Election Rules and Guidlines
Election Rules and Guidelines for the International Brotherhood of Magicians
In formulating the following Rules for the Conduct of Elections for International Officers and Executive Committee Members, every effort has been made to insure a fair and unbiased election in the spirit of brotherhood in which this organization was founded and intends to continue to function. They have been adopted by the Board of Trustees by resolution. As such, violation of these rules by any member of this organization may be grounds for grievance and ultimately removal from membership.
Where applicable, the following rules also apply to the election of Territorial Vice Presidents as specified in the Bylaws.
Nomination of Officers and Executive Committee Members will be made at the first Board Meeting following the Annual Business Meeting as specified in the Bylaws. It is recommended that:
a) The sitting president make an effort to evaluate the abilities and willingness to accept and discharge responsibilities assigned of each candidate for President-Elect and each potential Vice Presidential nominee during his term of office prior to the nomination period. Thus this information would be available at that first Board Meeting.
b) The Board nominations be published in The Linking Ring no later than the October issue. Notice of the availability of petition forms and these Rules will also be published at that time.
Official petition forms will be supplied on request by the International Headquarters Office at any time and are to be used exclusively. These forms which may be duplicated only in blank form will contain space for each signatory's signature, printed name, printed address in full and I.B.M. number.
Consistent with all rules reviewed under local, state and federal petition requirements, the precedent must be set by rule that petitions will be submitted in their original form adhering to the following standards:
a) Each petition must be submitted for a single candidate only.
b) Electronically sent transmissions and petitions with signatures photocopied are not to be accepted.
c) All petitions are to be notarized (or otherwise attested to by a public official in the instance of non-US countries) attesting that the person circulating the petition has personally witnessed and attests to all signatures contained thereon.
d) All signatures not accompanied by the printed name, full mailing address, I.B.M. number, and petitions not attested to, will be declared invalid.
e) Deadline for the submission of petitions is February 1st preceding the Annual Business Meeting.
f) The current Bylaws provisions for the qualification of petition candidates will be followed.
g) As soon as verified as specified in the Bylaws, all petitions are to be sealed and stored in the Headquarters for one year.
Since an I.B.M. election is an internal matter, the use of advertisements, letters-to-the editor, or articles and comments in non-I.B.M. media, whether print or electronic is prohibited.
The Linking Ring
a) Equal space will be provided to each individual candidate for the publication of photographs, the biographies, qualifications for office and positive election platforms of both Board nominees and properly qualified petition candidates for international office, at the discretion of the Executive Editor as guided by the President and Legal Advisor. This is envisioned as one page each, except for highly unusual cases. These pages will be overprinted in the amount necessary to mail with each ballot on or about May 1st preceding the election to each overseas member who might not receive his journal in time to exercise the right to vote.
b) In recognition of the fact that the I.B.M. is a brotherhood, there will be no disparaging remarks about any individual or misstatements of facts in these pages. The Executive Editor has the constitutionally mandated responsibility, in consultation with the International President and the Legal Advisor to review and approve all material published in our journal.
c) There will be no special inserts in The Linking Ring relative to an election without approval by the Board of Trustees.
d) It is believed that both the International President and the Executive Editor, in their monthly columns, have the obligation to report their opinions as well as factual matters to the membership. Thus there can be no formal restrictions on either other than the sense of propriety, brotherhood, fair play, truthfulness and duty that each is expected to exhibit.
e) There shall be no political commentary in any other area of The Linking Ring except that "Letters to the Editor" may be published given that they are appropriate in the collective opinion of the Executive Editor, President and Legal Advisor, and that time and comparable space is allowed for an opposing viewpoint to be published in the same issue.
f) A single ad for each individual candidate may be run in either the April, May or June issue of our journal unless the two candidates for any given office mutually agree to the need for more. These ads will be billed, payable in advance, at the normal rate, such payment to come from the candidates themselves and not from the I.B.M. or any other organization.
The I.B.M. Web Portal
a) There will be no use of the I.B.M. Web Portale for any political purpose other than that specified in "b" following.
b) Those pages published in The Linking Ring carrying each candidate's photograph, biographical material, qualifications for office and positive platform will automatically be published on the Web Portal.
Ring 2100 and Ring Publications
It was clear that political use of this electronic medium for political purposes in the recent election was generally resented and objected to by Ring members. Because the Ring 2100 and the various Ring publications are unsupervised media, we do not feel the International organization should attempt to control their use, because access is restricted to I.B.M. members. While we view such use as inadvisable, we also believe that any political usage of these Ring media may produce more negative than positive results to those inappropriately using it. Denigrating or deliberately misleading statements shall be avoided as noted in "b" below under "Direct Mail."
Based on the experience of a bitterly contested election, we believe that use of direct mail by the International Brotherhood of Magicians to support its Board nominated candidates is inappropriate. Accordingly, no I.B.M. funds will be used for direct mail purposes. The use of the official I.B.M. membership mailing list or official TVP lists for political purposes is expressly prohibited.
a) Any direct mail efforts on behalf of either Board nominates or petition candidates should be made and paid for by individuals.
b) In all instances, we should remember that the I.B.M. is, first and foremost, a brotherhood and any denigrating or deliberately misleading statements may be grounds for filing of a formal grievance and possible expulsion from the brotherhood.
THE BALLOT AND BALLOT PROCEDURE
In the instance of any election in which any given office is contested, ballots shall be prepared and sent to all qualified members in good standing in the May issue preceding the annual Convention, delivered with The Linking Ring. Ballots will be sent by first class mail on or about May 1st where deemed appropriate and necessary in the instance of many non-U.S. members.
a) All ballots shall bear the impressed seal of the organization and shall be accompanied by a pre-addressed return envelope with available printed spaces to bear the name, address and membership number of the voter as well as a separate smaller (unidentified) ballot envelope to ensure confidentiality of vote. Any outer return envelope not containing the above specified identification will result in the disqualification of the secret ballot contained therein.
b) The ballots will be retained for examination by any interested member throughout the Convention at which the election takes place.
c) Ballots are to be returned to a specific secured post office box as designated and are to be received by a specific date published on the ballot itself.
d) Facsimile or photocopied ballots are considered automatically invalid.
Ballot Counting Procedures
A secured post office box for the return of ballots will be obtained in the Convention city at the direction of the Ballot Committee Chairman in a timely manner. Two specific individuals should be designated as able to receive the ballots and they should be picked up by at least two responsible individuals. Each candidate should be notified of this pick-up and of the date, time and place of ballot counting and invited to attend.
a) Each person attending the ballot counting should be logged in and out.
b) Strict confidentiality should be maintained.