AAUW National Election FAQ

2017 AAUW National Election Mark

 

Get answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the 2017 AAUW National Election process.

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Candidates

 

When will candidate profiles be posted?

Candidate profiles will be posted on the website on January 30, 2017.

How will I get to know more about the candidates and the issues?

Members will have the opportunity to meet the candidates in four ways:

  1. Candidate profiles will be posted on the AAUW website (www.aauw.org). These profiles may include a candidate-provided photo, biographical text, video clip, and links to additional information, including the candidate’s own website, Facebook page, and other documents hosted elsewhere online, etc. This online candidate profile enables a rich multimedia experience for members to get to know candidates better and to explore additional online resources for candidate information.
  2. The Spring/Summer 2017 issue of AAUW Outlook will include candidate profiles and information on issues. Members with Internet access are encouraged to share and discuss the issues and candidates at branch meetings and other forums of their choice.
  3. Candidates will be encouraged to reach out to branches and states via the media of their choice, and candidates may attend state conventions.
  4. Candidates will be available for individual face-to-face conversation at the national convention — where members will still be able to vote before the voting process closes at 9 p.m. EDT on June 15, 2017.

Is there a provision for write-in candidates?

The online candidate self-nomination procedure, which is open until October 14, 2016, allows any member to submit an application for candidacy to the AAUW Nominating Committee. Write-in candidates cannot be included on paper ballots but can be submitted when voting online. Write-in is limited, however, to officer and board member candidates, not bylaw amendments, resolutions, or Public Policy Program proposals.

Bylaws Amendments

 

How do I submit my proposed amendment?

To propose an amendment, follow the process that is described on the AAUW Bylaws Amendment page of the AAUW election website:

  1. Read the current AAUW Bylaws and review the proposed changes. A legally required changes is marked Compliance Change. A change to correct an error is labeled Editorial Change. A change that requires a vote of the membership is marked Proposed Amendment.
  2. Click on the dropdown menu to select the article/section of the bylaws for which you would like to propose an amendment.
  3. Click Go.
  4. On the comment page, scroll through the proposals that have already been posted, if any, and then type your proposal in the text box.
  5. Click Submit.

Amendment proposals are limited to 4,000 characters. You may propose only one amendment for each bylaw article/section unless you first withdraw your former proposed amendment. You may, however, propose amendments for more than one bylaw article/section at the same time.

Can amendments be submitted by branches and/or states?

Yes. Although the system will only recognize a valid member ID number and branches/states are not assigned member ID numbers, a member designated to represent the branch may submit the proposed amendment by noting at the beginning of the amendment proposal that it is “Submitted on behalf of branch/state name.” It is important, however, to ensure that this submission is indeed a reflection of the will of the branch/state, with a majority vote taken at a meeting with a quorum present.

What happens if there is more than one proposed amendment to a particular bylaw?

There is no limit to the number of amendments that may be proposed for a given bylaw and no limit to the number of comments that can be entered by different people.There is also no limit to the number of articles/sections for which one individual may propose amendments. But the web format does limit an individual to only one active amendment proposal at a time for a given bylaw article/section. If you want to propose a second amendment to that same article/section, you must withdraw your first proposed amendment before you can submit the second proposal. If several individuals propose amendments to a given bylaw article/section, they are encouraged to collaborate on common wording, using the “Let’s Chat” tool if necessary.

What is the amendment proposal time frame, and how will l know which amendments will be on the ballot?

Bylaws amendment proposals may be submitted online from October 3 through December 5, 2016. After December 5, the AAUW Governance Committee will reconcile the proposed amendments and make recommendations to the board about proposed amendments that will be balloted. By February 16, the amendments approved by the board for vote by the membership will be posted on the website and prepared for the Spring/Summer AAUW Outlook, which will be mailed to members in March 2017.

What is the “Comment” box?

The “Comment” box is a space to be used by anyone wishing to make a comment on an amendment proposal. It is limited to 2,000 characters. If this is inadequate for your comment, you may use another comment box. Each time you submit a comment, your name, home city and state, and the date will be posted in conjunction with that submission.

Who can comment on amendment proposals?

Any member can comment on a proposed amendment. Individuals who make proposals can comment on their own proposed amendments or those of others and may provide a rationale for their own proposal. Members may comment as many times as they wish on any of the proposed amendments. There is no way to comment on bylaws generally without the presence of a proposed amendment.

How do I comment on and discuss these proposed changes or amendments?

When you wish to comment on a proposed bylaw amendment, you can voice your opinion in the “Comment” section, which will automatically identify the date of your comment and your name as commenter. Each comment is limited to 2,000 characters.

