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Election Rules

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This document has been approved by the Membership on 13 April 2013 (approved revision, subsequent changes)
Changes to this document are subject to membership approval, and should be proposed at the next General Meeting. These Rules have been entrenched, which means they cannot be revised without the agreement of the membership. Text in italics, the introduction and the references are for explanation only and are not part of the rules.

Approval history:
19 January 2009 - Initial adoption by the Board (approved revision)
26 April 2009 - Entrenched by the members (approved revision, changes)
12 May 2012 - Changing board terms to 2 years (approved revision, changes)
13 April 2013 - Changing to STV (approved revision, changes)

Rules and Regulations
for
Wikimedia Chapter Elections/Appointments

(Under the Karnataka Societies Registration Act, 1960)

Elections to the Wikimedia Chapter Executive Committee

The following rules shall govern the elections to the Wikimedia Chapter Executive Committee(Execom/EC) viz. In case any of the rules conflict with Chapter Bye-laws, Bye-laws will take precedence.

A. Election notice

B. Voter’s list

C. Candidature & Nomination

D. Preparation for Election

E. The Election Process

A. ELECTION NOTICE:

1. Election shall be held every year subject to availability of vacancies.

2. The Wikimedia Chapter Executive Committee will nominate a Election Committee (Elecom) comprising of a an independent Returning Officer (RO) and one or two Polling Officers for the Election who are member of Wikimedia Chapter; prior to Election Notification. They should be selected preferably from past EC members and experienced members, who are not interested in standing for election. They also will not have the right to vote in view of the impartiality expected of them

3. It is the function of the Elecom to issue an Election notice to all members of the Society. The notice should be issued sufficiently early prior to the date of election. The notification shall contain:

a. Address of the place of election

b. Date of election

c. Formats of voting, Dates and Timing for voting,

d. Format of nomination Part B i.e. Candidature and Nomination rules

e. The location on internal wiki to file the nominations.

f. Last date and time for filing nominations

g. Date of publication of Draft Candidates List

h. Last date for withdrawal of nominations

i. Date of declaration of Final List of candidates.

j. Date of Election will be communicated in consultation with EC

B. Voter’s List:

1. The electorate shall consist of the members of the Society i.e.

i. Individual Members

ii. Institutional Members

2. Provided:-

a. Members who are on the rolls of the Chapter three months prior to the AGM/Election day shall form the eligible voters list.

3. Copy of Final Voters’ List shall be available at Registered office of the Society at least twenty one days ahead of the Election Day and in the Election premises (if some other Venue is selected as for conduct of Ballot) on the day of voting for inspection of Voters

4. Right to cast the vote shall be with the members only and is not transferable. For Institutional members/voters, the person duly authorized can vote in person.

C. Candidature & Nomination:

1. Any member of Society is eligible for the nomination for election to the EC, provided such a member has not completed two consequtive terms on the EC.

2. Nomination should have the name of the candidate proposed and seconded by a member each of the Society. Nomination form should be complete in all respects.

Any member except President and Members of Election committee (Elecom) responsible for conducting the Elections can propose/second candidates at most equal to the available vacancies.

3. Nomination is filed by using members wiki before the notified last date and time.

4. Candidates should ensure that they have no constraints in serving in any of the office bearer positions, if they are elected to the Execom.

5. Candidates who are currently being paid or in the process of getting into paid positions in the next two years for their time spent or planned to be spent towards Wikimedia projects by Wikimedia Foundation or its affiliates are not eligible.

D. Scrutiny of nominations

If the vacancies are more than three, the Elecom will have to ensure sufficient nominations are available for the process to continue to form the minimum required quorum of four member EC by extending the due date for nomination. In case the minimum nominations required are not met even after extension, the Elecom shall recommend the cancellation of the election process. In such a case the EC will continue to function till the situation becomes favourable to reinitiate the Election process.

E. PREPARATION FOR ELECTION:

1. The Wikimedia Chapter EC shall nominate a Election Committee (Elecom) comprising of a Returning Officer (RO) and 1-2 Polling Officers for the Election prior to Election Notification. 2. Duties of the Returning Officer: a. Nomination papers shall be scrutinized immediately after last date of withdrawal and signed with remarks “Valid” or “Invalid”. b. The R.O. will prepare and inform the EC a statement giving the following information related to nominations for preparing ballots. i. No. of EC member positions open for election ii. Names of final list of candidates 3. Duties of the polling officer a) Assist R.O in conduct of the Election b) Perform the role of R.O in case R.O is not able to perform the duty due to any sudden emergency. 4. EC will support for the travel and expenses for R.O and P.O. 3. Ballot papers shall be prepared containing names of the candidates in which voters will place a tick mark in the box near the candidate’s name. 4. Each member can cast as many votes as there are vacancies. 5. A member should use only the prescribed mark (tick) mark in the box against the name for the vote to be considered valid.

