UTFA 2020 Presidential Election Guidelines

February 18, 2020
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The Chief Returning Officer for the 2020 presidential election is Louis Florence.

Presidential Election: Note that Article 9.1 (iii) of the Constitution calls for Council to establish guidelines for presidential elections.

1. 1.    At least five weeks before the election period, the CRO will ask the Executive Committee to approve engaging a specified external firm to conduct the presidential vote in the event that it is needed. The CRO will also work with the business officer to make sure that paper ballots are available to those voters who require them.

1. 2.    By the close of nominations at 5 p.m. on March 16 (March 15 is a Sunday), the presidential candidates must submit a one-page, single-sided and single-spaced statement to the Chief Returning Officer (CRO) for posting on the UTFA home page. The statement must include the name of the candidate, their academic rank, and the unit(s) in which they hold their appointment(s). This statement may contain one external link. The candidates may, in addition, provide one head and shoulders photograph for posting on the UTFA site. Finally, each candidate must submit the name, email address, and mobile phone contact information of a scrutineer, who must be a member in good standing. The scrutineer must be present at the UTFA office for 5 p.m. on the last day of voting.

1. 3.    If only one eligible presidential candidate is nominated, the CRO will, within twenty-four hours of the close of nominations, email all members to declare that the candidate is acclaimed. The CRO will provide a link to the candidate’s statement and to the photograph (if available) on the UTFA home page.

1. 4.    If more than one presidential candidate is nominated at the close of the nomination period, within twenty-four hours, the CRO will write to the membership to communicate the following: declare that an election will occur; provide the names of the candidates, along with a link to their statements and photos (if available) on the UTFA home page; provide the dates of the election period, including the time and date on which all voting will cease; inform the membership, including the retired, how they may vote, making sure to note that online ballots often “roll” out rather than appear in all members’ inboxes at the same moment; provide contact information in the event that a member does not receive an online ballot; and communicate the approximate dates on which reminders to vote will be issued. All of this information must also appear on the UTFA site, under a heading marked “Click here for information on the UTFA Presidential election.”

1. 5.    On the UTFA home page, the candidates will, initially, be listed in alphabetical order by last name, in a vertical list. The positions of the names will be shuffled every three days so that one candidate is not consistently listed first. The list will also be shuffled each time a voting reminder is sent to members. After the announcement of the candidates, three additional reminders should go out over the voting period.

1. 6.    The candidates may update their statements only twice in the course of the election period. Any further updates/corrections are at the discretion of the CRO.

1. 7.    Out of fairness to external candidates who might not serve on UTFA committees, candidates may not use UTFA email distribution lists to conduct their campaigns.

1. 8.    Candidates may not use UTFA staff to work on or support their campaigns.

1. 9.    Candidates may not use UTFA equipment or materials to support their campaigns.

1. 10.    Candidates are encouraged to maintain a collegial tone.
1. 11.    A collegial Presidential Candidates Forum will be held around Wednesday, March 18, at 3 p.m., (or on another date the candidates agree to) at which presidential candidates will outline their platforms. A live webcast will be available by link on the UTFA site as a matter of accessibility. No video will be posted or distributed. The CRO will serve as moderator and will work with UTFA’s Chris Penn to book an adequately large room well in advance. The CRO will announce the Forum to the entire membership and will send a reminder 48 hours in advance. Each candidate will speak at a lectern for not more than 10 minutes. The same decorum practiced at Council will be expected at the Presidential Candidates Forum. Candidates will take questions from the audience for 10 minutes each. At the Forum, candidates may circulate (their own copies of) one double-sided sheet of paper, outlining their platforms and providing a link to their websites. A sample of the printed material must be submitted to the CRO 24 hrs before the Forum, for his information.

1. 12.    Disputes between the campaigns must first be brought before the CRO for resolution. If need be, the CRO may bring disputes before the Executive Committee for resolution but not to the president alone.