Board of Directors Voting Procedure in Cooperatives

In general, the board of directors is elected at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) or in a set election period before by the members of the cooperative. Since every cooperative gives itself their own rules, the voting procedure can differ between the numerous cooperatives. 

Candidate Election in Cooperatives

Typically, the cooperatives’ board of directors election is conducted as a candidate election. Individual members (or if the rules allow it, external persons) can run for a position on the board. The directors on the board are elected by the membership through relative majority. 

If the cooperative is large, it can also conduct delegates elections. The cooperative declares different wards, mostly based on the region, where members can vote for a delegate who then represents the ward. The delegates usually elect the board of directors on behalf of the membership.

“List Election” Voting Procedure

The board of directors can also be elected in “en bloc” when voters are able to vote for one list of candidates. This voting procedure has to be part of the bylaws and it needs to be clarified when this voting procedure applies.
Read more how to amend your cooperative’s bylaws

“List elections” in cooperatives
When using the “en bloc“ voting procedure, the election officer creates a list of candidates with their planned position on the board of directors. The list of candidates represents the entire board of directors. Block voting  in this sense, means that the voter can vote for or against a list of candidates. If there is more than one list of candidates, the voter has to elect one. The list of candidates with the majority of votes wins the election.
Read more about list elections in our election glossary

POLYAS-Tip: If your bylaws allow it, you can conduct your board of directors election and your annual general meeting easily online. That is how you save time when organising your board of directors election and increase the voter turnout of your cooperative. Watch a short video about online voting with POLYAS!

Advantages of Online Voting

Online voting gives the members of your cooperative the option to cast their vote, even if they cannot attend the AGM. This way you can be sure that your board of directors is elected democratically and legitimised by the majority of your cooperative. Moreover, if you add online voting to your voting option you guarantee a quorum at your annual general meeting. 

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