Mind’s Eye Society domains, regions and the organization are run by volunteers who sit within positions of authority. These positions are expected to deal with a myriad of details, with specifications depending upon the office in question. The membership expects a storyteller or coordinator volunteer to be one with the best interests of said membership in mind. It is for this reason that the Mind’s Eye Society has an election process for those who graciously volunteer themselves.
Why Hold an Election?
An election should be held in the case of an officer roll being vacant. This can happen for several reasons.
- The first is when an officer has completed their term of service. This occurs in a cycle per position as detailed in the membership handbook.
- A second reason is for the creation of a new constituency. Temporary officers are put in place when a new constituency is created, and elections for those officer positions are held prior to 90 days after the creation of the new venue.
- A third reason is if an officer steps down from their position. This election should begin within 48 hours if possible to prevent any disruption to the follow of a domain. An interim officer is placed in the position until the election is complete.
- The fourth reason is if a referendum for early elections is passed. This is treated the same as an officer stepping down.
When to Hold an Election?
The best time to begin a term election is 4 to 6 weeks prior to the end of a term of office. This allows for the 4 to 6 week process to occur before the end of the term and give a smooth transition to an incoming and/or outgoing officer in the position. The length of time that is allowed before an election can directly affect the election. If the officers in charge of elections are unable to call an election until a month prior to the term of office expiring, they will only allow themselves one week for each of the steps involved, leaving no leeway if an extension is needed.
How to Hold an Election?
The election process requires an Election Official, and a minimum of two proctors to count the votes in the election. The Election Official will usually act as one of the proctors. The details surrounding terms of the election and who the electorate are is listed for reference in the membership handbook, chapter 7, pg 44.
The process of election is broken down into 4 simple steps. Each of these steps takes at least one week of processing, but may take up to two weeks if determined necessary.
The first step is the application process. When calling for applications, the email must contain the dates for the expected process to be done. It will list how many weeks each step will take and when the election will be closed, as well as when to expect an answer for who won the election. The application details and minimum expectations are detailed in the membership handbook, but must contain full disclosure as to Disciplinary Actions that have occurred within the last two years.
The second step in the application process is vetting the applicants. Basic requirements for each office are listed on page 46 of the Membership Handbook. During the process, other requests may be asked for the application as well however these are not grounds for vetting during the vetting process.
The job during vetting step is to check to see if the basic requirements have been fulfilled.
Officer Standards are required for holding the job but not for running for a position. If an applicant has not taken the Standards, they will need to do so within 30 days of taking office if they win.
The proctor can make a decision whether to redact DAs from an application for public voting if they feel it is not relevant to the election or position.
As an election proctor, you have a responsibility to insure that candidates are qualified for the job. This is a responsibility however that needs to be carefully handled with who is vetted from the process.
The third step is the Application review period and Q&A session. The candidates who have been screened above should be announced to the electorate as widely as available to make sure all of the electorate have an opportunity to be aware of the candidates. This allows the electorate time to ask questions and review the applicants for the position.
Some good examples of questions are:
- What made you want to have this position?
- How do you feel this position will benefit our club and/or game?
- Do you have any time constraints you will be concerned about if elected to this position?
- Is there anything new you are looking to bring to the position with your leadership?
Details of who can ask questions and vote in each election can be found in chapter 7, page 43 in the Membership Handbook.
The fourth step is the Election. The Election Official announces clearly who the candidates are, and explains the voting process as detailed in the membership handbook, chapter 7, pg 47. This should also include any special instructions and list once again the proctors to whom the emails will be sent.
During this time the entire electorate has the opportunity to question the candidates and form
opinions regarding their suitability for the position.
The fifth and final step is for the proctors to tally the votes of the election. This process will be done using the Instant Run-off process as noted in the membership handbook, chapter 7, pg 47.
An google doc sheet that can help you calculcate this can be downloaded here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1oqRUc4cKebbTG2dLpfj3l0pZF-ZGTOFoc9j3_8IxBtE/edit?usp=sharing. You can make a copy and edit it within google docs.
You can also download an identical excel file here: /wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Cam-Voting-Calculation.xls.
Once a winner has been determined then the winner will be contacted by the Election Official to confirm that they accept the position they have been elected to. If they are unable to hold the position, or the election results in no winner being selected, the election process begins again from the beginning.
A fast and easy youtube video to explain how to calculate instant runoff voting can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5SLQXNpzsk.
Elections are an integral part of maintaining a higher level of offices in the Mind’s Eye Society. It is important that the process be followed as noted above to ensure the highest level of responsibility be considered and the candidates can be screened and supported to help be the glue that holds our organization together.