Election and Poll Procedure

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This document was adopted by the Board at their meeting of 6th January 2015. Section 8 was added after discussion on Development and agreement of the Board in January 2017.

The Document Approval Policy lays out which documentation is to be polled on and where. The Returning Officer will be responsible for all election polls and polls held at General Meetings. The Board, Working Groups or Teams have the option to ask the Returning Officer to run other polls if required.

1. Notification that an election or poll is required will be confirmed to the Returning Officer via the RO Address with sufficient notice for the process to be arranged. Elections will be notified by the Board, polls will be notified by the Board Working Group or Team as required.

2. A role description for elected posts will be provided by the Board and advertised with the call for nominees in elections.

3. The poll initiator(s) will produce a package of emails, poll questions and descriptions as appropriate, and send it to the Returning Officer.

4. Once asked to conduct the election or poll, the Returning Officer will conduct the poll or election in line with these procedures. Some document amendments, and all election notifications, must be notified to Freegle Members. The messages should be sent from the Returning Officer email address and a copy of the message should also be posted on Central as a Special Notice.

5. The Geeks should ensure that a reliable method of mass mailing is provided for use by the Returning Officer.

6. The Returning Officer will have final responsibility for deciding when messages should be sent and will liaise with and ensure adequate notice is given to others involved in any proofreading and mailing process.

7. For Board elections:

a. Any Freegle Member may nominate another Freegle Member to stand for election. People may also self-nominate. Nominations should include the name of the nominee, an email address for the nominee and the name of their home Freegle group.

b. Anyone nominated must confirm to the Returning Officer that they are willing to stand for election via the RO Email Address. Nominations will be accepted up to the stated deadline and each nominees must be supported by two nominations.

c. 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).

If the candidate is not elected, they may resume their original elected post and conditions once any applicable confidential arrangements have been made. If the candidate is elected, the original post will then be regarded as vacant and the normal election procedures will be implemented.

d. After the end of the nominations deadline, all nominees must submit to the Returning Officer a statement of approximately 250 words, which will be used to let Freegle Members know who they are, why they would like to stand, some background information about themselves and anything else which the nominee believes the voters would find useful in helping them to make a decision.

e. Interested nominees and others can ask private questions direct to the Returning Officer (RO Email Address) or to the Freegle mailbox address (info@ilovefreegle.org). Discussion can take place on Freegle Central as well.

f. Any Freegle Volunteer who has any questions for candidates can post them on Central with a specific new thread for each question entitled "Candidate question - subject" to which only candidates are allowed to reply.

g. Each Freegle Member may cast one vote for each position available. The Returning Officer may decide to hold a second round of voting if there are a large number of candidates. The timing of this will be announced on Central. This will ensure that no voters feel disenfranchised by none of their votes being represented in the final list of candidates.

8. In the event of loss of communication or any other emergency which causes a Director election to be stalled, the Board can ask:

a. A non-Board Member, or

b. A Director who is not standing for election either because they are standing down completely or not standing as they are remaining a Director,

to help the process through to completion, with access to the facilities and information and the powers of a Returning Officer.

The Board will run a 2 day long poll on Freegle UK Central for confirmation of their decision, including notification of any new account/software that will be used.

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. The results of the vote will be announced to the candidates and/or the poll initiator(s), the Board and Freegle UK Central (via Special Notice) as soon as it is practical after the close of the election or poll.

10. The Returning Officer will ensure that records are kept of all messages relating to polls and elections they have conducted. 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.

Links to relevant documents:

Records of Polls and Elections held:

Previous Freegle UK document: Election and Poll Procedures