Election Commissioner Guidelines

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The election commissioner is to lead the election of board members (directors), officers, and any other process where a vote from the members are required. The election commissioner is also known as the voting commissioner in the bylaws.

General Overview

The election commissioner is to act as a neutral arbiter and trusted voting logistics point of contact. The election commissioner will be aided by the deskies in collecting votes, and ask members for vote counting help when required. The election commissioner should (obviously) not be up for election for any director or officer position, or have any major conflict-of-interests that will cast doubt on the validity of the election.

The election commissioner (and members in general!) may encourage members to run for board and officer positions, both outside normal voting times and during the call for candidates, so that members have a good and varied range to choose from. This is not endorse any particular candidate, but only to energize members to participate.

The election commissioner should aim to provide a free and fair election, and bring calm to the entire process. The election commissioner should call upon previous election commissioners, the Secretary, and member services personnel if any voting issues arise.


There is currently no formal position as defined by the bylaws, but generally an election commissioner is someone in the Artisan's Asylum community who meets the 'sniff' test of general impartiality and fairness from the members, board, and officers.


The election commissioner is tasked to start an election by the Board, and has the following duties:

  • Coordinate with members, member services, other staff, the board, and officers to identify practical voting dates
  • Gets list of valid voters from the Election Registar; requests that the Election Registar populates voter-discuss list by providing eligibility dates; at this point the election commissioner can send an announcement to the community
    • Example:

"We need to generate a list of eligible voters and populate voter-discuss - with members who have had a monthly membership of any six months between September 28, 2013 to October 12, 2014, inclusive"

  • Help establish desk procedures with the deskies/member services to collect and secure votes
  • Maintains the Artisan's Asylum wiki with:
    • Main election page, with all important election dates
    • Candidate petition page
    • Info for potential candidates page
    • Meet the Candidates page
    • Pages regarding ballot questions, such as regarding bylaws, capital expenditures, etc.
  • Sets the dates of the election. This includes:
    • petition due dates for candidates (The candidates should have at least ONE WEEK to collect signatures)
    • Candidate/ballot announcement date
    • Meet the Candidates/ballot initiative discussion dates; this should be BEFORE the election starts, if possible
    • Voting start date
    • Voting - absentee ballot end date
    • Voting end date (The voting period should be a minimum of TWO WEEKS)
    • Voting count date
    • Announcement of results
  • Leads the Meet the Candidates and ballot initiatives discussion; general guidelines are available here. These are only guidelines, and may be changed by the existing election commissioner
  • Creates easy-to-read ballot (with Artisan's Asylum logo)
  • Prints first few ballots, and gives this to the deskies/member services, and also gives an electronic version (PDF) of the ballot to member services so that more can be printed
  • Collects ballots from the front desk on a regular basis and stores them securely, since the ballot box isn't large enough
  • Validates number of collected ballots with voting checklist, to ensure voting is proceeding normally
  • Handles absentee ballot procedures (in short - someone contacts the election commissioner, and they phone the member (at phone number of record), and fills out the ballot for them)
  • Holds only copy of voting box key(s), so votes are secured
  • Leads count of votes once election is over (This should happen within a few days of the end of the election)
  • Announces results of vote and voting statistics (This should happen as soon as possible, after the vote count is done)

Per-Election Wiki Pages To Be Maintained

  • General Election Notice page
  • Description of positions page(s)
  • Info for potential candidates page
  • Candidate petition page
  • Meet the Candidates page

EC should post relevant links to bylaws and sections of relevant bylaws.

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