Approved by the NYSNA Board of Directors, December 2020
The Nomination and Election of NYSNA Officers, Directors and members of the Nominating and Election Committees shall be governed by this Nominations and Election Policy, the NYSNA Bylaws and applicable federal law.
ARTICLE I: NOMINATIONS
A. Distribution of Nominations Notice and Nomination Form
By no later than February 1 of the year in which an election is being held, the Nominating Committee shall distribute to the members a Notice of Nominations and a Nominations Form. (collectively, the “Nominations Notice”) in the official NYSNA publication. The Nominations Notice shall also be posted 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, and the date by which Nominations Forms, Consent to Serve Forms and Candidate Statements must be received by the NYSNA Nominating Committee.
C. Requests for Nominations Forms
Nominations Forms are available in the official NYSNA Publication and on the NYSNA website. All requests from members for Nominations Forms must be made in writing to the NYSNA Nominating Committee at the following address: email@example.com; fax: (888) 395-7259. Nominations 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 eligible nominees for each elective position and the Candidate’s Statements that have been received by the designated due date. A nominated candidate who meets the eligibility criteria outlined below 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 V, Article X, and Article XI of the NYSNA Bylaws may either self-nominate or be nominated by an eligible member in good standing.
2. Consent to Serve. All nominated candidates must complete a written Consent to Serve form, which shall be included in the Nominations Form. A member may only consent to serve in one (1) elected office or position. Once the ballots have been sent to the printer, a candidate may not revoke his or her Consent to Serve Form.
F. Uncontested Elections
Candidates in uncontested elections shall be deemed elected and there shall be no need for a mail ballot election for such office(s).
ARTICLE II: ELIGIBILITY RULES
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; or (4) serving on the Nominating 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 within the twenty-four (24) months preceding the nomination; (3) a member of the NYSNA staff; or (4) serving on the Nominating or Elections Committee. While all members meeting these criteria may run for Association-wide office, only members assigned to a designated Region may run for a Regional Director position. (For information about the Regions, see Exhibit 1, attached).
ARTICLE III: CAMPAIGNING AND ACCESS
A. Mailing and Emailing Candidate Literature
1. Post Office Mailing. 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. Written Requests. Request(s) for candidate mailings shall be made in writing by the candidate to the NYSNA Executive Director or her designee and shall specify the desired date of the mailing. Requests will be processed as set forth below.
3. Mail House. 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 the contact information for the mail house, which will provide the candidate with an estimate 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. Emailing Candidate Literature. 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. 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 Election Campaign Literature.” All email messages must state the following before the text of the candidate’s email: “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 to distribute their campaign literature at the candidate’s expense.” The email must be followed by the following message: This campaign email has been prepared by the candidate. It is not endorsed by NYSNA, and has not been 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. Email Vendor. 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 and the name of the authorized vendor. Payments must be made to the vendor prior to its rendering services.
6. Confidentiality. The candidate mailing vendors each 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. Non-Discrimination. 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 or her designee.
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.
ARTICLE IV: 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 stationary, 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.
ARTICLE V: THE ELECTION
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 election shall be conducted by mail ballot in accordance with applicable law.
1. Right to be Part of a Slate. 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.
2. Number of Slate Members. The number of members on any slate shall not exceed the number of positions open for election. Partial slates with two or more candidates are permitted.
3. Formation of Slates. To form a slate, there must 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, listing 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 or her designee, by April 20. 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.
4. Effect of Eligibility Determination. Should one or more members of a slate be found to be ineligible to run, such ineligibility shall not affect the remaining members of the slate.
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 June 1 of the year in which the election is being held.
3. Replacement Ballots. Members who do not receive a ballot by June 7 may call the Election Company at 800-864-1263 to request a replacement ballot. If a member returns both a ballot and a replacement ballot, only the replacement ballot will count.
4. Order of Placement on the Ballot. All full slates and partial slates shall be listed on the ballot before the column(s) listing independent candidates. Unopposed candidates who are part of a slate may appear on the ballot. The order of placement on the ballot of full slates, and then partial slates, shall be determined by lot at a candidates meeting held on May 4, 2021. The order of placement of independent candidates on the ballot shall be determined by lot at the same meeting.
5. Write-Ins. Write-in votes will not be permitted.
6. Ballot Markings. Any writing on the ballot that might identify the voter, including the voter’s initials, shall be void in its entirety. The Election Company, in consultation with the Election, Committee shall resolve all ballot marking issues.
Each candidate shall have the right to be present and/or to designate observers during the election process.
F. Ballot Count
1. The Count. The ballot count process shall begin on or immediately following the designated due date for the return of that 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. Overvotes. If, on a ballot, the total number of votes exceeds the number of candidates to be elected for a position, that portion of the ballot will be void.
5. 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.
6. Plurality. A plurality vote will constitute an election.
7. Challenged Ballots. 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.
G. Ballot Security
Representative(s) of the Election Company will maintain the ballots at all times during the election and shall retain the ballots for a minimum of one (1) year following the election.
ARTICLE VI: 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 or her designee, within five (5) business days after receipt of an eligibility ruling or the publication of the list of nominees for each elective position, whichever is earlier. Protests concerning an eligibility determination shall be decided promptly by the Election Committee.
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 or her designee, at the address set forth at the end of this Policy, via 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 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 or her designee, at the address set forth at the end of this Policy, via 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 conference call 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) days of receipt of the protest. All decisions of the Election Committee are final and binding.
2. Elections challenged by a member are presumed valid unless and until the same or another candidate is elected in a re-run election.
ARTICLE VII: 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 ballot count.
ARTICLE VIII: ADDITIONAL ELECTION PROCEDURES
The Board of Directors may adopt 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
155 Washington Ave., 4th Floor
Albany, NY 12210
Fax: (888) 395-7259
Contact information for Election Company:
Global Election Services
10 Short Dr.
Roslyn, NY 11576
Eastern — Region #1
Central — Region #2
Western — Region #3
Southern — Region #4
Southeastern — Region #5
Lower Hudson/New Jersey — Region #6