Elections


ELECTION STANDING RULES


NOMINATIONS AND ELECTIONS 

A. Elections Committee

1. There shall be an Elections Committee.

    2.   The Elections Committee and Chairperson shall be appointed by the president and approved by the executive board to which it is responsible at the beginning of each school year.

3. The Committee shall be composed of at least three members who are not on the Executive Board, who are familiar with the unit operations, and who are not seeking election.

4. The Elections Committee is charged with ensuring that elections are conducted in a fair and impartial manner.

   5.    Any Association member who is either a candidate on the ballot or whose immediate family member is a candidate shall abstain from all election committee activities on that particular ballot.

B.  Election Requirements

   1.   The chapter shall ensure that an open nomination procedure is in place (i.e., any member may nominate any member, including himself or herself with consent of the nominee).   The only qualification for office shall be Active membership in the chapter.

2. Every Active member shall be assured of voting by secret ballot.

3. There shall be at least a fifteen (15) calendar day period between notice of election and the actual voting. 

4. There shall be an all Active member vote. A member who is off-track shall be sent election information by mail to his/her last known residence.

5. A chapter shall provide means for all Active members to vote (including vote by mail), and it shall be the responsibility of the member to notify the chapter if s/he desires a ballot at a site other than the regularly scheduled voting place.

6. An Active member shall acknowledge receipt of a ballot by signature on a registration sheet at the time of issuance of the ballot or on an envelope when returning the voted ballot. 

C. Announcement

1. The announcement of election shall include the offices, length of terms, and the election timeline. 

2. The announcement shall be publicized in a manner that ensures every member has an opportunity to file a declaration of candidacy.


      D. Timeline

1. Schools/Work sites on alternative calendars shall be considered when setting election timelines.

2. The timeline for the election shall include dates for:

  1. Announcement of vacancy(ies) and term(s) of office using a method that will ensure each member is aware of the opportunity to file a declaration of candidacy;
  2. At least fifteen (15) calendar days between the announcement date of the vacancy(ies) and the date of the election;
  3. Place, time and date of receipt (date received, not post-marked date) for declaration of candidacy forms;  
  4. Final date to acknowledge candidates' declaration of candidacy;
  5. Date for preparation of ballots;
  6. Date on which ballots will be distributed;
  7. Date by which to request a ballot;
  8. Date(s) when voting will take place;
  9. Deadline date (date received, not post-marked date), time and place for return of ballots;
  10. Date, time and place where ballots will be counted, which should be immediately following the deadline for receipt of voted ballots;
  11. Date that announcement of results shall be made to leadership, candidates, members, and posted at each work site, which date shall be not later than five (5) calendar days following the counting of ballots;
  12. Dates and timelines for run-off election, if necessary; and,
  13. Deadline for filing of challenges to initial election and run-off if held (date received, not post-marked date).


E. Finances and Use of Unit Resources

1. Chapter monies received through dues, assessment or similar levy shall not be used to promote any candidate. 

2. A candidate may not accept direct contributions from a chapter’s treasury or indirect contributions in the form of use of a chapter’s assets, facilities, staff, equipment, mailings, good will and credit.

3.  A unit may not state or indicate its preference for a candidate in the unit’s publications.

4.   The use of links to any Association web site by a candidate is prohibited.

5.   The Association shall not make available personal emails to candidates.

6.   District email addresses and/or systems shall not be used for campaigning.

7. The official logo of the unit or official Association title may not be used in a way that suggests that the candidate has the support of the unit, OTA, or any of its affiliates.


F. Candidate’s Rights

1. Privileges extended to one candidate shall be extended to all candidates.

2. Each candidate shall receive a copy of the election timeline, procedures and guidelines.

3. Each candidate shall have the right to a list of the name and address of work sites and the number of Active members at each site for the purposes of campaigning.

G. Ballot

1.   The names of the candidates shall be printed on the ballot in CTA alphabetical order. The name of each candidate shall be as printed on the declaration of candidacy. When a candidate’s last name is hyphenated, the name before the hyphen shall be used for placement on the ballot.  

In the event that the last name of more than one candidate begins with the same letter or more than one candidate has the same last name, the CTA alphabetical order shall continue to be applied throughout the name including the first name.


2. The ballot shall state the name of the office/position, the term, and the names of the candidates.

3. The ballot shall include space for a write-in candidate, except in run-off elections.

(Each method of voting must be included in your standing rules in order for your Bylaws/Standing Rules to be in compliance with CTA)

H. Distribution of Ballots and Method of Voting (Both voting methods must be included in your standing rules)

1.Each member shall receive a ballot.

