NEW YORK NURSE: March/April 2012
The Nomination and Election of NYSNA Officers, Directors and members of the Nominating and Election Committees shall be governed by this Election Policy, the NYSNA Bylaws and applicable federal law.
A. Distribution of Nominations Notice and Nomination Form
By no later than February 1 of the year in which an election is being held,1 the Nominating Committee shall distribute to the members and constituent district nurses associations a Notice of Nominations and Election and a Nomination Form. (collectively, the “Nominations Notice”). The Nominations Notice shall be carried in the official NYSNA publication and on the NYSNA Website.
B. Content of Nominations Notice
The Nominations Notice shall contain a list of offices for which nominations are being accepted, the terms of office, an optional Candidate’s Statement which nominated candidates may complete, the date by which Nomination Forms and Candidate Statements must be received by the NYSNA Nominating Committee and a Consent to Serve form for the nominee to sign.
C. Requests for Nomination Forms
Nomination Forms are available in the official NYSNA Publication and on the NYSNA website. All requests from members for Nomination Forms must be made in writing to the NYSNA Nominating Committee at the following address: Nominating Committee, New York State Nurses Association, 11 Cornell Road, Latham, NY 12110; firstname.lastname@example.org; fax: 518.783.5207. Nomination forms will be sent via mail, e-mail or fax, as requested by the member(s) making the request.
D. Publication of List of Nominees and Candidate Statements
The Nominating Committee shall compile and submit for publishing in the official NYSNA publication and on the NYSNA website a list of nominees for each elective position and the Candidate’s Statements that have been received by the designated due date. A nominated candidate may have his or her Candidate’s Statement appear in the official NYSNA Publication only if his or her Nominations Form and Candidate’s Statement have been returned by the designated due date.
E. Rules Governing Nominations
1. Nominations. Members who are eligible to run for a NYSNA office or position as set forth in Article XIII of the NYSNA Bylaws may either self-nominate or be nominated by an eligible member in good no later than the deadline contained in the Nomination Form.
2. Consent to Serve. All nominated candidates must complete a written consent to serve form, which shall be included in the Nomination Form. A member may only consent to serve in one (1) elected office or position. Once the ballots have been printed, a candidate may not revoke his or her consent to serve.
A. Eligibility to Nominate
A member may self-nominate or nominate a candidate for office only if he or she is not (1) in arrears in the payment of dues, fees and financial obligations to NYSNA; (2) a supervisor or manager within the meaning of the National Labor Relations Act; (3) a member of the NYSNA staff; (4) serving on the Nominating Committee or the Election Committee.
B. Eligibility to Vote
To be eligible to vote in the election, a member may not be in arrears in the payment of dues, fees and financial obligations to NYSNA.
C. Eligibility to Run for Office
A member is eligible to run for office only if he or she is not (1) in arrears in the payment of dues, fees and financial obligations to NYSNA; (2) a supervisor or manager within the meaning of the National Labor Relations Act; (3) a member of the NYSNA staff; (4) serving on the Nominating or Election Committee. While all members meeting this criteria may run for Association-wide office, only members assigned to a designated Region may run for a Regional Director position. (For information about regions, see Appendix 2 of the Proposed Bylaws Amendments sent previously and posted on the NYSNA website.)
1 If the proposed bylaws changes are adopted at the May 17, 2012 Special Meeting, a new Notice of Nominations and Election for the 2012 Election will be distributed to the members and constituent district nurses associations no later than June 1, 2012.
CAMPAIGNING AND ACCESS
A. Mailings of Candidate Literature
1. Each candidate shall be permitted a reasonable opportunity, equal to that of any other candidate, to have his or her literature sent via U.S. Postal Service or electronic mail (hereinafter collectively referred to as “candidate mailings”) at the candidate’s expense. Each candidate is entitled to a reasonable number of candidate mailings, whether or not any other candidate makes such request(s).
2. Such request(s) for candidate mailings shall be made in writing by the candidate to the NYSNA Executive Director, and shall specify the desired date of the mailing. Requests will be processed as set forth below.
3. With respect to U.S. Postal Service candidate mailing requests, NYSNA will arrange for the production of mailing labels and for a New York area mail house to either: (a) label and mail pre-sealed envelopes containing campaign material; (b) insert the candidate’s pre-printed campaign material into labeled envelopes, or (3) mail campaign postcards. NYSNA will provide the candidate with a schedule for delivery of material to the mail house, as well as an estimate from the mail house for the reasonable costs of such mailing, including the vendor’s charge and the postal fees for either first class or bulk rate mail. The candidate may also contract with the mail house to print his or her campaign literature. Candidates must tender the cost of the mailing, including printing, upon delivery of their material to the mail house. A candidate also will be responsible for reimbursing NYSNA for the reasonable costs it incurs in connection with the production of mailing labels, prior to the mailing. NYSNA is not required to distribute or arrange for the distribution of any candidate’s campaign literature if the candidate is not able or willing to pay for the reasonable costs of the mailing in advance of the mailing. In complying with requests to mail literature, NYSNA shall use the names and current addresses that are on file for all members.
