All credit union elections need to be carefully planned and organized. This is often a demanding task where mistakes can easily be made, leading to members losing trust in the credit union. Have a look at the practical tips we’ve put together for your election organization and make your next election a smooth-running one.
1) Verify the legal framework
Strong election organization begins with the bylaws of your credit union. The bylaws include sections about the election process and the permitted voting procedures. Moreover, they contain specific deadlines and steps concerning the election organization itself. Some sections may have been subject to amendments, so read the bylaws carefully to ensure that you’re carrying out a legally valid election.
2) Check electoral roll
After checking the legal framework for the election, go over your electoral roll. Different groups of members may have different voting rights, which will need to be recorded in the electoral roll. Additionally, the number of members may have increased since the last election, so you’ll need to ensure the electoral roll is up-to-date. If you have a delegate-system in place, make sure the voting districts are clearly indicated in the electoral roll.
3) Add new voting procedures
Two kinds of voting procedure are extremely popular in credit unions: ballot box voting and postal voting. Many credit unions use these out of habit and don’t often subject them to review. We recommend calculating the costs for the voting procedures currently in place and then think about ways to optimize the election process – this is where online voting comes in.
Many credit unions already benefit from online voting by reducing the amount of time and money spent on organizing the election. There’s always the option to combine online voting with ballot box voting and postal voting. Doing so will both simplify election organization and help increase voter turnout.
4) Create an election organization plan
Depending on the voting procedures you have in place, you can create a precise plan for your election organization. Make a detailed plan with all necessary steps in organizing and conducting the election. Who is responsible for what? In addition, you need to make sure the deadlines for the following tasks are met:
- appointing the election committee/election officer
- sending out information about the election
- mailing voter notification cards with details about the voting procedures
- setting an election period
- counting votes and publishing election results
- setting a deadline to contest the election
Don’t forget to send the election organization plan to members of your election committee.
5) Have a plan B ready
No matter how well prepared you are, something can always go wrong. In case this happens, you need to be able to react fast and find quick solutions for problems. Think about the weak spots in your election and how these can be addressed. Play out potential scenarios with your colleagues and find solutions for them together. Create a list of people responsible for certain parts in the election process and how to contact them. Furthermore, open communication is essential for a smooth-running election. Be sure to inform all parties involved in the election organization about the potential risks and solutions.
Use our helpful tips for successful election organization in your credit union. Find more helpful advice and useful material here. We wish you the best of luck in planning your next election!