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Rules

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1 Electorate

The electorate will be defined as ORG supporting subscribers, as recorded in the ORG supporter database, who have either:

(i)            paid an annual subscription within 14 months of the open of nominations date;

(ii)          paid a quarterly subscription within 5 months of the open of nominations date; or

(iii)         paid a monthly subscription within 3 months of the open of nominations date.

The electorate will be asked to resupply the address we have on record for them if they have moved since they joined. They will be asked at the point that the election timetable is announced and in other communications, such as members emails.

2 Positions to be elected

Three seats on the Open Rights Group’s Board will be open for election, to be appointed for a three year period. Members of the Board also have the right to attend ORG’s Advisory Council.

Duties of Board members are detailed separately. These must be accepted in writing by candidates for their nomination to be declared valid.

3 Electoral Returning Officer (ERO)

The Open Rights Group’s Executive Director will act as ERO, supervised by three ORG supporters, selected by the ERO, as elections committee. The names of committee members will be published on the website and announced when the timetable is published.

The ERO will, where they are required to accept written confirmations,  accept suitably secure electronic equivalents as agreed by the ERO.

4 Schedule

The ERO will announce the date on which nominations are to open and the period for which nominations will be open at least 2 weeks before the proposed open nominations date. The announcement will be made:

  • to the org-discuss and other mailing lists
  • on the ORG blog
  • on ORG’s home page
  • to all electors for whom we have an email address

Nominations must be open for at least 2 weeks .

The ERO will prepare information packs to be sent to the electorate which will include, candidates’ written statements, photos and the location of video statements. Candidates will be required to provide their statements etc no later than one week after the close of nominations (see below). It is the responsibility of the candidates to ensure the ERO receives their materials no later than one week after the close of the nomination period.

The ERO will send out ballots to the electorate within three weeks of the close of nominations.

The ERO will set a date for the return of ballots which must be at least two, and no more than four, weeks after the ballot papers are sent to the electorate.

The count date will be no more than one week after the date set for the return of ballots at a location announced to the electorate where any elector can attend to observe the count.

5 Nominations

Nominations are open to any member of the electorate. Nominations require the written consent of the nominee, a proposer and a seconder. Each must be a current member of the electorate.

Nominations and consent can be sent by post or from an email address recorded as belonging to that individual in the ORG supporter database.

Nominations must be sent to the ERO before the close of nominations and include a written declaration by the candidate that they will accept the duties of a member of the Board.

 

6 Publication of the election

All members of the electorate must be informed of the election timetable to the best of ORG’s ability.

The ERO will email or write to the electorate, according to their preference as recorded in the ORG  supporter database.

7 Campaigning

ORG will provide for standard election activities. Official campaigning will be limited to:

(i)            An email from the ERO to all opted-in supporters with an email address, linking to a web page with contact details of the candidates, the video statements of up to five minutes, and text statements and photographs.

(ii)          A candidate statement of 400 words or less and a photograph of the candidate, plus candidate contact details for private communications, plus personal elections web page, and social media contacts, given to all supporters with the ballot papers;

(iii)         An email list, for ORG supporters to opt into, to hear answers to their questions. Questions will be sent to the ERO and forwarded by the ERO. Questions will be allowed to the list at the ERO’s discretion.

Campaigning will not take place on ORG lists other than the designated list described in point (iii) above. These rules do not restrict candidates’ freedom of expression in other fora such as networking sites and public meetings.

The ERO shall have the power to cancel an election if a candidate or someone acting on their behalf is found to have brought ORG into disrepute or has acted unfairly against another candidate(s). The ERO’s decision will be final but will be in consultation with the electoral committee.

8 The Ballot and count

The ballot count will be conducted by multi-member Single Transferable Vote (STV) using the Meek method. Re-open Nominations (RON) will be a ‘protected’ candidate, ie, will not be eliminated at any stage.

Ballot papers will be sent by post and returned to Open Rights Group’s offices, marked ‘FAO the Electoral Returning Officer’. They will be opened, checked for validity and counted only on the declared date of the count in view of any electors wishing to observe.