12 helpful tips for your board elections

Electoral System for Board Elections in Associations

The board of directors is generally elected at the association's Annual General Meeting (AGM) by members in attendance. However, every association has their own bylaws so the electoral system can vary between individual associations. 

Board of directors: candidate election

Board of directors elections in associations are usually conducted as candidate elections. Individual members (or if the bylaws allow it, external persons) can run for a position on the board. The directors on the board are elected by the membership through a relative majority voting system. 

It's also possible to run for a position on the board of directors in absentia, if such an option is included in the bylaws and the candidate has signed a declaration of consent. 

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List elections in associations

Board of directors elections can also be conducted as list elections. This electoral system has to be included in the bylaws and it needs to be specified when this electoral system applies.

Read more about amending your association’s bylaws!

Party list elections in associations
When setting up list elections in associations, the election officer creates a list of candidates with their desired position on the board of directors. The list of candidates represents the entire board of directors. The voter can then vote for or against this list of candidates. If there is more than one list of candidates, the voter has to choose one in a closed list election. The list of candidates with the majority of votes then wins the election. In an open list election, voters can choose individual candidates from different lists.

More about list elections in the POLYAS election glossary

POLYAS-Tip: If your bylaws allow it, you can conduct your board of directors election and your AGM online. This enables you to save time when organizing your board of directors election and increase voter turnout. Learn how online voting works now!

Advantages of online voting

Online voting gives your members the opportunity to participate even if they can't attend the AGM. This way you can be sure that your board of directors is democratically elected and legitimized by the majority of your association. Moreover, if you include online voting as a voting option you'll almost certainly guarantee a quorum at your next AGM. 

Contact our voting experts to get started with online voting in your association!