F. ELECTION PROCESS:

1. The election shall be held at the notified place, date and time decided in consultation with EC, as it is held as part of the Annual General body meeting. Postal ballots will be used for the benefit of Individual member voters who reside far away from the place of Election. 2. The R.O. alongwith the Polling Officers shall conduct the entire Election Process. 3. Ballot papers shall be issued to the voters and the each voter shall sign against his/her name in the voter’s list. 4. Voters will indicate their vote by tick mark in the box next to the candidate’s name. 5. Invalid votes: a) Voting for more candidates than the number of posts open for election will “Invalidate” the ballot b) Declaring one’s identity, signing or writing any messages or using any mark other than the prescribed will also invalidate the ballot paper. (This rule should be prominently displayed in the polling booth). c) In case the call for AGM is issued prior to the end of grace period for renewal and the election happens after the end of grace period for renewal, ballots of the members who have not renewed their membership before the end of grace period will be treated as invalid. 6. Counting of votes by Elecom shall start immediately after end of the voting period. Elecom will Candidate or his/her authorised representative may be present at the counting of votes. To ensure confidentiality of the secret ballot, the postal ballots need to be handled in the following manner. a) The signature on the ballot envelope is checked against the list of qualified voters b) The voter is checked off on a list having voted. c) The envelop is opened and the ballot is removed and placed still folded into a receptacle. d) When all the envelopes have thus been processed, the ballots are mixed with the in person ballots and then counted. 7. The R.O. or in his/her absence one of the Polling Officers shall submit the results of the election and announce the results at the General Body Meeting which will always be scheduled to follow the closing of the ballot process. 8. If even after the ballot process is completed, vacancies remain, this may be filled by Voice Votes at the same General Body Meeting. The Chairperson with the help of Elecom will conduct and finalize this part of election if and when needed. A member can ask for a division if the voice vote is unclear. In case the vacancies are not filled, the incoming EC can fill the vacancies by co-opting interested members as per the bye-laws. 9. In case of tie of votes in the Election Process, the presiding officer of the meeting, i.e the President or the person standing for the President shall have a tie breaker vote. 10. If there are no objections from the General body to the results announced by Elecom, it would be taken as the approval by general body. 11. The term of the newly elected members would begin on the day of the first meeeting of EC following the General body meeting, typically in 2-4 weeks of General body meeting. 


Election Process for Election of office bearers

Following the election of new EC members, fresh Election of new office bearers should to be done in a joint EC meeting with attendance of outgoing EC members and incoming EC members. Office bearer election is not required only when members are co-opted to fill short term vacancies.

1. An election officer from the ranks of past/outgoing EC members is appointed by the joint EC for conduct of Elections of office bearers. An election officer is not required when the EC needs to elect either Secretary or Treasurer. In such a case, the president can conduct the election and communicate the results.

2. Full EC attendance whether in person or on phone is the required quorum for this election.

3. All new EC members have to sign the EC code of conduct prior to participating in the election of office bearers.

4. The date for the Office bearer Election is announced by the Outgoing President with notice of atleast one weeks after concurring with EC members on the suitability of the date.

5. On the election day, Election officer will call for candidates to the office bearer positions and will give them an opportunity to share their position statement. Subsequent to this he will call for voting.

6. Every EC member has to participate in the voting.

7. Secret ballot is used for voting. EC members who are participating by phone will be required to share their voting preference by email/SMS with the Election officer, who will record and tally the votes

8. In case of a tie, the winner will be decided through a draw of lots.

9. Election of office bearer posts would happen in this order. President, Secretary and Treasurer.

10. For each post, a member can propose himself or another member.

11. If a member is not elected for the earlier post, he can contest for the subsequent posts.

12. There is no restriction on member's current place of residence for any of the office bearer positions.

13. The outgoing EC president will sign the communication on the results of the Elections and the EC will pass necessary resolutions for transfer of responsibilities.

Appointment of Task Forces, SIG Chairs and any designated

role of Chapter Chapter President shall make the appointments to the Task Force Stewards after ascertaining the interest of EC members and building consensus on the candidates to be appointed. SIG Chairs are appointed by Steward of Task Force for SIGs, based on the recommendations of the members affiliated to the SIG in consultation with EC. In case a SIG is not able to reach a consensus, he/she shall conduct an election and finalise the appointment. Candidates being paid for their time by Wikimedia Foundation or its affiliates are not eligible for elections to SIG Chair or for any designated role of Chapter. When EC is restructured with change in President’s role, new appointments to Task Force and any designated roles of Chapter excluding SIG chairs are required. Old appointments of Task forces and any designated positions except SIG Chair stand terminated, when the EC President changes.


Draft Election Notice

To, Dear Member, Subject: Election Notice for Wikimedia Chapter EC Election The Election Committee appointed by Wikimedia Chapter Executive Committee for notifying and conducting the Election to Wikimedia Chapter EC election, hereby announces the election to the Wikimedia Chapter EC for the two year term. Please note the following details. Also a detailed ‘Rules & Regulations for the Election’ is attached along with the Nomination Form for Candidature. 1. Date of election: 3. Timing for voting: