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Election Rules

MINNESOTA ASSOCIATION OF PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYEES

ELECTION RULES
Amended at Delegate Assembly on September 20-21, 2013

Article I Definitions

  1. Candidate means a member seeking an elective position.
  2. Days refers to calendar days, unless stated otherwise.
  3. Election Cycle means the frequency at which an election is held for a particular position.
  4. Elective Position means a position usually filled by an election. This includes officers, trustees, delegates and alternates to the Delegate Assembly, and members of the Statewide Negotiations Committee.
  5. Eligible Voters means members as of the date specified on the MAPE Election Timetable.
  6. Hybrid Election means an electronic election in which an individual voter may request and vote a paper ballot.
  7. Incumbent means a member currently holding an elective or appointive position, regardless of the term’s anticipated ending date.
  8. Office means an elective position held by an officer.
  9. Mail means U.S. mail or other secure means approved by the Board of Directors.
  10. Reasonable Notice means notifying all affected members, at their home or work addresses, such that the notice is timed to arrive prior to the opening of nominations for an election. This may be done by mail, by electronic methods, by hand, or by posting notices on bulletin boards at all affected work locations. It must include arrangements to notify members routinely assigned away from their work address for prolonged periods. The notice shall include:
    a) the open positions,
    b) a description of the duties of each position,
    c) the date nominations open and close,
    d) the date(s) of the election,
    e) the method of balloting,
    f) when, where, and how ballots will be tabulated.
  11. Election(s) Committee Report means the report announcing election results.
  12. Special Election means an election other than a regularly scheduled election.

Article II Dates

  1. Elections Committee for Statewide and Regional elections must be appointed in accordance with the Bylaws. The election committee for Local elections must be selected by the Local by the time nominations for Local offices open.
  2. Statewide Elections must be completed by the end of December.
  3. Local and Regional Elections must be completed in July.
  4. Setting Dates. The Board of Directors shall fix all dates concerning regularly scheduled elections in accordance with the Official MAPE Election Timetable. The Board will use the MAPE Election Timetable (Appendix A) and only add the actual dates.
    The Elections Committee shall set dates concerning statewide and regional special elections. The local election committee shall set dates concerning local special elections.
    If a deadline falls on a day the MAPE office is closed, that deadline will be moved to the next day the office is open, and subsequent dates will be set based on the moved deadline.

Article III Nominations

  1. Nominees. The Elections Committee shall seek out and encourage qualified persons to run for elective positions. The election committee for Local Charter Elections shall consist of a representative from each impacted Local (the existing Local(s) and the local seeking a charter) and a statewide officer to be selected by the MAPE president.
  2. Conditions of Candidacy. Members must meet the eligibility requirements defined in MAPE Bylaws Article VIII (ELECTIONS AND VACANCIES), Section 1 (Eligibility).
  3. Nomination Procedure. Nominations shall be submitted by members to the Elections Committee in writing.
  4. Withdrawal of Nomination. A person nominated may withdraw his/her name from nomination at any time before or after nominations are closed.
  5. Closing of Nominations. Nominations close according to the MAPE Election Timetable (Appendix A).
  6. Nomination and Acceptance Speeches. No more than two nomination speeches per candidate will be permitted at Delegate Assembly. Nomination and acceptance speeches shall be limited to a maximum of two minutes each per nominator or nominee.
  7. Candidate Compliance. In addition to other requirements of the governing documents, all nominees for statewide office shall affirm in writing (or electronically) their intent to comply with the requirements of MAPE's governing documents and procedures and their willingness to be placed in nomination for the office.
  8. Candidate Eligibility Report. The Elections Committee shall declare the candidates to appear on the ballot upon completion of the Candidate Eligibility Report. The report shall include statements of compliance and willingness to be placed in nomination, proof that the candidate is bondable (where necessary), and the findings concerning each nominee's eligibility.

