Rules for MNA state and regional elections and campaigns
From the Massachusetts Nurse Newsletter
February/March 2012 Edition
Constitution and bylaws
The nominations and election of MNA officers will be conducted in accordance with the MNA Bylaws and policies, as well as the Labor- Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959, as amended.
Term of office
As defined by MNA Bylaws.
Eligibility to hold office
As provided in the MNA Bylaws, any MNA and/or MNA Labor program member who is current in dues who is in good standing and eligible to run for office.
A nomination notice and consent to serve forms will be posted in the Massachusetts Nurses Association’s official newsletter mailed to all members and posted on the MNA official website.
Nominations for vacant offices will be made in writing to the Nominations and Elections Committee and must be received by June 1.
A candidate must accept a nomination in writing to the Nominations and Elections Committee by completing a consent to serve form received no later than June 1 of the relevant election period. A statement from each candidate, if provided will be printed in the Massachusetts Nurses Association’s official newsletter. Such statements should be limited to 250 words.
The Nominations and Elections Committee will review MNA dues and membership records to determine eligibility of all nominees. Eligible nominees will be notified of their eligibility for office(s), mailed a copy of the MNA nomination and elections rules, and asked how they wish their names to appear on the ballot. Ineligible nominees will be advised of the reason(s) they are not eligible to run for office. If a nominee has not received confirmation from the Nominations and Elections Committee that her/his consent to serve form has been received within seven (7) days of sending the Consent to Serve form, it is the nominee’s responsibility to contact the Nominations and Elections Committee regarding the state of his/ her nomination.
Inspection of the member list
Each candidate may inspect (not copy) the MNA membership list once within 30 days prior to the election. No candidate is entitled to receive a copy of the list. The membership list will be available for inspection at the MNA office between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Any candidate who wishes to inspect the list should contact the Director of the Division of Membership between June 15 and July 15 of the election year.
Distribution of campaign literature
MNA will honor any reasonable request by a candidate to distribute campaign literature to members at the candidate’s expense. Requests will be honored in the order received. Campaign literature must be provided to the Nominations and Elections Committee ready for mailing. The cost of postage will be paid by the candidate. MNA will make arrangements for office staff to address the campaign literature. Candidates are solely responsible for any and all materials contained in their campaign literature.
All costs for space in the official newsletter of the Massachusetts Nurses Association will be at a specific advertising rate.
Candidates may not utilize any “personal” mailing list which was created or obtained as a result of a candidate or a supporter serving or employed in an MNA position. Candidates should contact the Nominations and Elections Committee and the Director of the Division of Membership to arrange for mailing campaign literature.
Federal law prohibits the use of any MNA, MNA structural units (Regional Councils, Local Bargaining Units, Committees or any other entity recognized by MNA bylaws or policies) or employer funds to promote the candidacy of any person in an MNA officer election. This prohibition applies to cash, facilities, equipment, vehicles, office supplies, etc., of MNA, MNA structural units and any other union, and of employers whether or not they employ MNA members. MNA officers and employees may not campaign on time paid for by the MNA.
Federal law also provides that candidates must be treated equally regarding the opportunity to campaign and that all members may support the candidates of their choice without being subject to penalty, discipline, or reprisal of any kind. Members may endorse candidates, however no endorsement may carry the identification of the MNA office or position held by the endorser or the MNA logo. The use of MNA, MNA structural units or employer funds or facilities is a violation of federal law even if MNA or the employer do not know about or approve the use.
Request from candidates for campaign time on structural units must be in writing to the Nominations and Elections Committee. The Nominations and Elections Committee will notify the Labor Associate Director assigned to the unit, Division Director and chair of such request within 5 business days of receiving the request, and will also notify all other candidates for the same office that they are eligible for the same opportunity upon request. All candidates for specific office must be provided with equal access and time.
MNA structural units may invite candidates to speak at a meeting, by submitting such request in writing to the Nominations and Elections Committee. All candidates for a specific office must be provided with equal access and time. The Nominations and Elections Committee will then notify all candidates for the same office(s) that they are invited to speak at a meeting of the requesting structural unit(s), and will notify all candidates of the date, time and location of the meeting.
As provided in MNA bylaws, any member in good standing as of seven (7) days prior to the date of ballots being mailed will be eligible to vote.
