Credentials and Elections
The Credentials Chair ensures that ballots are only issued to current District Council members or their authorized proxyholders and are signed for upon distribution. If possible, the Credentials Chair should be a Past District Director.
Preparing for the District Council annual meeting
The District Director sends a proxy form to each Club President and Vice President Education 30 days before a District Council annual meeting in the District newsletter or separate mailing.
The credential/proxy form must contain all the following:
- District number
- Description of event
- Date and location of meeting
- Space for club name and number
- Space for name of club representative or proxy holder
- Space for signature of authorization of club officer and office held
- The date the credential/proxy is signed
Preparing the credentials desk
The Credentials Chair will need to select volunteers to run the credentials desk. The team members running the credentials desk must not have any affiliation with any candidates. The Credentials Chair will need the following materials for the credentials desk, pulled on the day of the meeting:
- A list of current District Council members.
- To create this list, navigate to District Central, select the Reports tile and select District Club Officer Report from the drop-down list. Open the report and filter to show only paid Club Presidents and Vice Presidents Education of active clubs (the “Club Status” column should only show “Active”, the “Office” column should only show “President” and “Vice President Education”, and the “Paid Status” column should only show “Paid”). Then combine the filtered District Club Officer Report with the current District Officer list and sort to match how ballots will be issued (for example, alphabetical by last name or by division).
- A list of current District members. (This is used to confirm that proxyholders are eligible to vote.)
- To create this list, navigate to District Central, select the Reports tile and select District Membership Report from the drop-down list. Open the report and filter to show only paid members of active clubs (the “Club Status” column which only show “Active” and the “Paid Status” column should only show “Paid”).
- Ballots for each voter at the District Council meeting.
- Ballots must indicate the office being contested or be sequentially numbered for each contested election. Names of candidates nominated by the District Leadership Committee may be printed on District ballots. Floor candidates’ names cannot appear on District ballots. It is recommended that a voter ID number be included on each ballot. This allows ballot counters to confirm that no ballots were received in excess of issued ballots, if necessary.
Running the credentials desk
All volunteers at the credentials desk are not to wear or display any campaign paraphernalia, and are to do the following:
- Using the materials provided by the credentials chair, issue ballots only to the current list of District Council members or their proxyholders (for more information on proxies, please see below).
- Ensure all ballots issued are signed for upon receipt. Using this information, the credentials desk volunteers should create a list of issued ballots which the ballot counters can use to validate submitted ballots, if necessary.
- Assist the Credentials Chair with providing the Credentials Report, as requested.
Who can be a proxy holder?
Either the Club President or the Club Vice President Education may designate, in writing, any active member in good standing of the club to act as a proxy or proxies and cast one or both of the club's ballots at the District Council meeting. Each club must have an elected Club President and Vice President Education to submit two votes. If one of those officers is not at the meeting and has not designated, in writing, an active member of the club to act as their proxyholder at the council meeting, the other officer or proxyholder in attendance may cast two votes. The intent is to assure that every club will be able to cast two votes. No other proxies are valid at any such meeting.
In the event one of those officers is not in attendance at the meeting and has not designated a proxy:
- The officer or proxyholder in attendance must be deemed to hold the proxy of the other and may therefore cast two votes at the meeting.
- This assures that every club will be represented by two votes.
- No other proxies are valid at a District Council meeting.
- District leaders must be in attendance to cast a vote.
Determining the validity of a proxy:
To be valid at a District Council meeting, a proxy must:
- Contain all of the elements described above
- Be delivered personally, by mail, by fax, by email, by electronic transmission or by other reasonable means to the club member who will hold the proxy
- Be presented by the proxy holder in paper form (i.e. printed email) to the credentials desk. If the proxy does not bear a handwritten signature, it must have the typed name of the club officer(s) giving the proxy or some other indication that the club officer(s) authorized the proxy to be given.
A proxy that complies with these requirements is treated as valid so long as the credentials desk has no reason to believe that the proxy was not authorized. In addition, the following rules must be observed:
- A proxy holder cannot transfer or assign a proxy to someone else.
- A valid proxy delivered to the proxy holder is revoked only if the club officer who gave the proxy destroys the proxy, cancels the proxy in writing, issues another proxy authorized at a later date or actually attends the District Council meeting.
