POLYAS Election Glossary

We provide explanations and background information on elections, voting rights and digital democracy


Bylaws are rules created by organizations in order to regulate themselves. Organizations which establish bylaws include companies, associations, cooperatives and sports clubs. Once established, bylaws can be amended if a majority of the board or membership votes in favor of doing so. Bylaws set out how the organization should be run and generally include the following elements:

  • The name of the organization
  • The purpose of the organization
  • Rules governing board elections (including allowing the use of online voting)
  • Duties of executive officers and committees
  • Rules outlining the frequency of board meetings
  • Procedures for filling unexpected board vacancies
  • Rules governing membership (if it's a membership organization)

In the United Kingdom, the term "byelaws" can also refer to local laws created at the municipality level. These byelaws are a form of delegated legislation, meaning local councils only have the authority to create them in areas specified by Acts of Parliament in Westminster. Since they can create some criminal offences, certain byelaws have to be confirmed by the Department for Communities and Local Government.


See also: Law, Legal Norm, Regulation

< Go back