STANDING ELECTION PROCEDURES


A. Standing Election subCommittee

The Advisory Board shall appoint a standing Election subCommittee (EC). This subCommittee shall operate year round. Day-to-day operating procedures shall be determined by the members of the EC.

1. Composition of the subCommittee:

The EC shall consist of 12 members total and shall include two members from each region, two members for the Special Projects, and two at-large EC members. From these members, the EC shall choose a Chair and a Publicist-Secretary, each to serve for one year as defined in (3) regardless of the length of their individual terms. The Chair of the EC shall vote only in the case of a tie. The National Coordinator and the Representative-at-Large to the Advisory Board shall both serve as ex-officio members of the EC. They shall not be eligible to be either the Chair of the EC nor its Publicist-Secretary.

2. Formation of the subCommittee:

The Advisory Board shall publish on the National Webpage, STATE-COORD, USGENWEB-ALL, USGW-CC-L, USGENWEB-DISCUSS, the Special Projects mailing lists, the regional mailing lists, and any other avenue appropriate to reach the most volunteers including, but not limited to, a personal e-mail to each project volunteer, a brief overview of the formation of a EC and a request for volunteers for such committee.

From the list of volunteers the Advisory Board shall select a temporary chairperson of the committee. The chairperson shall select from the volunteer pool volunteers to fill the following positions: Two volunteers from each region, two volunteers from the Special Projects (as a group and not two volunteers for each special project) and two volunteers to represent the "at large" region for a total of 12 Standing Election Committee members.

This list of volunteers shall then be submitted to the Advisory Board for approval. The Advisory Board shall not be allowed to "pick and choose" any individual committee member. Should the Advisory Board disapprove the slate of members in its entirety then the Advisory Board shall chose a new temporary chairperson and the process shall be repeated. 

Replacement of EC members due to end of term shall be handled in the same manner as above. For members who need to be replaced within the term due to resignation or continuing non-responsiveness, a new member shall be chosen from the volunteer pool by the EC committee thru a majority vote. This majority opinion shall be forwarded to the Advisory Board for final approval.

If deemed necessary by the EC, the EC may take on additional workers (as opposed to committee members) during actual election periods which shall be defined as the time from nominations through final vote count.

The selection of the EC Chair and the EC Publicist-Secretary shall be made by secret ballot sent to the National Coordinator and the Advisory Board's Representative-at-Large for counting and verification.

Any member of the project who is eligible to vote is eligible for membership in the EC unless they are presently running for office. EC members who decide to run for office must immediately withdraw from the EC and its mailing list. This includes the National Coordinator and the Representative-at-Large. Should both of them choose to run for office, they shall together select another Board member who is not currently running for office to serve as ex-officio member of the EC until after the election.

3. Tenure of the subCommittee: 

Initially, each pair of EC members as outlined in (2) shall have one individual serving for one year and one individual for two years so as to stagger the turnover in EC members. Thence forward, regular terms (not the filling of unexpired terms) shall run for two years. Terms shall be from January 1 to December 31. EC members shall serve only one term and be ineligible for reappointment for one year after the expiration of a full two-year term. Those EC members serving for only one year initially in order to stagger terms may be re-selected for another term in the second year.

If a member of the EC is not performing his/her duties on the EC or is disruptive of the EC's business, the EC may petition the Advisory Board via the National Coordinator and/or the Representative-at-Large for replacement of that member by a new volunteer. EC members be removed only for cause, which shall include but not be limited to failing to respond promptly and considerately to members of the EC, or continually disrupting the business of the EC with inappropriate or unprofessional behavior.

B. Duties of the subCommittee:

1. The EC shall conduct all national level elections for Advisory Board Representatives, including elections for National Coordinator, Representative-at-Large, Regional State Coordinator Representatives, Local Coordinator Representatives, Special Project Representatives, and votes on Bylaws Amendments as well as any elections required by future bylaws revisions or any other national level elections that may be held.

2. The EC shall be responsible for maintaining current voter rolls. Lists of voters and email addresses shall be kept up-to-date on a quarterly basis. The voter rolls shall be maintained solely for the purpose of conducting national elections and shall be kept entirely confidential and shall not be supplied to the Board or to other parts of the project for any purpose. 

3. As its first order of business the EC shall compile a current voter list. The EC shall request the list(s) of eligible voters from the last election and current voter lists from each State Coordinator and Special Project Coordinator. All duplicate entries (i.e. volunteers who work in more than one state, region or position) from the above specified lists shall be combined into one voter record. All voter records shall be maintained in a database capable of producing reports sorted by regional basis, special project basis, state basis, national basis or other breakdown as may be deemed necessary in the future. The voter record shall also be structured so as to contain information on all areas/issues in which the individual voter is eligible to vote.

4. Verification of e-mail address and positions shall be made by use of an e-mail broadcast system to send personal e-mail messages to each voter. Other means of verification may be used as determined necessary by the committee to fulfill its obligation to have an accurate, up to date voter list. Any disputes or discrepancies shall be: (1) resolved between the State Coordinator and the EC (2) If no resolution is possible the matter shall be referred to the regional Advisory Board representative for resolution. If the dispute cannot be settled by the region Advisory Board representative, then the matter shall be referred to the entire Advisory Board for resolution.

