2020 is a [Branch] Election Year

We are all of course aware that there is an election taking place in November that will determine whether civil rights protections, environmental protections, consumer protections, and nearly every other function by which government is supposed to protect its citizens from powerful monied interests will continue to be dismantled at a rapid rate. Furthermore, we are experiencing a global pandemic the likes of which hasn’t been seen in a century.

In the light of these grim struggles, the Branch’s election will be a relatively light affair.  Happily you don’t really need to worry about it right away; unless you want to run for office.  Here is the timeline for the Branch’s 2020 Election:

Stage 1: the Membership Deadline:

In order to run for election in November of 2020, you must be a member in good standing as of May 1st(1), with your membership dues paid up.  If you have even a single day of lapsed membership from May 1st to the election in November, you will be ineligible to run.  We have seen this happen in our very Branch in the past, and the Secretary wishes to ensure it never happens again.

If you think you might run, check your membership card; if the Expiration Date is coming up, renew now!  Whatever the date may be, please make a mental note to renew before then, if you think you might run.  On their part, the Secretary will do their best to remind you when your dues are due, but it is ultimately your responsibility to keep up your membership.

Note: it is currently impossible to renew your membership in our Branch from National’s website.

You must renew your membership at join.sandiegonaacp.org, either with a credit card or by downloading a membership application and mailing it in with your check. Please write [email protected] with any questions.

Stage 2: When and Where?

At our August General Membership Meeting, the Membership will decided to hold the election on November 12th, from 4pm – 9pm. Due to COVID-19, elections will not be done in person but will take place through an online voting system.

Stage 3: Nominating Committee & Number of Members-at-Large

The next steps in our election take place at the September General Membership Meeting. We need to do three things at that meeting: Elect the Nominating Committee, decide how many Members-at-Large there should be on the Executive Committee, and choose the method of the election.

The Nominating Committee

The Nominating Committee consists of 5-15 members, only 2 of which may be current Officers or Executive Committee members. In order to serve on the Nominating Committee, you must have been a member in good standing of the NAACP San Diego Branch for the entire time period of August 4th, 2020 through September 3rd, 2020.

The work of the nominating committee will be to produce a “slate;” persons recommended for each Branch Office and each at-large position on the Executive Committee.

Members-at-Large

Members-at-Large of the Executive Committee are elected members who are on the Executive Committee without serving the Branch in a specific office or as a Committee Chair. The Branch chooses in September how many should be elected; a minimum of 10 to a maximum of 24.

Election Method

Due to COVID-19, the Board of the NAACP has decided that all elections should take place online. We postponed choosing the election method hoping they would give us recommendations by the promised September 8th date; they did not.

Stage 4: Nominations

October 1st General Membership Meeting

At our October 1st General Membership Meeting, we have four matters of election business:

  1. The Nominating Committee will present its slate of candidates
  2. Nominations by petition will be taken
  3. We will choose the software we will use to conduct our election
  4. We will elect the Election Supervisory Committee

1. The Nominating Committee Slate

At the September 3rd General Membership Meeting we elected the following persons to the Nominating Committee:

Allie AkmalLetitia FlynnKhalada Salaam-Alaji
Petrina BranchDiane Langworthy
Dr Robert BrownPhilip Liburd

These folks were charged with coming up for a nominee for each of our six (or seven) Officers and ten At-Large Executive Committee Members.  They will give their report at our October meeting and present their list of candidates.  If you would like to be interviewed by the nominating committee for a position on their slate, please email [email protected].  The Nominating Committee requests responses by September 18th.

2. Nominations by Petition

Nominating Petitions

Also at the October 1st General Membership Meeting, we will accept nominations by petition.  In order for a nomination by petition to be valid, it must be signed by the nominee (granting consent for the nomination) and by at least three other members in good standing.

You may download a Petition and Consent form here.  The form should be signed by all parties and emailed to [email protected], or mailed to the Branch at:

NAACP San Diego Branch
PO Box 152086
San Diego CA 92195-2086

Please realize that the form MUST reach the Branch by October 1st to be considered.  Postmarks are insufficient; we MUST receive it.

For email, we will accept scanned copies or copies signed via AdobeSign or DocuSign or similar.

We greatly encourage you to submit your nominating petitions sooner rather than later.  We will validate them and let you know if there is anything that needs to be fixed.  There is no margin for error at the October 1st meeting.  Your petition will be validated during the meeting, and if it is found invalid you only have until the nominations close during the meeting to resubmit it.