The team members serving as ballot counters must not have any affiliation with any candidates for the position for which they are counting ballots. It is recommended that the ballot counters are not the same volunteers who issued ballots. This will maintain the anonymity of ballots cast.
At the District's Annual Business Meeting, the District Director explains the election rules and procedures to the delegates. If the District Director is not present, a person designated by the District Director may stand in. The District Director is encouraged to create and follow a script for the District’s Annual Business Meeting, including the full election procedures, as outlined below.
The District Director or designee makes clear that:
- Quorum has been met
- Each candidate will speak on his or her own behalf, if present. If not present, see below.
- All candidates must be seated as close to the platform as possible.
The following rules apply to the District Leadership Committee's report: The committee chairperson gives the report.
- If the chairperson is absent, the District Director may designate someone else to give the report.
- The committee chairperson (or designee) first announces the names of the members of the committee.
- The chairperson then reads the name and club number of each candidate, in alphabetical order, for each of these offices:
- District Director
- Program Quality Director
- Club Growth Director
- Division Directors
- Administration Manager (if elected)
- Finance Manager (if elected)
- Public Relations Managers (if elected)
If a candidate is not present:
- He or she may be represented by another person who will speak on his or her behalf.
- The candidate's representative must be seated as close to the platform as possible.
- Restrictions apply regarding the choice of a representative. The following meeting officials may not give a speech on behalf of a candidate unless that individual resigns before the Annual Business Meeting begins:
- A member of the District Executive Committee
- A member of the District Leadership Committee
- The Credentials Chairperson
- Any meeting official, including the meeting Logistics Manager, Administrations Manager or Parliamentarian
- Other appointed district leader roles
Preparing for Floor Candidates:
For each office, the District Director asks whether there are any additional nominations from the floor for the office. If floor nominees are not in attendance, their designees will state the nominee's eligibility qualifications.
Eligible and Qualified Candidates:
Floor candidates must have completed the District Leadership Committee process and must be nominated by a member of the District Council or their proxy holder. A qualified candidate is a candidate that meets the qualifications as outlined in the District Administrative Bylaws. An eligible candidate is a candidate that has been evaluated by the District Leadership Committee, as referenced in Protocol 9.0. To be nominated from the floor, candidates must be both qualified and eligible. Floor candidates for District Director, Program Quality Director, Club Growth Director, and Division Directors must sign at the time of the floor nomination – or must have previously signed – the District Leader Agreement and Release Statement.
Who Can Vote?
Voting members of the District Council are the Club Presidents, Vice Presidents Education or their proxies and the members of the District Executive Committee: District Director, Program Quality Director, Club Growth Director, the Immediate Past District Director, Public Relations Manager, Administrations Manager, Finance Manager, Division Directors and Area Directors.
- In order to be eligible to vote, both the individual Toastmaster and the club he or she belongs to must be in good standing (see Membership).
Good Standing of Individual Members
A paid member is one whose dues have been received by World Headquarters for the current dues period. An individual must be a paid member to be nominated for or to serve in any office or leadership role in Toastmasters International. (Protocol 2.0)
Good Standing of Clubs
- A club is considered paid and is in good standing when its dues have been received by World Headquarters for the current dues period for a minimum of eight members—at least three of whom were members of the club during the previous renewal. (Protocol 2.0)
- A newly chartered club that has been assigned a club number is entitled to voting privileges. A list of clubs eligible to vote is available upon request. Requests may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who is entitled to one vote?
- Each member of the District Council or club proxy for the Club President or Vice President Education in attendance at the District Council meeting.
Who is entitled to two votes?
- Any active member who carries the proxies of both the Club President and the Vice President Education from the club.
- A Toastmaster belonging to two or more clubs may cast one vote for each of two clubs, but is limited to a maximum of two votes, regardless of the number of clubs to which they belong.
- All other Toastmasters (except members of the District Executive Committee) are limited to a maximum of two votes, regardless of the number of clubs to which they belong.
Who is entitled to three votes?
- Any Toastmaster who is also a member of the District Executive Committee.
- The maximum number of votes that any Toastmaster may cast is three, regardless of the number of clubs to which that Toastmaster belongs.
- There is no provision for a member of the District Executive Committee to assign a proxy.
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