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Sunday, November 25, 2007

Whiteplains UNICOM #16: The Election Process - 2008

In 2006, the Board of Directors voted to adopt a four-part elections process and to create an Elections Committee to oversee it. The Board’s objective at that time was to draw from the best practices of organizations similar to ours, and to ensure openness, fairness and accountability. The process worked well for the 2007 elections, so it will be repeated for 2008. Membership on the Elections Committee will exclude current Board members, current Officers, and those standing for election. At its most recent meeting, the Board of Directors approved this year’s Elections Committee… it will be composed of: Hal Clark (chairman), Nancy Padgett and Michael Benton.

Part 1: Nomination

The Elections Committee will collect nominations for election to the Board of Directors. These nominations can result from a general call, by approaching specific individuals, or by accepting self-nominations from interested residents. It would be good if there were at least one more candidacy than there are vacancies. Individuals who are interested in standing for election are requested (but not required) to prepare a 100-word statement for inclusion in the balloting material. This statement might include the candidate’s qualifications, goals/objectives, views on issues pertinent to the community, or anything else that might assist the voters in making an informed choice. Nominations will open on October 15 and close on December 1.

Part 2: Balloting

The Elections Committee will design and prepare ballots that include the candidates’ statements (if provided). The ballot design will incorporate a procedure to allow for the identification of the Lot or Parcel number of the incoming vote (to provide integrity) while still preserving the anonymity of the voter. [Example: use of a return mailing envelope identified by lot number containing an otherwise unidentifiable ballot. All property owners must receive ballots no later than December 15. Persons owning multiple lots have multiple votes, in accordance with our by-laws.

Part 3: Tabulating

The Annual Meeting of the Whiteplains Plantation Association must occur on the third Tuesday in January; for 2008, that will be on January 15. The Committee may begin to count ballots one week before that date, and will create a provisional tabulation at that time. The first order of business of the Annual Meeting will be to close the balloting process so that any recently-received ballots may be added to the provisional totals. When called upon to do so, the Chair of the Elections Committee will read the names of the individuals who have been elected. The total number of ballots cast will be reported, however the number of votes for each individual candidate shall not be reported.

Part 4: Challenge and Audit

If a member of the Association wishes to challenge the election, he/she has one week from the date of the Annual Meeting in which to do so. If a challenge is received, the Board of Directors will appoint an Audit Committee to review the work of the Elections Committee and render a decision. If no challenges are received within the allotted time, the Elections Committee will destroy all balloting material and disband.

Ken Plesser, President
Whiteplains Plantation Association

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