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FAQs on Current Board Elections
Voting for the member-elected spots doesn’t start until early January. In the meantime, here’s some more background on the election process and governance – much of this information is taken from existing website, magazine and e-news articles we’ve sent you in recent months.
Do members still elect the majority of board members?
Yes. Eight of the 15 board members are directly elected by the membership. The value of appointing members to the board is that particular skills and attributes that the board needs can be recruited – and remember, the majority of the board members making the appointments are always going to be elected. To vote in the election, you must be a registered League member by October 2, 2011.
How has representation been affected by at-large rather than regional elections?
The six regions into which the League membership was divided for board elections were arbitrary and unwieldy; board members struggled to truly “represent” their regions. Under the new system, both elected and board-appointed members are responsible for considering the needs of all League members, and indeed all cyclists. Our appointed board members have always had strong ties to the bicycling community and impressive bicycling credentials. At the same time as we made this board change, we also reinvigorated the State Ambassador program to better connect the League to state and local activities, clubs and advocacy groups.
How are candidates for the board selected?
For this election, we started the call for candidates in early June in the League’s e-news and on the website. The July-August issue of American Bicyclist, which is mailed to all members, will include articles related to the election to encourage people to run for the board and outlining the governance system. The call for candidates will repeat in the e-news.
The nominating committee will evaluate each candidate based on seven specific qualifications and their capacity to provide high-quality, national board service. Committee members take this responsibility extremely seriously, to ensure that all the candidates have the basic qualifications necessary to serve the League well, regardless of their specific platform or views.
Each member of the governance committee will make an independent recommendation that will be tallied and sent to the board as a recommended list of candidates. They will approve the nominations for the upcoming election. Those not selected will be thanked and invited to continue to play an active role in the League.
Is there still a petition process for those not selected who still wish to run?
Yes. The Bylaws include a provision for additional candidates to be nominated by petition. Candidates who are not nominated by the Governance Committee will be informed in the beginning of November to give them time to organize petitions.
How do other national membership organizations organize their boards?
There is no single or right way to govern a national membership group; the hybrid approach of having some appointed and some elected board members is common and the use of a board nominating or governance committee to manage the election process is standard. In our own small world of bicycling, IMBA, Adventure Cycling and Bikes Belong all have different board selection approaches – none as transparent as the League.
How Does the voting system work?
We are using a preferential voting system for the first time this year. For details and an example of how this will work, please click here.