Club Elections in Toastmasters – Become an officer
An important part of Toastmasters training is learning about leadership. And the best way to become skilled at leadership is to experience it. Choosing leaders or choosing to be a leader begins here…at nomination and at the ballot:
In May, all clubs must elect annual officers serving from July 1 of the current year, through June 30 of the following year, or semiannual officers serving from July 1 of the current year, through December 31 of the current year.
- Before March 31: Appoint a nominating committee. The committee should be chaired by the immediate past president or most recent past president available.
- Last meeting in April: Nominating committee reports to the club.
- First meeting in May: The nominating committee report is presented to the club. If the nominating committee has no report at the last meeting in April, postpone the election until one week after the meeting at which the report is given. Call for nominations from the floor. Nominations and elections begin with the president and proceed in descending order.
Remember: A quorum (51 percent of active members) is needed to conduct business (including electing officers). Proxies or absentee ballots are not allowed at the club level. Members must be active and present to vote.
Hold elections at the first meeting in May, with new officers taking office July 1. In clubs that elect officers semiannually, an election must also be held at the first meeting in November, with new officers taking office January 1.
At least two weeks before elections, appoint a nominating committee of three active club members with the immediate past club president serving as chairman.
The committee selects candidates to fill officer positions for the coming term. Any current active member of the club is eligible to run for office and members may run for more than one office. Offices to be filled are: president, vice president education, vice president membership, vice president public relations, secretary, treasurer (or secretary/treasurer), and sergeant at arms.
All positions should be filled, if possible. However, a club must have a minimum of three officers – the president, a vice president, and the secretary or secretary/ treasurer. Each of these offices must be held by three different people.
During the club meeting immediately preceding the club meeting at which the election will take place, the nominating committee presents its report with only the names of active members who have consented to serve if elected. If the committee fails to present its report as required, then the report is invalid and all candidates must run from the floor.
Before you begin the election process, briefly explain the major responsibilities of each office. Then explain the election process and proceed with elections:
- Accept nominations for the office of president. A member of the nominating committee should nominate the committee’s candidate(s) for the office.
- Ask for seconding speeches. Any member may stand and second the nomination and give a short speech (usually two minutes) on the qualifications of the nominee. Seconding speeches should be given in alphabetical order by candidates’ last names.
- Ask the nominee if he/she will accept the position if elected. Allow the nominee two minutes to speak on his/her behalf.
- Ask for additional nominations for the office of president. If others are nominated, repeat steps 2, 3, and 4 for each nominee.
- Entertain a motion to close the nominations for the office of president. This requires a second and a vote.
- Instruct everyone to cast their ballots. If there is only one nominee, entertain a motion that the secretary be instructed to cast a single ballot on behalf of the candidate. This must be seconded and voted upon.
If more than one candidate is nominated, hold a secret ballot.
- Ask two people to tally the votes.
- Announce the winner.
Note: If the vote is tied, the election is determined by a coin toss.
Repeat these steps for each office. When elections are finished, introduce the newly elected executive committee to the club.
Toastmasters International’s Club Constitution and Bylaws (Item 210C) states that clubs that meet weekly may elect officers annually or semiannually. Clubs that meet less frequently than weekly must elect officers annually. Annual office terms must run from July 1 through June 30; semiannual terms run from July 1 through December 31 and January 1 through June 30.
Club presidents elected for a term of one year may not be re-elected for a successive term. Club presidents elected for a term of a half-year may be re-elected for one successive term of a half-year.
No president may serve more than 12 consecutive months.
Any vacancy in office, except for the immediate past club president, must be filled by a special election held at the next meeting following the announcement of the vacancy.
Please contact your club president if you would like to become a club officer or if you require more information.