Article IV Campaign Support

  1. General Resources. Candidates shall not accept support of money, facilities, paid labor, or other goods or services for the benefit of their campaign from any profit or non-profit corporation, unit of government, political action committee, or collective bargaining representative or an affiliate thereof.
  2. MAPE Resources. Except as provided in these rules; the funds, staff, materials, equipment, and facilities of MAPE shall not be used with the purpose or clear effect of benefiting or harming any candidate's campaign. Candidates shall not solicit campaign contributions at MAPE's offices or during the official business portions of MAPE sponsored events.
  3. Campaign Forums. The Elections Committee or local officers may arrange forums to allow candidates to express their views. Any such forums shall be made available on an equal basis to all candidates.
  4. Distribution List Security. MAPE shall maintain control of distribution lists and related labels. Lists compiled for MAPE purposes are MAPE property. MAPE shall grant equal access to discount distribution permits (when applicable) and distribute literature at the candidates’ expense. No other access to MAPE distribution lists for campaign purposes shall be permitted.

Article V Campaign Conduct

  1. General Conduct. All candidates shall conduct their campaigns in a manner that promotes the welfare of MAPE and does not subject MAPE to liability.
  2. False Claims. Candidates shall not knowingly make false or clearly misleading claims.
  3. Undue Influence. Candidates shall not use coercion, bribery, or a promise of future consideration in an attempt to influence an election.
  4. E-Mail Use. State e-mail or equipment (including printers and fax machines) may not be used for MAPE campaign purposes. Campaign e-mail messages shall not be sent or forwarded from state or non-state systems to state systems.
  5. Campaign Literature. The Elections Committee shall establish the format and filing requirements for all campaign literature. All campaign literature shall bear the name of the author(s), the funding source, and the candidate(s) and/or issue(s) it supports. One copy of all campaign literature shall be filed with the Elections Committee prior to distribution. Candidates are solely responsible for the content of their campaign literature.
  6. Personal Statements. Candidates may prepare a personal statement to be included with the ballots.
  7. Postage-paid Distribution. Candidates for statewide positions shall be allowed to participate in a single, combined distribution of campaign literature to members. The distribution shall be at no cost to the candidates, except candidates shall supply, at their own expense, sufficient copies of the literature to be distributed.
  8. Additional Distributions. Candidates may submit campaign literature to MAPE for distribution to members. All costs associated with such distribution shall be borne by the candidates and paid in advance of the distribution.

Article VI Election Procedure

  1. Write In Candidates. Write-In candidates are prohibited.
  2. Individual Position. To be elected to an individual position requires a majority vote.
  3. Preferential Balloting. When a majority vote is required and more than two candidates are seeking one office, preferential balloting will be used. Voters will be instructed to indicate the order in which they prefer all the candidates for that office by placing or indicating the numeral 1 beside their first preference, the numeral 2 beside their second preference, and so on for every possible choice.
    Paper Ballot. When counting the votes for that office, all ballots will be placed in piles according to the first preference, and then the ballots are counted. If one candidate has a majority (over 50%), that candidate is the winner. If no candidate has a majority, the ballots for the candidate with the fewest first place votes will be redistributed into the other piles according to the names marked as second choice on those ballots, and all ballots are recounted. If no candidate has a majority, the process will be repeated using third and subsequent choices until one candidate has a majority of the remaining ballots counted. When ballots are being redistributed, a ballot with no remaining choices is set aside as exhausted. The results of all counts will be reported.
    Electronic Ballot. Tallying will be done in a manner that produces the same results as would be obtained if the voting were done using paper ballots. The results of all counts will be reported.
  4. Ties. In case of a tie, the Elections Committee shall prepare and draw lots immediately after tabulation of the ballots.
  5. Multiple Identical Position (i.e., Delegate, Trustee). All candidates for multiple identical positions shall be voted on simultaneously. To be elected to a multiple identical position requires a plurality vote. For such positions, a plurality means more votes than other candidates for the position, up to the number of positions open. For example, if there are three positions, the three candidates receiving the most votes are elected.
  6. Seating. Newly elected persons shall be seated immediately after the Election(s) Committee Report is released, unless another date is provided in the governing documents.

