Adopted as policy by the SEJ board on April 5, 1997. As amended on July 3, 1999; September 15, 1999; January 25, 2003; March 20, 2004; July 31, 2010; and July 30, 2022.
I. Policy, Principles and Governance
A. Goal. SEJ's policy is to ensure accurate, secure and anonymous elections and to provide for timely announcement of results.
B. Form of Election. The election of SEJ board members and votes on amendments to bylaws that are proposed by the SEJ Board of Directors ("the board") are accomplished by members voting via such platform as may be authorized from time to time by the board, following a recommendation from the election committee based upon its review of options proposed by the Executive Director and their designees.
C. Secrecy. Elections shall be anonymous. Only voting platforms or services that provide true anonymity may be used. Electronic ballots shall not be visible to elections staff. In the event paper ballots must be used pursuant to Section II(F) below, the elections committee will apprise the board and take steps to make sure that each member only votes once and that anonymity of individual voters' choices is preserved.
- Ten percent of the members eligible to vote (quorum) is required for a board election to be valid or for ballot items to pass.
- When a bylaws proposal is on the ballot and a quorum is present, two-thirds of the votes of eligible voters attending the meeting in person, electronically or via proxy is required for the bylaws proposal to pass.
- Proxy ballots count toward the establishment of a quorum during the Annual Membership Meeting or at a special membership meeting, but only with regard to those election matters included on the ballots, unless a voter has expressly granted discretionary authority for any other business that may be raised at the meeting.
- If any issues are brought to the floor for a vote during the Annual Membership Meeting or a special membership meeting, a quorum must be present in person, electronically or via proxy in order for a vote to be held and to be valid.
- Absentee ballots may be used for any matter the board may submit for approval to the voting members in lieu of a vote at a regular or special membership meeting. Procedures for voting by absentee ballot shall be consistent with the SEJ Bylaws and this policy.
E. Adoption. This policy is subject to and does not supersede any provisions of SEJ's Bylaws. Pursuant to the SEJ Bylaws, the election policy is adopted by the board and may be revised by a majority vote of the board. The membership of the society shall be notified of any changes to election policy.
F. Elections Committee.
- Committee members. Beginning the first full calendar year following the passage of this policy, elections shall be supervised by a five-member SEJ Elections Committee ("the committee") appointed by the SEJ Board of Directors ("the board"). New members are appointed at the first board meeting or as soon as possible thereafter for each calendar year, with consideration of SEJ's diversity, equity and inclusion goals in mind. Committee members serve for the remainder of the calendar year in which they are appointed. The committee shall have four members who shall be members of the society and are not currently serving on or running for the board. They will work with SEJ's Executive Director and designees to ensure policy and procedure are followed for the running of the election.
a) The board secretary shall be a voting member of the committee. In their role, they shall serve as liaison between the committee and the board, and assure that the actions of the committee are consistent with these policies and SEJ's Bylaws. If the secretary is standing for re-election to the board, they shall designate another board member who is not running for re-election to act as the secretary's designee for that election cycle. This shall not preclude the secretary from performing their other duties required by the bylaws, such as issuing notice of the time and location of the annual meeting or alerting the board to any actions of the Elections Committee that may be inconsistent with the bylaws.
- Authority subject to board review. The committee shall report to the board on any proposed material changes in the way the election is conducted, which shall be subject to approval of the board. Additionally, all financial commitments and expenses are subject to SEJ's financial policies.
- Elections committee vacancies. The board shall fill a vacancy on the committee as soon as practical to maintain an odd number of committee members.
- Removal. The members of the committee serve at the pleasure of the board. Within 60 days of an election, the board may remove a committee member by a two-thirds majority vote of board members in attendance at a regular or special board meeting.
G. Changes to the Board of Directors. The board secretary will notify the committee of any board members who resign or are appointed until the next election.
II. Course of Action
A. Election Schedule. Deadlines for all actions will be set by the committee each year within the parameters set by this policy (II. Course of Action: B: Call for Candidates, B5: Voter Lists and D1: Ballot Distribution).
B. Call for Candidates.
- The committee will issue a call for candidates no less than 75 days prior to the Annual Membership Meeting during which the election will be held. The call for candidates and all other notices required to be sent for elections shall be sent by email or other electronic means. The call for candidates will also be posted on SEJ's website.
- The call for candidates will list the number and terms of the positions expiring, the requirements of holding office and filing procedures. Regardless of membership category, all members will be informed of all vacancies in every membership category as part of the call for candidates. The call also shall include the date by which members must be in good standing and current on their dues in order to vote or run for the board. Members in arrears will be notified in advance of that date to renew membership in order to vote or run for the board.