If you are commenting on your own proposal submission, you may choose to identify yourself as the submitter, and you may wish to include your rationale for the proposal submission.

It is suggested that those commenting on the particular proposed amendment indicate whether the comment is Pro, Con, or Neutral.

If a particular proposed amendment is withdrawn, it will remain visible, though marked “withdrawn,” but all comments related to that proposed amendment will be removed. The comment period begins October 3, 2016, and no more comments will be accepted in this website section after the close of the amendment proposal period, December 5, 2016.

What is “Keep Me Informed”?

This tool provides a way for members to monitor the proposal process. Any member can make a “Keep Me Informed” request for any bylaw article/section proposal. Each time a comment is submitted on a proposed amendment for which you have chosen to be kept informed, you will receive an automatic e-mail notifying you of that activity. Each time another amendment is proposed related to this article/section, an automatic e-mail will notify you of that activity. If a proposed amendment is withdrawn, all members who requested to be kept informed of activity on that article/section will receive automatic e-mail notification of the withdrawal.

How can two or more submitters discuss and/or reconcile their proposals on a given bylaw article/section?

Once a second proposed amendment to a given article/section has been submitted, both the original proposal submitter and the second submitter to this bylaw will see two buttons on their screen that are not visible to any other members — “Send E-mail” and “Let’s Chat.” Each new member submitting an amendment proposal to this same bylaw article/section will also be able to see these buttons. Any of these proposed amendment submitters may select Send E-mail, which triggers an e-mail to all other proposal submitters for that particular bylaw article/section. This enables them to request discussion with the others who have submitted proposed amendments to that same bylaw article/section. These individuals can then decide to discuss their proposals via e-mail and/or suggest to the others that they engage in a live chat — and via e-mail they can decide upon a mutually acceptable time and date to chat online about their proposals, accessing the chat at the appointed time by using the Let’s Chat button.

If someone in this group decides to withdraw her or his own proposal, she or he can just click the “Withdraw My Proposal” button, and it will be marked “withdrawn.” The comments to that particular proposal will no longer appear on the screen, and no more comments may be submitted related to the withdrawn amendment proposal. At this point, the individual who has withdrawn the proposal may submit another amendment proposal to that bylaw article/section. She or he may also submit a comment to another proposed amendment that indicates that the withdrawal of her or his own proposed amendment was done in order to endorse this one instead.

What are the “Send E-mail” and “Let’s Chat” buttons, and how are they different from the “Comment” section?

Only the proposal submitters are able to see “Send E-mail” and “Let’s Chat.” These buttons become visible to those who submit proposals to a given article/section once the second proposal is submitted. The Send E-mail button permits any active submitter to a given article/section to e-mail the other proposal submitters to this article/section for the purpose of having an e-mail discussion of the bylaw and/or to plan an online chat in the Let’s Chat area. The Let’s Chat button accesses an online chat area that is available only to those individuals who have proposed an amendment to a particular bylaw article/section.

If two or more individuals who have proposed amendments to a particular bylaw wish to chat among themselves about how to improve the language of the amendment or to join their amendments, they may have access to this area for a private chat. Only those who have proposed amendments to a given bylaw can access this chat area. If you would like to initiate a Let’s Chat dialogue with others who have submitted amendments to a given by law, click this button to connect with them to ask them to join you in Let’s Chat.

If they agree to settle on a compromise amendment, they may submit it only after their original proposed amendments are withdrawn. If they wish, they may use the Comment section to discuss their process and present their rationale and conclusions — and they may identify it as a compromise or collaborative amendment if they choose to do so.

How do I withdraw my proposed amendment?

Only the individual who submitted the proposed amendment can withdraw that proposed amendment. If you are a submitter and wish to withdraw one of your proposed amendments, you can click “Withdraw My Amendment,” and the system will automatically mark the proposed amendment “Withdrawn,” though it will remain visible. You and all members who have made a “Keep Me Informed” request will receive an e-mail affirming the withdrawn proposal.

How will members know if a proposed amendment is withdrawn?

A withdrawn proposed amendment is automatically marked “withdrawn,” indicating that the individual who proposed the amendment has withdrawn the proposal. That proposed amendment will still appear on the screen, however, so that members who are tracking it can see on the screen that it has been withdrawn. All members who have asked to be kept informed of that proposed amendment are automatically notified by e-mail when it is withdrawn. Once withdrawn, the comments related to that proposed amendment will no longer appear on the screen. No further comments to that proposed amendment may be submitted.

Proposed Resolutions

 

When can I propose a resolution?

