Policy & Procedure for Ballot Votes
The following shall be the policy for Ready Alliance on Ballot Votes:
At times it is necessary for a vote to be secret in order to get an honest response from a member who does not wish to publicly take a side. It is for this reason we implement the following. A “secret” ballot vote may be called for by any member with a right to vote in the matter in question by requesting unanimous consent at the time any matter is put before him/her. This matter is undebatable.
Matters which REQUIRE secret ballot by default are:
- Locations of Secret Meetings
- Any other vote which might be about classified information
- Disciplinary measures (votes to initiate and votes on decisions)
- Removal of any member
The duly elected secretary presides over ballot votes. The secretary is the official ballot counter for these votes and the organization vests all authority in each such matter in him/her. The secretary shall make all decisions about such ballots and their legitimacy. The board of directors may make policies about the legitimacy of ballots and what rules govern them. The secretary may assign others to assist, only if necessary. As ballot votes are secret, it is important to keep as few eyes on the actual materials as necessary. It shall also be the duty of the secretary to maintain the secrecy of the ballots however he/she deems appropriate.
In the event there is a question about the faithfulness of the ballot vote as presided over by the secretary, a simple majority vote by the membership may authorize the President to investigate has he/she deems appropriate.
In order to reduce the risk of ineligible ballots, when a ballot vote is known to be on the agenda, a printed ballot shall be produced in which those voting, only must circle or check a box for their vote. When appropriate there will also be a blank for write-in such as when a candidate must be selected.
The only items which may be combined on a single ballot are candidates for multiple offices. Other measures which are up for vote via ballot must be separated. The secretary shall keep physical ballots for a period of one year from the casting of such votes.
When a ballot vote is called for the secretary will have a printed ballot prepared or if it is requested, spur of the moment it can be recorded on plain paper. The secretary will have the roster of those who are eligible to vote in his/her possession at each meeting, and will check off members as they return their ballots in order to ensure no member casts more than one ballot and that no person who isn’t eligible to vote does so.
Members entitled to vote shall stand and retrieve a ballot from the secretary.
Each ballot shall be returned to the secretary folded in half to maintain secrecy. For an in person vote to be legitimate, it must be placed in the hand of the secretary or whomever he/she has assigned. The secretary or assignee shall take extra care to make sure he/she doesn’t accidentally place two ballots inside each other, as it will invalidate both.
Once the secretary believes all have voted, he/she shall inquire to the body, “Have all voted who wish to?” if there is no response, he/she says “The polls are closed,” whereupon he/she proceeds to count the ballots.
If in unfolding the ballots it is found that two have been folded together, both are rejected as fraudulent. Misspelling is not grounds for disqualification so long as the meaning of the ballot is clear.
The secretary or assignee shall prepare a written report listing the vote counts in the proceeding form. Blank ballots aren’t reported and are considered waste paper. Disqualified and Ineligible votes should be listed as ineligible.
Matter Being Voted Upon (Election, Measure, etc.)
Number of votes Cast .......................... 50 Number of Proxy Votes ......................... 2 Necessary for Election or Passing ............. 26 Person A [Actual Name] or "Yes Votes" ......... 27 Person B [Actual Name] or "No Votes" .......... 20 Illegal Votes Person C (ineligible) .......................... 1 Ballots rejected as fraudelent ................. 2
The secretary or assignee, standing, addresses the chair/president, reads the report and hands it to the chair/president and takes his/her seat. The chair/president then states the winner(s) or pass or fail of measure.