OTW Elections – What the Bylaws Mean for the Coming Term

Although polls have yet to open for our 2011 election, we’re already thinking ahead to 2012. As some of you may have noted, the circumstances of the current election present a complication for next term. There are a total of seven seats on the Board, and Board members are customarily elected to three-year terms. We have four open seats in this election; two are from terms that ran out this year, and two are from Board members retiring before their terms are up (both would have had one more year). Meanwhile, the three Board members staying on were all elected last year, and those terms aren’t up for another two years. As things currently stand, this effectively leaves no seats open for a 2012 election. However, our current bylaws state that one-third of the Board must be elected every year.

The Board has discussed this issue and consulted with the Legal chair. There are several potential ways of handling the situation, including holding an election in 2012 (the details of which would have to be determined) and/or amending the bylaws (to allow us to skip elections for a year). The Board has decided not to alter anything about the current election, as we feel that to do so would be unfair to the candidates and voters. Rather, the current Board believes that the course of action should be determined by the new Board in consultation with the Legal committee, as it is the new Board who will be most closely affected by any decision.

In summary: the anticipated lack of open seats in 2012 is an issue that needs to be addressed before the next election season. However, nothing has been decided yet, and the issue will not affect how the current election is conducted.

As a reminder, voting in the 2011 election opens in about a day and a half; polls open noon UTC 16 November (check the time in your area) and close 48 hours later, at noon UTC 18 November (check the time in your area). Voters will receive a reminder email before polls open; if you believe you qualify to vote in this election but have not received a voter email, please contact us as soon as possible!

One thought on “OTW Elections – What the Bylaws Mean for the Coming Term

  1. Cross posted from my comment on the DW mirror:

    Supporting a previous comment that the first two members elected should be given the three terms and the third and fourth elected should be elected to replace the outgoing members for the remainder of those terms. Those terms going to reelection in a year.

    Each of the candidates are running for all four open positions at once, right? So in order to determine who gets which position, they positions much be ranked (conceptually). Actually, this seems clear from the ballot structure, with the top down preferencing. (Rather than having bottom up preferencing until there were four candidates left.)

    This is also what happens in the Australian Senate if there is a double dissolution election of the Senate and the whole of the Senate has to be reelected at the same time, in order to reestablish the staggered election pattern of the Senate. (The Australian Senate has a similar top-down preference count, although it’s proportional as well as preferential.) (http://www.aph.gov.au/library/pubs/rn/2002-03/03rn45.pdf)

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