Poll and Election Guidelines
These Guidelines were adopted by the Board on 6th January 2015.
These guidelines are for elections and polls run by the Returning Officer. Since Freegle started, our national polls and elections have been carried out on a variety of free software. Our current choice is Fluid Surveys 1.
Choice of Software
The Returning Officers choose which software to use, after consultation with the Geeks (see Election and Poll Procedures: "9. The Returning Officer will conduct the election or poll for voting on agreed confidential survey software and ensure that all votes and other details are kept confidential."). It is important that both Returning Officers have access to and maintain the confidentiality of the passwords to the survey software and results and that they support each other in its use.
Election and Poll Procedures: 10. The Returning Officer will ensure that records are kept of all messages relating to polls and elections. These records will be kept by the Returning Officer for a period of no more than 3 years. Copies of emails sent to all owner addresses and announcements of all poll and election results should be kept in Central files.
If a poll or election has been carried out by one of the Returning Officers only (see Conflict of Interests below), care should be taken over the access and storage of confidential records to ensure that any information one Returning Officer doesn't have is kept safe and that they know who has access to it (ie. the observer).
Conflict of Interest
If there are any conflicts of interest for a Returning Officer in any poll or election, an impartial observer will be appointed by the Board for the duration of the poll or election. The person appointed will be announced on Central by the Board.
The Survey software password and information access should be changed for the duration of the poll/election and the results stored securely, with access only to the conducting Returning Officer and the observer. That poll/election should then be removed from the Survey account as soon as possible and the password reset and shared with both Returning Officers.
Election and Poll Procedures "8c. Any nominee already holding an elected post who wishes to stand as a candidate in an election for an alternative post, must stand down from the current elected post, including access to any confidential information, for the duration of the election process (ie. from the time of being accepted as a candidate to the declaration of the result of the election)."
We currently use Fluid Surveys to run polls, having secured a discounted rate for their full survey facilities. (50% of 204 USD pa - c.£62 - December 2013)
Setting up a ‘Survey’
For each poll or election, the Returning Officers will decide which one will be take the lead to run it. The other (or the observer if applicable) will act as back up and proofreader for all documents. The wording of the questions of the poll or election will be supplied by the team or person requesting the poll. Any other information and verification questions will be worded with reference to previous polls and elections. A copy of the full wording of each survey and any accompanying email notifications and reminders will be kept on or linked from this wiki for future reference.
Notifications for a ‘Survey’
The Board, Working Group or poll initiator(s) will produce a package of emails, poll questions and descriptions as appropriate, and send it to the Returning Officers. The Returning Officers will let the initiators know which Returning Officer will be leading the process and if they are aware of any conflict of interests. The lead Returning Officer has responsibility for setting up the software, agreeing the timetable and requesting the geeks, at firstname.lastname@example.org, to organise the Send Bulk Mailings facility for notifications.
Polls on Central
Some polls are held on Central. The relevant parts of the procedures above apply equally to those polls. When a poll is set up a duplicate notification needs to be sent out via Special Notices as the normal auto-message generated by the poll set up is only sent to those on individual or digest settings.