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Author Post
Tue Aug 28 2018, 07:47p.m.

Registered Member #1
Joined: Sat Dec 09 2006, 11:54p.m.

Posts: 2987
Auberon wrote ...


1) Are envelopes with return addresses secret?
2) Why are secret ballots a requirement?
3) Who is this unbiased "group of individuals" that sorts and counts ballots?
4) Where does the counting occur?
5) Are current board/club members able to witness the vote counting?
6) Who collects and stores the mailed in ballots prior to vote counting?
7) What percentage of members have voted over the last 5 years?

Answers (to the best of my knowledge):

1) Yes, in that when the envelopes are opened prior to counting, the ballots are left folded when placed into a pile, shuffled, unfolded, and then counted by a group of impartial individuals.

2) Secret ballots are not a requirement that I'm aware of, but I'd have to check the bylaws to be certain. While we respect the transparency of the voting process, we also respect the privacy of our members in allowing the freedom to vote for who they choose without issue. We do not want members targeted for their voting history, especially when who someone *says* they'll vote for may not be who they *actually* vote for.

(I've done as much in the past, and I wouldn't want someone giving me crap for who I voted for. At best I wouldn't vote, at worst I'd make it a huge issue and push for that person to be ejected.)

3) The group of unbiased individuals is whatever impartial group of people the Guildmaster can gather to each individually count the ballots and compare totals. In the event of a discrepancy, the ballots are recounted. It varies from year to year, but each of them is not running for a board position at the time, as well as those with strong enough character to not reveal the specific results of the number of votes for each candidate (see point 5) below). There may be other criteria that the Guildmaster may use to ensure the privacy and integrity of the process, but this has been the general basis throughout the years.

4) The counting occurs primarily at the Guildmaster's residence as we do not have an official office.

5) I would assume the actual counting of votes, unlike the Board of Directors meetings, are not open. In the same regard as point 1) above in respecting the privacy of our members, we also respect the members that run for Board positions. We do not want someone who volunteers even more of their time and effort to the club to find out they only received 1, 2, etc. votes in the event of a loss (or win). That is why only the results of those elected are shared.

In the event the counting of votes is made open to club members, I would highly recommend that in years with highly or hotly contested elections, the counting of votes would be declared closed anyways to prevent issues. Also close observation of the opening of the envelopes and pooling of the ballots prior to counting would not be permitted per the privacy goals stated in 1).

6) The sealed ballot envelopes are collected and stored by the Guildmaster, to include in-person and via the post office box. The Treasurer also has access to the post office box, and provides any sealed ballots to the Guildmaster for collection. They are stored at the Guildmaster's residence in a secure location until the time of counting.

7) Approximately 30% if I remember correctly. We have an average of 100+ members vote each year (including lifetime members), and we have an average of 30+ ballots returned. In years where there are multiple people running for the same office, this may rise to 40+, or in uncontested years dip as low as 10+. When the counting is completed, only who will serve as the new board members are announced, and only with general numbers of total ballots provided (not the individual number of votes for each as per point 5).

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