IJA Board Elections
Mail-in ballots are not being used: The regulations below pertaining to “mail-in ballots” are not in effect because the IJA Board has chosen to use online voting instead, as explained as an option at the end of Part I below.
Members wishing to vote before the IJA festival should watch for email from the IJA around May or June with instructions on how to vote online, or look for instructions at https://www.juggle.org/business/nominations/#election.
IJA Pre-Election and Election Regulations
The procedures contained in this document are intended to ensure a fair, open and transparent election process for the annual elections to the IJA Board. They are intended to be consistent with the IJA Bylaws, relevant portions of the Delaware Code, the IJA’s Certificate of Incorporation as amended, the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised, and past practices of the IJA.
Any discrepancies between these procedures and the above mentioned references, or between these procedures and the observed conduct of the election, should be reported immediately to the Board of the IJA by email (see the Contacts Page) or in person at the Annual Festival.
These regulations were approved at the Board meeting of January 26, 2005.
Part I – Pre-Election Regulations
The Board of the IJA shall appoint a Chief Teller who shall be responsible for conducting the election in accordance with these procedures. The Chief Teller may appoint any number of Tellers to assist with the Chief Tellers’ duties, such appointments being subject to the veto of the Board of the IJA.
The Chief Teller may delegate any of the duties assigned to him or her in these procedures to any of the other Tellers, provided always that the Chief Teller remains responsible for the correct execution of the duties so delegated.
The following deadlines shall apply for the calendar year in which the elections are being held. Unless otherwise stated, deadlines are effective at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time (Daylight or Standard, as applicable) on the date indicated.
- May 15: Nomination submission deadline for candidate’s name to appear on the Festival Ballot
- May 15: Candidacy statement submission deadline for statement to appear in a mailer with the ballot, in the IJA eNewsletter (May issue), on this web page and in the eZine. The candidacy statement is limited to 350 words and cannot be changed except within the first 48 hours after it is originally submitted.
- 24 hours prior to the start of the Annual Meeting of the Members: Proxy submission deadline for proxies to be used in the election.
- The opening of Polling Hours: Deadline for receipt of mail-in ballots to be counted in the election.
Nominations and Candidates’ Statements
In accordance with the Bylaws, any member whose membership has been in good standing for one year may nominate any person 18 years or older for election to the IJA’s Board of Directors. The nomination statement must clearly identify the nominator and the nominee and must include a valid email address for both. Self nomination is permitted.
On receipt of a nomination, the Chief Teller shall:
- verify that the nomination is valid in accordance with the Bylaws;
- attempt to contact the nominee to confirm his or her willingness to stand; and
- within 72 hours of the receipt of the nomination, if the nomination is valid and the nominee has not objected, cause the nomination to be published on the nominations page.
Nominated candidates are invited to submit statements of candidacy for publication in conjunction with the mail-in ballot and on the IJA web site. Statements for publication with the mail-in ballot are limited to 100 words. Statements for publication on the IJA web site are limited to 350 words. Either statement may include a web site address, email address or other contact information which shall be included in the word count.
Candidates are wholly responsible for the content of their statements. Statements shall be published exactly as submitted, without editing, except where such publication would expose the IJA to legal liability. In the latter case, the Chief Teller shall advise the candidate of the problem within 72 hours of its receipt and the statement shall not be published in any form until the candidate has modified it appropriately.
Within 72 hours of the receipt of a statement of candidacy intended for publication on the IJA web site, the Chief Teller shall cause such publication to occur on the nominations page.
Nominations and statements of candidacy shall be listed on the nominations page in the order of receipt of nominations.
Submissions of nominations and candidates’ statements shall be accepted only by email to the Chief Teller via the email address listed on the Nominations Page. The deadlines stated above will apply.
A nominated candidate may withdraw from the election at any time by advising the Chief Teller by email via the email address listed on the Nominations Page. Within 72 hours of the receipt of a withdrawal request the Chief Teller shall cause the nominations page to show “(withdrawn)” beside the candidate’s name and shall also cause the removal of any related statement of candidacy from the nominations page. Where publication deadlines allow, the Chief Teller shall cause the candidate’s name and accompanying statement to be removed from all ballot materials.
