Mad River Glen Cooperative
Trustee Election Procedures
Updated November 2004
Updated September 2010
Updated September 7, 2013
Updated March 11, 2017
This document is intended to provide an outline of procedures and policies regarding trustee elections, within
the framework of the Cooperative bylaws. This will serve as a working guide for the Board and the Election
Committee to help ensure consistency and fairness of the election process.
An election committee chairperson (“Election Chair”) will be appointed by the Chairperson of the
Board of Trustees (“Board Chair”) and confirmed by the Board of Trustees to oversee the nominating committee
and election processes. Typically this committee has consisted of 3 trustees, but the Election Chair can
designate any number of trustees and owners to be on the committee. It is strongly recommended that there be
owner shareholders on the committee. The Election Chair should be appointed by the Board Chair and
approved by the Board on or before the June Board Meeting of each year.
Responsibilities of the Committee:
1. Provide the election calendar to the Board at the November meeting for approval.
2. Solicit candidates for seats that are up for election.
• Publicize the deadline for owners to express their interest in running for the Board. Start publicizing in
the fall issues of all official shareholder publications, and with posters on the Coop bulletin boards and
in the Basebox.
3. Recommend to the Board of Trustees a slate of candidates to be placed on the ballot.
• The Board must approve the slate of candidates.
• Candidates for the Board must be owners in good standing, with all financial obligations satisfied.
• For each seat, it is recommended that no fewer than two candidates should be on the ballot. The Bylaws
specify that “the number of candidates sufficiently exceeds the number of positions to be filled so as to
present a meaningful choice to owners.” If all actions outlined in item 1 (solicit candidates for seats that
are up for election) are satisfied and the slate does not have two candidates for each open seat the slate
may be approved.
• There is no maximum number of candidates that can be on the ballot.
4. Review and approve the ballot and candidate statements prior to mailing.
• Ensure that the ballot proofs and the candidate statements are accurate.
• Make sure candidate photos and contact information are included with each of the candidate statements.
• Committee will provide a list of questions that each candidate will answer in writing. These questions
and answers will be included with the ballot.
• Candidate statements and Q&A will be posted on Co-op web site, with the link noted in the ballot
mailed to all members.
• Shareholders will also be able to pick up hard copies of candidate statements and Q&A in the office or
call to request they be mailed
5. Review and approve ballot handling and counting procedures.
• Ensure that appropriate procedures are followed for handling of absentee ballots.
• Arrange for impartial ballot counters. Ballot counters cannot be shareholders.
Note Section 3.8 of the bylaws: “Integrity of the voting process. The Board shall take reasonable precautions to
ensure the integrity of the voting and balloting process. At the request of any owner or trustee, the Board shall
appoint one or more election inspectors. Election inspectors shall be so constituted and shall perform such
duties as may be determined by the Board.”
6. Certify election results for cooperative records. Office manager will prepare an accurate accounting of the
election and have it signed by all election committee members within seven days of the election.
7. Periodic review of election page on the web site for accuracy.
Candidates not nominated by the Board
If any owner wants to run for the Board, but is not nominated by the Election Committee or the Board,
there are two options:
1. The Bylaws specify that an owner can be placed on the ballot by submitting a petition of at least 20
owners to the election committee. There should be a one-week period after the Board nominates its
slate when additional candidates can have an opportunity to submit petitions. These owners must be
in good standing with all financial obligations satisfied. Any owner who had expressed desire to be
on the ballot, but was not nominated by the Board, should be immediately notified after the
approval of the slate, that they need to submit a petition if they still want to be on the ballot. These
additional candidates must submit their candidate profiles and answers to the committee questions
by the dates outlined in the election calendar.
2. A candidate can run a write-in campaign.
Letter to Potential Candidates from Election Committee
When an owner expresses interest in running for the Board, he or she shall be provided with a letter that
describes the specifics of the election process, as well as the duties and responsibilities of being on the Board.
Additional Campaign Letters from Candidates
The Coop bylaws Section 3.7 specify that “The Cooperative shall provide all candidates a reasonable and equal
opportunity to communicate to owners their qualifications and reasons for candidacy.” Any additional mailing
is at the discretion of the candidate and at the candidate’s own cost.
