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NABJ Elections Rules and Dates
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National Association of Black Journalists

2011 Elections


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2011 Elections Rules and Timeline


Full members may vote for all national executive offices, including president, vice president/broadcast, vice president/print, 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.

Associate members may only vote for the associate 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.

Other Important Dates

  • Notice of slate of candidates and constitutional amendments to the membership no later than June 3, 2011.
  • Electronic voting period is from June 3 to August 5, 2011.
  • Mail-in ballots must be received by the NABJ-contracted election company by July 13, 2011, to be included in the official tally. Email mail-in ballot request to

The president and student representative shall each serve a single two-year term. All other board members shall serve a two-year term and no longer than two consecutive terms in the same post.


All candidates must be in good standing with NABJ. Full members can seek the offices of president, vice president/print, vice president/broadcast, secretary, treasurer, parliamentarian and regional director. Associate members can seek the office of associate representative. 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 and employment/university verification to the Elections Committee.


Any member seeking a position on the NABJ Board of Directors, including incumbents, must submit a letter of intent, signed candidate's agreement, employment/university verification, and a biography (requirements in PDF format) to the NABJ office by Monday, April 4, 2011.

  • The letter of intent should state the candidate’s name and the position desired. Please address the letter to Executive Director Maurice Foster, 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 2011 NABJ Elections Committee and receive by email and mail 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 2011 elections process. Campaigning by certified candidates may begin upon certification by the Elections Committee.

Campaigning includes:

  • 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 the NABJ listserv is prohibited. Candidates are urged to respond to question(s) directed to them by a member(s) via the listserv privately or in another appropriate forum. Candidates may not use the NABJ logo on any campaign materials.


  • Executive Board: $7,000 per candidate
  • Associate Representative: $7,000 per candidate
  • Regional Directors: $4,500 per candidate
  • Student Representative: $2,500 per candidate


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 2011 – May 3, July 5 and August 3. 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 Maurice Foster 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 May 3, 2011. 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
  • Printing
  • Postage
  • 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.


National Candidates Forum
August 4, 2011 (Time TBA)
Pennsylvania Convention Center
NOTE: Additional candidates’ forums may be scheduled as opportunities arise.


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 should not initiate or engage in campaign-related conversation on the listservs, Facebook pages or Twitter accounts affiliated with NABJ. This includes endorsements, support or negative comments about a candidate or candidates, and also includes naming a candidate directly or indirectly by referring to him or her as a candidate for a particular office.

Election-related discussion on NABJ-affiliated listservs, blogs, Facebook pages and via Twitter will be regulated and moderated 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 crops up, 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.


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