Two versions of the ballot shall be prepared: a ballot for submission by mail (the “mail-in ballot”) and a ballot for use at the festival (the “festival ballot”). Each ballot shall include the names of all candidates, in order nominated, subject to the deadlines noted above. Each ballot shall also include spaces for as many write-in candidates as there are open seats in the election.
The Chief Teller shall cause the mail-in ballot and accompanying candidates’ statements to be made available in Adobe Acrobat PDF form on the nominations page not later than June 1. The ballot and accompanying statements shall remain available on that page until at least the date of the election.
The Chief Teller shall ensure that the mail-in ballot is accompanied by clear instructions consistent with the Voting by Mail section.
Ballot Mailing Address
The Chief Teller shall select an address for receiving mail-in ballots. This shall normally be the address of the host facility in the festival city that has undertaken to act on behalf of the IJA, or failing that, a secure post box in the festival city, all keys for which are held only by the Chief Teller and which is used for no purpose other than receiving the ballots.
The Chief Teller shall arrange for a sufficient quantity of festival ballots to be available at the polling place on election day.
The Chief Teller shall cause each IJA member to be assigned a unique, randomly generated decimal number of at least seven digits (“the voting number”), with the exception that family members who share an IJA membership may also share the same voting number.
The Chief Teller shall ensure that an email message is sent to the main email address, if any, associated with each membership, with such email message containing the membership’s voting number along with directions for mail-in voting.
Until the completion of the election, the mapping between voting numbers and memberships shall be made available only to the Chief Teller and those persons unavoidably involved in the numbers’ generation, distribution to members, and use in voting. Voting numbers shall be safeguarded to the maximum extent possible.
The Chief Teller shall put in place a mechanism allowing members to request their voting numbers. This mechanism shall be advertised with the mail-in ballots and on the nominations page. Any member eligible to vote shall be provided with a voting number after having satisfied the Chief Teller as to his or her identity. The Chief Teller shall maintain a record of all distributed voting numbers.
Any member thirteen years of age or older whose membership is current on the date of the election is entitled to vote for one candidate per open seat in the election. Members may vote either by mail or in person at the festival. Voting by proxy is also permitted.
In accordance with the Bylaws, a member may submit a vote by mail then “pull” it at the festival. Similarly, it would be possible for a member to assign a proxy to another, but then vote in person at the festival. The voting and counting procedures below are designed to ensure that only one vote from each member is counted; that votes in person are counted in preference to proxy and mail-in votes; and that proxy votes are counted in preference to mail-in votes.
Voting at the Festival
Eligible members may vote in person at the festival during Polling Hours (see below). Ballots and writing instruments shall be provided. Members shall be required to provide proof of identity in order to confirm eligibility to vote; however presentation of voting numbers shall not be required. For more details see the section on Polling Procedures below.
Voting by Mail
Eligible members may vote by mail using the mail-in ballot or any mechanically produced facsimile thereof.
Each ballot shall be folded at least twice such that the votes are concealed then enclosed in a sealed inner envelope bearing the member’s voting number, legibly printed name, and signature. This envelope shall then be enclosed in an outer envelope addressed to “IJA Election”, care of an address which shall be determined by the Chief Teller and published with all copies of the mail-in ballot (see the section Ballot Mailing Address).
Family members who share an IJA membership may enclose their ballots in a single outer envelope and will share a voting number. However, each individual ballot must be enclosed in its own inner envelope which must be marked and signed as stated in the previous paragraph.
Only those mail-in votes received prior to the commencement of Polling Hours shall be counted.
In accordance with the Delaware Code (Title 8, Chapter 1, Sub-chapter VII, section 215), votes may be cast by proxy.
In order to allow the Tellers to ascertain the validity of proxies tendered, any proxy that does not meet the following guidelines shall be rejected:
- Each proxy assignment must be a separate document.
