|USPA Elections FAQ|
by Jan Meyer - www.makeithappen.com
Compiled from from the USPA Governance Manual, USPA 2000 Ballot and John DeSantis, Nominations and Elections Committee Chair:
Q: Is there some written description about how USPA ballots are counted?
A: There is no written description on how USPA ballots are to be counted or stored during and after the voting period. It is up to the Elections Committee Chair to coordinate with USPA HQ BEFORE ballots are publicly available on procedure for an upcoming election. This year John DeSantis arranged the following:
- envelopes reaching HQ that are obviously ballots, such as the ballot in PARACHUTIST or envelopes marked 'BALLOTS' by the sender, are placed UNOPENED, in order of postmark in a box that has a compartment for each region.
- the box holding the ballots is locked in Larry Bagley's office.
Q: How are the ballots counted?
A: Ballots are stacked in order of postmark in groups of 50. The USPA number written on the ballot is used to verify that the member is a current USPA member. If the member's membership has expired, the ballot is deemed disqualified. Two people independently count the ballots in the 50 ballot stacks. If their totals agree, the vote count is logged as such. A third person tallies the votes if the original 2 tallies are different.
Q: Are there any rules concerning a recount if the difference between a winning and losing candidate is below a certain number?
A: A recount is done on "anything close". There is no precise meaning to "anything close". No ballot is thrown away until after Mar 31 of the following year, and then only if there are no contested results.
Q: What happens if there is a tie?
A: In case of a tie among regional director candidates or between national director candidates (for the last seat), confirmed by a re-count of the valid ballots, the seating of the winner will be determined by a toss of a coin.
a. Such toss is to be conducted in a manner and at a time and place as agreed upon by the president and the Nominations and Elections committee chair.
b. The toss will take place in front of at least three witnesses.
c. In the case of a three-way tie, a coin will be tossed for each candidate, with the odd coin signifying the winner.
Q: When are ballots counted?
A: Ballots are counted starting Dec 20th and not later than January 10 of each post-election year. Prior to Dec 20th the ballots are locked up.
Q: When are the results distributed and to whom?
A: Larry Bagley and the other USPA staff person know the results. After they have completed the ballot counting, they notify Chris Needels of the results. Chris Needels then notifies John DeSantis, Elections Committee Chair. The ballot counting should be completed not later than January 10 of each post-election year.
Q: In what ways are ballots disqualified?
A: Ballots are deemed disqualified for any of these reasons:
- person is not a USPA member at the time of the election
- there are any pre-markings on the ballot
- voting for the same person as National and Regional Director invalidates both sections of the ballot
- the ballot is not signed
- the ballot is an additional ballot from the same member, only the first ballot is counted
- Ballots containing more than eight national director votes or more than one regional director vote will not be considered valid for that portion incorrectly marked.
- Ballots received after the announced deadline: 5 p.m. EST December 29, 2000.
- Ballots that are faxed, electronically transmitted, or pre-marked will be declared invalid
- Voting for candidates outside of your region will invalidate that section of your ballot
Q: How are write-ins attributed to the write-in candidate?
A: Each distinct name is treated as a unique tally count. Votes for 'Joe Cool', Joeseph Cool' and 'Joe E. Cool' are attributed to 3 different vote counts. The person who's name corresponds to a name in the USPA membership files gets the votes. Votes for 'Joe Cool', Joeseph Cool' and 'Joe E. Cool' will not be attributed to the same person, even when there is no remotely similar name in USPA membership files. A write-in name must match the name USPA has in its membership file.
Q: How much do USPA Board Members get paid?
A: They are not paid. A Board Member is a volunteer position.
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