Elections Handbook


Per the Bylaws - Appendix B, elections at Quelab are overseen by the Vice President, and conducted by a Board of Canvass. This manual will provide the procedures for conducting an election.

The annual membership meeting where the board election is held is a requirement of membership of Quelab. In order for the vote to be considered valid, at least 53% of the members must vote, either in person, or electronically.

Election Timeline

  • The Directors set a date for the election
  • The Vice President calls for nominations, and reserves a location for the event
    • The Call for Nominations will open at least 30 days before the election date
    • A Selection Taskforce shall be convened by the Vice President to vet the nominations
    • Persons eligible for election include those willing and able to serve a two year term
      • Are over the age of eighteen (the age of majority in New Mexico)
      • Candidates will be asked to prepare a short biography for press release
    • Nominations are closed, and the slate of candidates is presented
    • Early Voting is opened two days before the election date for electronic votes
    • eVoting IDs are made available for absentee members prior to early voting
    • eVoting IDs are issued in a non-traceable method (phone, in-person) to ensure ballot secrecy.
    • An Election/Party is held to coincide with the end of the election period. eVotes must be in by the end of the election period
    • All votes are entered and counted electronically by a Board of Canvass convened by the Vice President
      • For auditing purposes, the votes will be printed and kept for 90 days, and destroyed thereafter
      • Results will be published on the website and announced at the party
    • The newly-constituted Board of Directors will meet within 2 weeks of the election

Election Procedures

Opening Nominations

In the case of a regular election, the Board of Directors shall set an election date that gives the Vice President (or their designee) at least thirty-five days to solicit nominations for new directors, and to confirm the nominees. A Selection Task Force is called by the Vice President to confirm the nominees. Per the bylaws, the directors of Quelab need not be members, they just have to be over eighteen, support Quelab's mission, and are willing and able to serve a full two-year term.

A call for nominations shall be given to the members with a deadline of five days before the election date. Nominees shall be contacted to verify their willingness and ability to serve if elected, and asked to provide a short biographical statement for publication in a press release and slate of candidates announcement. Once the nomination period has closed, the Selection Task Force shall deliver the slate of confirmed nominees for publication.

Election Event

While the nominations are being solicited, an event shall be planned on the election date, to host the in-person election, and the final announcement of the results. This should be an off-site event, with food, drink, and entertainment (a perk of membership). Invitations will be sent to members who are in good standing (have signed their waiver, attended orientation, and not behind on their dues) in the month the event is to be held and the event will be open only to members, candidates, and guests.

Election Period

To allow for electronic voting, the election period will open two days before the event itself, and close during the event, to allow absentee voters to cast their ballots, but also to count and announce the results in a timely manner at the event. This way there are seventy-two hours to cast your ballot if you happen to be travelling during the event, but still intend to vote.

Single Transferable Vote

The election shall be conducted using the single transferable vote, which is an instant-runoff style of voting. There will be a single question, and Members will rank the Candidates in order (1,2,3,4). Voting for a single canidate will be permitted, but are classifed as an “undervote”. Ballots where multiple candidates are selected and no ranking is recognised will be spoiled as “overvotes”. The number of votes required to win will be determined by the Droop method (see below) and this will help eliminate ties and equalize wildly-popular candidates. For more information, please watch the following video.

Electronic Voting

In order to ensure that electronic votes are unique and secret, a non-recorded list of eVoting IDs will be drawn up and issued to members who request them. Members are expected to keep these IDs secret for the election period, as they will not be re-issued if lost. The IDs will be issued in person or via phone only, and will not be emailed or texted to anyone. A master list of members will be kept separately from a packet of individual IDs and one ID will be issued to each member who requests one. A master list of IDs will be kept separately from the member list for later electronic voting verification. Ballots which are cast electronically which do not have a valid ID will be spoiled. If more than one ballot is cast with the same ID, both ballots will be spoiled.

Paper Voting

For those who wish to vote in-person, a paper ballot will be provided at the Election Event.

Counting Procedure

Once all votes have been cast at the end of the voting period, the paper ballots be sequestered with a Board of Canvass convened by the Vice President. This Board will consist of at least three persons, and they will certify the results of the election for later audit if needed.

The Board will enter the paper ballots in to the electronic system. There will be one “Watcher” to observe that the votes are recorded correctly, one “Reader” who will call out the votes cast, and one “Recorder” who will tally the votes cast. Each ballot will be read in full, with each vote and non-vote recorded accurately.

For auditing purposes, paper ballots will be printed. Ballot papers will list all candidates for office with a mark to be made for each selection. Ballots which contain more votes than seats will be spoiled, but retained for the audit; ballots which contain fewer votes than seats will be counted normally.

The number of counted ballots shall match the number of ballots cast (less any over-votes), after the counting is complete. A tally sheet indicating the number of votes received by each candidate, the number of ballots received for counting, and the number of ballots counted (less spoiled ballots) will be recorded and signed off by the board of canvass as a summary for any possible audit. A copy of the tally sheet will be made available by request to any candidate or representative.

The ballots and the tally sheet will be retained for a period of ninety days in a sealed envelope, and barring any challenges will be discarded after that period has elapsed.

STV & Droop

The number of votes required to gain a seat on the board shall use the Droop formula:

Ballots cast for candidates who receive more votes than needed to win will have their subsequent vote rankings used to boost their other choices.