- Each proxy assignment must include as a minimum:
- the name of the member assigning the proxy;
- the Voting Number of the member assigning the proxy;
- a clear statement that the proxy is being assigned for the purpose of casting a ballot in the IJA Election;
- the name or names of the member or members to whom the proxy is assigned;
- the date of proxy assignment;
- the signature of the member assigning the proxy.
- Proxies must be submitted for validation not later than noted in the Deadlines section above.
Proxies may be submitted for validation either directly to the Chief Teller or at the festival registration desk in sealed envelopes addressed to the Chief Teller. To avoid later dispute, proxy holders are requested to retain copies of any proxies submitted.
Candidates’ Use of IJA Members’ Addresses
The IJA Membership Director shall provide any candidate on request a list of the postal addresses of all current members. The list will be in machine readable form suitable for use in a mail merge. The candidate must give an undertaking that the addresses will only be used for the distribution of election materials, and will not be provided to any other person or used for any commercial purpose.
The IJA Board can choose to entirely replace the use of mail-in ballots with the use of a secure, reliable online voting mechanism. In such case, the Chief Teller or Communications Director shall cause information about use of said online voting mechanism to be emailed to all IJA members who are eligible to vote and who have registered a valid email address with the IJA.
Part II – Election Regulations
The polls shall be open for members to vote in person from one hour prior to the scheduled start of the members’ meeting until thirty minutes after the members’ meeting has terminated. If there are members queued to cast votes in person at the end of this time then the polls shall remain open until no queue for voting in person remains.
The polls shall be open for proxy voting for a period of thirty minutes immediately following the close of voting in person. Should there be proxy holders queued to cast votes by proxy at the end of this time then the polls shall remain open until no queue for proxy voting remains.
The polling place shall be at the festival site in a location easily accessible to and observable by the IJA’s membership. The polling place shall include at least one ballot marking station, which shall be provided with a pen, be physically accessible only to the member currently voting, be visible to the Tellers and the membership, and be provided with screening adequate to ensure the secrecy of members’ votes.
The polling place shall also include a table for use of the Tellers, a Ballot Box and a trash receptacle.
The Chief Teller shall arrange for a ballot box to be available at the Polling Place. The box shall be large enough to contain all ballots cast. A sturdy cardboard box shall suffice.
At the beginning of the Polling Hours the Chief Teller shall inspect the ballot box in the presence of witnesses at the Polling Place to ensure that the box is empty. All openings on the ballot box shall then be sealed with sturdy tape excepting only a single opening in the top just large enough to admit a folded ballot.
The Tellers shall keep the ballot box in their direct possession and under their direct observation throughout the Polling Hours.
Campaigning at the Polling Place
Active campaigning shall not be permitted in the immediate vicinity of the Polling Place. This includes the posting of posters, the distribution of campaign literature, and any other activities which could reasonably be construed as soliciting support for any candidate or candidates over the others.
The immediate vicinity of the polling pace shall be defined to include at least all areas within thirty feet of the polling place itself as well as all areas within thirty feet of any members queued to vote. Other areas may also be included at the discretion of the Chief Teller.
Members shall be permitted to wear or carry campaign items (e.g., shirts, buttons, hand bills, etc. supporting one or more candidates) while attending at the polling place for the purpose of voting. However, loitering in the immediate vicinity of the polling place with campaign items shall be considered active campaigning, as shall the distribution of such items.
Observation of the Polling Place
Any member shall be permitted to observe the Polling Place and Ballot Counting process, provided such observation does not constitute Campaigning at the Polling Place or otherwise interfere with the orderly running of the election. The Chief Teller shall arrange the polling place and ballot counting so that such observation may reasonably be carried out.
During Polling Hours and Ballot Counting the Tellers shall conduct themselves with strict neutrality and shall take no action which could reasonably be construed as indicating support for any candidate or candidates over the others.
Tellers who are entitled to vote shall be permitted to vote, in accordance with these regulations.
