair may give a general summary of the tenor of the reference to the committee in the course of their deliberations. If the chair contacts references, he or she will share the results of those contacts with one other committee member in order to ensure that the gist of those references is fairly conveyed.
All information regarding nominees, committee deliberations, and especially information obtained from references, is to be kept absolutely confidential within the committee.
Preparing and Announcing the Slate
Based on the nominees’ rankings and references, the committee prepares a slate of candidates. They endeavor to choose at least two nominees for each open position. In the event of a shortage of nominees who are willing to run for an office, the committee may solicit potential candidates. The chair informs the president of the final ballot as soon as it is completed. This notification is for courtesy purposes only. The board does not approve the slate. The board accepts the slate of candidates as named by the committee. Before announcing the slate of candidates to the membership, nominees are notified regarding whether they made it onto the ballot. The chair then announces the slate of candidates to the membership on NASIG-L.
Nomination by Petition
After announcing the slate of candidates nominated by the committee, the chair issues a call for nominations by petition on NASIG-L. Petition nominees must agree in writing to run for the office nominated and must be members in good standing as described above. The chair must receive petitions in support of the nominee from at least ten members in good standing. Petitions may be handled by paper or by email. Petitioners may sign or add their email to a single document, or they may submit individual messages to the chair as long as they clearly state their names, the name of the petition candidate, and the specific office for which the candidate is being nominated. Successful petition candidates must fill out a nominee profile form, and will be included on the official ballot. The chair must receive nominations, supporting petitions, and nominee profile forms within fifteen days of the call for nominations by petition. Petition candidates will be designated as such on the ballot.
Nomination by Write-in
The ballot will include spaces under each office for write-in candidates.
Ballots are distributed at least 60 days prior to the annual conference. Names appear in alphabetical order on the ballot. Nominee profiles with position statements for each candidate are made available to the membership. Completed ballots will be accepted for 30 days after distribution. Ballots returned after 30 days will not be counted.
COUNTING THE BALLOTS AND REPORTING THE RESULTS
The chair counts the ballots. The ballot count is confirmed by another committee member or by a disinterested third party. In case of a tie for any position, the committee decides the winner by blind lot.
When the count is complete and confirmed, the chair notifies the president, including vote totals. The candidates are notified by phone. The president communicates the election results, including vote totals, to the Executive Board, and the chair does the same with the committee. All candidates must be notified by phone before results are communicated to the membership. Phone calls should be followed up by notification in writing. The results of the election are then announced on NASIG-L. They are also posted on NASIGWeb, and announced in the next issue of the NASIG Newsletter.
RETENTION OF BALLOTS AND CHALLENGES TO THE ELECTION
All ballots are retained for 120 days following the close of the election in the event that a challenge is made. Also, intra-committee correspondence throughout the year should be sent through the committee email list so that it can be archived. Challenges to the election must be made in writing to the president within 10 days of the first publication of the results. The Board will evaluate the merits of the challenge. If it is determined that the challenge has merit, the Board will appoint two non-NASIG members to do a recount.
N&E Document Working Group
Kathryn Wesley, chair
Fall 2006; revised June 2007