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SFV-CAMFT Election-Day Ballot Counting

Accepted: March 6, 2016 

Part I. Procedures

The following are procedures for collecting ballots, verifying membership of the voter, and counting the ballots. The Elections Committee shall consist of the President, the Past-President, and one designated member of the chapter who is not a candidate in the election. The Vice President of Membership shall provide an active roster of members to the Elections Committee. A Quorum of this Committee shall consist of all three members.

Step One: Ballots are emailed to a specified SFV-CAMFT elections account or are collected at the designated election meeting. The ballots are collected and are handed to the ballot counting committee.

Step Two: Members of the Elections Committee, assisting staff, and Independent Auditor open the ballot envelopes to reveal member information. Ballots are not to be removed from the envelope.

Step Three: Members of the Elections Committee verify membership of each ballot. NOTE: Any ballot that is “questionable” as provided for in Part II of this memorandum must be reviewed by the entire committee. “Questionable” ballots may include:

  • A blank ballot does not count
  • If a member votes for more choices than positions to be elected, the vote does not count
  • If a bubble is not completely filled in, but an X or v is marked, the vote counts if the ballot counter can reasonably ascertain the intent of the member
  • Stray marks or written comments on the form do not invalidate the vote if the ballot counter can reasonably ascertain the intent of the member

Step Four: Committee reviews “questionable” ballots and accepts or rejects the ballots as set forth in Part II of this memorandum. If a “questionable” ballot envelope is accepted by the Auditor, the ballot envelope is returned to be included in the ballot count. The number of rejected envelopes is recorded by the Committee and kept separate from the valid ballots.

Step Five: All ballots not rejected are counted by Elections Committee

Step Six: Elections Committee does a final tally of vote counts and reports to the President.

Step Seven: The President communicates the election results per SFV-CAMFT’s Policy on Communicating SFV-CAMFT Election Results.

Part II. Verification of Member Information on Envelope

The Elections Committee and Vice President of Programs are to make every attempt possible to verify membership of the voter. However, if every reasonable effort fails to identify and/or verify the signature of the member, the ballot will not count.

The following scenarios render the ballot envelope “questionable.” While verifying membership of the voter, Elections Committee members who come across the following must present the ballot envelope to the entire Committee who will accordingly accept or reject:

Accept the following ballot envelopes:

  • If two ballot envelopes are received from the same member, the most recent date-stamped ballot envelope will count, the older date-stamped ballot envelope will not count.

Reject the following ballot envelopes:

  • The signature is illegible and the member’s identity cannot be verified because there is no printed name
  • There is no signature on the signature line.
  • Any other situation in which membership of the voter cannot be reasonably verified

Part III. Committee and Personnel Obligations
If a Committee member is no longer on premises, resulting in the loss of a quorum, the ballot counting process shall cease. If a quorum is not present, the Board President has the authority to appoint a qualified voting member to immediately take that Committee member’s place. Once the newly appointed voting member is present, and a quorum is reached, the ballot counting may resume.

Elections Committee members are required to keep information about: individual candidate counts; member information on ballot envelopes; and ballots gathered during the process confidential. Pursuant to the Policy on Communicating CAMFT Board of Directors Election Results (March 6, 2016), prior to the results being announced, no information about the election may be shared. Furthermore, all those involved in the ballot count are precluded from communicating any vote-related information to an outside party or member during the ballot count.

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