Parents Allied with Children and Teachers

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PACT Charter School

7250 E. Ramsey Parkway
Ramsey, MN 55303

 201_Election Policy & Prodcedures for Elected Committees

 Date created: 

 Committee Approval by: 

 Date Approved:

 Reviewed:

 19940719

 JSC

 NA

 2015-16

 BRD

 20131114


 Per PACT Charter School Bylaws, Article V, Section 2:
The Board of Directors shall consist of at least seven (7) and no more than ten (10) members. Each Director shall hold office for a (2) year term or until a successor has been duly elected and qualified or until the director dies, resigns, is removed, or the term otherwise expires. Directors may stand for reelection. There are no limits to the number of terms a Director may serve. Any parents or teachers nominated and elected as a director must have at least one (1) year of experience at PACT. Community Members and the Treasurer are exempt from the one year requirement though they should demonstrate interest in the organization..

General Election Procedure

  1. Elections shall be held annually for the Board of Directors and elected committees (Personnel Committee, Budget & Finance Committee). These committees typically consist of members with staggered two-year terms, so that approximately half of the members are elected each year. The Board Treasurer is elected to a two-year term, every other year. The number of positions to be elected is determined each year. Total positions:
    1. School Board positions - 5 teachers, 3 parents, 1 community member (approximately half each year). In the event that an appropriate level teacher is not running, other qualified candidates will fill the position. The elected teaching representatives shall consist of the following:
      1. 2 Secondary Teachers (grades 7-12)
      2. 2 Elementary Teachers (grades K-6)
      3. 1 At-Large Teacher (elementary, secondary, or K-12 teachers)
    2. Board Treasurer (elected every other year)
    3. Personnel Committee (6 total, typically 3 each year)
    4. Budget & Finance Committee (6 total, typically 3 each year)
  2. The Nominating Team, which consists of at least one representative from the Board, Personnel and Budget & Finance, as well as the Volunteer Coordinator, will begin the Nomination process in January. (See Nominating Team Description and Timeline.)
  3. Nominations will close on the last day of January to determine the “ballot”.
  4. Counting of Ballots shall be administered by three Board appointed Election officials (individuals who are not running for any office and have no family member running for any office). Election officials will be appointed annually at the December Board meeting (prior to the upcoming election).
  5. The Election shall be held the last Tuesday in April. The deadline shall be Tuesday (postmarked on Tuesday or hand delivered by 4:00 p.m.).
  6. There shall be one Voting location at PACT. This location must be stated in the voting instructions. This is the ONLY location where ballots may be dropped off.
  7. One or two people shall be charged with securing the Voting Box (as directed by the Administrative Office Manager), and will lock it up when they are not in attendance.

Voting Eligibility

  1. Any natural, step or foster parent or any legal guardian of a student enrolled at PACT shall have one vote.
  2. Any student currently enrolled at PACT who is 18 years of age or older by election day shall have one vote.
  3. All paid Staff shall have one vote.
  4. All PACT School Board members shall have one vote.
  5. No one may have more than one vote.

Determining the Election Winners

  1. Write-in names will be allowed on the ballots.
  2. The candidates with the highest number of votes win.
  3. In the event of a tie for an elected position, a coin toss will determine the winner. Present at the coin-toss shall be the individuals who are tied for votes, the Executive Director and the Board Chair at his/her discretion.
  4. In the event that one and two year term positions are available for the Board or a committee, the nominees with the largest number of votes win the longer term positions.
  5. The vote tallies for each candidate will be certified at the next School Board meeting and published in the PACT School Board minutes. Election results (winners only – no tally numbers) will be published in the next school newsletter.
  6. Disputed ballots shall be considered valid when/if all election judges reach a unanimous agreement over the dispute.
  7. The Election checklist, signature sheets and ballots shall be filed with Board documents and kept for 1 year.

Mid-year Vacancies

In the event that an elected member vacates their position, the non-elected individual receiving the next highest number of votes in the past election (in consecutive order) shall be asked to complete the term. If there is no one qualified or willing to serve from the election results, the Board shall appoint another qualified person to serve on the Board or committee until the next election.

Voting Procedures

  1. One ballot sheet, one signature card, one Privacy Envelope and one Voting Envelope will make up a ‘Ballot’.
  2. One ballot should be sent for each voter (i.e. send two ballots for married couples).
  3. Ballots will be mailed. Note: A ballot will be mailed to any Board member if he/she is not a parent or staff member.
  4. Voting instructions will be included. Sample voting instructions. PACT ELECTION - Month, Dates, Year  Voting Deadline is Tuesday, ____________
    • All parents, all staff, and all students 18 years of age or older, may vote.
    • Mark your choices on the ballot with a pen. Write in names are allowed.
    • Insert your ballot into the Privacy Envelope and seal it.
    • Print your name on the signature card and sign it.
    • Insert Privacy Envelope (with ballot inside) and the signature card into the Voting Envelope and seal it.
    • Return Voting envelope (containing a separate ballot & signature card) to the PACT Business Office (7250 E. Ramsey Pkwy. Ramsey, MN 55303) by the deadline. It must be postmarked no later than Tuesday or hand delivered by 3:30 PM on Tuesday to the Business Office. The Business Office will accept ballots from 7:30 AM to 3:30 PM Election Monday and Tuesday.
    • DO NOT send ballots to school with students.
    • PLEASE NOTE: Ballots received without the signature card will not be counted.
  5. Voters may hand deliver Voting Envelopes directly to the PACT Voting Location during regular school hours (currently 7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.) on election days.
  6. If a ballot is lost, the person will be given instructions, a ballot, a signature card, a Privacy Envelope and a Voting Envelope. They may drop their Voting Envelope in the ballot box. Voting Envelopes for hand delivered voting should be marked ‘In Person vote’ by the ballot attendant and will take precedence over a mail in vote by the same person. The election officials will ensure that each eligible voter receives credit for only one Voting Envelope.
  7. At the Voting Location, Voting envelopes shall be put in the Voting Box unopened.
  8. The Voting Box must be locked in the office when it is not attended.