The Chief Teller shall cause a list of all eligible voters (the “roll of electors”) to be available to the Tellers at the polling place. This roll shall include each voters’ name, IJA mailing address, and voting number. The names of family members eligible to vote shall be included on the roll.
The Chief Teller shall cause the Tellers to be provided with sufficient festival ballots to conduct in person and proxy voting.
The particular procedures to be followed for Voting in Person, Proxy Voting and Mail-in Ballot Casting are included in the subsections below.
Voting In Person
When a member presents him or herself to vote in person at the Polling Place during the Polling Hours designated for voting in person, the following procedure shall be followed:
- The member shall provide the Tellers with evidence sufficient to confirm the member’s identity. Government-issued photographic identification shall be considered sufficient, as shall the positive identification of the member by one other member whose identity has been confirmed by means of Government-issued photographic identification. In the latter case, the Tellers shall indelibly record the name of the identifying member on the roll of electors.
- The Tellers shall check the roll of electors to confirm that the member has the right to vote and has not previously voted.
- If the member is in fact eligible to vote, the Tellers shall issue the member with a ballot and shall make an indelible mark on the roll of electors indicating that this member has voted in person.
- In order to use that ballot, the member must proceed directly to a ballot marking station and there mark the ballot and fold it at least twice such that the marks are concealed. Only one member at a time shall be permitted at each ballot marking station.
- The member shall then place the ballot in the ballot box. The Tellers shall observe and confirm that the member has placed exactly one sheet of paper in the ballot box.
Members who have been issued ballots shall not remove them from the polling place for any reason.
If a member makes an error on a ballot and wishes to revise it prior to placing it in the ballot box, the following procedure shall be used. The member shall present him or herself to the Tellers, indicate this wish, and return the ballot to the Tellers. The Tellers shall physically destroy the returned ballot by ripping it into at least two pieces, and deposit the destroyed ballot in the trash receptacle. The Tellers shall then provide the member with a fresh ballot and allow the member to proceed to a ballot marking station. If a member has made an error on a ballot and wishes to keep the marks already made secret, the member may mark votes against all candidates prior to returning it to the Tellers.
In no circumstances may a ballot placed in the ballot box be retrieved and the vote altered.
When a proxy holder presents him or herself to vote his or her proxies at the Polling Place during the Polling Hours designated for proxy voting, the following procedure shall be followed:
- The proxy-holder shall provide the Tellers with Government-issued photographic identification sufficient to confirm the proxy-holders’ identity.
- The Tellers shall retrieve the proxies previously submitted by the proxy holder and shall advise the proxy holder of the validity of each of those proxies. Any dispute shall be adjudicated by the Chief Teller.
- The Tellers shall then check each valid proxy held against the roll of electors, disallowing any proxy from a member who has voted in person.
- The Tellers shall provide the proxy holder with one ballot per valid, non-disallowed proxy. For each valid, non-disallowed proxy the Tellers shall make an indelible mark on the roll of electors indicating that this member has voted by proxy.
- In order to use that ballot, the proxy-holder must proceed directly to a ballot marking station and there mark the ballots and fold each individually at least twice such that the marks are concealed. Only one proxy-holder at a time shall be permitted at each ballot marking station.
- The proxy holder shall then proceed to the ballot box and place the ballots in the ballot box one by one. The Tellers shall observe and confirm that the proxy holder has deposited not more than the number of ballots issued in step 4.
Proxy-holders who have been issued ballots shall not remove them from the polling place for any reason.
If a proxy holder makes an error on a ballot and wishes to revise it prior to placing it in the ballot box, the procedure indicated in the section on Voting in Person shall be followed, substituting “proxy holder” for “member” in all instances.
In no circumstances may a ballot placed in the ballot box be recovered and the vote altered.
Mail-in Ballot Casting
The Chief Teller and at least one witness shall retrieve all ballots from the address to which they were sent at some time after the deadline for receipt of mail-in ballots.