4. With respect to requests to distribute candidate literature via email, NYSNA will make available to all candidates the opportunity to send campaign communications by electronic mail to NYSNA members who have provided an e-mail address to NYSNA. E-mail distribution of literature will be transmitted by an independent company, designated by NYSNA, that specializes in electronic communications. The e-mail message must identify the candidate and be in plain text format. The message may not include attachments or links to websites, although it may include a website’s URL in plain text. The subject line will read “NYSNA Campaign Literature.” All messages must state the following:
This e-mail is not an official communication from NYSNA, and has not been transmitted at NYSNA’s expense. NYSNA is required by federal law to comply with all reasonable requests by candidates for union office regarding the distribution of campaign literature at the candidate’s expense. The following message has been prepared by the candidate and is not endorsed or reviewed by NYSNA. The candidate has not been provided with your email address. This message is being transmitted by an independent electronic communications company that has signed an agreement with NYSNA which requires the company to guarantee the confidentiality of your email address.
5. The candidate will be responsible for all vendor costs and will pay the vendor directly for the transmission of candidate literature via e-mail. NYSNA will provide all candidates requesting the distribution of literature via e-mail with instructions concerning the emailing of candidate literature, the name of the authorized vendor and the vendor’s price list. Payments must be made to the vendor prior to its rendering services.
6. The vendor will sign a confidentiality agreement which guarantees that members’ mail and e-mail addresses will not be made available to the candidate, the recipients of campaign materials, or any third party. The vendor will verify with NYSNA, before entering into an agreement with the candidate, that he or she is included on a list of authorized candidates. Candidates will not be able to see progress messages, bounce notifications or failed delivery information. The vendor, however, will provide candidates with a report on the total number of mail and/or e-mails sent and the total number of undeliverable pieces of mail and/or emails.
7. NYSNA may not refuse to process or distribute any candidate’s literature on the basis of its content, nor may it edit any candidate’s campaign literature.
B. Inspection of Membership List
Each candidate shall have the right, on one occasion during the ninety (90) days before the ballot count, to inspect, but not copy, a list containing the names and last known addresses of all members of the association. NYSNA shall not discriminate in favor of or against any candidate with respect to the membership list. A request to inspect the membership list shall be made in writing to the NYSNA Executive Director.
C. Freedom to Exercise Political Rights
Subject to the limitations set forth in Article IV, below, all NYSNA members retain the right to participate in campaign activities, including the right to run for office (if they meet the eligibility requirement in NYSNA’s Bylaws), to openly support or oppose any candidate, to aid or campaign for any candidate and to make personal campaign contributions.
A. Limitations on Contributions
1. No employer is permitted to make a contribution to promote the candidacy of any person, and no candidate may receive any employer contributions made to promote his or her candidacy. This prohibition includes a ban on monetary contributions and the use of an employer’s stationery, equipment, facilities, personnel or other resources to promote a candidate. The prohibition on employer contributions extends to every employer, regardless of the nature of the business or whether any union represents its employees.
2. No labor organization, including NYSNA, is permitted to make a contribution to promote the candidacy of any person, and no candidate may receive any labor organization contributions made to promote his or her candidacy. This prohibition includes a ban on monetary contributions and the use of a labor organization’s stationery, equipment, facilities, personnel or other resources to promote a candidate.
B. No Campaigning on Paid Time
No member may campaign for him/herself or for any other candidate during time that is paid for by any employer provided, however, that campaigning incidental to work or during paid vacation, paid lunch hours or breaks, or similar paid time off is permitted.
A. Election Supervision
The election of Officers, Directors and members of the Nominating and Election Committees shall be overseen by an independent election company (the “election company”) selected by the Board of Directors.
B. Conduct of Election
The 2012 election of Officers, Directors and members of the Nominating and Election Committees shall be conducted by mail ballot in accordance with applicable law.
1. Printed Ballots. All ballots shall be identified as the Official NYSNA Election Ballot and shall contain appropriate voter instructions.
2. Mailing of Ballots. All ballots will be mailed to the members no later than sixty (60) days before the association’s annual meeting.
3. Order of Placement. The order of candidates on the ballot shall be determined by lot after nominations have been closed.
4. Write-Ins. Write-in votes are permitted.
5. Slates Membership. Each candidate nominated for office may campaign and appear on the ballot as a member of a slate of candidates, regardless of whether the slate is complete. No candidate shall be compelled to run as a member of a slate. No candidate shall be permitted to run on more than one slate.
6. Slate Declaration Forms. To form a slate, there shall be mutual consent between and among all candidates running on the slate. Such mutual consent shall be evidenced by the signing of a slate declaration, using the form provided by NYSNA, by all members of the slate, giving the office that each candidate seeks and the name, if any, of the slate to be formed. The slate declaration form shall be submitted in person, by facsimile or by email to the Nominating Committee, c/o the Executive Director, at least three (3) days before the date designated by the election company for the receipt of slate declaration forms. Once submitted, a slate declaration may be amended up until the deadline for the submission of such declarations. After that date, no amendments may be made.
