Nominations/Election Procedures/Q&A’s

Quick Tips about PTA Nominating Committees

How to Conduct an Election

Sample of Ballots – When there are two or more nominees, the election is held by ballot

The purpose of the nominating committee is to recognize and seek qualified nominees for the elected leadership of the PTA. The members of the committee, therefore, have a tremendous influence on the future of the PTA and should be selected carefully.

Serving on a nominating committee is an honor and a privilege. This committee is the PTAs most influential internal body, and because it deals with sensitive issues, deliberations of this committee are kept confidential.

Nominating committee members should have a broad acquaintance with the membership and an understanding of the organization’s functions and its purposes. The committee should include both experienced leadership as well as newer members.

Electing the Nominating Committee

The Bylaws for Local PTA/PTSA Units state how the nominating committee is elected. This is generally done two months prior to the annual election meeting. The bylaws also specify how many members (always an odd number) are elected.

Consider including at least one student to serve as a member of the nominating committee if there are student members in the PTA/PTSA. When considering a person for any office, assure the person understands all of the duties of the position. The unit bylaws, standing rules and procedure books should be consulted for further information. It is the responsibility of the nominating committee chairman to fully explain the duties of a position to a prospective nominee.

Nominating committee members should be:

Elected on merit and ability.
Willingness to devote adequate time to the responsibilities involved.
Knowledgeable regarding the eligibility requirements and the qualifications necessary for the offices to be filled as well as the responsibility of each office.
Aware of the qualifications and abilities of potential nominees.
Able to give objective consideration to nominees.
Able to use sound judgment and skill in evaluating nominees.
Tactful, discreet with integrity.
Able to keep all deliberations confidential.
Responsibilities of the Committee

The Bylaws for Local PTA/PTSA Units indicates which officers are elected at the annual election meeting of the PTA. It is not the responsibility of the nominating committee to appoint chairs for the upcoming term.

The nominating committee elects its own chair. The chair and the committee should review requirements for nominees and duties of each elected officer as outlined in the Bylaws for Local PTA/PTSA Units. A membership list from the association should be provided to the committee. Only those persons who are eligible and who have given their consent to serve, if elected, shall be nominated for office.

The chair should ensure that nominating committee meetings are scheduled to provide sufficient time to identify and consider all recommendations and suggestions. Alternates should be advised of these dates and be reminded that, should an elected member be unable to serve, an alternate will be asked to replace that member.

Selection of nominees for office should be an orderly procedure. Open and frank discussion must be held among members of the committee. Discussions are strictly confidential and no information should leave the committee meeting, even after the officers have been elected.

Every effort should be made to provide the PTA with a slate of officers that is balanced in terms of new as well as experienced officers, represents the school attendance area, and reflects the diversity of the school population.

The committee is not obligated to nominate the president or any current officer eligible to serve a second term, or to nominate automatically the executive/first vice president for president. Each nominee must be evaluated independently and by the same criteria as all other nominees. The committee is obligated to seek out those eligible members who would best serve in a particular office.

Members of the committee are not excluded from becoming nominees for elected office. During nominating committee meetings, if a committee member is being considered, the member should be excused from the meeting during the discussion regarding that office, but may return for the vote which shall be by ballot.

The nominating committee continues to serve until the annual election meeting.

Contact potential nominees, unless this responsibility is delegated to another committee member. Inform committee members of the results of the contacts.

Submit the names of nominees to the membership 30 days prior to the election. This may be done at an association meeting or through a flyer or newsletter.

Reconvene the committee in the event a nominee withdraws before the election is held.

Read the nominating committee report to the membership at the annual election meeting.

Advise the nominees to attend the election meeting and the installation of officers.

Give a written report of the nominees to the recording secretary, signed by the members of the nominating committee.

Be discharged of committee responsibilities at the time of the election.

The president never serves on the nominating committee.

The principal of the school may serve in an advisory capacity.

Selecting Nominees

The responsibility of the nominating committee is to select the best-qualified, available person for each office. Submitting more than one nominee for an office would be unusual. If the committee should select two names for the same office, each nominee for that particular office must be advised and informed of the name of the other nominee.

Nominee must be a PTA member;

Must support the Purposes and basic policies of the PTA and recognize that PTA is an effective organization working for all children and youth;

Should have effectively carried out previous PTA and/or other organizational responsibilities;

Should have knowledge of the organization and its role in the school and community;

Should be willing to give PTA priority and commitment including attendance at meetings;

Must be fair and objective and concerned for the well-being and best interests of the PTA; and

Must understand the importance of effective teamwork.

Contacting Nominees

It is the nominating committee chairman’s responsibility to contact each nominee, but any committee member may be asked to make the contact and report to the chair. It is not advisable to talk a reluctant individual into accepting a nomination.

Consent of each nominee should be obtained, while the committee is in session, in order to place the name in nomination. If consent cannot be obtained during the meeting, the chair will inform the committee members of the results of contacts made outside of the committee meetings.

Nominees should be given a clear indication of the responsibilities of the office and how much time may be involved. If requested, a printed job description can be provided. Individuals considering accepting nomination to an elected office should be advised that responsibilities of the office may include attendance at leadership training meetings, workshops, and/or the Maryland State PTA annual convention.

In the event that no qualified candidate can be found for a particular office, it is better to leave the office vacant, than to fill it with a person not able to do the job. After the election, the board-elect may fill any vacant positions according to the unit bylaws.

The Election

1. Advance written notice of the election meeting must be provided to the membership.

2. The president presides at the election meeting.

3. The privilege of voting shall be limited to members of the association who are present, whose dues are paid, and who are members of the association.

