Elections Rules and Timeline
1. VOTING ELIGIBILITY
Lifetime, Professional, Emerging, and Alumni may vote for all national executive offices, including president, vice president/broadcast, vice president/print, vice president/digital, secretary, treasurer and parliamentarian. They also may vote for a representative from the region where they live or work. Finally, they may vote on all constitutional amendments.
Academic members may only vote for the academic representative on the Board of Directors.
Media-Related Professional members may only vote for the media-related professional representative on the Board of Directors.
Student members may only vote for the student representative on the Board of Directors.
NOTE: Membership renewals must be received by the national office on or before June 15, the advertised pre-registration deadline for the annual convention, to vote in this year's elections. That applies to mail-in voting before the convention, electronic voting before or during the convention and on-site voting at the convention on August 5-7.
Other Important Dates
- April 7, 5 p.m. est. - Any member seeking a position must submit the complete declaration packet to the national office.
- April 14-28 - Declaration packets received by Tuesday, April 7 will be reviewed by the Elections Committee.
- May 4 - Certification notices will be sent to ALL applicants via email.
- May 5 - ALL certified candidates can begin to campaign. (Note: Before any candidate may campaign for office, he or she must be certified as eligible to seek office by the 2015 NABJ Elections Committee.)
- June 5 - Final slate of candidates for the 2015-2017/2015/2018 term will be announced to the membership.
- June 10 – Candidate Spending Disclosure Report Due
- July 1 – Candidate Spending Disclosure Report Due
- July 1-August 7 - Electronic voting period
- July 15 - Mail-in ballots must be received by the NABJ-contracted election company, to be included in the official tally. Email mail-in ballot request to email@example.com.
- August 5 – Candidate Spending Disclosure Report Due
2. TERMS OF OFFICE
Except as provided below in the NABJ Constitution, Section 2(a), terms of office for the board of directors shall be two years. All officers, regional directors and representatives of the organization shall be elected at an annual meeting and may serve in the same office no longer than two consecutive terms. Regional Directors who are currently serving in the capacity may file for these offices in the reconfigured regions as long as they have not served two consecutive terms.
(a) The following special provision shall apply for the election of members to the board of directors for terms of office that will commence at the annual meeting of 2015:
(i) The president, vice president-broadcast, vice president-digital, secretary, student representative, region 1 and 3 regional directors shall be elected to two-year terms that will commence in 2015 and expire in 2017.
(ii) The vice president-print, treasurer, parliamentarian, academic representative, media-related representative, region 2 and 4 directors shall be elected to three-year terms that will commence in 2015 and expire in 2018.
(iii) Thereafter, all members of the board of directors (including officers) shall be elected to two-year terms.
3. CANDIDATES ELIGIBILITY
All candidates must be in good standing with NABJ. Lifetime, Professional, and Alumni members can seek the offices of president, vice president/print, vice president/broadcast, vice president/digital, secretary, treasurer, parliamentarian and regional director. Media-Related members can seek the office of media-related representative. Academic members can seek the office of academic representative. College and university student members can seek the office of student representative. Candidates may seek only one office per election. All candidacy eligibilities are subject to review by the NABJ Membership and Elections Committees. All candidates must submit a signed candidate's agreement, biography, and employment/university verification to the Elections Committee.
4. DECLARING CANDIDACY
Any member seeking a position on the NABJ Board of Directors, including incumbents, must submit a letter of intent, signed candidate's agreement, biography, and employment/university verification (requirements in PDF format) to the NABJ office by Tuesday, April 7, 2015.
- The letter of intent should state the candidate’s name and the position desired. Please address the letter to Executive Director Darryl Matthews, Sr., NABJ, 1100 Knight Hall, Suite 3100, College Park, MD 20742, or fax it to (301) 314-1714. E-mailed letter submissions will not be accepted.
- The biography shall be e-mailed to Veronique Dodson at the national office and no more than 390 words, and according to prescribed specifications based on requirements set forth by the company hired for electronic balloting.
Before anyone may campaign for office, he or she must be certified as eligible to seek that office by the 2015 NABJ Elections Committee and receive by email a letter, signed by the Committee Chairman confirming eligibility. Anyone who engages in campaigning prior to being certified will be in violation of the rules and regulations of the 2015 elections process. Campaigning by certified candidates may begin upon certification by the Elections Committee.
- Mailings soliciting support
- E-mails soliciting support
- Phone calls soliciting support
- Web and social networking sites promoting prospective candidates and their platforms
- Soliciting support at regional conferences or chapter meetings
- Declaring candidacy in a public forum, including local chapter events
Campaigning via any official communications tool of NABJ is strictly prohibited. The organization’s official communications tools include but are not limited to:
NABJ Twitter (@nabj)
NABJ Task Force and Group listservs
NABJ Facebook page
Questions presented to candidates via official communications avenues should be answered privately or through another appropriate forum (campaign website, campaign social media, etc.)
Candidates my not use the NABJ logo on any campaign materials. Candid photographs of a candidate taken at a NABJ event in which the NABJ logo may appear on banners, signs, etc. may be used, subject to review by the Elections Committee.
Candidates also are prohibited from using the moniker “NABJ” in website names and social media tools without specific reference to the candidate and/or a recognized campaign slogan. For example, #NABJ or #NABJ15 would be ruled as unacceptable. #Woolfolk4NABJ or #MovingNABJ4ward would be ruled acceptable.
All website names and social media tools are subject to review by the Elections Committee.