Article VII Election Mechanics

  1. Eligible Voters. The Second Vice President shall submit an accurate list of eligible voters to the Elections Committee.
  2. Balloting Method.
    a) Regional elections (regularly scheduled and special) shall be by mail or electronic (including hybrid) methods. Switching between the two methods can be accomplished by a majority vote of all local officers and the regional director – except an interim officer who is not a member of the region cannot vote.
    b) Regularly scheduled local elections shall be by mail, by electronic methods, or at a meeting. Initially, elections will be by mail. Changing the method of balloting from mail/electronic to at a meeting, or vice versa, requires a membership vote by the method used in the previous election. Changing the method of balloting from mail to electronic or vice versa can be accomplished by a majority vote of all local officers.
    c) The method of balloting to fill vacancies in local offices shall be a special election at a meeting.
    d) A majority of local or regional officers (as appropriate) may request a hybrid. Hybrid elections may be authorized by the MAPE Executive Committee. The Committee’s decision may be appealed to the Board of Directors. Additional costs for a hybrid election will be borne by the requesting local(s).
  3. Secret Ballot. All voting shall be by secret ballot.
  4. Ballot Security. The Elections Committee and their designees (which may include a third party vendor) shall adopt, oversee, and maintain reasonable safeguards to protect ballot integrity and confidentiality.
  5. Ballot Format.
    a) In races with fewer than five candidates, the order of names shall be varied such that, when considering all of the ballots, every name appears in each position of the list approximately the same number of times. In races with more than four candidates, the order shall be varied as much as is practical.
    b) Incumbents and agencies shall not be designated on the ballot.
    c) When preferential balloting is not used, instructions on the ballot will state that voters will “vote for no more than” the number of positions to be filled.
  6. Tabulation of Ballots. The Elections Committee and their designees (which may include a third party vendor) shall tabulate or oversee tabulation of ballots. A majority of Elections Committee members shall make decisions concerning ballots, unless handled by a third party vendor. Candidates shall not be present during ballot processing. MAPE staff not integral to the election process shall not be present during ballot processing. Each candidate may have an observer at all stages of ballot processing, except when ballot processing is done by a third party vendor. Observers representing candidates shall remain silent and be seated where they can observe the markings on ballots but shall not handle or count ballots. Safeguards may include, but are not limited to, securing the assistance of an independent, non-partisan agency to observe election procedures. Ballots are valid if, in the Elections Committee's judgment, the intent of the voter is clear.
  7. Ineligible Apparent Winner. If an apparent winner is ineligible, as defined in Bylaws Article VIII, at the time vote counting is completed, the Elections Committee or local election committee, as appropriate, will declare the election for that position void, nominations for that position will be reopened, and a special election will be held. This procedure will be followed even if the apparent winner has been seated but is found to have been ineligible when the votes were counted.
    In a multiple identical position race, if an apparent winner is ineligible at the time vote counting is completed, the election of that candidate will be declared void. Other apparent winners are elected and will be seated in accordance with the governing documents.
  8. Election(s) Committee Report. This report will include:
    a) the percentage and actual number of final votes;
    b) the winner(s) of each race;
    c) the number of spoiled ballots; and
    d) for preferential balloting, each iteration’s results.
    This report will be posted on the MAPE website. This report is released:
    a) When voting not at a meeting, by being sent to the members of the Board of Directors and MAPE Central (for posting and further notifications).
    b) When voting at a meeting, by being sent to the regional director, the incumbent local officers, and MAPE Central (for posting and further notifications).
  9. Other Procedures. The Elections Committee may adopt other election procedures as described in the parliamentary authority or as are reasonable and necessary.