4. Election of officers is held at the annual meeting and will come under “new business” on the agenda.

5. The president calls upon the chair of the nominating committee to read the report of the committee. If a nominee has withdrawn prior to the election and another nominee has been selected, the chairman will read a revised report to inform the membership of the new nominee.

6. The president restates the slate of nominees and asks each one to stand. The president conducts the election of officers even if (he/she is) nominated for an office. The president thanks the nominating committee for its report and states:

“According to our bylaws, nominations from the floor are now in order.”

The privilege of nominating from the floor is extended to members of the association who are present, whose dues are paid, and who have been members of the association. A qualified member may nominate his or her self.

Nominations do not require a second, only the nominee’s consent.

The president will then ask:

a. Ask for additional nominations for all positions in the order in which they are listed in the Bylaws for Local PTA/PTSA before closing nominations for all elected offices and then proceed with the election; or

b. Ask for additional nominations for each position, one at a time, in the order in which they are listed in the Bylaws and then proceed to elect the officer after nominations are closed on each position.

The president states,

“__________ has been nominated for president, are there further nominations for president?” (Pause).
“__________ has been nominated for vice president, are there further nominations for vice president?” (Pause). This procedure is used for each office.

The president then says,

“Are there further nominations for any of these offices?”(Pause) “Hearing none, I declare the nominations closed. The bylaws state that where there is but one nominee for an office, the ballot may be dispensed with and the election held by voice. Is there any objection to this procedure?” (Pause) “Hearing none, the following are presented for election __________ for president, __________ for vice president, etc.” After all offices have been presented say the following: “All those in favor say aye, those opposed say no.”

The president states,

“The ayes have it and you have elected the following officers.” (The president restates names and offices.)

Officers are elected by a majority vote of those present, providing the quorum as stated in the bylaws has been met.

If there is but one nominee for any office, the ballot vote for that office may be dispensed with and the election held by voice vote, as described above.

If a member requests a vote by ballot for any office, the request must be recognized and voted upon without debate.

When there are two or more nominees for an office, the election shall be held by ballot, as stated in the bylaws. The secretary should have ballot slips available. Even if the nominating committee presents only one name for each office, there is the possibility that nominations will be presented from the floor.

1. When there are two or more nominees for an office, the election is held by ballot. To verify eligibility to vote, the membership list must be checked before ballots are distributed. The secretary has the official membership list. If a membership list is not available, all present will be allowed to vote. If it is known prior to the election meeting that there will be two or more nominees for any office, ballots may be distributed at a registration table as members arrive for the meeting and present their membership cards.

2. The president appoints a tellers committee, including a chairman and at least two (2) tellers, whose duties are to distribute, collect, and count the ballots. Ballots may also be collected in a ballot box.

3. The president requests all members eligible to vote to rise and be counted. This count will determine the number of ballots to be tallied.

4. A nominee for an office cannot be involved in the election procedure as a teller who collects ballots and counts votes.

5. Blank ballots are not counted.

6. Illegal ballots are counted to determine the number of votes cast, but are not applied as a vote for or against any nominee. Ballots are considered illegal if

– They are unintelligible;

– They contain the name of a nominee who is not a member; or

– Two or more filled out ballots are folded together. These are recorded as one illegal vote.

7. In a contested election each nominee may designate a person as an observer at the time the ballots are counted.

8. If another vote is necessary, the voting members must be recounted to establish the number of ballots to be tallied. If a member eligible to vote was not present when the original ballot was cast but arrives in time for another vote, the member is entitled to vote.

9. The results of the voting are reported by the chairman of the tellers, in writing to the president, as follows:

Number of members eligible to vote __________

Number of votes cast __________

Number needed to elect __________

(Nominee)__________ Received __________

(Nominee)__________ Received __________

10. This procedure is repeated for each contested office. The president announces who has been elected to office. Unless requested, the president does not have to announce the number of votes cast for each nominee, but the complete Tellers Report must be recorded in the minutes. Following the announcement of the vote, the chairman of the tellers moves that the ballots be destroyed.

11. It is permissible to use these two procedures in one election by using voice vote for uncontested offices and a ballot for those that have two or more nominees.

12. A challenge to the election procedure or outcome must be made during the election meeting. For additional information see Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised Point of Order section.

All PTA officers, including the parliamentarian, have the same voting privileges as other members. The president’s impartiality is protected by voting only when the vote is by ballot.

Questions & Answers

Q. Can the nominating committee fill one position with two people who are willing to share the duties of the office?

A. No. A position may be filled by only one person. If unusual circumstances exist that require more than one person to handle the duties of a particular position, then an assistant or deputy position may be created. Caution: If the assistant or deputy position is included by amending the bylaws , that position will then be required on all future boards. Alternatively, an assistant or deputy position with a clear description of the job duties may be added to the standing rules to allow for the position without requiring it on all future boards.

Q. Can one person be nominated for more than one office?

A. Yes. However, a member can serve in only one capacity at a time. In such a case, if the person elected to two or more offices is present, he/she can choose which office he/she will accept. If he/she is absent, the assembly should decide by vote the office to be assigned, and then elect others to fill the other office(s).

Q. Can a vacant position on the proposed nominating committee report be filled after the report has been submitted and posted?

A. Yes. If a nominee withdraws before the election, the committee must reconvene as soon as possible to agree upon another nominee. If an office is vacant after the election because an officer-elect resigns or because no one was elected to fill the office, it shall be considered a vacant office to be filled by the boardelect according to the bylaws.

Q. How does the nominating committee handle the acceptance of the nomination for a position after the report has been submitted?

A. If someone accepts a nomination after the report has been submitted (at least 30 days prior to the election meeting), the nominating committee chairman will read a revised report of the new nominee for office to the board of directors and to the membership at the annual (election) meeting.