Member-based organizations are required to hold elections to decide representation, contracts, bylaws and other internal matters. Therefore, it’s critical that the nomination process is executed properly. Associations, cooperatives, educational institutions, financial institutions, homeowners associations (HOAs), unions, and pension systems are governed by specific bylaws that detail the election nomination process, including who can nominate candidates, how to select nominees, deadlines, and candidate qualifications.
What are election nominations?
An election nomination is the process of choosing candidates for these important contests. While there are various nomination processes, lists of candidates are sometimes narrowed to a short list for voters to choose from.
For a member-based organization, this may be a selection of members chosen to run for a board of directors seat or equivalent position. Depending on the organization and its bylaws, the nomination process may vary with different procedures, deadlines, and candidate requirements.
Types of Nominations
If an association has several positions to fill, it may allow any eligible member to volunteer as a candidate. The application can include a short biography, resume, photos, and any other additional information required by the organization. These forms and applications must be reviewed by the organization or a third party. For some associations, just filling out the form may be enough to get on the ballot, while others may require applicants to meet certain criteria.
For example, the New York City Department of Education has utilized the application process in the past because hundreds of candidates often vie for open positions. In this case, candidates file an application, which includes biographical information. Each candidate’s eligibility is then reviewed.
2. Members Nominate Candidates
Other associations may have members nominate deserving colleagues by submitting their name or explaining in writing why the candidate is qualified for the role. The association may permit all submissions to appear on the ballot or may only include the leading nominees.
Of course, associations don’t always ascribe to a particular method. Some organizations combine two methods, such as floor nominations and the use of a nominating committee, to offer candidates for election.
3. Potential Candidates Collect Signatures
Some organizations require interested candidates to collect written or electronic signatures to appear on the ballot.
Using Software to Run Nominations
Organizations with a history of operating elections know all too well the complexities associated with nominations. Reputable election management agencies offer tools to streamline the process, including through automation. So instead of collecting, filing, reviewing applications, member nominations, and petitions by hand, vendors utilize software to automatically gather, manage, and store the data, all in one place.
YesElections’ Nominations Central™ software makes it easy for organizations to manage nominations. Candidates submit biographies, resumes, photos, and additional information for an association to review. Online applications can save any information entered or uploaded, so candidates can take time completing the process. To ensure nomination files are 100-percent complete, the software automatically notifies candidates if they are missing information on the forms or if they don’t meet the eligibility requirements.
The software essentially serves as a one-stop shop for all nomination procedures. Members have the ability to nominate candidates or sign petitions, while organizations can review applications and provide feedback.
Since 2007, YesElections has managed member-based association elections across the United States. Our experience enables us to run elections from the nomination to ballot tracking and tabulation processes. Contact us for a complimentary consultation.