April 2010 Elections Committee Report

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Report of the PNB Elections Committee

to the Pacifica National Board

April 16, 2010

The Elections Committee has been primarily involved in the last two months with developing recommendations for improving the Pacifica elections process and reducing costs.

The committee also provided a job description for the National Elections Supervisor which has been used for recruiting NES candidates, and suggested additional ways to recruit candidates. (As of the writing of this report, the NES has still not been hired, and only a few candidates applied.)

A work group and considerable amount of our committee meetings have been devoted to developing plans to help this year's NES and Local Elections Supervisors (LESs) and reduce the workload on them during peak times. In particular, the committee has worked with Pacifica management to:

* stress the need for cleaning up the membership lists and staff lists and keeping them maintained, along with specific suggestions on how to do this

* develop tentative plans (which will need to be discussed and further developed with the NES after he/she is hired) for an opt-out process in which listeners with Internet access can be encouraged to access candidate statements and biographical information online, rather than requiring Pacifica to print and mail the complete candidate booklets to everyone (while still using an actual paper ballot by mail)

* develop tentative plans for an improved process for requesting replacement ballots via a web site and toll-free phone number, along with a tracking mechanism for ensuring that the ballot requests are not lost

We also hope to develop a more comprehensive Request for Proposals later this year, for use in future Pacifica elections, in which more of the election functions might be contracted out to a professional, impartial election services vendor which is experienced in handling elections for nonprofits, and which would have additional resources to call upon when needed and which will not need to re-invent the wheel and train entirely new people for each election.

Two motions were passed at the April 13 committee meeting, for consideration by the PNB:

1. That the PNB direct the ED to ensure that management at all stations do what is necessary to keep membership lists updated and correct, that such updating and corrections be completed before the nominations period starts for LSB elections this year, and that it continue on a regular basis in order to minimize problems with future elections and reduce expenses to Pacifica.

This motion passed without objection.

2. That the PNB strongly encourage the Executive Director and the Human Resources Director to rapidly implement the use of the Staff Registry software across the network and encourage staff to register to assure their right to vote and run for office.

This motion passed with 7 yes votes, and 3 no votes.

We are looking forward to working with the NES and LESs to improve this year's election process and hopefully reduce costs as well.

Bill Crosier

Chair, PNB Elections Committee