2009 Election Rules
The following are the national NOW election rules adopted by the National NOW Board in April 2006, which must be followed at this 2009 election.
1. Members of the Elections Committee, once appointed, shall not take part in any campaign work for anyone seeking office at the National NOW Conference. The Elections Committee may recruit assistants to help with the logistics of conducting the election. Assistants may not wear campaign materials while on duty. Neither committee members nor assistants shall endorse any candidate or candidate slate.
2. There shall be made available to each candidate slate one leadership and one delegate mailing facilitated by the Elections Chair and the national Office. In the mailing, each candidate shall be allowed a maximum of one 8 1/2 x 11 page of camera ready copy. In addition, the slate may have one page of material detailing the platform of the entire slate. These mailings will be at no cost to the candidates.
3. One copy of the leadership list and one copy of the delegate list shall be made available at cost to declared candidates. The leadership list shall include regional, state and chapter presidents and contacts for any campus action networks, and shall be provided at least 60 days in advance of the conference. The delegate list shall be provided at least 25 days in advance of the conference. The lists shall include names, postal addresses, electronic mail addresses and telephone numbers where available.
4. All written campaign materials should contain the following disclosure: "paid for and authorized by: name of individual, name of the group (if applicable), address." Any written materials at the conference not having this disclosure statement will be confiscated by the Elections Committee. The NOW logo will not appear on campaign literature or material except within a photograph of the candidate at a NOW event.
5. Staff persons acting on their own time and at their own expense may campaign for any candidate for NOW office, but may not be required to do so. National NOW premises, facilities and supplies shall not be used for campaign purposes.
6. No campaign materials other than the report of the Nominating Committee may be placed in the conference packet. The Nominating Committee report shall include one two-sided, 8 1/2 x 11 sheet submitted by the candidate. Plus one (optional) additional sheet detailing the platform of each slate of candidates may be included.
7. Sample ballots may be used provided that prior to circulation they be submitted to and approved by the Elections Committee. All sample ballots must have spelling and name order verified by the Elections Committee. Sample ballots shall be subject to the same requirements set forth in #4 regarding campaign materials.
8. There shall be no electioneering or campaign materials displayed (except on the human body) or distributed either within 30 feet of the entrance to the polling place or inside the Registration, Credentialing or Polling areas.
9. No one may wear campaign materials while registering or credentialing Conference participants or delegates.
10. Members of the Elections Committee may not campaign or contribute to any campaign.
11. Each presidential nominee shall be prepared to give a 20-minute presentation on his/her behalf. Each other candidate shall be given 10 minutes to speak on his/her behalf. The remainder of the time will be utilized for question periods for each office. The length of these periods will be based on the number of candidates for each office in relation to the total time available. All candidates for any given office will be given the opportunity to respond to any question posed. All questions must be appropriate for response by all candidates for an office. Responses will be limited to one (1) minute per candidate. In addition, each candidate will be given one (1) minute for closing comments.
12. There shall be an opportunity provided at Regional Caucuses for a candidate forum. For this purpose, the nine (9) regions shall be grouped in four (4) caucuses based on the size of the delegations in the pre-registration for the Conference. Candidates shall rotate amongst the caucuses in groups based on the office sought.
13. Complaints concerning violations of these rules shall be promptly reported to the Chair of the Elections Committee. If the Elections Committee determines that a campaign violation has occurred, the Committee may assess a fine of up to $100.00, depending on the severity of the violation. The Committee shall also inform the body as soon as possible of the violation that has occurred.
14. Distribution and display of campaign materials is contingent on the submission of the disclosed record of sources of income and expenditures to the Elections Chair.
a. Disclosure reports may be submitted at the Board meeting prior to the opening of the Conference.
b. Disclosure reports may be submitted any time at the Elections Conference but preferably before the opening of the Conference. No candidate shall be allowed to distribute or display his/her election materials until such report is provided to the Elections Chair. These reports shall be posted as soon as is feasible by the Elections Committee. These reports shall include actual and anticipated expenditures to date. Individual (monetary and in-kind) contributions in excess of $50 must be listed by the name of the donor. A final report of campaign income and expenditures shall be provided to the Elections Chair no later than 30 days after the Conference. These reports shall be available for any member of NOW upon request at cost.
15. Candidates may not accept contributions from national NOW vendors or their corporate offices. No outside organizations, political parties or their subunits may contribute to a campaign either directly or indirectly or through their corporate officers.
16. Travel reimbursement from the National NOW Treasury for incumbent officers and others shall not be allowed beginning 30 days prior to the opening of the National Conference. Action Center staff assigned to work on the conference are excepted from this prohibition providing they do not campaign during such travel and are not themselves candidates for office.
17. The following rules shall constitute the press guidelines for candidates for national office:
a. The goal of the NOW press office is first and foremost to develop favorable coverage of NOW in the national media. The office will work to create positive images of all candidates running for national office in NOW on a non-partisan basis.
b. The NOW press office is neutral territory, and there will be no campaigning permitted in the area. NOW press staff and volunteers are prohibited from campaigning (that includes partisan buttons and paraphernalia) while identified as press workers. Any one violating that neutrality of the press area will be prohibited from working in that area.
c. There will be one area in the press room for the display of campaign material for all candidates. Only those wearing NOW press badges, or registering for same, will be permitted in the press office. Each candidate will be permitted to register her self and her/his press assistants.
d. Press aides for candidates, who must be registered with the NOW press office, may use the resources of the press room. This use is conditional, based on the needs of the organization as a whole, and may be rotated on a scheduled basis if facilities become too crowded. Press conference areas will also be available to campaigns in rotation, to be scheduled through the press secretary. Anyone violating the neutrality of the press area will be prohibited from using the resources of the press area.
e. NOW's policy statement regarding Who Speaks for NOW; adopted by the National Board in July of 1978, must be observed. (See the Administrative Policy Manual.)
f. In speaking to reporters, candidates and their staffs should remember that their words create the world's impression of NOW Therefore, campaign rhetoric that attacks NOW members or their motives should be avoided during interviews. It is clearly better if each NOW candidate is viewed as a champion of ideas rather than the enemy of her sisters. Discussion of internal politicking, financial and budgetary matters, membership numbers (including numbers of chapters and state organizations), and other similar internal information shall not be discussed with reporters.
g. All NOW members should be cautious in speaking to reporters, as even "off the record" comments could find their way into print, with the member's name attached. Embarrassment to both the individual member, and to the organization, should be considered prior to interviews, and should obviously be avoided.
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