“Good Standing” — Candidate and Signer Eligibility

We have written a lengthy post listing what the various official documents (which can all be found at sandiegonaacp.org/election) say.  It boils down to this:

In order to run as a candidate you must:

  • Have been a paid member of the NAACP San Diego Branch, without any lapses in membership, between May 1st, 2020 and November 12th, 2020.
  • Live or work in the jurisdiction of the Branch; San Diego county south of the 56 freeway.

In order to sign a nominating petition you must:

  • Have been a paid member of the NAACP San Diego Branch, without any lapses in membership, for 30 days before the date you signed the nominating petition.
  • Live or work in the jurisdiction of the Branch; San Diego county south of the 56 freeway.

How Do I Know If I’m Eligible?

The best thing to do is email [email protected] and ask.

However, if you have your membership card, you can get some hints:

  • If your Unit Number is not 1063-B, you are probably not eligible.
  • If your Expiration Date is earlier than October 1st, 2020, you are probably not eligible to sign a nominating petition or run as a candidate.
  • If you are a new member and your Expiration Date is later than May 1st, 2021, you are probably not eligible to run as a candidate, though you may be able to sign a nominating petition for someone else.

John Doe is probably not eligible.  Jane Brown is probably eligible.

We say “probably” not eligible because there are some instances where there have been misunderstandings that can sometimes be fixed.  Please email [email protected] and we will try to help.

We say “probably” eligible because continuous membership in our Branch since May 1st, 2020 is required, and that continuity is hard to tell from a card, and you have to live or work in our jurisdiction, and that is also hard to tell from a card.

In-Meeting Validation

Please remember that the Secretary will be required to validate all the nominees and petition signers during our October 1st General Membership Meeting!  Please do all our members a favor and submit your petitions early so we can validate them early and not make everyone wait.  As an added bonus, that will mean there is no chance of a misunderstanding and an invalid nominating petition.

The moral of the story: email [email protected] and ask!

3. Choice of Election Software

We are going to use online election software.  Two choices will be presented, and we will ask the membership to choose which they prefer. We have evaluated four packages:

Price
(per election)
Requires Trusted Admin?Voter ReceiptsHandling of too Many EC Votes?Non-email voters
SimplyVoting$340NoFully AutomaticRefusesUnknown
ElectionRunner$65YesManualRefusesYes
ElectionBuddy$89NoAutomaticError messageYes
OpaVote$50NoNoDe-selects earlier voteYes

Of these four packages, we believe OpaVote and ElectionRunner are not viable, due to security (ElectionRunner) and the de-selection of earlier votes and lack of voter receipts (OpaVote). ElectionBuddy and SimplyVoting are both acceptable and will be offered as choices at the meeting, but at around a quarter of the cost (which will add up if we have both a practice election and a runoff), we recommend ElectionBuddy be chosen.

DRAFT Election Process Proposal

If you are interested in learning more about how an ElectionBuddy Election might work, we refer you to the following presentation:

Proposed Election Procedure

DRAFT Election Procedure Running the 2020 Branch Election with ElectionBuddy

Please be aware that this is very much a work in progress!

4. Election of the Election Supervisory Committee

The Election Supervisory Committee are the folks who will actually work out the nuts and bolts of the election.  They may not be candidates for office or the Executive Committee.  Please consider that the election is a lot of work they will be required to do; they should have both the skills and time to manage an operation like this.

In order to stand as a candidate for the Election Supervisory Committee, you have to have been a member of our Branch since September 1st, 2020 and live or work in our jurisdiction.

Election Guidance from National

2020 Election Procedure Manual

2020 Election FAQs

2020 Election Dates to Remember

2020 Petition and Consent

Not a member?  Need to renew?

Visit join.sandiegonaacp.org or mail your check by October 12th to:

NAACP San Diego Branch
PO Box 152086
San Diego CA 92195-2086

To be eligible to vote in our Branch, you must live or work in our “jurisdiction,” which is San Diego County south of the 56 freeway. Members in good standing will by now have received an email if their address of record is not in our jurisdiction. If you have moved or if you work south of the 56, please email [email protected]

Questions?  Email [email protected] or call 619-431-1633

Note 1:  Those of you who study the bylaws on a daily basis (we assume that is all of you) may have read that the membership deadline is April 1st. That deadline has been moved, for this year only, by the National Board of Directors.