The Proposed AAUW Resolutions page is open for proposals from October 3 to December 5, 2016.

How is a resolution proposed?

  1. Type the title of your proposed resolution in the title box.
  2. Type the text of your proposed resolution in the text box.
  3. Click Submit.

You may propose as many different resolutions as you choose.

How can we comment?

The comment procedure is the same for resolutions is the same as it is for bylaws; please see the bylaws section for full discussion.

Can we propose amendments to the resolution?

No, the resolution stands as proposed. Once the resolutions proposal process closes, on December 5, 2016, the Governance and Public Policy Committees will reconcile any proposed resolutions for board approval. Resolutions that will be included on the ballot will be posted on the AAUW website in February and will also appear in the Spring/Summer AAUW Outlook.

Public Policy Program

 

What is AAUW’s Public Policy Program?

AAUW’s Public Policy Program establishes the action priorities on which AAUW members across the country will focus their advocacy efforts and guides the work of the national staff in the next biennium.

When is the Public Policy Program available for revision recommendations?

AAUW’s proposed Public Policy Program is posted online for revision recommendations from members from October 3 to December 5, 2016, at which point no more proposals or comments will be accepted.

What is the process for developing the proposed AAUW Public Policy Program?

In even-numbered years, the AAUW Public Policy Committee (APPC) develops a proposed two-year Public Policy Program using the results of the member survey, ongoing feedback, and advice from staff on likely legislative action before the Congress in the next biennium. Criteria used for developing the program priorities include viability, critical need, strong member support, and potential for distinctive AAUW contribution.

In September, the proposed program priorities are presented to the AAUW Board of Directors for approval. Upon approval, the proposed program is posted online for comments and additional proposed revisions. The APPC will then finalize the proposed Public Policy Program that will go before the membership for a vote in 2015.

What is the process for reviewing and revising the proposed Public Policy Program?

The Public Policy Program proposal procedure is much like the bylaws amendment proposal procedure. Members can read the current Public Policy Program on the Public Policy Program Proposals page. The Public Policy Program is separated into numbered paragraphs, with each one annotated to indicate whether any proposed revisions have been submitted to that section.

How can members propose Public Policy Program revisions or additions?

Members may submit Public Policy Program proposals to any section that they choose but may only have one active proposal for each section. Members may use the “Keep Me Informed” button to be notified by e-mail every time there is action on a given section of the Public Policy Program.

Can members comment on Public Policy Program proposals?

Members may comment on their own proposed revisions or additions to the Public Policy Program or to those of others using the Comment section.

Can Public Policy Program proposals be withdrawn?

The proposal submitter is the only one who can withdraw her or his own proposal. The process to withdraw a proposed Public Policy Program revision or addition is the same as the process described previously about withdrawing a proposed bylaw article/section amendment.

How can two or more submitters of proposals to the same Public Policy Program section communicate?

When there is more than one proposal for a given Public Policy Program section, the process for discussion and/or reconciliation is the same as for two or more bylaw amendment proposals. The same “Send E-mail” and “Let’s Chat” buttons appear on their screens (and only their screens).

Voting

 

When and how can I vote?

All voting will take place online in 2015 unless a member sends a specific request to AAUW for a paper ballot.

Vote Online: Online voting is encouraged because it is fast, easy, secure — and green! Online voting is open April 17, 2017,* through 9 p.m. EDT, June 15, 2015, and may be done online or onsite at the convention. To vote online at the AAUW website and at the AAUW convention, you must use your member number and a PIN number, which will be e-mailed to members before voting begins. The PIN will also be mailed to members with the Spring/Summer AAUW Outlook.

Many branches organize a voting day and bring laptop computers to a branch meeting where all who want to vote online can do so using their own member numbers and can receive assistance from other members if it is desired.

Paper Ballot: Paper ballots must be requested from AAUW between April 3 and May 4, 2017. No ballot will be issued if the request is received after May 4, 2017. All paper ballots mailed to AAUW must be postmarked by 11:59 p.m., May 22, 2017, the deadline for the ballots to be scanned and counted. Paper ballots submitted after that date will not be counted. To request a paper ballot, e-mail your name, address, and member number to connect@aauw.org or call 800.326.2289.

Write-in votes for candidates can be submitted only through online voting and not by paper ballot. No write-in proposals for bylaw amendments, Public Policy Program revisions or additions, or resolutions will be accepted.

* NOTE: This is a change from the previously stated 4/14/17, to be in accordance with DC regulations.

Who is an eligible voter?