Article VIII Elections by Mail or Electronic Methods

  1. Reasonable Notice. Reasonable notice shall be given that an election will be held.
  2. Mail Ballots. The mailing must include the ballot, a small envelope for enclosing the ballot, a stamped addressed return envelope, voting instructions, and candidates' personal statements.
  3. Electronic Ballots. The mailing must include a sample ballot, voting instructions, and information necessary to access the secure balloting Web site. The Web site shall include an electronic ballot and candidates’ personal statements.
  4. Uncontested Election. If only one person is nominated for a position, the person is seated in accordance with the MAPE Election Rules.

Article IX Elections at a Meeting

  1. Reasonable Notice. Reasonable notice shall be given that an election will be held.
  2. Concurrent Voting. All positions are voted on at the same time. Nominations must close at least 30 days prior to balloting. The local shall make provisions for absentee ballots but is not required to pay return postage.
  3. Consecutive Voting. This method can be used only when more than one position is open. Positions are voted on consecutively in the order listed below:
    President,
    Vice President,
    Treasurer,
    Secretary,
    Membership Secretary,
    Other Local Officers,
    Delegates and Alternates,
    other.
    Nominations close at the meeting at which the election is held. An unsuccessful candidate for one position may be nominated for another open position. Multi-site meetings preclude consecutive voting.
  4. Election Committee. The Election Committee shall consist of at least two members who are not candidates for position.
  5. Uncontested Election. If only one person is nominated for a position, the person is seated in accordance with the MAPE Election Rules.
  6. Lack of Quorum. If there is no quorum at a meeting when an election has been scheduled, the election must be rescheduled to the next meeting.

Article X Special Elections

  1. Purpose. A special election is held to fill an existing or upcoming vacancy or when prescribed by the governing documents.
  2. Reasonable Notice. Reasonable notice shall be given that an election will be held.
  3. Uncontested Election. If only one person is nominated for a position, the person is seated immediately after:
    • Candidate eligibility is determined,
    • Proof of bondability (if required) is provided,
    • The position is vacant, and
    • Nominations are closed.

Article XI Violations, Protests, and Appeals

  1. Submitting Protests. Protests concerning campaign support, campaign conduct, or election conduct may be submitted only by members who are eligible to vote in the race being protested. Protests must be in writing, indicate the nature of the violation, and provide supporting information. Protests shall be submitted to the Elections Committee no later than five days after announcement of the results.
  2. Hearing of Violations and Protests. Any alleged violation of MAPE Election Rules or other action which may compromise the integrity and validity of an election shall be investigated by the Elections Committee. The committee shall conduct investigations it considers appropriate. The committee shall allow affected parties a reasonable opportunity to be heard. The Elections Committee’s findings may be appealed to the Board of Directors.
  3. Penalties and Remedies. Penalties or remedies for violations of MAPE's Election Rules shall be appropriate and proportional to the nature of the violation and its materiality to the election's outcome. Penalties and remedies include, but are not limited to: retractions of false claims, reimbursement of misused MAPE resources, censure, fines, candidate disqualification, or invalidation of all or part of an election.

Article XII Changes to the Election Rules

  1. Changes. Changes to the Election Rules shall be approved by the Delegate Assembly by a majority vote.
  2. Prior Notice. Prior written notice containing copies of all proposed changes to the Election Rules shall be mailed to all delegates, alternates, and members of the Board of Directors and posted on the MAPE website at least 30 days prior to the Delegate Assembly at which they will be considered. Individuals submitting proposed amendments must be members when the Delegate Assembly is convened, or their amendments will not be considered.
  3. Amendments. Proposed Election Rules changes may be amended at the Delegate Assembly at which they are considered. The amendment must be germane to the original change, must be consistent with the intent of the original change, and must not create a greater change in the Election Rules than the original amendment.