Counting Procedures

  1. The Board appointed election officials will count ballots: Board Clerk or designee, and two mid-term board members.
  2. Counting will be done the Friday or Saturday immediately after the election, after the Friday mail has been delivered.
  3. Mailed in Voting Envelopes will first be sorted. Those postmarked after the election deadline will not be counted, but put into the Invalid Ballot pile.
  4. Invalid ballots will be kept separate and tallied at the end for reporting to the Board. Reasons for invalid ballots include:
    • No signed signature card.
    • Ineligible Voter
    • Not an official ballot.
    • Postmarked later than the deadline.
    • Not delivered to the Voting Location by the deadline.
    • Marking too many candidates will invalidate the votes for that section.  Note: If the intent is clearly marked on the ballot and the election judges unanimously agree on the validity of the ballot, it may be considered valid.
  5. Voting Envelopes marked ‘In-Person’ will be separated and counted first.
  6. One election judge will open the Voting envelope, give the signature card to another judge, who will cross check the signature sheet with the Election Checklist to ensure one vote/person.
  7. After cross checking, that Privacy Envelope containing the ballot will be put into a counting pile. Ballots without the Privacy Envelope should also be placed into the counting box for counting.
  8. In the event that more than one ballot is received from the same person, only the first vote will be counted.
  9. Ballots without a signed signature sheet will not be counted, but will be placed in an ‘invalid ballot’ pile.
  10. After all Voting Envelopes are opened and cross-checked, the ballots in the counting box should be mixed and then counted.
  11. Each election judge will tally all ballots. If all counts do not agree, they will be recounted.
  12. The number of ballots will be verified with the number of opened, valid Voting envelopes.
  13. The election certification report will be filled out and given to the School Board Chair, to be included in the Board Minutes for the next meeting.
  14. The Board Chair and school administrator will be called with the results.
  15. The School Board Chair will call all candidates to inform them of the results (winners first), congratulate them, and remind them of the date for their first meeting.

Schedule of Election

  1. November (prior to the upcoming election) – The Board Chair will present the timeline for the upcoming election.
  2. December (prior to the upcoming election) – The Board will identify representatives for the Nominating Team. The Board appoints election officials. The Board finalizes dates for election. Elected Committee members from the School Board, the Budget and Finance Committee and the Personnel Committee make known their intent to run for the upcoming election (to be noted in their December minutes). If they do not meet in December, this decision should be noted in November minutes.
  3. January (prior to the upcoming elections) - Call for Nominations is placed in the Official School Newsletter. Nominations will be due by the last calendar day in January (or the following school day if on a holiday or weekend).
  4. January (prior to the upcoming election) - Nominating Team meets to identify potential candidates for nomination to run for open positions and contacts them to determine interest.
  5. March (prior to the upcoming election) – The official ballot will be accepted by the Board and published in the next school newsletter. Administrative Office manager compiles candidate statements.
  6. 2 weeks before the election date - Ballots are to be mailed with candidates’ statements.
  7. Election dates (Last Tuesday in April)
  8. After elections close (~Friday/Saturday) - Count votes, call all candidates, publish results in PACT Newsletter (winners only – no tally numbers which will appear in the official Board minutes)
  9. Assumption of Office – Newly elected members attend May meeting as “members in training” and are inducted at the June Meeting. New members are requested to attend all meetings between their election and their assumption to office so that they can make informed decisions. Outgoing members attend the June meeting to assist with the transition until new business is addressed. Induction will take place prior to New Business at which point voting privileges transfer from old members to new members.

Election eligibility

An individual will be considered qualified to run for the School Board as a parent or teacher representative if they have at least 12 months of experience at PACT. In addition to the above qualifications, the following qualifications are set forth for each of the outlined categories:

  1. Community Member: an individual who does not have any current connection to PACT or any previous connection in the last 5 years. Connections to PACT are defined as anyone previously employed by, or having an immediate family member employed by PACT, previously attended or having an immediate family member who previously attended PACT. The intent of the community member involvement is to provide an outside perspective for the benefit of PACT. The 5 year time frame is intended to allow the development of an outside perspective if the person had previous ties to PACT.
  2. Parent: an individual who is the parent or guardian of a student who is currently attending PACT and whose enrollment is expected to continue for the duration of their term. The parent member cannot be employed by PACT in any capacity during their term on the Board or at the time of their nomination. The individual shall not have been an employee for a period of at least 12 months prior to nomination.
  3. Teacher: an individual serving in a current teaching capacity at PACT and anticipates the continuance of that status during the duration of their term. The Elementary Teacher Representative must be filled by an Elementary teacher, and the Secondary Teacher Representative position must be filled by a Secondary Teacher. The At-Large Teacher Representative position may be filled by either.
  4. Board Treasurer: an individual who meets the qualifications for either parent or community member. This individual shall not have any financial conflicts of interests in regards to PACT such as being employed in any manner or having a family member employed by PACT. They shall not be employed for a period of at least 12 months prior to nomination.