Save the Date: 04/02/22
ANNUAL MEETING AND DIRECTOR ELECTION
The time for the Annual Meeting is coming up, and with the annual meeting is our Co-op’s annual election of Directors. This year we will be conducting the election using an online service that provides secure elections while allowing members to either vote online (on your computer or phone) or request a paper ballot – depending upon what works best for you! This newsletter will describe how the voting works, what the key dates are, and what the process is for requesting a paper ballot should you wish to vote that way.
The annual meeting for the Co-op is on Saturday, April 2nd, from 4-6pm by Zoom. If you have not yet signed up to attend, please do so and you’ll receive the link to join the meeting.
With our new bylaws, approved at last year’s annual meeting, voting in Co-op elections STARTS one week before the annual meeting and ENDS one week after the annual meeting. This means that we will be opening the voting for the annual meeting the morning of Saturday, March 26th, and the voting will run through Saturday, April 9th at 4 pm, with the results announced immediately upon the close of voting.
If you voted electronically, you will be able to check your voting website link for results, and we will be sending an Island Beet with the results to the membership.
Please remember that under the bylaws, voting is by membership, so if you have a family membership with more than one person listed in our database, you will vote ONCE as a membership.
Thank you for supporting your Co-op and voting in the Annual Meeting election!
Each membership that has an email address on file with the Co-op will receive an email when the voting begins on Saturday, March 26th. The subject line will indicate clearly that it is time to VOTE – San Juan Island Food Co-operative Annual Election. If you receive the Island Beet and are a member, you should expect to see this email come through – if you do not, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org (not any of the other Co-op email addresses!) and our election team will make sure you get your ballot.
The electronic ballot email will look like the following (but have the real name of the election and dates, the following is just from a test!). Please notice the region marked in the red oval – this is where you will find the LINK to vote and two identifiers that uniquely identify YOUR membership and will be used to log in and vote.
The “access key” is a code for just THIS election that uniquely identifies your membership – it is not your Coop membership ID, so it can’t be guessed or used by anyone else. Similarly, the passwords are randomly generated and can only be used ONCE to vote. This ensures that each membership’s vote is only counted ONCE.
If you have any problems voting electronically, please contact email@example.com immediately, and our election team will respond as quickly as possible and help you. If you have technical problems, we may be able to assist, or we may end up printing a paper ballot for you to use at the Coop to finish your vote. Either way, we’ll make sure you get a chance to vote!
We recognize that many people may not want to vote electronically, not have ready access to a computer, etc. We chose the ElectionBuddy system to use this year because it makes it very simple to accommodate secure paper ballots, while still allowing each membership to vote once.
If your membership does not have an email address on file with the Co-op, we will AUTOMATICALLY print out a paper ballot for you. The ballots will be available at the Co-op on the first day of voting, Saturday, March 26th. Ask any staff member or inquire at the checkout counter.
How it will work is that your paper ballot will have two options – there will still be the link, with access key and password as shown above. It will also have a “QR code” that you can point your phone camera at, to open the voting website. It will also come with a full ballot, with checkboxes for each candidate. You can:
Take the paper ballot home and use it to vote electronically at your leisure, via the link or QR code. If you vote electronically using the QR code, you DO NOT need to return the paper ballot to the Co-op. If you vote using the paper ballot with checkboxes – you will need to return BOTH the ballot with the checkboxes, AND the notice with the voter identification key to the Co-op – preferably in a regular envelope.
Paper ballots can be requested by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. If you do not have access to email, a staff member at the Co-op will take your name and add it to a list that will be given to the election team.
Requests for ballots will typically be filled by the next day, and the paper ballot will be available at the Co-op. We will identify the ballots both by your coop membership number and the name on the membership.
We will take requests to print out paper ballots up until April 3rd. This deadline will leave enough time for us to print out the ballots, get them to the Co-op for you to pick up no later than April 4th, and leave you time to vote and return the ballot to the Co-op.
All paper ballots MUST be returned to the Coop for pickup and counting prior to the close of the election – by close of business on Friday, April 8th, 2022. This will give the election team enough time to do the data entry for your ballots into the election system. This is a manual process, so we need time before closing the election to process ballots.
You are encouraged to return your paper ballot to the Coop well before April 8th – we will be picking up ballots regularly and entering them into the system.