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Rules Formulation Lecture for Cooperatives


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Rules Formulation Lecture for Cooperatives

  1. 1. Rules Formulation for Election Committee A lecture-presentation February 27-28, 2014 Mylene M. Mazo CDS - II
  2. 2. This training course is designed to develop the basic competencies of a member of the Election Committee in developing the election rules and guidelines.
  3. 3. Objective Upon completion of the course the learners should be able to: LO1. Develop comprehensive election rules and guidelines. LO2. Communicate the approved rules and guidelines with members. LO3. Execute the approved election rules and guidelines.
  4. 4. Develop Comprehensive Election Rules and Guidelines Contents: - The Meaning & Practice of Democracy in Cooperatives - Election Principles and Practices - Drafting the Election Rules and Guidelines for the Cooperative
  5. 5. The Meaning & Practice of Democracy in Cooperatives Art. 4, RA 9520 (2) Democratic Member Control - Cooperatives are democratic organizations that are controlled by their members who actively participate in setting their policies and making decisions. Men and women serving as elected representatives, directors or officers are accountable to the membership. In primary cooperatives, members have equal voting rights of one-member, one-vote. Cooperatives at other levels are organized in the same democratic manner.
  6. 6. By-Laws ARTICLE V. Committees Section 3. Election Committee. An Election Committee is hereby created and shall be composed of _____ ( ) members to be elected during a general assembly meeting and shall hold office for a term of one (1) year or until their successors shall have been elected and qualified. Within ten (10) days after their election they shall elect from among themselves a Chairperson, Vice- Chairperson and a Secretary. No member of the committee shall hold any other position within the Cooperative during his/her term of office.
  7. 7. Section 4. Functions and Responsibilities The Election Committee shall: a. Formulate election rules and guidelines, and recommend to the GA for approval; b. Implement election rules and guidelines duly approved by the GA; c. Recommend necessary amendments to the election rules and guidelines, in consultation with the Board of Directors, for approval of the GA; d. Supervise the conduct, manner and procedure of election and other election related activities and act on the changes thereto;
  8. 8. Section 4. Functions and Responsibilities e. Canvass and certify the results of the election; f. Proclaim the winning candidates; g. Decide election and other related cases except those involving the Election Committee or its members, and h. Perform such other functions as prescribed in the By-laws or authorized by the GA.
  9. 9. Election Principles and Practices Was your last Board election a thoughtful exercise in democracy in which members chose a well-qualified set of directors that add value to the Board and to the co-op? More than anyone else in the cooperative, the Board itself is responsible for ensuring that the answer to this question is “Yes!” Elections should be neither mundane (dull) nor contentious (controversial), but should honor and reinforce the democratic foundations of cooperatives.
  10. 10. Three Fundamental Principles Underlie Election Procedures and Processes One member, one vote: The Cooperative Principles tell us “cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members,” with members having “equal voting rights (one member, one vote).”
  11. 11. Member engagement: Board elections are an important way that cooperative member- owners and their Boards engage with each other.
  12. 12. Excellence in governance: The Board, which bears ultimate responsibility for the affairs of the co- op, must ensure that elections meet basic standards of fairness and create strong leadership for the cooperative.
  13. 13. What Makes an Election Both Fair and Beneficial to the Cooperative?  An informed electorate or membership-owners understand the leadership role of the Board, the ongoing work in which the Board is engaged, and the current issues facing the cooperative.
  14. 14.  Voting processes that are open to all, easily-understood and monitored. There is a concise and clear set of election procedures that follow all applicable requirements (including state law, your co-op’s bylaws, and Board policy). Elections are monitored and overseen by objective persons to make sure that the procedures are followed.
  15. 15.  A voting process in which each vote is sacred. Each person casts their vote without undue influence from anyone else; ballots are secret. In addition, ballots are kept secure from the moment they are cast until they are counted.
  16. 16.  An outcome that all owners have confidence in and are able to support regardless of personal views.
  17. 17. Running Elections in Cooperatives “There is a right way and wrong way to run elections. The right way requires adherence to a list of “Best Practices” that will ensure The actions and decisions of your board reflect the voices of your members --- and that you have an auditable process in place.”