6. CAMPAIGN SPENDING LIMITS
- Executive Board: $7,000 per candidate
- Academic or Media Related Professional Representatives: $7,000 per candidate
- Regional Directors: $4,500 per candidate
- Student Representative: $2,500 per candidate
7. SPENDING DISCLOSURE REPORTS
Candidate for NABJ office must report all of the money spent on one’s campaign. This form must be used to list campaign-related expenses and donations. In addition to the money actually spent, each candidate also must list realistic estimates for the value of in-kind services and gifts.
You are required to mail these reports and financial statements three times in 2015 – June 10, July 1, and August 5. All documents must be postmarked by those dates or be considered late. The only exception will be the last submission, which is due two days before the election and can be delivered in person to NABJ Director Darryl Matthews, Sr. by noon at the national convention. All disclosure reports will be collected by the national office and forwarded to the Elections Committee.
The first form should cover any campaign expenditures since certification of your candidacy through June 10. Subsequent forms should cover expenditures since the previous filing. The reports should include a summary of the campaign activities engaged in during the reporting period, an accounting of money raised and acquired during the period, and a list of all expenses related to campaign activities.
Items that should be reported include, but are not limited to:
- Airline tickets
- Conference registrations
- * Hotel accommodations
- Entertainment and meals for potential supporters
- Frequent flyer miles
- Cost of designing and maintaining campaign-oriented Web sites
- ** Phone calls
- In-kind donations
- *** Corporate contributions
- *** Campaign materials, including brochures, buttons, hats, mugs and other memorabilia
* Costs related to attending the national convention will not be counted against the spending cap. The cost of attending the regional conference for the region where you live or work will not be counted against you. Expenses for all other regional conferences attended by candidates will count against the spending limit if the candidate engages in any type of campaigning while at a conference. A candidate may only use the regional conference spending exemption for one regional conference in which he or she works or lives.
** Costs of e-mail accounts used for campaigning will not count against the spending cap. Broadcast messages sent via e-mail will not count against the cap. Campaign Web sites, whether operated by the candidate or his or her supporters, shall count against the cap.
*** Candidates must estimate the cost of in-kind donations and services, which will be counted against the spending limit. For example, if your company prints and mails fliers in support of your campaign, you must report the expenses as if you had paid for it. However, such expenses can be itemized at rates lower than market value, if such company discounts are available to all editorial employees of the corporate entity providing the service or donation.
8. CANDIDATES FORUM
National Candidates Forum
Thursday, August 6, 2015 (Time TBA)
Minneapolis Convention Center
NOTE: Additional candidates’ forums may be scheduled as opportunities arise.
All allegations of campaign violations must be signed and in writing. Anonymous complaints will not be accepted. The Elections Committee will review alleged violations. Confirmed violations may be published in the NABJ Journal and E-News Bulletins, or circulated through the NABJ listserv, the NABJ Web site, membership mailings, Elections Day fliers or posters, or any other means to reach the membership. Confirmed violations may also result in deductions to one’s spending limits.
NABJ Elections Committee Online Campaigning Guidelines
In an effort to keep NABJ's election process fair and impartial, the Elections Committee has developed the following guidelines for online campaigning. This includes candidates' participation in NABJ-affiliated listservs on Yahoo, NABJ-affiliated blogs, participation in NABJ-affiliated accounts on Facebook and Twitter, NABJ-affiliated groups on LinkedIn, and all forms of electronic communication.
— Candidates are prohibited from initiating or engaging in campaign-related conversation on the listservs, Facebook pages or Twitter accounts affiliated with NABJ. This includes-- but is not limited to-- endorsements, comments about a candidate or candidates, and referring to a person-- directly or indirectly— as a candidate for a particular office. Election-related discussion on NABJ-affiliated listservs, blogs, Facebook pages and via Twitter will be regulated by the assigned moderators, who will be informed of the online campaigning guidelines. Any invitations to candidates to share platforms with members of an NABJ-affiliated listserv, Facebook group or Twitter account, or via an NABJ affiliated blog, shall be extended to all relative candidates to provide fair and equal access.
-- Candidates may not write posts for any NABJ-affiliated blog that mentions their candidacy for NABJ office, endorse other candidates for office or denounce other candidates for office.
-- Each member of the Elections Committee shall be assigned up to two of the largest NABJ-affiliated listservs to monitor on a daily basis. If it applies, members also will monitor the Facebook pages, blogs and/or Twitter accounts of the NABJ-affiliated group connected to their assigned listserv(s). If a violation to any of these guidelines happens, the Elections Committee monitor will contact the violator and ask him or her to cease. The monitor also will send an email out to the listserv informing/reminding members of the rules. The monitor also will record the violation and send a copy of the violation to the Elections Committee.
-- If an NABJ member who is a candidate for office continues to violate these guidelines after two warnings from an Elections Committee monitor, the member will be blocked from the listserv, NABJ Facebook page and/or Twitter account. If a candidate for office continues to violate these guidelines after two warnings from an Elections Committee monitor, the candidate may have his or her candidacy revoked.
-- Members suspecting violations may contact the Elections Committee and respective listserv moderator with details of the suspected violation. The Elections Committee, in conjunction with listserv/blog/Facebook page/Twitter account coordinators involved, will review each suspected violation as it arises. The review will include communication with the accuser and with the suspected violator to determine whether an actual violation has taken place.
-- Candidates are free to create their own campaign-related Facebook pages, blogs and Twitter accounts. Any websites used must be created, designed and launched exclusively for the campaign. Candidates may use currently owned pages, blogs and accounts only if they are converted for exclusive campaign use. All pages, blogs and accounts are subject to review by the Elections Committee.