Guidelines for Constituent Body Elections
(Branches, Groups, Sub-Groups, RMG Chapters)
The following are guidelines to assist constituent bodies in conducting fair and transparent elections. It is recommended that a process for conducting elections, including procedures for handling complaints and appeals, be included in the constitution or by-laws and regulations of all Constituent Bodies.
A motion was carried at the 2009 PIPSC AGM which makes it possible Constituent Bodies to seek assistance from the PIPSC National Elections Committee when conducting elections (By-Law 188.8.131.52).
For additional assistance, an excellent reference for an election process is found in the Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure, formerly the Sturgis Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure.
PIPSC National Elections Committee
The PIPSC National Elections Committee is available to provide advice and will assist a Constituent Body in writing election procedures. If the Constituent Body by-laws and regulations do not adequately deal with an issue that arises, the overarching by-laws and regulations for PIPSC will govern.
The PIPSC National Elections Committee will only become involved in a Constituent Body election or to conduct the Constituent Body election if requested by:
- A locally appointed Elections Committee
- A Constituent Body Executive
- The Board of Directors
- At the start of each election, an Elections committee (including Committee Chair) will be appointed by the Executive of the Constituent Body which is conducting the election. An Elections committee, comprised of at least three (3) members not seeking election, will be constituted to conduct the elections, including the collection and tabulation of any ballots. The Elections committee may be partly or wholly made up of members of that body's Executive providing none involved are seeking election.
- Should a member of the Elections committee decide to run for a position, they must resign from the Elections committee and a replacement will be designated by the Executive of Constituent Body conducting the election.
- The Elections Committee should determine, prior to the election, where, when and how candidates may campaign.
- Executives should ensure that all candidates have an equal opportunity to present their platform to members.
For example: If speeches or material distribution is allowed at an AGM, all candidates will be given time and opportunity
For example: If a candidate for a group election is allowed to attend a Sub-Group AGM, all candidates should be given the same opportunity.
- Candidates should not use the services of PIPSC staff for election purposes.
- Candidates should not use PIPSC letterhead/Logo or otherwise imply support or endorsement by the Institute or any Constituent Body.
- Constituent Body funds and resources of any type should not be used to support the candidacy of any person or for campaigning purposes.
- The Elections Committee should review the list of allowable activities published for the 2015 National Elections. It offers valuable advice when conducting an election.
- Elections must be held as per the Constituent Body’s By-Laws.
- Rules regarding the election process and campaigning should be distributed with the call for nominations.
- Where feasible, the Elections Committee should review material distributed by candidates seeking election to ensure accuracy and fairness. This would include resumes or biographies.
- Nominations for elections must be received and reviewed by the Elections Committee.
- Ballots must be produced by or under the direction of the Elections Committee. However, ballots for national groups are typically done by the PIPSC national office, including electronic ballots.
- The Elections Committee shall be responsible for the tabulation of all ballots (including verification) and will release results per the wishes of the relevant Constituent Body.
- Candidates declared unsuccessful who wish a verification of the results must submit a formal request to the Elections Committee within five (5) working days from the date the candidate is notified of the results of the election. A recount would only apply to paper ballots and only if the number of paper ballots exceeds the margin of victory. If electronic logs have been used, then a verification of the logs can be done with candidates present.
- In case of a tie, a winner will be determined by a coin-toss.
- It would be a good practice for the Constituent Body to keep the ballots for thirty (30) days to wait for any appeals period to end before the ballots are destroyed. PIPSC can store ballots up to 30 days upon request.
- If there are no requests for a recount or appeals, the elections committee shall destroy any paper ballots or request that electronic ballots be deleted.
- Complaints regarding the activities of a member, a candidate or their supporters should go to the Elections Committee. The Elections Committee will investigate the complaint and render a decision as soon as possible.
- Complaints regarding the activities of the Elections Committee go to the PIPSC National Elections Committee which will investigate the complaint and render a decision as soon as possible.
- Any candidate may challenge the election process no later than one (1) day after the election results are released.
- The Elections Committee or the Executive of the Constituent Body may request advice from the PIPSC National Elections committee during any stage of the complaint process.
- Appeals of all elections complaint decisions by Group Election Committees will be heard by the PIPSC Elections Appeals Committee (PIPSC By-Law 184.108.40.206 and Regulation R17.4.2) and all such complaints shall be governed by Institute By-Laws 17.4.2, 220.127.116.11, 18.104.22.168 and 22.214.171.124.
- The appeal of all other elections complaint decisions should be made to the respective Constituent Body Executive. That Executive may request assistance from the PIPSC Elections Appeals Committee.
Approved by the Board of Directors on March 11, 2017.