Nomination by Committee

Committees are appointed for the purpose of studying a motion or a matter. They discuss a motion or a matter and save the membership a lot of time and effort within this small group within a group. Nominating committee members can explore the possibilities of candidate choices and their qualifications without the eyes of the entire meeting looking on. They can make recommendations for the best candidate. It's not necessary for them to come up with multiple candidates for each office; they may recommend just one name for each position.

The nominating committee also doesn't have to recommend a name for every officer position. It can leave a position open for nominations from the floor at the regular meeting. Who knows, maybe a member will even volunteer for the position.

Help for the Committee

The nominating committee needs a number of things in order to do its job. It should be given a membership list, the bylaws, eligibility requirements, and a job description for each office. It's very important that the committee members thoroughly discuss whether members they might want to nominate are truly qualified for the positions. Imagine how embarrassing it would be to nominate, and even elect, a member, only to find out that he is not qualified for the position.

The Committee Wants to Talk to You

After the committee has come up with a list of nominations, it's the job of one or more committee members to approach the potential nominees to ask if they're willing to serve. This is an important step that can't be taken lightly. A humor writer can joke about surprise nominations, but members shouldn't be surprised by a nominating committee at a meeting.

Prior notice should always be given. The member has the right to accept or decline being nominated, to not feel pressured and put on the spot in front of her fellow members in a regular meeting. And by the way, it is perfectly acceptable for someone on the nominating committee to be one of those nominated for office.

The Committee Reports

Once the committee has prepared its report, it should be listed on the agenda under “Special Orders.” The report is given orally. A list of the nominations can be given to the secretary to record in the minutes.

ALERT!

The nominating committee should operate in strict confidence. There should be no leaks of what they've discussed or what nominations will come out of the committee. It should also treat information on membership lists, such as personal information, phone numbers, and addresses, as confidential.

The chair of the nominating committee presents the report by saying, “The nominating committee submits the following nominations: for president, [John Smith]; for vice president, [Jane Doe]; for secretary, [Dan Johnson]; for treasurer [Donna Smith].” Once the report has been given, the committee's job is finished. The committee chair should be seated.

If there has been dissension in the nominating committee, there should be no mention of this at the time of the report at the meeting. If a committee member (or members) didn't get a candidate he wanted on the list of nominations, then he can make a nomination from the floor. Just because a member was on the nominating committee doesn't mean he gives up the right to make a nomination at that time just like any other member.

The Chair Speaks

The chair now accepts the report by restating the list of nominations. Then she should state that nominations are now open from the floor — from the membership. The chair must go through the list from president on down through treasurer, waiting for nominations at each step before proceeding to the next.

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