Eligible voters are all full members of AAUW, including life members, who have paid their full national dues by midnight, May 15, 2017. Controlling Washington, D.C., law requires the establishment of a “record date” for voting eligibility, which is stipulated by the AAUW Bylaws as 30 days prior to the close of the vote.

What constitutes a quorum for a vote to be valid?

The AAUW Bylaws require that submitted ballots equal in number to at least five percent of the votes entitled to be cast by members is the quorum required for a vote to be counted. The actual number of members entitled to vote will be determined as of May 15, 2017, which is 30 days prior to Thursday, June 15, 2017, the end of the voting period. May 15 is therefore the 2017 record date for becoming an AAUW member and thus eligible to vote this year.

How are votes being counted?

Online votes are entered directly in an AAUW voting database and are counted automatically. Paper ballots are scanned and also entered directly into the AAUW voting database without human interaction and are counted automatically. This system was used successfully during the 2011, 2013, and 2015 AAUW elections. Paper ballots postmarked after 11:59 p.m. on May 22, 2017, will not be scanned or counted. Online ballots submitted before 9 p.m. EDT on Thursday, June 15, 2017, will be counted.

Can I change my vote after I’ve submitted my ballot?

As with normal voting processes, the first submitted ballot is considered final. There are no changes, and any subsequent ballot submissions will be rejected.

How will I know if my vote is counted?

After you submit your online ballot, a printable confirmation message will appear on the screen and you can print it out as confirmation of your vote. No confirmation process is available for paper ballot voting.

What is the impact of my vote if I wait to vote in person at convention?

Convention offers attendees the opportunity vote online at the convention until 9 p.m. EDT on Friday, June 15, 2017 — or remotely online if you are not attending. The final tabulation of votes will then occur, and the results will be announced during convention and on the website.

What security measures are in place to protect my identity when voting online and to prevent people from voting twice?

Your member ID number and the assigned voting PIN are required to submit a ballot whether online or by mail. PINs will be e-mailed to members before voting begins and will also be sent with the Spring/Summer AAUW Outlook. A member’s online or paper ballot is uniquely tied to the member’s ID and to the assigned PIN number. Only the first ballot submitted by an individual will be counted.

Is this voting method consistent with our policies and Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised?

Yes. The online methods for proposing and discussing bylaws amendments, resolutions, and Public Policy Program proposals meet the requirements of both the 2013 AAUW Bylaws and AAUW Voting Policy. These methods provide a structure so that everyone can be heard, which is required by our parliamentary authority, Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised.

General

 

What are the key dates leading up to the 2017 convention?

October 3, 2016 Comment period opens online for members to propose amendments to the AAUW Bylaws, suggest changes to the Public Policy Program, and propose resolutions
October 14, 2016 Deadline for candidate applications
December 5, 2016 Comment period closes
January 30, 2017 Candidate profiles posted to website
Early April 2017 Voter PIN mailed to members with the Spring/Summer AAUW Outlook; final slate of candidates, bylaws proposals, and resolutions published in the Spring/Summer AAUW Outlook
April 3, 2017 Opening date to request paper ballot; voter PIN e-mailed to members
April 17, 2017 Voting begins online
(NOTE: This is a change from the previously stated 4/14/17, to be in accordance with DC regulations.)
May 4, 2017 Deadline for AAUW to receive request for paper ballot
May 22, 2017 Deadline for mailing paper ballot; ballots must be postmarked by 11:59 p.m. to be counted
June 14–17, 2017 AAUW National Convention, Washington, DC
June 15, 2017 Online voting ends at 9 p.m. EDT
June 16, 2017 Election results announced online and at convention

What do we do for members who don’t have Internet access?

The Spring/Summer AAUW Outlook will contain information describing the key events and timeline. It will also include the proposed bylaw amendments, resolutions, and the Public Policy Program revisions and additions, as well as profiles of candidates who have been approved for ballot by the AAUW Board of Directors.

All members are encouraged to vote online, because it is fast, easy, secure — and green! Many branches organize a voting day and bring laptop computers to a branch meeting where all who want to vote online can do so using their own member numbers and can receive assistance from other members if it is desired.

Members may request to have a paper ballot mailed to them between April 3 and May 4, 2017. No ballots will issued after that date. The deadline to mail the ballot back to AAUW is May 22, 2017. To request a paper ballot, e-mail your name, address, and member number to connect@aauw.org or call 800.326.2289.

Members who do not have Internet access may submit proposed bylaw amendments, resolutions, and Public Policy Program comments by enlisting help from a member who does have Internet access. The person who provides that input can indicate at the top of the form “Submitted on behalf of [person’s name].”