5. The committee shall be responsible for keeping the voter list up-to-date on a quarterly basis through:
a. Using an e-mail broadcast software to send individual messages to all voters verify e-mail addresses and positions;
b. Maintaining a membership registration or contact area on an EC website 
c. Submitting the current list (sorted by state) to the current SC and/or other person chosen within the state to handle such duties;
d. Resolution of any disputes or discrepancies shall be handled as stated above. 
e. each regional voter list and communications shall be maintained and managed by the two members chosen for/by that region. The national list shall be managed and maintained by the two members chosen by the National Coordinator and the Representative-at-Large, and the Special Project voter list shall be managed and maintained by the members chosen by the Special Project representatives. 
f. The regional and national members shall manage communications with the state liaisons and/or the State Coordinators, but the Publicist-Secretary shall manage communications to the Advisory Board and to the project as a whole via the main lists (USGENWEB-ALL USGENWEB-DISCUSS, USGW-CC-L, STATE-COORD, the regional lists) and by any other avenues deemed appropriate during day to day operations of the committee. 
g. The Publicist-Secretary shall be responsible for writing quarterly and post-election reports for submission to the Board and the Project. 
h. The Publicist-Secretary shall be responsible for maintaining a web site for the EC that shall include. but is not limited to: 
         I. Contact page detailing who on the EC to contact, listing all members with emails both clickable and written out, their region of responsibility including the listing of the states in each region as well as noting who the current Chair and Publicist-Secretary; 
        II. A page detailing eligibility guidelines including how and who to contact regarding problems; 
       III. A general page about how the election mechanism functions in general (nominations, voting process, result release) to be replaced at an actual election time with a similar page detailing the specifics of that election including clickable and written out URLs to where each region voter goes, where to vote for national level, a listing of states in each region, alternative voting mechanisms for those who for any reason have a problem using the chosen voting mechanism, etc.; 
        IV. A page linking to all public election committee reports to date; and 
         V. During an election period a page listing all candidates with URLs to their campaign pages both clickable and written out. 

C. Eligibility of voters

No restriction should be made on the right of any member (excluding transcribers and lookup volunteers) to vote. Therefore, any number of coordinators per county or state, town coordinators, and state level special project coordinators (as opposed to Special Project coordinators from the national level projects) such as Native American projects, African American projects, military projects organized as and part of the XXGenWeb state projects, shall be eligible to vote. A requirement that one be a member for at least 30 days prior to the start of an election is acceptable purely on an administrative basis. State-level or Special Project-level voting restrictions shall not affect a member's right to vote in any national level election. 

Challenges to a member's eligibility to vote shall in no circumstances be addressed by the EC. The Project Coordinator or XXGenWeb State Coordinator sshall address the challenge in a timely fashion so as to allow the person to vote in the current election. If they do not, the person shall be given the benefit of the doubt and allowed to vote. If a Local Coordinator continues to challenge the decision of the State Coordinator, then the matter shall be referred to the regional Advisory Board rep. If the Local Coordinator continues to challenge the decision made by the Regional Advisory Board Representative, then the matter shall be referred to the entire AB. The decision of the entire Advisory Board shall be final. However, should the matter fail to be decided before the end of any election or voting issue, the person shall be given the right to vote by default. 

Eligible voters may vote once for each region or special project position for which they are eligible, once for national positions and once for any national issue that may be placed on a ballot, including but not limited to bylaws amendments.

As has been the practice in past elections, Special Project state and project level File Managers and Coordinators shall be eligible to vote in elections for Special Project Representatives. Transcribers are not included as defined in the Bylaws, Article VII Section 6.

D. Nominations

When nominations are made, the EC shall be responsible for verifying that the nominees are eligible to run for office, based solely on the criteria in Article VI, Section 9 of the bylaws. No other determination of eligibility shall be made by the EC, including that of good standing. Nominees shall be assumed to be in good standing unless determined otherwise by the Advisory Board or State Coordinators or Special Projects Coordinators.

If the nominee challenges a finding that they are ineligible to vote or run for office, the EC shall in no circumstances make a ruling on their challenge. The Advisory Board should address the challenge in a timely fashion so as to allow the person to vote or run for office in the current election. If they do not, the person shall be given the benefit of the doubt and allowed to run for office.

E. Voting Mechanism

The voting mechanism selected should meet at least the following criteria: 
1. Accept votes (more than one per person, with the ability to drop earlier votes); 
2. Display appropriate ballots depending on the ID of the person or have clear directions so a voter can easily find the correct portions of the ballot for which they are eligible to vote; 
3. Send a confirmation email once the vote is accepted that includes a date/time stamp, and their votes; 
4. Count votes and return reliable results within 24 hours; 
5. Compile vote statistics in a way that the EC can post so that people can verify their votes; and 
6. Be confidential and secure. 

Additionally, the mechanism should be flexible, reliable, and free. 

A voting method meeting the above requirements should be chosen initially from an outside or "third-party" service. The EC shall research and select an outside voting service as one of its first orders of business after being seated. The system should be in place and functional as soon as possible, but no later than June 1, 2001. 

The EC shall also look into forming a supporting group to work on producing election software that meets our requirements. Should the Project decide that the development of its own voting software is desirable, a working group of programmers be shall formed who shall address the requirements and design a suitable program. This working group shall operate independently of the EC but shall report to it regularly so that reports on development progress may be included in the EC's reports to the Project. 




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