This does not preclude an additional mailing at the Co-op expense if the Board considers it to be appropriate and
the Board approves the mailing.
Statements must include candidate’s full name, address, and e-mail address, phone number(s) and photograph.
Candidate Statements and Question and Answers, along with digital photos will be posted to the Co-ops web site
when the annual ballots are mailed.
Election Ballot Mailing
The election mailing will include the following:
• URL of the location of candidate statements and Q&A, or pick up in the office, or call to request copies be
• Ballot instructions:
• Any additional information as approved by the Board and the Election Committee.
• Remittance envelope.
Assuming that the Annual Meeting is to be held during the first week of April, the following approximate
schedule should apply (see sample calendar attached):
• On or before the June Board meeting: Appoint Election Committee Chair.
• Starting at the September Board meeting: Board and Election Committee to discuss possible candidates and
begins solicitation process.
• Publicize upcoming election in the fall issue of any MRG publication, in the Basebox, on the co-op website,
and in shareholder email updates
• October Town Meeting: Election Committee to solicit owners in attendance to run.
• January 15: Deadline for candidates to express interest in running for the board.
• January Board meeting: Election Committee recommends a slate of candidates for Board approval.
• Saturday after January Board meeting:
o Deadline for approved candidates to submit complete biographies and questions and answers to
the MRG Office
o Deadline for “petition” candidates to submit petitions. Their biographies and questions and
answers must accompany their petition.
• No fewer than 30 days prior to Annual Meeting: Ballots with URL location for candidate’s biographies and
questions and answers are mailed out to all owners. Per the by-laws the ballots will be mailed first class
• Annual Meeting: Election held. Results announced.
There will be no nominations from the floor per bylaw 4.3. The President will introduce the candidates; no comments from the candidates will be permitted.
Ballot Handling and Counting Procedures
• Ballots should be kept sealed and safe from the time they are received by the Cooperative until the ballot
counting procedure begins on the day of the Annual Meeting.
• The Bylaws specify that sealed absentee ballots must be received no later than the day prior to the Annual
Meeting. However, as in the past, we will continue to allow absentee ballots that are received up until the
closing of the polls at the Annual Meeting.
• Because the Bylaws do not allow faxed ballots and because they could undermine the integrity of the
election process, faxed ballots will not be accepted.
• Shareholders may change their vote at any time up to the end of balloting at the meeting. When this is done,
a new ballot should be submitted with individual’s name and date on the ballot and the old ballot will be
• Voting polls will close 15 minutes after the end of the Annual meeting.
• Impartial ballot counters should be arranged for and trained by the Election Committee. A minimum of four
individuals will be used as counters working in teams of two.
• Ballot counting room:
o The following people are permitted in the counting room: independent ballot counters, legal counsel,
Election Committee members and independent observers as appointed by the election committee.
o MRG staff will be allowed in the room to assist with shareholder verification or needs of the counters.
o No shareholders will be allowed in the ballot counting room unless otherwise specified.
• All observers, committee members and counters once approved, should expect to be present until the
counting is completed or they are allowed to leave by the Election Committee. In the past the ballot
counting has taken over five hours on meeting day.
• On the day of the Annual Meeting the ballots will be sorted alphabetically by shareholder name as it appears
on the ballot. The names from ballots are then checked off a master shareholder list and verified that the
shareholder is in good standing and has met all financial obligations.
• After the ballots have been put into alphabetical order and checked off the master list, the ballots will then
be tabulated. Counters work in teams of two in which one reads the votes cast and the other records the
votes on tabulation sheets. After counting, each pair of counters should review its tally sheet to make sure it
is accurate. Once they have confirmed the tally sheet is accurate, the tally sheets and ballots are given to the
Election Chair or a person designated by the Election Chair. The Election Chair or designated individual
must not accept the tally sheets until he or she has confirmed the accuracy of the tally sheets. If the Election
Chair or designated individual notes error(s) he or she can give the tally sheets and ballots back to the
counters with instruction to find and correct the error(s). Once the tally sheets are accepted by the Election
Chair or designated individual they shall be entered into a summary sheet. Once this has occurred the ballots
cannot be recounted. Pairs of counters continue to count sets of ballots in this manner until the counting is
completed. This counting process will begin during the day of the Annual Meeting and continue until
• During the day of the Annual Meeting, if duplicate ballots from one shareholder are received, said ballots
need to be sorted by date and the oldest one(s) are discarded.
