Section 9.13. Rules for Nominations and Elections.
Rule G-9.13.1. Preparation and Mailing of Ballot.
Unless no ballot is required according to Section 9.9(a), prior to each regular General Assembly at which an election is to be held, the Secretary shall prepare ballots upon which shall appear the names of all persons who have been nominated for office in accordance with these Bylaws. One such ballot shall be sent with each credential card issued by the Secretary.
Rule G-9.13.2. Order of Names on Ballot.
On all ballots used in elections held by the Association the order of names shall be determined by the drawing of lots done by the Secretary and witnessed by two other persons; provided, however, that the order of names for elections to the Board of Trustees shall be by Board position number first, and then as determined above. The Secretary shall certify the results of the drawing of lots, the certificate shall be attested by the witnesses, and the certificate shall be filed in the Secretary's office. This Rule shall be printed on all official ballots or on the instructions accompanying them.
The 2011 General Assembly adopted changes to Sections 6.3, 6.4, 6.5, 6.6, 6.8, 8.3, 8.7, 9.1, 9.3, 9.4, 9.6, 9.11, 9.12, and 9.13 of the Bylaws and to Rule G-9.13.2 that will reduce the size of the UUA Board from 26 persons to 14 and change the process of election of trustees. Some of those changes became effective at the close of the 2012 General Assembly, and others will become effective at the close of the 2013 General Assembly. Those changes for 2012 and 2013 are set out here (PDF).
Rule G-9.13.3. Write-ins Prohibited.
In any election, the use of stickers or the writing in of the name of any person on a ballot shall not be permitted and no vote so attempted shall be counted.
Rule G-9.13.4. Absentee Ballots.
An absentee ballot shall be counted only if accompanied by the signed and certified ballot stub of the credential card of the person casting the ballot.
Rule G-9.13.5. Balloting at General Assembly.
A person shall be qualified to cast a ballot at General Assembly only if that person presents to the Secretary of the Association or those employed by him or her at the polls a properly certified ballot stub plus a badge issued to that person and containing the same name as the name on the ballot stub.
Rule G-9.13.6. Campaigns for Elective Office.
Each candidate for an at-large elective position may submit to the Association a campaign statement. The Association will post electronically the statements of all candidates. Notice of the posting shall be distributed to the congregations with the absentee ballots and electronically, and to the delegates as a part of the final agenda.
Rule G-9.13.7. Length of Campaigns for President and Moderator.
- Campaigns for President and Moderator may appropriately begin with small campaign committee organizational meetings and mass mailing letters no earlier than November l of the second year preceding the election.
- Active campaigning and solicitation of endorsements shall not begin prior to January l of the year preceding these elections.
- No electioneering (defined as publicly announced meetings, rallies or exploratory events) of any sort shall occur at the General Assembly two years preceding the elections for President and Moderator. Private meetings about campaign organization that take place outside of General Assembly-booked meeting spaces are permissible.
Rule G-9.13.8 Campaign Finances Disclosure.
All candidates for at-large elective positions shall keep detailed and accurate records of:
- their campaign expenses (stated in United States dollars) by categories of travel, postage, telephone, printing and other such categories as seem appropriate;
- the number of contributors to their campaigns, including the number of contributors in each of the following categories:
- under $50.00,
- $50.00 to $100.00,
- $101.00 to $250.00,
- $251.00 to $500.00, and
- over $500.00, and
- the number of contributions and the total amount of contributions received from each group or organization supporting the campaign.
No candidate for any elective position shall solicit or knowingly accept any contribution that is given through a tax-exempt entity with the purpose of conferring tax-exempt status to the contribution to which it would not otherwise be entitled. Such exempt entities include but are not limited to member congregations, associate member organizations and independent UUA affiliates.
The names of contributors shall be disclosed. Each such report shall identify by name any member congregation, associate member organization or independent affiliate of the Association and any other tax exempt organization (including specifically, but without limitation to, any minister's discretionary fund or similar account) that has made any contribution to the campaign and shall state the amount of each such contribution. Such reports shall be filed with the Secretary of the Association. A preliminary report shall be due at the close of the first day of the regular General Assembly at which the election occurs. A final report shall be due 60 days thereafter. The Secretary shall upon written request from a member of a member congregation furnish such information from these reports as requested. These reports shall be made available for inspection by any member of a member congregation at the principal offices of the Association and shall be brought by the Secretary to the next General Assembly and made available for inspection there by any delegate.
Rule G-9.13.9. Separation of Campaigns from Conduct of Official Business.
- When running for office, candidates shall be prohibited from engaging in any electioneering or campaigning during the conduct of official business of the Unitarian Universalist Association.
- Financial accounting and bookkeeping procedures shall be established which make it explicit that no monies of the Association were used in the financing of a candidate's campaigning or electioneering activities.
Rule G-9.13.10 Election Campaign Practices Committee.
- An Election Campaign Practices Committee is hereby established and shall consist of three persons to be appointed by the Board of Trustees at its October meeting following those regular General Assemblies at which elections occur. Two members of the Committee shall be members of the Board of Trustees at the time of their appointment and one shall be a non-Board member. The non-Board member shall be the chair of the Committee. Persons appointed to the Election Campaign Practices Committee shall remain neutral in the election and not engage in electioneering. A person nominated pursuant to Bylaw Sections 9.4 or 9.5 is ineligible to serve on the Committee.
- The duties of the Election Campaign Practices Committee shall be:
- to distribute the campaign practices guidelines and financial disclosure rules to candidates for at-large elective positions not later than thirty days after nomination by the nominating committee or receipt of petition;
- to receive and consider written complaints of alleged violations of such guidelines or rules; if the committee finds probable cause to establish that a violation exists, to notify a candidate or a number of candidates how they may voluntarily comply with guidelines or rules and how long they have to do so; to attempt to mediate disputes arising from such complaints; and, if no satisfactory resolution of a complaint is achieved, to adjudicate the dispute and report the adjudication in writing to the candidates affected;
- to hold such hearings as may, at the Committee's discretion, be necessary or desirable to carry out the intent of subsection 2 above; and
- to report on its activities and any recommendations it may have to the Board of Trustees at its October meeting following the elections.
- If compliance to an adjudicated decision is not implemented by the stated deadline, the Committee is authorized to block or remove Association-subsidized privileges from the candidate’s campaign.
Candidates adjudicated to be in serious violation of Rule G-9.13.6(c) may have their names removed from the ballot. Any such action pursuant to rule G-9.13.10(c) shall be reported to the Board and the General Assembly. Such adjudication by the ECPC would be subject to automatic review by the Board Executive Committee according to the provisions of Rule G-9.13.10(d).
- Any candidate aggrieved by the Committee's adjudication may, within ten days of the mailing of the adjudication, appeal in writing to the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees, which shall have exclusive jurisdiction to hear and determine such an appeal. The Executive Committee shall report its decision on the appeal in writing to the affected candidates as expeditiously as feasible. The Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees is authorized to issue any order or ruling it deems appropriate in connection with such a decision.
- Any member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees who is a candidate for UUA elective office shall not participate in any manner in the determination of any appeal from an adjudication of the Election Campaign Practices Committee.
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Last updated on Friday, September 7, 2012.
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