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Checklist: Board of Directors Elections in Cooperatives

Board of directors elections in cooperatives are conducted in a similar manner throughout North America, although the process or the voting system may vary slightly depending on the cooperative's size. Whatever the case, election planning processes for election officers are generally comparable. Use our practical checklist as a guide or to polish up your knowledge of the most important points in a board of directors election. 

First steps in your cooperative's board of directors election

1) Setting up an election committee

Firstly, the current board appoints a committee which will conduct the next board of directors election*. In smaller cooperatives, one person - called an election officer - is primarily in charge of the election process. By contrast, in larger cooperatives an election or nomination committee consisting of several people will conduct the election. 

2) Check voting rights and create electoral roll

The election officer will now check which members are allowed to vote and to be elected according to the bylaws. This will be followed by creating the electoral roll so that voters can be notified about the date of the election as soon as possible. The electoral roll includes not only the names of the cooperative's members but also their addresses and contact details. 

3) Nomination of candidates

Members can nominate candidates if the bylaws allow it. The voting system used in the election is also written in the bylaws

4) Creating the ballot 

Next, the ballot needs to be created in accordance with legal rules. Read more about creating your ballot online.

5) Counting votes

After the election, work is not done until the ballots have been counted (and if necessary counted in accordance with proportional representation). In addition, the election officer has to document all steps in the election process in detail so that cooperative members can gain an insight into the process if they want to. 

* Note: Depending on the size of your cooperative, a delegate system may be in place who are elected by the members. The delegates can either elect the board of directors or just have representative functions in their local communities. The election process steps are similar because a delegates election needs to be prepared like the board of directors election. The difference is that it does not apply for the whole cooperative but for the various voting districts. 

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Download the checklist for your board of directors election

We have summarized the most important points about board of directors elections in a handy checklist. This is how you as an election officer can always stay on top of your cooperative’s election.

The checklist for board of directors elections is free to download:
Checklist board of directors election in cooperatives (PDF)

POLYAS Tip: The checklist highlights how work-intensive a board of directors election can be. Voting online saves huge amounts of time and effort. Easily manage your electoral roll digitally? Get election results with the click of a mouse? Online voting makes it all possible!
Contact our election experts and get advice about online elections in cooperatives!

A digital electoral roll for your cooperative's election

The electoral roll is one of the most important documents in an election. Check if your electoral roll is up-to-date and if you have all necessary contact details to effectively communicate with voters. This is how you make sure that all the data in your electoral roll is ready to use before the date of the next election is made public. Ideally, you should share and publish voter information and poll cards via digital communication channels. By going digital, you will save a huge amount in printing and postage costs and simultaneously make fast and smooth communication possible for your voters. 
Read interesting tips about how to increase your voter turnout!