MAPE ELECTION RULES
APPENDIX A

Last Possible DateStatewide Officer & Trustee Election TimelinesNo Later Than
Membership deadline to be eligible as candidate120 days prior to close of nominations
Announce Opening of Nominations60 days prior to Delegate Assembly
Membership deadline to be eligible to vote2 weeks prior to either ballot mailing or electronic voting window opening
Nominations CloseDelegate Assembly
Candidates accept or decline nomination7 days after Delegate Assembly
Affirm and/or Protest Candidate Eligibility7 days after Delegate Assembly
Provide Proof of Bondability (where required)7 days after Delegate Assembly
Candidate Eligibility Report12 days after Delegate Assembly
Postage-Paid Distribution Submission Deadline7 days prior to postage-paid distribution
Postage-Paid Distribution7 days prior to either ballot mailing or electronic voting window opening
Ballots Mailed or Electronic Voting Opens21 days after Candidate Eligibility Report
Ballots Returned or Electronic Voting Closes21 days after either ballot mailing or electronic voting window opening
Ballots Tabulated5 days after ballots returned or electronic voting window closes
Election(s) Committee Report5 days after ballots tabulated
Results posted on the websiteAs soon as practical after Election(s) Committee Report
Protests5 days after the results are posted on the website
SeatingOfficers: First Board of Directors meeting after January 1.
Trustees: Immediately after the Election(s) Committee Report.
Financial Report10 days after ballots tabulated
Last Possible DateRegional & Local Election TimelinesNo Later Than
Membership deadline to be eligible as candidate120 days prior to close of nominations
Choose mail, electronic, or meeting election and consecutive or concurrent votingBefore nominations are opened
Announce Opening of Nominations30 days prior to close of nominations
Last Possible DateRegional & Local Mail or Electronic Election TimelinesNo Later Than
Region or local (as appropriate) membership deadline to be eligible to vote2 weeks prior to either ballot mailing or electronic voting window opening
Nominations Close, Personal Statement Due
Affirm and/or Protest Candidate Eligibility7 days after nominations close
Provide Proof of Bondability (where required)12 days after nominations close
Candidate Eligibility Report14 days after nominations close
Ballots Mailed or Electronic Voting Opens21 days after Candidate Eligibility Report
Ballots Returned or Electronic Voting Closes21 days after either ballot mailing or electronic voting window opening
Ballots Tabulated5 days after ballots returned or electronic voting window closes
Election(s) Committee Report5 days after ballots tabulated
Results posted on the websiteAs soon as practical after Election(s) Committee Report
Seating of Officers and DelegatesImmediately following Election(s) Committee Report
Seating of Negotiations Committee MembersIn accordance with Bylaws Article VI
Protests5 days after the results are posted on the website
Last Possible DateLocal Meeting Election Timelines Concurrent VotingNo Later Than
Local membership deadline to be eligible to voteMeeting at which election is held
Nominations Close, Personal Statement Due30 days prior to meeting at which election is held
Affirm and/or Protest Candidate Eligibility7 days after nominations close
Provide Proof of Bondability (where required)7 days after nominations close
Candidate Eligibility Report14 days after nominations close
Ballots Tabulated5 days after meeting at which election is held
Election(s) Committee Report5 days after meeting at which election is held
Results posted on the websiteAs soon as practical after Election(s) Committee Report
Seating of Officers and DelegatesImmediately following Election(s) Committee Report
Protests5 days after the results are posted on the website
Last Possible DateLocal Meeting Election Timelines Consecutive VotingNo Later Than
Local membership deadline to be eligible to voteMeeting at which election is held
Nominations Close, Personal Statement DueMeeting at which election is held
Affirm and/or Protest Candidate EligibilityMeeting at which election is held
Candidate Eligibility ReportMeeting at which election is held
Ballots Tabulated5 days after meeting at which election is held
Election(s) Committee Report5 days after meeting at which election is held
Results posted on the websiteAs soon as practical after Election(s) Committee Report
Seating of Officers and DelegatesImmediately following Election(s) Committee Report
Protests5 days after the results are posted on the website
Provide Proof of Bondability (where required)7 days after Election(s) Committee Report
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