Every year, ATA holds elections for three Directors’ positions (three-year term). In odd-numbered years, elections are held for the positions of President-Elect, Secretary, and Treasurer. The elections procedure, from the Nominating Committee to the campaign to the voting, is detailed here.
The Nominating and Leadership Development Committee (NLDC) shall be appointed pursuant to Article VII, Section 2.d. of the ATA bylaws.
B. Nominations to the Board of Directors
Each year, ATA holds elections for three Directors’ positions (for a three-year term) and, in odd-numbered years, for the positions of President-elect (for a two-year term), Secretary (for a two-year term), and Treasurer (for a two-year term). The NLDC shall identify and propose candidates for each elective position that becomes vacant in that year. It shall propose at least two candidates for each Officer position (President-elect, Secretary, and Treasurer) and at least two candidates for each Director position.
The NLDC shall consider nominations and self-nominations from all qualified members, and may also consider and propose candidates who were not otherwise nominated.
The NLDC shall attempt to put forward a balanced slate that is representative of the membership at large. In establishing the slate, the NLDC may not reject a nominee solely based on age, sex, race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, working or other languages or other factors that do not directly impact the candidate’s inherent leadership ability or ability to effectively represent the membership.
The NLDC shall impress upon candidates the obligations of Board service, such as time commitments, fiduciary duties, and adherence to ATA policy.
C. Nominations Calendar
A Call for Nominations shall be distributed every January via The ATA Chronicle and other ATA media. It shall include information about the different ways to become a candidate.
ATA members may propose themselves to the NLDC as potential candidates, be proposed by other members, or be approached by the NLDC.
Those who respond to the Call for Nominations shall indicate in writing their willingness to run for office and provide the NLDC with supporting information regarding their qualifications.
Nominations shall close on March 1. No later than May 1, the NLDC shall present the names of the candidates proposed, together with their written acceptances, to ATA Headquarters, to be forwarded to the ATA Board of Directors.
The NLDC shall verify, and Headquarters shall confirm, the Active membership status of each candidate before the proposed slate is presented to the Board. The Board shall instruct Headquarters to inform the candidates of the acceptance or non-acceptance of their candidacy by the NLDC and to publish the slate proposed by the NLDC to the membership in the June issue of The ATA Chronicle and on the ATA website and in other ATA media.
D. Candidates by Petition
Once the slate has been published, petitions for any position may be submitted in accordance with the procedures for petitioning as outlined in the ATA Bylaws, Article VII, Section 2.d.3.
The NLDC shall forward any petitions that are received within the required deadline and with the required number of signatures as per the ATA Bylaws noted above to Headquarters to verify the number and voting status of the petitioners.
Headquarters shall forward the list of successful candidates-by-petition to the Board. These candidates-by-petition become part of the slate and shall receive equal treatment as candidates.
It is the policy of the Association that campaigns should be open, dignified, positive, and focused on the issues and on the qualifications of the candidates. Candidates, as well as all members, should refrain from ad-hominem attacks. Candidates shall not accept campaign contributions nor shall they personally incur more than nominal expenses for campaigning.
Regardless of the venue, context or audience, the opinions and comments of the Association’s leadership nevertheless may be perceived as carrying more weight. As such, all elected office holders and appointed representatives of the Association (officers, Board members, committee chairs, division administrators, assistant administrators, leadership council members, and spokespersons) and its employees are expected to maintain neutrality surrounding elections. They shall refrain from publicly endorsing or showing preference to any candidate for office, either explicitly or implicitly, at any time. Chapters of ATA are encouraged to refrain from making endorsements.
C. Equal Space Policy
Any ATA publications or platforms that publish candidate messages shall provide equal space to all candidates. Sufficient space will be allocated in The ATA Chronicle for each candidate’s photograph and 500-word statement setting forth their qualifications and goals for the position and responding to questions appropriate for the position sought. Headquarters will provide the relevant deadlines. Additional space may also be made available on electronic media. No resources of the Association or its divisions shall be used to promote any individual candidate over another. Chapters of ATA are encouraged to observe this equal space policy.
Voting members may authorize a limited (instructed) proxy by providing instructions electronically, if available, to a proxy holder, subject to provisions of New York State law and the ATA bylaws. A designated person may be used to tally the proxies and officially cast the votes at the Annual Meeting of Voting Members as provided in the bylaws. Candidates for office may not be designated as a proxy holder.
Candidates’ names shall be randomized on ballots and proxies. When both regular and unexpired positions are to be filled, all candidates for those positions shall be listed in a single ballot item. In such an event, and in accordance with Article XI Section 9 (Voting) of the ATA Bylaws, the longer terms shall be allocated among those receiving a plurality vote in the order in which they obtain greater numbers of votes. If there is a tie, the question shall be decided by the Board of Directors at its next meeting.
C. Candidate Withdrawals
If a candidate withdraws their nomination more than 4 weeks before proxy voting has begun, the NLDC shall recruit a new candidate for the position and the new candidate shall be listed on the ballot.
If a candidate withdraws their nomination less than 4 weeks before proxy voting has begun, the withdrawing candidate shall remain on the proxy ballot and the printed ballot, but any votes cast for the withdrawing candidate will be void.
If a candidate withdraws their nomination after proxy voting has begun, and there is no other candidate nominated for the position, the position shall be considered vacant and filled in accordance with the Association bylaws.
D. End-of-Election-Cycle Actions
At the conclusion of each election, the NLDC shall transfer to Headquarters all records and files of its discussions and actions. The chair shall contact the Executive Director to coordinate this transfer.
Approved by the ATA Board of Directors, April 9, 2022.
This policy is scheduled to be reviewed in 2027.