Local Unit Elections
Holding local unit officer elections is important because elections remind members that ATPE is member-governed. Officer elections also remind less-active members that ATPE has an active presence in their district and community. But just because local unit officer elections are important, they don’t have to be time-consuming.
1. Plan ahead.
How you choose to run your election depends on your local unit’s size, financial resources, and planning. Some local units conduct elections at meetings and others via email.
- Refer to your local unit bylaws for guidance. Email email@example.com to request a copy of your local unit bylaws.
- In most cases, local unit bylaws specify timelines for conducting local unit elections. Consult your bylaws as you develop your election schedule.
- Assign a nomination/election committee. The committee’s role is to set the election rules and call for nominations from all local unit members. If there is no committee, the vice president may perform this role.
- Be sure that your election plan guarantees that all members are notified of the upcoming election. You might need to use both email and mail to contact all members.
2. Call for nominations.
The call for nominations must be made early in the election process so members have enough time (as specified by local unit bylaws) to return them.
3. Check with nominees, then notify members of nominees’ names.
The election committee needs to first notify nominees of their nominations and get their approval. Then, the committee must notify all members of nominees’ names and set a deadline (determined by local unit bylaws) for voting on the slate of candidates. Notification can be through mail or email and should include the date for the election meeting and/or the deadline for returning electronic ballots.
4. Conducting the election.
- Create a voting procedure.
- Email elections: Even if your election is primarily conducted via email, your local unit might still want to hold a meeting on balloting day so candidates may run for office from the floor. Remember that not everyone has internet access, so you might need to provide alternate voting procedures to be fair. Also, if you conduct an email election, consider allowing members to return their ballots anonymously (perhaps through intercampus mail). The state office can provide assistance with email elections.
- Traditional elections: Request member mailing labels and reports to make running your election easier.
- Give all candidates the option to have a representative present when ballots are tallied.
5. Notify all members and the state office of the new slate of officers.