- The filing deadline will allow at least 35 days for candidates to respond, which should permit sufficient time for the committee to prepare and deliver ballots. Nominations will not be taken from the floor at the Annual Membership Meeting.
- Candidate Filings. On or before the filing deadline, candidates shall submit a notice of their intent to run for the board for their respective membership categories (Active, Academic, Associate). Along with the notice of intent, candidates shall submit a statement of no more than 500 words, outlining their qualifications and objectives for holding office. The committee will review all candidate filings for eligibility to run for the board and for compliance with SEJ's Bylaws and election policy. As soon as practicable after such review is complete, SEJ shall advise all members via email or other electronic means where they may view candidates' statements on the members-only section of SEJ's website.
- Voter List(s). The elections committee will oversee preparation of category-specific lists of eligible voters, as specified in the call for candidates, and shall take reasonable steps to make sure any electronic platform or service used for the election will be available to all eligible voters, who are members in good standing by a date set by the committee no more than 40 days prior to the Annual Membership Meeting. "In good standing" is defined as members whose work conforms to member eligibility standards and whose dues are paid in full.
- The elections committee will arrange for preparation of electronic ballots that list candidates for each category of membership, using whichever electronic platform or service has been approved by the board.
If the board has proposed one or more amendments to the bylaws, the bylaws amendment proposal(s) will also be included on the ballots.
- Ballots will also be created for categories with no election of candidates when a bylaws amendment is up for a vote. Those ballots will contain only the bylaws amendment proposal(s).
- The board secretary or their designee will review the ballot and related materials to ensure they comply with SEJ's Bylaws and election policy.
- Ballots will be made available to eligible voters no less than 30 days prior to the Annual Membership Meeting on a date to be determined by the committee.
- A message to members not eligible to vote will be sent containing information about the Annual Membership Meeting and an explanation about why they won't receive a ballot.
- The elections committee will review cases of any eligible members who indicate they should not have been included on the non-voter list. If the elections committee finds those members are indeed eligible to vote, the committee will arrange for them to be sent a ballot at the earliest possibility, before the closing of polls.
E. Processing Ballots.
- The elections committee will arrange for the Executive Director or their designees to check off voters' names as they vote by proxy or during the Annual Membership Meeting, until polls close at the meeting. The elections committee will receive a copy of the list showing voters' names checked off.
- Materials necessary for the election process will be supplied by those administering the election, including but not limited to election report form and completed voter lists.
F. Security. Election materials will remain in a secure place under supervision of the Executive Director and their designees. In the event a breach in security is discovered that would compromise the integrity of the election process, the committee may propose to the board an alternative process, such as use of another electronic platform, paper ballots or another option. The committee shall further arrange for SEJ members to be advised in a timely manner if any of their personal information has been compromised by a security breach.
III. Tabulating and Announcing Results
A. Tie Votes. For any tie vote that would affect the outcome of the election, a runoff will be held.
B. Unexpired Terms. When one or more of the open board positions is the remainder of an unexpired term, the winning candidate(s) with the higher vote total(s) will fill the regular, three-year term(s), while the winning candidate(s) with the lowest vote total(s) will fill the shorter-term position(s).
C. Announcement of Results.
- The committee will obtain a tabulation of election results from whichever electronic platform or service is used and prepare a report listing:
a) The number of votes and whether a quorum was present
b) The names of all candidates, number of votes each received and term of office, if elected
c) Results of bylaws proposals with number and percentage of yes votes as well as the number of no votes
d) Details about tie votes and whether a runoff election will be held
e) Signatures of all committee members
- This report will be given to the board president and/or secretary as soon as the election is confirmed. The president shall announce results to the membership via electronic mail as soon as practicable, including the number of votes received by each candidate, as well as the number of votes cast for and against any bylaws proposals.
D. Protests. Any formal protest or challenge to an election must be made within 30 days of the president's announcement of that election's results to the membership. In the event of a formal protest or challenge to the election, the committee will review the matter and submit a recommendation to the board for action. If a protest or challenge materially changes the outcome of an election, the board may call a special election.
IV. Miscellaneous Provisions
A. If the Election Committee prepares any notes or guidance on election procedures, those materials and all actions by the committee must comply with SEJ's Bylaws and with this policy. Similarly, all actions by the Executive Director and their designees with respect to elections must comply with SEJ's Bylaws and this policy.