Proxy and Elections
Preparing the credentials desk
If possible, the chairman in charge of the credentials desk should be a past district director. The credentials chairman will need the following materials:
- A list of eligible clubs in the district.
- A list of current district council members (club presidents, vice presidents education and district leaders eligible to vote).
- 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.
Credentials desk rules
All workers at the credentials desk are not to wear or display any campaign paraphernalia, and are to do the following:
- Ensure ballots are numbered sequentially, either on the stub or on a cover page, and that a list of those eligible to vote is available.
- Cross reference all ballots issued with the current list of district council members.
- Ensure all ballots issued are signed for upon receipt.
The district sends a credential/proxy form to each club president and vice president education in the district at least two weeks in advance of a district council meeting for use in the event either, or both, cannot attend the meeting. You may include this form in the District Newsletter or in the mailing announcing the meeting. The credential/proxy form must contain all of 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
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. 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 proxy or proxies of the club at any council meeting, the other officer 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 proxy holder 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.
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 or designee makes clear that:
- Quorum has been met
- Each candidate will speak on his or her own behalf.
- All candidates must take seats as close to the platform as possible.
The following rules apply to the district leadership committee's report: The committee chairman gives the report.
- If the chairman is absent, the district director may designate someone else to give the report.
- The committee chairman (or designee) first announces the names of the members of the committee.
- The chairman 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
- administration manager (if elected)
- division directors
- 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 take a seat 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 chairman
- Any meeting official, including the meeting logistics manager, administrations manager or parliamentarian
- Others appointed
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.
Floor candidates must be nominated by a member of the district council or their proxy holder. To be nominated from the 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 Officer 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 via email.
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 their proxy.
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