Hiring an Election Administration service is an effective way of guaranteeing the integrity of your organizations election. For democracy to continue, elections must reflect the will of the people and in this case your shareholders/cooperators. A fair and transparent election enables voters to choose new representatives and leaders, and tests the strength of the existing democratic process.
The electoral process can and will impact your organization for years to come. The board that you hire has to reflect the wishes of your shareholders/cooperators so you want to make sure you do it right. Your organizations electoral process is something that should be handled by independent professionals.
Having said that, how does this process take place? How should it play out?
At first glance, the process seems to be complicated. Truth be told, it should not be complicated and it does not have to be. Depending on the organization you hire the planning process should be completed in a few short meetings or talks. Have an independent group or person set up as the election committee or liasion. This committee will convey the wishes of everyone involved in your organization and they will carryout the wishes of the election administrators. In other words they will act as the eyes and ears for the election administrators ie: getting documents, information and setting timelines. They will also relay the wishes of the cooperators and management but they will not have a stake in the election (they cannot be related to a candidate, they will not benefit monetarily from the outcome). They themselves, as much as it can be done, will have to be independent of the process except for wishing to see a fair and impartial election take place.
The election committee will make sure all nominations are in on time (and if they are not the prospective candidate can not run). They will meet with the election administrators in order to give bios and pictures (if needed) to approve of the ballot/proxy design. To approve of the Annual Meeting newsletter (if needed), to make sure the rules for this election are being followed by candidates as well as cooperators/shareholders. They will meet with the election administrators to map out a timeline of events and make sure those timelines are met. I. e: pictures, bios, wording for the cover letter, addresses, etc.
Therefore, the election committee is essential to the electoral process.
Emerging and transitional democracies, often lack the institutional capacity to effectively support the management of elections or the electoral and political process itself. Election Administration Services bridge this gap and alleviate these problems.