7. Ballot Security. Representative(s) of the election company will maintain the ballots at all times during the election. NYSNA shall retain the ballots for a minimum of one (1) year following the election.
Each candidate shall have the right to be present and/or to designate observers during the election process.
E. Ballot Count
1. The Count. The ballot count process shall begin on or immediately following the designated due date for the return of the ballots.
2. Voter Intent. Any ballot marked in such a way as to reasonably indicate the intent of the voter will be counted. The election company, in consultation with the members of the Election Committee, will resolve questions as to the intent of a ballot.
3. Eligibility Check. The election company, in consultation with the members of the Election Committee, will determine the eligibility of all voters.
4. Tie vote. In the event of a tie, which will be verified by a re-count, the election will be determined by lot. The election company, in consultation with members of the Election Committee, will oversee this process.
5. A plurality vote will constitute election to an office.
6. If a candidate or observer challenges the eligibility of a member to vote, the ballot will be marked and segregated as a challenged ballot. All unchallenged ballots shall be counted first. In the event that any candidate attains a margin of victory greater than the number of challenged ballots left to be counted, the count shall cease with respect to such candidate. However, if this is not the case, a sufficient number of challenged ballots shall be resolved so that the number of challenged ballots remaining no longer affects the outcome of the election. The election company, in consultation with members of the Election Committee, will resolve challenged ballots.
PROTESTS AND APPEALS
A. Eligibility Protests
Any member who desires to challenge a ruling on eligibility to run for office must file a written protest with the NYSNA Election Committee, c/o the Executive Director, within five (5) business days after receipt of the eligibility ruling or the publication of the list of nominees for each elective position. Protests concerning an eligibility determination shall be decided promptly by the Election Committee and are reviewable by the Board of Directors.
B. Election Protests
1. Pre-Election Protests. Any protest arising prior to the election count must be filed with the NYSNA Election Committee, c/o the Executive Director, at the address set forth at the end of this Policy, via personal delivery, overnight mail, facsimile transmission or email. Pre-election protests must be filed within fifteen (15) calendar days of the time the protester knew or should have known of the event giving rise to the protest or the protest will be waived. The protestor must specify the exact nature of the acts forming the basis of the protest and state how they may have affected the outcome of the election.
2. Post- Election Protests. Any protest regarding any election or post-election conduct must be filed within fifteen (15) calendar days of the time the protester knew or should have known of the event giving rise to the protest or the protest will be waived. The protest must be filed with the NYSNA Election Committee, c/o the Executive Director, at the address set forth at the end of this Policy, via personal delivery, overnight mail, facsimile transmission or email. The protestor must specify the exact nature of the acts forming the basis of the protest and state how they may have affected the outcome of the election.
C. Election Committee
The Election Committee shall consist of five (5) members, three of whom shall be elected and two of whom shall be appointed by the Board of Directors, who shall serve for three-year terms. Election Committee members may not be candidates for office while they are serving on the Election Committee. Vacancies in positions on the Election Committee shall be filled by the Board of Directors. The Election Committee will select its chair before proceeding with any business. A quorum of the Election Committee shall consist of three (3) members, and decisions shall be by majority vote. The Election Committee may consult with NYSNA counsel and/or staff.
D. Election Committee Proceedings
1. The Election Committee shall consider all facts it deems appropriate to resolve an election protest and may, in its discretion, hold hearings concerning any such protests. All affected candidates will receive a copy of the protest and any evidence submitted in support of the protest, and will have the opportunity to submit evidence to the Election Committee. The Election Committee shall render its written recommendation as promptly as possible, but in no event more than (30) calendar days of receipt of the protest. If neither party files an appeal from the Election Committee’s recommendation, the Board of Directors may, within three (3) business days from the expiration of the seven (7) day appeal period set forth in D.2, below, review the Election Committee’s recommendation and either affirm, modify or reverse the Election Committee’s recommendation.
2. Any party may file an appeal from the recommendation of the Election Committee to the Board of Directors. Appeals must be filed within seven (7) business days of the Election Committee’s recommendation. The Board may solicit additional evidence or decide the protest on the basis of the evidence submitted to the Election Committee. The Board shall render its written decision as promptly as possible, but in no event more than (30) calendar days of receipt of the protest. All decisions of the Board on election protests are final and binding.
3. Elections challenged by a member are presumed valid unless and until the same or another candidate is elected in a re-run election.
4. Further information on the protest and appeals process will be available on the NYSNA website and/or in the official NYSNA publication.
ANNOUNCEMENT AND CERTIFICATION
OF ELECTION RESULTS
Upon completion of the vote count, the election company shall determine the results of the count and certify the count in writing to NYSNA. NYSNA shall promptly post the results of the election on its website. The Officers, Directors and members of the Nominating and Election Committees who have been elected shall assume their offices immediately following the conclusion of the annual meeting.
ADDITIONAL ELECTION PROCEDURES
The Board of Directors may develop additional election procedures, provided that such procedures are consistent with the NYSNA Bylaws and applicable federal law.
Contact information for NYSNA Election Committee:
New York State Nurses Association
11 Cornell Road
Latham, New York 12110