  18. 18. Common Misconceptions in Running Elections Change is often met with trepidation. There is concern that changing long-held election practices will be detrimental to the organization. The following are some common misconceptions about changing election practices:
  19. 19. Misconception 1: “Running our election a different way will dramatically change the face of the board and the running of the cooperative.” Reality: Running a best practice election will enhance your organization by building member trust and increasing member engagement.
  20. 20. Misconception 2: “If we do not hold our election on-site, it will ruin our annual meeting.” Reality: Broadening your election to facilitate full voter membership will ultimately benefit your organization. In addition, by reducing the stress of running an election during the annual meeting, you can use the meeting to celebrate your success.
  21. 21. Misconception 3: “We’ve never had a problem with the way we run elections, so it must be fine.” Reality: You haven’t had a problem . . . yet. Proper governance of elections is one of the best ways to avoid lawsuits.
  22. 22. Best Practices in Running Elections When implementing best practices , consider Ben Franklin’s prolific words: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” If members are not properly informed and unaware of the election processes of the cooperative, this results in uncontested elections, which can discourage voters, breed skepticism, and even lead to lawsuits. It is therefore imperative that all members are well aware of the election process, from nominating procedures to voting instructions.
  23. 23. The following are communication practices which are highly recommended: 1. Educate and inform: Enable your nominees by providing clear and simple communications throughout the year (emails, post announcements, text messages, web pages, etc.) Explain upcoming board vacancies, procedures for nominating leaders and the date of the next election. There should also be information about board member responsibilities and compensation.
  24. 24. 2. Prepare Six to eight weeks prior to the election, compile information that members will need to vote. This should include nominee profiles, ballots and concise instructions for voting. 3. Deliver Plan to have your members receive their voting information two weeks prior to the election. This applies to information that is delivered by regular mail, email or automated phone message.
  25. 25. 4. Remind Reminders increase voter response rate. These can take the form of postcards, email blasts, text messages or phone calls. As a general rule, the more reminders, the greater the voter turn-out.
  26. 26. 5. Prioritize Your Members While we recommend providing a variety of voting options, always keep your members in mind when planning any event at which voting will take place. Encourage member attendance at these events by scheduling a time and place that is convenient for them, not just for your board members. Holding your meeting during hours when members are working will deter attendance, as will as holding the meeting at an inconvenient location.
  27. 27. 6. More Voting Options = More Voters Consider the demographics of your membership when designing your election. Older members from rural communities tend to rely on tried-and- true on-site voting methods, while younger or urban members may prefer online voting options. Others may favor the expediency of a call-in voting option. Some coops are now conducting “hybrid” elections, which include elements of on- site, mail, online and call-in voting methods.
  28. 28. Best Practices  Establish a set of criteria for fair and democratic board elections.  Write these criteria as a governance process policy, or as a Election Committee Guideline.  Require the ELECOM responsible for supervising the election process to report back to the board following the election.  The content of the report should clearly indicate how the process met the board’s pre-established criteria.
  29. 29.  Create an application packet for candidates to (1) educate them about the Board’s role and (2) give them an opportunity to reflect on and explain their qualifications.  The Board should present members with more than enough qualified candidates. Contested elections are an important aspect of true democratic control.
  30. 30.  For cooperatives with large number of membership (1,000 and above) , allow members to cast ballots over a period of time, rather than solely at the annual meeting itself. This is a simple way to encourage greater participation.
  31. 31.  The Cooperative Principle of Democratic Member Control ensures accountability of Board members Directors are elected by a vote of the entire membership. Voting will typically be by mail, online and/or in person, with one vote per member (applicable to cooperatives with large membership).
  32. 32.  Remember the election itself is just one part of an annual cycle of Board recruitment and development. After a bit of rest and celebration – jump right back into the Board development work so that your members will have another great crop of Board candidates next year.
  33. 33. Election Timeline February 4 Acceptance of Nomination (Board, Committee, Self- Nomination) March 9 ELECOM approves nominations, ballot/ candidates are publicly announced March 16 Candidate orientation March 23 GA members can vote in person; election results announced
  34. 34.  Don’t forget to orient and train your new directors. Remember the 5th Cooperative Principle:“Cooperatives provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their cooperatives.”
  35. 35. Excellent Boards Ensure Excellent Elections Make decisions based on your controlling documents, set and alter policy and procedure as necessary, delegate and monitor carefully. Because democracy matters, elections matter; because elections matter, your Board must fulfill its duty on behalf of your co-op’s members. Throughout the election cycle, from the nomination process, to the balloting period, and on to the vote count itself, the Board ensures complete integrity.