• The Election Chair or a person designated by the Election Chair speaks to the counters regarding issues of
confidentiality and the process they are to follow.
• After the polls close, all ballots are tabulated using the method detailed above.
• Spoiled ballots and envelopes with illegible signatures or names, will be reviewed by the Committee to
determine disposition, sometimes with the assistance of MRG Staff. Ballots from shareholders in arrears on
Election Day will not be counted. Owners of less than 60 days are not eligible to vote.
• The Election Committee reviews the results and announces them to those people remaining after the
meeting, posts them on the bulletin board and on the Cooperative website and/or forum within 24 hours.
• Results, when posted, should reflect total votes cast for each candidate and for each ballot question as listed
on the ballot and the total number of ballots received.
Ballots will be destroyed 45 days after the elections unless the election is contested.
Anyone contesting an election must do so within 30 days of the election.
MAD RIVER GLEN COOPERATIVE
SAMPLE ELECTION CALENDAR
At or before the June Board meeting – President to nominate the Election Committee Chair
Fall issue of MRG publication – Call for candidates and post election information and calendar
November: post election procedures and election calendar to website.
Four months prior to January Board meeting – Use weekly emails to call for candidates to come forward.
Opening day of ski season: put posters soliciting candidates around the Base Area (can also post in September).
January 15: Deadline for all interested owners to declare their intent to run to either a Board Member or a
member of the Election Committee. As candidates declare, the Election Committee Chair sends the candidate a
“letter to candidates”. To be included: election procedures; duties and responsibilities of being on the board;
Co-op By-Laws; Code of Ethics; Conflict of Interest Policy and Code of Conduct.
January Board meeting: Slate of Candidates is proposed and voted on by the Board.
Immediately following January Board meeting:
• Accepted Slate of Candidates is posted after the meeting to the web-site.
• Election Committee Chair notifies any potential candidates not nominated that they have one week to
submit a petition to be on the printed ballot and to submit a statement and questions/ answers.
• Nominated candidates have one week to drop out if they choose to be dropped from the ballot.
Saturday following the January Board meeting:
• Candidate statements and questions/ answers due to the Chair/ Office Manager from all candidates,
including photo for posting to the web site.
• Deadline for anyone wishing to be added to the ballot to submit their petition, their statement with photo
and the questions/ answers to be included with the ballot.
ASAP following the candidate statement deadline: all material for the absentee ballot sent to the printer.
On or before March 1: ballots mailed via first class mail, to include URL for location of candidate statements
and Q&A, election instructions, ballot, and ballot envelope.
First Saturday in April: Annual Meeting and voting. Once results are known and verified results are posted to the
website, and in the Basebox.
MAD RIVER GLEN COOPERATIVE
SAMPLE INSTRUCTIONS FOR ABSENTEE BALLOT
INSTRUCTIONS FOR ‘VOTING BY MAIL
A member may vote by mail for the annual elections. There shall be no voting by proxy. Members are
encouraged to attend the Annual Meeting. A member may choose to vote either by mail or at the Annual
Meeting. Members who choose to vote by mail are also encouraged to attend the Annual Meeting.
1. Vote-by-mail MUST be returned by mail in the special return envelope provided. Do not enclose other
MRG business in this envelope, as these envelopes will not be opened until the annual meeting.
2. The return envelope with your ballots signed and dated by a shareholder member must be received at the
MRG office before the annual meeting in order to be counted. Your signature must match the name on the
Mad River mailing label with which the ballot was sent, no nicknames or name changes will be accepted for
3. If your ballot cannot be mailed to arrive before the annual meeting, ballots will be accepted when completed
properly up to 15 minutes after the end of the annual meeting.
TO VOTE BY MAIL
WHO MAY VOTE: Only a member may vote – one vote per member.
READ carefully the material concerning Board candidates and the proposed Bylaw amendments. Mark your
ENCLOSE your ballots in the return envelope provided and seal it carefully. The signature of a shareholder in
good standing is required or the ballot will not be counted.
The date is required in case two ballots are received from the same individual; the oldest will be discarded