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The Planet

Club Elections Ahead

Remember the contentious 2004 Sierra Club national board election? (How could you forget it, right?) It attracted national media attention, drawing attention away from the very environmental causes the Club is working to promote. Accusations flew, opposing Web sites were developed, chapter and group Web sites got involved. Rules governing fair play were poorly understood and unevenly implemented.

As a result, new election rules have now been developed. At its November meeting, the Board of Directors approved several changes in the election Standing Rules, including the authorizing of chapter executive committees to endorse candidates for the Board and publish endorsements in newsletters. According to Marvin Baker, Chief Inspector of Elections for the National Sierra Club, the goal of the new election rules is to keep the election process as fair as possible for all candidates. In 2004 there was widespread confusion and controversy regarding what was permissible to say about individual candidates. The new rules are designed to help Sierra Club chapters better understand how to motivate and educate their members.

Because chapters will now be allowed to endorse Board candidates, it is crucial that chapters take the time to learn what the new rules are before publishing any articles about the upcoming election.

The Inspectors of Election are available to help avoid election violations. Contact Chief Inspector Marvin Baker at 4730 Auburn Road, NE, Salem, OR 97301; (503) 566-3755; marvinbaker@msn.com.

Adapted from material written by Robert Simpson, Nepessing Group (Michigan) Newsletter Editor, and Kelly Carlson, Dallas Group Webmaster.


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