Amending Association Bylaws
Digital changes are taking place in institutions across the world and members of associations are adjusting their daily lives to new digital innovations in the 21st century. Have a look at our blog 'digital life'!
Association bylaws need to be amended to keep pace with technological innovations. Amending bylaws usually takes place at an association's Annual General Meeting. Members and board of directors can bring forward resolutions to amend the bylaws which are then voted on. The bylaws set out the minimum percentage of members required to be in favor of an amendment in order for that amendment to be successful. If turnout is low, make sure the time and place of future votes are well-known by all members of the association.
Amending bylaws to conduct online elections
Online voting and online general meetings in associations are legally possible in the US. Individual associations can make provisions within their bylaws stating that electronic voting and online general meetings are allowed.
In order to ensure your virtual general meeting has a quorum, you should let your members vote online. Conduct online elections in addition to voting at the AGM or as an alternative to postal voting.
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Examples for amending bylaws*
If you want to take your association into the digital future then the first step is to include online voting. By doing so, you'll enhance the opportunities available to your members to participate in running the association.
If your bylaws haven't yet included electronic means of voting, here are a few ways in which you can do so:
§ Election of the board of directors
The board of directors is elected every two years through postal voting or by a similar, secure means of electronic voting.
§ General meetings
Every member has one vote at the general meeting. Absent members can cast their vote via post or by a similar, secure means of electronic voting.
§ Delegates meetings
Every delegate has one vote at the delegates meeting. Absent delegates can cast their vote via post or by a similar, secure means of electronic voting.
The bylaws or the electoral code should also include a section about the conditions and process of electronic voting.
*The presented examples on this website regarding how to amend the bylaws are carefully written examples. The wording used in these examples is not obligatory and no claim of completeness is made by POLYAS.
POLYAS Tip: Our online voting experts can support you in amending your bylaws and/or electoral code to make online elections possible in your association. Contact our online voting experts now!
Effectively amending bylaws
Adding online voting and polling to the bylaws or electoral code is a legal precondition of members being able to vote online. Generally, an alteration or amendment to the bylaws or electoral code which includes online voting is sufficient.
Make sure the topic ‘online elections’ is on the agenda at your next general meeting. It's best to inform your members beforehand about the advantages of online voting in associations. POLYAS will gladly provide information about online voting to your members.