2.Voting shall be by one or a combination of the following methods:

a. At School/Work Site/Specified Voting Site

If a Site Representative is a candidate, refer to A. Elections Committee, 5.


1)      Voting At School/Work Site(s)/Specified Voting Site

a) Each voter must sign a voter roster/sign-up sheet before receiving a ballot.

(1) Voter Roster – List of eligible voters.

(2) Voter Sign-up Sheet – List of eligible voters which includes a place for a signature.

b) The marked ballot must be returned to a designated site representative envelope or ballot box.

c) Site representatives must return all voter roster/sign-up sheets and ballots to the Elections Committee by the designated date and time.  Ballots must be secured and uncounted.  Roster/Sign-up sheets and ballots from each site must be kept together until verified by Elections Committee.

d)  Active members who are off-track or on a dues paying leave shall be notified by mail in order to provide them an opportunity and right to vote.

e)  Preliminary counts shall not be completed at school/work sites.


2)   Voting At School/Work Site(s)/Specified Voting Site Using Envelopes 

When voting is conducted at school or specified sites using envelopes, the procedure shall be as follows:

a)  A list of current Active members shall be prepared, which includes each member’s name and school/work address.

b) The voter shall be provided with the following:

(1) A ballot;

(2) Instructions on folding of the ballot in the inner envelope; placement  of the ballot in the unsigned inner envelope or placement of the ballot without an inner envelope; signature on the outer envelope or roster; and deadline date for receipt of the voted ballot at the chapter office;  

(3) A small envelope (inner envelope) in which to place the voted ballot if preferred by the voter; and,

                       (4) A larger envelope (outer envelope) addressed to the chapter, on which the   voter prints and signs his/her name.

c) At the time of counting of the ballots, the names on the outer envelope or roster shall be checked against the official list of voters.  The name on the official list shall be marked to show that the voter has returned a ballot.

d) The outer envelope shall then be opened and put in a separate stack for safekeeping as a record of voters.

e) All inner envelopes shall be placed in a separate receptacle.

 f) The inner envelopes shall be slit and the ballots removed from the envelopes, stacked and then counted.

g) Active members who are off-track or on a dues paying leave shall be notified by mail in order to provide them an opportunity to vote.


b.   By mail 

When the voting is conducted by mail, the procedure shall be as follows:

Active members who are off-track or on a dues paying leave shall be notified by mail in order to provide them an opportunity to vote.

Special care should be taken in all phases of handling of ballots to ensure the accuracy and the secrecy of voting by mail.  The following procedures and guidelines have been developed for this situation:


1)  A list of current Active members shall be prepared, which includes the following:  name, school/work and home address. 


2)  The mailing list shall exactly correspond to the current official roll of voting members.


3)  Each voter shall be provided with: 

a)  A ballot;

b) Instructions on:

(1)  Folding and placing of the ballot in the unsigned inner envelope;

(2) Placing of the unsigned inner envelope into the outer envelope;

(3) Signature and school on the outer envelope addressed to the chapter; and

(4) Deadline date for receipt of the voted ballot at the chapter office.

c) Inner envelope;

d) Outer return envelope, addressed to the chapter.


4)  The ballot shall be date stamped when it is received in the chapter office and then put in a safe place until the votes are to be counted.

5)  At the time of counting, the names on the outer envelope shall be checked against the official list of eligible voting members.

6) The outer envelopes shall then be opened and put in a separate stack for safekeeping as a record of voters.

7) All inner envelopes shall be placed in a separate receptacle. 

8) The inner envelopes shall be slit and the ballots removed from the envelopes, stacked, and then counted.

I.    Vote Requirement

All vote requirements shall be established in accordance with CTA guidelines.  Unless otherwise specified, all elections shall be decided by majority vote.  Write-in votes are valid and must be counted.

1. A majority vote means more than half of the legal votes cast for each office/position on the ballot.

2. A plurality vote means the largest number of votes to be given any candidate or issue.

3. A two-thirds (2/3) vote means at least two thirds (2/3) of the legal votes cast, 

4. For unit officers, the election will be by majority.

5. For State Council:  [See the Election Timelines, Procedures, and Guidelines in section IV-9.2 of the TA Elections Manual.]

  1. The unit is a single electoral district. The election for State Council Representatives will be by majority vote.

6. If a candidate does not receive a majority vote, a run-off election shall be conducted among the candidates receiving the highest number of votes.  The names on the ballot will be one (1) more than the number of vacancies to be filled.  When there are only two candidates for an office, the candidate receiving the higher number of legal votes cast shall be declared elected.  There shall be no provisions for write-in candidates in run-off elections.

