Committee Election Procedure
Adopted by Out To Swim Committee on 31 January 2015
The formal election of the Out To Swim committee takes place during the first quarter of each year at the club’s Annual General Meeting (“AGM”). Under the current constitution, all positions are up for election each year. When the date of the AGM is notified to the club membership, the following items will also be provided:
- A copy of this election procedure document
- A schedule of dates for the forthcoming election process
- A list of all existing and/or proposed positions on the Out To Swim committee for the next year
- Brief descriptions of the roles and responsibilities for each committee position
- The name and contact details of the Returning Officer (as appointed by the sitting Out To Swim committee)
In order to vote in the election, or to stand as a candidate in the election, you must be a fully paid-up member of Out To Swim. We strongly recommend that all prospective candidates familiarise themselves with this election procedure document and with the Out To Swim Committee Handbook, which can be found here.
If you would like to nominate an individual for a committee position, you must:
- Gain the permission of the individual to be nominated
- Assist the individual to submit their candidacy as described in the following paragraph
If you would like to stand for a committee position, you must:
- Find another fully paid-up member of the club willing to nominate you, and provide the name of this person to the Returning Officer
- Write a statement outlining why you would like to stand for the Out To Swim committee, including the skills and strengths that you will bring to the role. This statement will be shared with all club members once nominations have closed. The statement should specifically address how you will represent the parts of Out To Swim relevant to your target committee position.
- Submit your candidacy in writing, together with your statement, to the Returning Officer by the nomination closing date
If, prior to the nomination closing date, there is more than one nomination for a role, the Returning officer will invite those nominated to discuss between themselves whether they want to serve jointly, for one or more to rescind their nomination to allow a sole candidate to go forward, or to agree to allow more than one candidate’s nomination to go forward.
No formal canvassing is allowed by any member of the club (including those not standing for election), beyond each candidate’s written statement, as provided to the Returning Officer. In this context, “formal canvassing” includes:
- any statements or canvassing on the Out To Swim Facebook page(s), or any other form of social media intended to reach a wider Out To Swim audience
- any e-mails to groups or sub-groups of Out To Swim members
- any canvassing statements on the Out To Swim website
This canvassing policy is not intended to restrict informal discussions among individual club members.
Proxy/Absentee Voting & Candidate Questions
The Out To Swim constitution explicitly provides for proxy/absentee voting, which will operate as follows:
- Nomination closing date: normally around one week before the AGM
- Day after nomination closure date: The Returning Officer publishes the nomination list by e-mail to the membership, including candidates’ written statements. Proxy/absentee voting opens for positions with a nomination (see note on vacant positions below).
- Any club member unable to attend the AGM but wishing to vote for a nominee should e-mail the Returning Officer notifying him/her of their vote for each nominated position
- Eligible voters intending to attend the AGM in person may submit, by e-mail to the Returning Officer, written questions for candidates to answer in person at the AGM. All questions will be reviewed by the Returning Officer, who will determine those questions to be asked of candidates at the AGM (candidates will be forewarned of the questions to be asked).
- Proxy/absentee voting closing date & time: normally the evening before the AGM
- No more written questions for candidates may be submitted after the proxy/absentee voting closing date & time
- Date of Out To Swim AGM: A selection of the submitted questions will be asked of candidates, as determined by the Returning Officer. Owing to time constraints, there is no guarantee that every submitted question will be answered.
- Date of Out To Swim AGM: During the voting process, the number of proxy/absentee votes cast for each nominee is added to the number of votes cast by members present at the AGM
It is essential that all proxy/absentee votes are received by the proxy/absentee voting closing date and time. Those received after this time cannot be counted and you will need to vote in person at the AGM. Proxy/absentee votes can only be accepted by e-mail to the Returning Officer.
Where there are no nominations for a particular committee position at the time nominations close (a vacant position) we will ask for nominations in person at the AGM itself, for these positions only. In such cases, proxy/absentee voting will not be possible. We will do the same if a position becomes vacant after the closure of nominations, but before the AGM.
Nominations at the AGM
In light of the proxy/absentee voting system outlined above, no further nominations can be accepted at the AGM for any position with a nominee published on the nomination list. This is to be fair to proxy/absentee voters who might have changed their vote had they known of alternative nominations made on the day of the AGM. The only exception to this is where one or more nominees withdraw after the nomination closing date but before the AGM, and creates a vacant position (see above).
Summary/ Dispute Process
We believe that these processes deal fairly both with the case where a position is contested, and proxy/absentee voting may materially impact the outcome of a vote, and the case where a committee position is potentially vacant, and it is in the club’s interest to ensure the position is filled by calling for nominations at the AGM itself.
Please note that, in case of any dispute prior to the vote at the AGM, the Chair of outgoing committee, and the Returning Officer, will arbitrate. If unresolved disputes remain on the voting process or on any particular committee positions after the AGM, then the new Out To Swim committee will have final say on the matter, subject to the club's constitution.