Many volunteer organizations welcome spring by electing new officers. It’s time for nominating, presenting a slate, and conducting elections; it’s a time to welcome new leadership and look forward to another growing year, much the same as some of us long for the snow to clear so we can recreate our beloved gardens anew.
Presenters Mary Ann Rosenberger and Shelagh VanderVeen led us through the steps for nominating and electing as they are outlined in Robert’s Rules Newly Revised (RONR). RONR offers organizational options for making nominations and electing officers; how it’s done in your club or society depends on what is called for in your bylaws.
For example, do you have a nominating committee, nominations by petition, nominations from the floor, or some variation? In all cases, RONR recommends that the process be fair to all members so that members can, if they wish and are elected, serve as officers. A member of a nominating committee is not prohibited from being nominated and elected.
How do elections take place? Unless otherwise stated, it is assumed that officers are elected by a majority vote, by more than half of those voting and present. It can make the process more streamlined if you use a ballot only when there are contested elections. Tellers follow a protocol for presenting the results of an election but only the presiding officer can announce the winners.
Of course, nominating and electing officers is more than following guidelines about the process. It’s about considering your group and its membership. Who will be good, effective leaders; who will preside well and keep accurate records and manage money safely? What new initiatives does your club wish to begin? What is a good balance of seasoned officers and newcomers? Who will take the position seriously but still maintain a sense of humor in the midst of a morass? Who is eager to put your club/society/organization at the top of their priorities in the coming months or years?
The Louise Saks Parliamentary Unit will return to its usual meeting place, First Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, 1669 West Maple, at 9:30 March 20. There is parking in the rear of the building. Enter by rear doors and join us. Guests are always welcome. In March we will be considering motions “Lay on the Table, Postpone Definitely, and Refer to a Committee.” The lesson begins at 9:30.