7. For NEA Local Delegates, the election will be by plurality vote, as defined in the unit's governance documents.  Results must be sent to the CTA Governance Department and to the Service Center Council.

8. An election for NEA Delegates may be waived and the candidate(s) declared elected if, following a period of open nominations, the number of candidates is equal to or less than the number of delegate positions to be filled.  An affiliate utilizing this provision must have adopted a governing provision or election policy allowing such a practice.  This election practice will not generate successor delegates unless the nomination process requires candidates for both regular and successor delegate positions.

9. For NEA State Delegates, the election will be by plurality vote.  Successor delegates (alternates) are ranked in the order of votes received.  Results must be sent to the Service Center Council, which will forward the results to CTA.

10. For additional OTA/CTA/NEA election guidelines refer to the official CTA Elections Manual.


J.  Counting of Ballots

1. Each candidate may designate one observer, who may be the candidate, to observe the vote counting process.  The observer shall not interfere with the work of the Elections Committee and must remain in the room where the vote count is taking place.

2. The Elections Committee shall verify signature sheets with ballots received, and count the ballots, which should be completed immediately following the deadline for receipt of voted ballots.

3.     Each office/position on the ballot shall be treated as a separate race.

4. Blank and/or illegal ballots for each office/position shall be set aside.  Examples include the following:

a.   Member not listed on the voter roster;

b. Voter's intent unclear;

c. Votes cast for more than number allowed;

d. Votes cast on unofficial ballot (probably reproduced); and,

e. Candidate is not a member.

f.    Ballots that are separated from Roster/Sign-up sheet shall not be counted.


5. Ballots set aside and not counted are:

a.   More ballots than signature;

b.   Ballot(s) submitted after deadline; and

c.   Voting envelopes without a signature.

6.   The Elections Committee should categorize each illegal ballot, make a determination on whether the vote(s) in that category should be counted separately, as listed in 4 above, and make a note of the decision.  The ballots should remain separate.

7. The Elections Committee will prepare the Teller's Report, recording information on the total number of votes cast, the number needed to win/pass, the number of votes received by each candidate/issue and the number of blank and illegal ballots for each office/position with an explanation of illegality, and signed by each Elections Committee member.  The Teller’s Report shall not contain a school-by-school or site-by-site breakdown report.

8. The Chairperson of the Elections Committee will deliver the report of the election results to the president and interested parties.  The election results shall be posted at each work site as soon as possible following the election.

9. The ballots and voter sign-up sheets will be retained by the unit for one year after the election.

K.  Observers

1. Each candidate shall be allowed to have an observer at the vote counting site and shall give the name of the observer to the Elections Committee before counting.

2. An observer shall not interfere with the counting and shall stay in the counting area until the President or designee has been notified of the results and has notified each candidate of the results. 

L. Challenge Procedure

1. A challenge cannot be initiated until after the results of the elections have been posted at each work site.

2.   Challenges for election of State Council Representatives, Alternates, State, and Local delegates to NEA RA follow procedures in the CTA Elections Manual.

3.  The challenging party(ies) must notify the unit president and elections chair of a challenge in writing within ten (10) calendar days after the announcement of the results of the election. If the unit president is a candidate on the ballot, please see item number 5.

The notification must be on official CTA Challenge Form.  (See Appendix M of CTA Elections Manual – May be accessed on My CTA)


4.  Upon receipt of the challenge, the Elections Committee will notify all the candidates in the election being challenged that a challenge has been filed.  Within ten (10) calendar days after receipt of the challenge, the unit’s Elections Committee shall, in accordance with the unit's bylaws and standing rules, conduct an investigation and determine whether or not the challenge:

a. Is a violation of the unit’s election requirement(s).

b. Is supported by the appropriate documentation.

c. Requires more information. The information will be obtained via the most feasible method.

d. Identified violation(s) that may have affected the outcome of the election.

e. Within the same 10 calendar day period, the unit’s Elections Committee shall submit a written report including issues and recommendations to the Chapter President and the Executive Board.

5.   Any member of the Executive Board who was a candidate on the ballot, or whose immediate family member is a candidate on the ballot, shall abstain from voting on the report.  If in the case where the majority of the Executive Board is unable to act on the challenge the decision shall move to the Representative Council. 

