One of the most important aspects of preparing for a union officer election is letting your members know that there is an election taking place. Federal law requires unions to mail a notice of election to each member's last known home address not less than 15 days prior to the election. The notice must include the date, time, and place that the voting will occur. In addition, the election notice must provide the voter necessary information about eligibility, identification procedures at the polls, availability of absentee ballots, and any new election rules.
Although not specifically required by federal law, you should mail the election notice by first class mail to insure that members receive the notice before the election. It is a good idea to mail the notice more than 15 days in advance of the due date if you do not use first class mail. The election notice should be mailed to all members far enough in advance of any established deadline to allow for payment of delinquent dues so that ineligible members have an opportunity to regain eligibility to vote before the election closes.
One of the most common mistakes in conducting an officer election is failing to make sure that all members receive a notice. The notice must be sent to all members, not just those who are in good standing and are eligible to vote. Furthermore, you must make a reasonable effort to update your membership list prior to mailing the notice. If any election notices are returned undelivered, you must attempt to obtain accurate addresses and re-mail the notices promptly.
The election notice is one of the most critical parts of the election process. By fully informing your entire membership about the election, you help avoid complaints later on. Take the time to do it right.
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