Yesterday we heard from NCECA’s Past President, Patsy Cox on the open board positions that we will need to fill at the next conference. However, you may be wondering about that open Treasurer Seat….will it be appointed or elected? We did just have a big ballot measure to determine the fate of the NCECA Treasurer and the NCECA Secretary positions. But some of you may have noticed that we have not announced the result of this vote publicly.
There is good reason for this. We actually don’t have a result yet. Yes, you read that correctly. Yes, the voting opened, yes, it was announced and explained and discussed at length in social media and here on the NCECA blog. Yes, we made a big push to encourage voting. Yes, the vote closed on July 30. Yes, the votes were tabulated. Unfortunately, our bylaws require a vote of at least 10% of our membership. That means we need 384 votes. We got 85. We have reopened the ballot and are now using Survey Monkey. Any NCECA member who did not ALREADY vote on this issue should have received an invitation to vote in their email. If you feel you should have received a ballot and did not get one in your email, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interested in understanding this on a deeper level? Read on to get the full story, complete with parliamentary procedure references:
NCECA’s Board of Directors recently put forth two bylaws amendments to its membership regarding the method of selection of the Secretary and Treasurer. Currently the Board is required to put at least two candidates forward for each of these two positions to stand for election before the membership. If these amendments pass, the Treasurer and Secretary would be identified through a submission process reviewed by the Nominations Committee. The committee would review and select the candidate they deem most qualified for each position and gain approval of 2/3-majority of the Board.
NCECA posted an e-ballot on these amendments over the summer. The ballot was open for several weeks and was programmed to close on July 30. When this voting period ended, only 85 votes were cast for each ballot. The margins were 61% in favor 39% opposed, and 62% in favor, 38% opposed and one abstention. As we prepared to make an announcement that the amendments had been passed by the membership it was with a sense of chagrin that such a small percentage of our eligible members had voted.
In further reviewing the current bylaws language we found that there is more than one description of what number of votes constitutes a quorum. After consulting with member, Shoji Satake who has some experience with NCECA’s bylaws and expertise with parliamentary procedure, we came to the conclusion that the small number of votes cast makes it imprudent for us to declare these amendments passed despite the margin of support in the votes cast.
Roberts Rules of Order state that in the absence of a quorum, any business transacted is null and void,” other than four actions which may be legally taken:
- To fix the time to adjourn
- Take measure to obtain a quorum by reopening the vote until a quorum is met.
Although only small number of members voted, there were a significant percentage of votes to pass the amendments. After discussion within the Executive Committee, the NCECA Board unanimously voted to approve a reopening of the ballot until September 30, 2015 or such a time as a quorum of the 10% of eligible voters is met. Previously cast ballots will remain in place and 299 additional votes are needed. A link to the reopened ballot will be delivered via email only to those members who were eligible to vote but did not previously cast ballots on the two amendments.
If you are a member of NCECA and did not cast a vote on this important governance decision, please watch your inbox for a message that will provide a link to the ballot. The message will come from member@SurveyMonkey.com, and we ask that you add this address to your email system’s white list so that it does not inadvertently become caught up in your spam filter. This message will be a personal invitation for you to cast votes on these measures. The link to the vote will only work from your personal inbox and will not work if forwarded to anyone other than the recipient. We encourage all remaining eligible voters to visit http://nceca.net/about-us-2/bylaws/ to review the amendments and the Board’s rationale for putting them before the membership for approval.
(OK, so maybe it wasn’t quite WILDLY exciting…..)