Lack of oversight on membership secret votes!
Any organization that wants to maintain strong moral and morals within its membership has very clear protocols in place that protects its members from opportunities of corruption. Putting full trust in leadership without oversight and accountability opens the doors to allow the leadership to control the membership and puts the members as victims to the leaders will.
Our current secret voting structure:
Currently we have close to 5,000 members and when a membership secret vote is required the vote must be cared over ten (10) different meetings that last close to seven (7) days. Because of the different locations and the time period involved it appears our Secretary/Treasurer is the main person in charge of the security of member’s votes. With one person in charge and no oversight what safety measures are in place to prevent this officer from controlling the outcome of a vote?
• Is the total membership attendance taken from the sign in sheets?
• If retiree’s are not able to vote can a retiree sign in sheet be created so the total of attendees vs. votes match? (this will allow for the correct percentage to be posted)
• When blank ballots are handed out they are not counted and the total blank ballots that are out at that time are unknown. Maintaining a strong inventory of ballots that go out vs. ballots that come back will help assure members from saving a ballot of an issue the do not feel strong on then using that ballot plus the other one they got for an issue they feel strong on. This would give the member two votes on one issue. Inventory of Ballots will prevent this type of abuse.
• As a meeting comes to an end all ballots have been collected, sealed in labeled envelopes and place in a large briefcase. Also in this briefcase are other blank envelopes and blank ballots. Keeping all these items together in such a manner can allow votes to be altered upon transportation and being out of sight of the membership.
So at the end of the meeting that is the last the memberships sees of their ballots and are later told the outcome from an announcement from the Secretary/Treasurer or another full time officer. Our current process has NO OVERSIGHT and gives the opportunity for a small number of people to control the outcome of the entire membership.
Currently or Constitution and Bylaws allows our Executive Board officers the ability to call an emergency board meeting to address this. It requires the majority of Executive Board officers to make this happen. There is a total of fourteen (14) Executive Board Officers. This means a least eight (8) officers need to request a special meeting. This is our opportunity to see if the majority of our Executive Board officers are in support of protecting our members rights or if the officers have banded together to protect each other. If an emergency meeting is called about this issue it will be a clear indication that our officer’s care about the members they represent and will do everything in their power to protect us. If this is held off until the scheduled Executive Board meeting it is a clear indication that this is not an important issue to the officers. Find out where your Executive Board Officer stands on this issue.