“Our Lives begin to end the day we become SILENT about things that matter.”Martin Luther King Jr.
Each year, PTAs elect officers for the next term at an association meeting. The month to hold the annual election meeting is held in March.
This date helps ensure a smooth transition for incoming board members. It provides time for them to receive materials and talk about the scope of their new position with their predecessor. And, it lets members of the board-elect get started to plan for the upcoming PTA year.
As well, the date gives the president-elect time to register and attend the California State PTA Convention.
The annual election meeting is planned and run by the president. Here are some tips to prepare for an effective election meeting:
Agenda – Put ‘Election of Officers’ under ‘New Business’ on the
Notice – Distribute written notice of the election meeting thirty (30) days in advance to the unit’s members as stated in
Membership List – Secretary brings a current Membership list to the meeting to verify eligibility to vote and to be
Voting – Only unit members attending the meeting, who have been members for at least thirty (30) days, and whose dues are paid, are eligible to vote at an election.
Nominations at Meeting – After presenting the slate of nominees, additional nominations must be called for from the floor as indicated in Bylaws. These nominations do not require a ‘second’ and eligible members can nominate
Elected Officers – To be elected requires a majority vote of those present and eligible to vote, providing the meeting quorum, as stated in Bylaws, is
How a PTA election is conducted is based on standard, parliamentary procedure. After giving some opening remarks, the president:
Asks the parliamentarian to read parts of the Bylaws – Nominations and Elections (Article V, Sections 1, 2, 4a, 4e, 5 to 8 and 11)
Asks for Report of the Nominating Committee – Chairperson reads the report and notes any changes to publicized slate if a nominee withdraws before the election
Restates slate of nominees: Asks each one to stand as the name is called
Asks for and takes nominations from the floor Says, “Are there any further nominations?”… Ends process by saying, “Hearing none, the nominations are closed”.
Conducts election of officers:
With one nominee for each board position, use a voice vote, saying:
“Bylaws state that if there is one nominee for an office, a ballot may be dispensed with and the election held by voice vote.”
“Any objection to this procedure?”…“Hearing none, the following are presented for election” and reads list of positions and nominees.”
“All those in favor, say ‘aye,’ those opposed say ‘no’. The ayes have it. Congratulations, you have elected the officers for next term as presented.”
If only one candidate has been nominated for an office, the president may declare the nominees elected by acclamation.
When there is one nominee for a position, the election may be held by voice vote. But, a member may make a motion to vote by ballot. This motion is then voted on immediately without debate. It requires a majority vote to be adopted.
Written ballots are used to vote in an election when there are two or more nominees for an office. They are also used if a motion to vote by ballot is presented, voted on and adopted at an election meeting.
For an election, both a voice vote and a ballot vote may be used with the voice vote for uncontested offices and a ballot for those positions with two or more nominees.
Here are some tips for handling a ballot vote:
Verify Eligibility To Vote – Check the current membership list vote before handing out
If you know before the election meeting that there are two or more nominees for any office, ballots can be given out at a registration table as members arrive and present their membership cards.
Please Note: If a current membership list is not available, all adults present are allowed to vote.
Appoint Tellers Committee – The president appoints a tellers committee, with a chairperson and at least two tellers. Tellers distribute, collect, and count ballots. Ballots can also be collected in a ballot
Nominees for office may not serve as tellers.
Count the House – Before voting, count the house to determine the number of ballots to be tallied. The president asks eligible members to stand and be counted.
If another vote is necessary, recount voting members to determine the number of ballots to be tallied. If an eligible member missed the original ballot vote, but arrives in time for another vote, he/she is entitled to vote.
Handling Ballots – Illegal ballots are counted only to determine the number of votes cast. But, they are not applied as a vote for or against a
Ballots are considered illegal if they are handed in with:
- Unreadable words or symbols
- A nominees name who is not a member
- Two or more filled out ballots folded together, which are then recorded as one illegal vote
Blank ballots are not counted.
In a contested election, each nominee may designate a person as an observer for counting ballots.
Voting Results – The results are reported in writing by the tellers’ committee chairperson and given to the president with the following information:
- Total eligible voters =
- Total votes cast =
- Number needed to elect (majority vote, ½ + 1) =
- Number received by each nominee:
- (Nominee) Votes Received =
The president announces the voting results and who is elected. But, the number of votes cast for each nominee is not announced, unless requested.
However, for the Minutes, the complete Tellers Report is recorded.
The chairperson of the tellers committee then makes a motion to destroy the ballots.
Election Challenges – With few exceptions, challenges to the election procedure or outcome must be made during the election
An election must be declared “null and void” when it is discovered that an individual elected did not meet the eligibility requirements for office as stated in Bylaws.
To learn more, refer to Roberts Rules of Order Newly Revised, latest edition, ‘Contesting the Announced Results of an Election and Point of Order’.
For assistance and more information about elections, contact your district PTA parliamentarian or district president.
Voting Rights of Officers
All PTA officers, including the parliamentarian, have the same voting privileges as other members. The president’s impartiality is protected by voting only when the vote is by ballot.
Previous Nominating Committee Members
Make a list of nominating committee members and the year(s) in which they served. This will serve as a written reference for the PTA. The names of the nominating committee members must be placed in the PTA minutes as the official record.