If the ballots have been received by a law or accounting firm the Chief Teller and witness(es) may visit the premises of the firm to collect the ballots, or an officer or employee of the firm may deliver the ballots to the Chief Teller and witness(es) at the festival location. In either event the firm shall certify in writing that all ballot envelopes received have been provided to the Chief Teller.
If the ballots have been received at a post box, the Chief Teller and witness(es) shall go to the post office together and open the post box. The Chief Teller and the witness(es) shall physically verify that all envelopes are removed from the post box.
The Chief Teller shall then seal all received mail-in ballot envelopes in a clearly marked container such as a box or large envelope. The Chief Teller shall ensure that this container is kept secure and unopened until the conclusion of Proxy Voting.
At the conclusion of Proxy Voting, the Chief Teller shall cause the container of mail-in ballot envelopes to be opened. Each mail-in ballot envelope shall then be handled as follows:
- The Tellers shall carefully open the outer envelope to reveal the inner envelopes.
- The Tellers shall inspect each inner envelope to ensure it includes a name, signature, and voting number. The name and voting number shall be compared against the roll of electors to determine that the member is eligible to vote and that the member has not yet cast a vote in person, by proxy, or by mail. Any inner envelope failing these tests shall be annotated with the cause of failure, segregated unopened, and any contained ballots shall not be counted.
- If the inner envelope passes the test in step 2, the Tellers shall carefully open it and confirm that it contains exactly one sheet of paper, taking care not to observe any marks that may be on the paper. Any envelope failing this test shall be resealed with tape, annotated as containing more than one sheet, segregated, and any contained ballots shall not be counted.
- If the inner envelope passes the test in step 3, the Tellers shall make an indelible mark on the roll of electors indicating that the member whose name and voter number appears on the envelope has voted by mail-in ballot.
- The Tellers shall remove the enclosed sheet, being careful that any writing on it is concealed from both themselves and any other observers. The Tellers shall ensure that the enclosed sheet has been folded at least twice, adding a fold if necessary. The Tellers shall then straightaway deposit the enclosed sheet in the ballot box.
After all mail-in ballots have been cast, the Chief Teller shall cause the ballot box to be unsealed and the ballots counted as follows.
- The Tellers shall remove the ballots from the ballot box one by one.
- After each ballot is removed, two Tellers shall unfold and inspect it.
- Should a ballot indicate more votes than there are open seats, the Tellers shall mark “SPOILED” on the ballot’s face, shall segregate it, and shall not count any votes contained on it.
- Should two or more completed ballots be folded together, the Tellers shall mark them all “SPOILED” on their faces, shall segregate them, and shall not count any votes contained on them.
- Should a completed ballot be folded together with one or more other sheets of paper which are not completed ballots, the completed ballot shall be allowed and the other sheets of paper shall be segregated with the spoiled ballots.
- If the ballot passes all tests in step 2, one Teller shall clearly and audibly read the names of the candidates voted for on the ballot, including all write-in candidates. One or more other Tellers shall observe to verify that the names were correctly read. A separate Teller from the reader shall record the votes, and this recording shall be observed by one or more other Tellers. The Tellers shall take great care to correctly record all votes cast.
- After recording the ballot, the Tellers shall place it in a separate container provided for the purpose.
The Chief Teller shall produce a report indicating:
- The number of ballots cast in person, cast by proxy, and cast by mail.
- For each nominated candidate and write-in candidate, the number of votes cast for that candidate
- The number of spoiled ballots.
- The number of rejected proxies.
- The number of rejected mail-in ballots.
The Chief Teller shall provide this report to the outgoing Chairman of the Board of the IJA, and shall cause a copy of this report to be posted in a prominent location within the festival area.
Retention of Election Materials
The Chief Teller shall retain the roll of electors, the voting tally, all executed proxies, and all ballots, including rejected and spoiled ballots, appropriately segregated, for one month following the election. After this time, if the materials are not required as evidence in an action contesting the election, the Chief Teller shall forward the roll of electors to the IJA’s Membership Director and shall destroy all other election materials.