Just received my e- ballot for the election of new officers. I sent the following message back and urge others to consider it and if you feel the same to exercise your membership to voice a concern and ask for a new ballot.
Not a secret ballot as usually preferred in elections, but e-elections will save the society some money!
May I ask that you resend the ballots with the addition of a WRITE IN option for each office. This is an important part of the ballot especially since there was no preparatory notice of the election in the Banner asking for candidates to be put forward in order to get their names on the ballot. Without the pre election discussion and opportunity to propose candidates, the election , where a candidate is unopposed, it has the effect of denying those interested in running from doing so and gives an incumbent an unfair advantage.
There is no requirement for a "secret" ballot in our bylaws. Roberts Rules of Order state that a secret ballot cannot be used for elections by mail.
Robert Rule of Order - "Voting by Mail is used for election of officers, and for amendments to the constitution or by-laws, and for such other important matters as the society may order to be voted on in this way. If an amendment to the by-laws is to be voted on by mail, a printed copy of the proposed amendment is mailed to every member with the words "yes" and "no" printed underneath, or on a separate slip, with directions to cross out one of them, and return in the enclosed envelope, upon which should be printed the words, "Ballot for Amendment to Constitution." This envelope should usually have the signature of the voter on it, and be sealed and enclosed in another one addressed to the secretary, or to the chairman of the tellers, so that the inner envelope will not be opened except by the tellers when the votes are counted. If it is desired to present the arguments pro and con, the society can allow the leaders on the two sides to prepare brief statements to be printed and mailed with the proposed amendment to every member. Instead of having the voter's signature on the inner envelope, it may be placed on the ballot, but a place for the signature should be indicated, so that there may be some means of protection against votes being cast by other than legal voters. Voting by mail cannot be a secret ballot, as it is necessary for the tellers to know by whom each vote is cast. By some such method as the above it is practicable to give all the members, however scattered they may be, an opportunity to vote on questions of great importance."
Good news for the members, the total cost for this election was a tiny fraction of previous elections, leaving funds to support our mission of advancing the heritage of Scotland and specifically Clan Mackay.
While there was no notice in the Banner for this election, each member received a personal, individual letter and or email in October of this year with the following notificaiton:
Greetings Clan Member:
This January, we will be holding elections for two National Offices; National Vice President and Recording Secretary.
Pursuant to the Constitution and Bylaws of Clan Mackay Society USA, the National Officer Nominating Committee shall consist of all members of the Executive Board. However, nominations may be proposed by any MEMBER of the Society in good standing by December 1 prior to the forthcoming election year.
I am sending you this notification to make you aware of the upcoming election and requesting any proposed nominations you may have as a member of the Society, for either of these two offices.
I look forward to hearing from you with any proposed nominations, which I will forward to the Executive Board for their consideration.
Clan MacKay USA