Ballots will be mailed to the last known home address of each eligible MNA member, at least fifteen (15) days prior to the date which it must be received by the election administrator. Members are responsible for mailing ballots in sufficient time to be received by the administrator.
Eligible voters are permitted to vote for any candidate per the instructions on the ballot. However, write-in votes are not valid and will not be counted. Ballots should not be marked outside of the identified areas.
Ballots must be completed (as per the instructions on the form) and enclosed in an envelope (marked BALLOT RETURN ENVELOPE), which does not identify the voter in any way, in order to assure secret ballot voting. ONLY ONE BALLOT MAY BE PLACED IN THE ENVELOPE. The ballot return envelope must be returned in an outer envelope addressed to MNA Secretary, c/o Contracted Election Administrator
In the upper left-hand corner of this envelope you must:
Print your name
Sign your name (signature required)
Write your address and zip.
IF THIS INFORMATION IS NOT ON THE MAILING BALLOT, THE SECRET BALLOT INSIDE IS INVALID AND WILL NOT BE COUNTED.
If the mailing envelope has been misplaced, another mailing envelope can be substituted provided that all the required information is provided by the voter in the return envelope.
All returned mailing envelopes will be separated from the inner envelope containing the ballot before the ballots are removed, to assure that a ballot can in no way be identified with an individual voter. Mailing envelopes containing voter’s name and address will be checked off on a master membership list.
Ballots must be at the office of the election administrator no later than the end of business day of the date indicated by the election administrator.
Each candidate or her/his designee who is an MNA and/or Labor Relations Program member in good standing may be permitted to be present at the stuffing of the ballots, observe delivery to the post office and be present on the day(s) of the opening and counting of the ballots. Notification of the intent to be present or have an observer present must be received in writing or electronic message to the Nominations and Elections Committee from the candidate five (5) working days prior to the ballot counting date for space allocation purposes.
The observer must provide current MNA membership identification to election officials and authorization from the candidate.
No observer shall be allowed to touch or handle any ballot or ballot envelope. During all phases of the election process, the single copy of the voter eligibility list will be present for inspection.
All observers and candidates will keep election results confidential for 72 hours after the ballot procedure is certified.
Tally of ballots
Ballot counting will be overseen by the contracted election administrator.
Results of the MNA Election will be made available to candidates (or their designee) within 72 hours after completion of the ballot counting. Hard copies of the election results shall be sent to each candidate. Results of the MNA election will be kept confidential until all candidates are notified. Results will include the number of total ballots cast for the office in question; the number of ballots cast for the candidate in question and the election status of the candidate (elected/not elected). Any MNA member may access these numbers by written request to the Nominations and Elections Committee.
Only the names of those elected will be posted on the MNA website when all candidates have been notified after the ballot procedure is completed and certified. The election outcome will be posted at the annual meeting. The Department of Public Communications shall check the information on file for accuracy/currency with THE elected candidate prior to issuing a press release.
Storage of election records
Pre Election: All nominations forms and all correspondence related to nominations shall be placed in a container secured with tape and signed off by the election administration and stored in a locked cabinet at MNA headquarters. The Nominations and Elections Committee and MNA Division of Membership staff assigned to the committee shall have sole access to the cabinet and its contents.
Post Elections: All election materials including ballots (used, unused and challenged), envelopes used to return marked ballots, voter eligibility lists shall be placed in a container, secured with tape and signed off by the election administrator, be stored in a locked cabinet at MNA headquarters for one year and then destroyed. The Nominations and Elections Committee and Division of Membership staff assigned to the committee shall have sole access to the cabinet and its contents.
Candidates and members with questions about the nomination or election procedures should contact a member of the Nominations and Elections Committee or appropriate staff at MNA. Any violation of these rules should be reported promptly to the Nominations and Election Committee and Director of Division of Membership so that corrective action can be taken, if necessary.
Per MNA Bylaw any member may challenge an election by filing a protest in writing with the Nominations and Elections Committee within 10 days after election results are posted.
Contacting the Nominations and Election Committee
All correspondence to the Nominations and Elections Committee should sent to:
Mail: MNA Nomination and Election Committee, 340 Turnpike St., Canton MA 02021
Fax: MNA Nominations and Elections Committee, 781.821.4445
Email: MNA Nominations and Elections Committee, TBA
Phone: MNA Nominations and Elections Committee, TBA
Approved: BOD 3/18/10
Corrected edition: 6/7/10