  36. 36. Documenting/Codifying Policies Transparency Policy No. Subject Resolution No Date Approved/ Adopted 010-s-10 2013 Whistleblower Policy 010-s-010-2013 October 11, 2013 011-s-10 2013 Conflict of Interest Policy 011-s-10-2013 October 18, 2013 012-s-10 2013 Policy for all Officers to 011-s-10-2013 October 25, 2013 comply with the mandatory training Requirements 013-s-10 2013 Election Policy & 013-s-10 2013 October 28, 2013 Guidelines 014-s-10 2013 Policy on Educating the 014-s-10 2013 November 8, 2013 officers
  37. 37. Workshop Formulate Rules for the Cooperative Election Committee
  38. 38. Drafting the Election Rules and Guidelines for the Cooperative Article I – GENERAL PROVISIONS Section 1. Applicability Section 2. Definition of Terms a. Regular members b. Board of Directors c. Audit Committee d. Election e. Election Committee (ELECOM) f. Election precinct g. General Assembly h. Master List of Voters i. Screening Committee
  39. 39. Section 3. Date/s of Election Section 4. Notices of Election Article II – ELIGIBILITY TO RUN AND FILING OF CERTIFICATE OF CANDIDACY Section 1. Qualifications/Disqualifications for the Board of Directors and Committee (Audit or Election) Members Section 2. Filing of Certificate of Candidacy Section 3. Requirements needed upon filing of Certificate of Candidacy a. Required data on the Certificate of Candidacy Section 4. Certificate of Candidacy Section 5. Screening Procedures a. Application b. Screening c. Posting of List of Qualified Candidates
  40. 40. Section 6. Withdrawal or Cancellation of Certificate of Candidacy Article III. PROHIBITED ACTS OF CANDIDATES Section 1. Prohibited Act of a Candidate Article IV. WATCHERS Section 1. Official Watchers of Candidates Section 2. Duties and Prerogative of Watchers Article V. VOTERS Section 1. Cut-off date for Qualified New Voters Section 2. Master list of Voters
  41. 41. Article VI. VOTING PRECINCT/S Section 1. Voting Precinct/s Section 2. Furnishing of Ballot Boxes, Form and Other materials for the Election Section 3. Ballot Boxes Section 4. Tally Boards Article VII. ELECTION COMMITTEE Section 1. Precinct Election Committee (PECOM) Article VIII. OFFICIAL BALLOT Section 1. Official Ballot Section 2. Prevention of Fraud
  42. 42. Article IX – CASTING OF VOTES Section 1. Voting Hours Section 2. Procedures of Voting a. Preliminaries of Voting b. Order of Voting c. Preparation of Ballots d. Persons Allowed near the Precinct e. Casting of Ballots f. Canvassing of Ballots g. Determination and Declaration of Spoiled Ballots h. Challenge of Illegal Voter Section 3. Minutes of Voting a. The time the voting commended and ended b. The number of ballot received c. The number of ballot used and number left unused d. The number of voters who cast their votes e. The number of voters challenged during the voting f. The names of watchers present g. The time the counting of votes commenced and ended
  43. 43. h. The number of official ballots i . The number of excess ballots as compared to the register of voters j. The number of ballots read and counted; and k. The record of protest, if any, and action taken by the ELECOM Section 4. Election Returns Section 5. Submission of Election Returns and other Election Paraphernalia’s Section 6. Final Canvass and Proclamation of Candidates Elect Article X – ELECTION PROTEST Section 1. Jurisdiction Section 2. Filing Fee Section 3. Resolution of Protest Section 4. Notice of Resolution
  44. 44. Article XI – AMENDMENTS Section 1. Amendments Article XII – APPROVAL AND EFFECTIVITY Section 1. Effectivity
  45. 45. Reference  Jo B. Bitonio, Supervising CDS, CDA-DEO  Michael Healy and Thane Joyal/ Elections Field Guide, v4.1 858744/w-Elections  NORLU-CEDEC, 108 Bokawkan Rd., Baguio City  MC 2013-02 Supplemented Roles on the Training Requirements of the Directors, Officers and Committee members dated Feb 7, 2013