6.   The Executive Board shall act on the report no later than 10 calendar days following receipt of the written report of the elections committee in accordance with 

CTA Challenge Procedures as described in Appendix O – CTA Challenge Procedures – Local Elections of CTA Elections Manual.  The Executive Board must issue its decisions in writing to the challenger and the Elections Committee Chair.

7. If the challenging party(ies) wish(es) to appeal the decision of the Executive Board, he/she may file an appeal in writing within ten (10) calendar days from the date of the decision of the Executive Board to the OTA President.  The appeal shall be the original challenge filed at the unit level, and shall include:

a. Specifically which unit bylaw(s) and/or standing rule(s) have been violated.

b. Attached evidence of the violations, insofar as possible.

c. List names and address of parties who can give evidence.

d. Written response of the Executive Board to original challenge.


8.   If the Executive Board fails to act within ten (10) calendar days of the initial challenge, the individual may file an appeal as described in 7 (a-c) above by writing to the OTA President.


9. The challenge procedure for election of State Council Representatives and Alternates, and State or Local Delegates to the NEA Representative Assembly is outlined in the CTA Elections Manual.


M. Initiative Procedures

  1. The Active membership shall have the authority to make decisions on any matters affecting the Association or its activities through the initiative process.
  2. An Active member shall file a notice of the intent to circulate a petition with the chapter president by including a copy of the petition to be circulated, and the names of at least three persons supporting the proposed measure and responsible for its circulation.
  3. The chapter president shall register the receipt of the notice of the intent to circulate, and acknowledge such registration in writing with the member filing the notice.
  4. The timeline for gathering signatures will commence the day that the notice of intent is registered. A maximum of fifteen (15) calendar days shall be permitted to obtain the signatures of at least sixty percent (60%) or more of the Active members of the chapter. The petition shall contain the question proposed to be placed on the ballot.
  5. The circulators shall present to the chapter president the petition(s) containing original signatures. 
  6. The chapter president shall have thirty (30) calendar days in which to verify the membership of the signers of the petition. 
  7. If there are insufficient signatures, the petition circulator will be notified within 3 calendar days, that the petition failed for a lack of signatures.  
  8. The chapter president shall cause a ballot to be furnished to the members no less than 15 calendar days after verification of membership, provided that the period that school is officially not in session shall not be included in this count.
  9. Regular election procedures (e.g., election of officers) shall be followed including voting times.
  10. The proposal shall take effect immediately upon receipt of the required number of votes, unless otherwise specified.

N. Referendum Procedures

1. Any action or proposed action of the Representative Council or the Executive Board shall be referred to a vote of the Active membership upon two-thirds vote of the Representative Council at any valid meeting.

2. The referendum action shall prescribe the exact wording of the question to be posed to the Active membership on the ballot.

3. The chapter president shall cause a ballot to be furnished to the Active members no less than 15 calendar days after action by the Representative Council, provided that the period that school is officially not in session shall not be included in this count.

4. Regular election procedures (e.g., election of officers) shall be followed including voting times.

5. The proposal shall take effect immediately upon receipt of the required number of votes, unless otherwise specified.

O.  Recall Procedures

  1. The Active membership shall have the authority to recall from office any person or persons having been elected thereto by the chapter’s Active members.
  2. An Active member shall file a notice of the intent to circulate a petition to recall with the chapter president by including a copy of the petition to be circulated, and the names of at least three persons supporting the proposed recall and responsible for its circulation. If the proposed recall is for the person holding the office of president, the request shall be made to the next ranking officer.
  3. The chapter president shall register the receipt of the notice of the intent to circulate, and acknowledge such registration in writing with the member filing the notice.
  4. The timeline for gathering signatures will commence the day that the notice of intent is registered. A maximum of 60 calendar days shall be permitted to obtain the signatures of at least 25 percent or more of the Active members of the chapter. The petition shall contain the question proposed to be placed on the ballot.


  1. The circulators shall present to the chapter president the petition(s) containing original signatures or the vice president if the chapter president is the person being recalled. 
  2. The chapter president shall have 10 calendar days in which to verify the membership of the signers of the petition or the vice president if the chapter president is the person being recalled. 
  3. If there are insufficient signatures, the petition circulator shall be notified by mail that the petition failed for a lack of signatures. 
  4. The chapter president shall cause a ballot to be furnished to the Active members no less than 20 calendar days after verification of membership. The period that school is officially not in session shall not be included in this count.
  5. Regular election procedures (e.g., election of officers) shall be followed including voting times.
  6. Any necessary supplementary rules governing recall that are not in conflict with the foregoing may be adopted and published within the same publications and by the same manner as are prescribed for other elections within the Association. 


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