Frequently Asked Questions
Does the inspector of elections have to have special credentials?
A Supervisor/Inspector of Elections does not need to have any special training, but should have a thorough knowledge of the proxy process and be familiar with commonly accepted practices.
How can I change my vote?
You can contact the election supervisors and ask them to send you another proxy or you can attend the meeting and vote in person.
Why vote? Does my vote really count?
Of course it does! Every vote counts.
What is confidential voting?
Also known as closed voting or secret ballot voting, confidential voting is when all proxies, ballots and votong tabulations that identify the voter are kept confidential. Independent vote tabulators or the inspectors of election are responsible for examining individual ballots, while management and shareholders are only told the results.
What are By-Laws?
By-Laws supplement each organizations charter, spelling out, in more specific details, general provisions contained in the charter. In some cases Board of Directors often have the power to change bylaw provisions with out shareholder approval but most often a vote of the majority of the shareholders is needed to change the bylaws.
How do I know my vote will be cast the way I want it?
If you clearly mark your ballot or proxy there is no reason to believe that the independent company tabulating your votes will misrepresent your intentions. The beauty of election monitoring companies is that they are non-partisan. They do not have a stake in the outcome of your election, therefore, there is no reason for them to ignore your vote.
I always leave a comment on my proxy. Does anyone read it?
The Voting Group passes on comments to the appropriate parties that need to receive them. If your comment is important then you should consider sending it directly to the people or persons that can readily answer or handle your problem.
I found a proxy after the meeting. Should I send it in?
NO. Once the polls have closed, no additional votes can be accepted.
I received my voting materials after the meeting was over.
Sometime this happens and it is unfortunate but, it is not intentional. In some cases the dealy can be due to an incorrect or insufficient address, in which case you should notify your organization immediately. In many cases, the postal service processed the mail more slowly than anyone anticipated.
I put the wrong letter in the ballot/proxy return envelope. What happened to it?
The Voting Group returns such documents to your organization or association requesting that they forward the document to you.
Tabulation seems easy. Why don't organizations and associations do it themselves?
Some organizations, associations and companies do tabulate their own ballots and proxies but, by doing so, they open themselves up to conflict of interest charges or claims of impropriety. Another reason is that some of the voting processes can be complicated and time consuming and the organization might not have the knowledge, man power or the time to take on the task.
If we did it ourselves it would save us money right?
NO, not necessarily. Heres why. If shareholders or voters claim there was some form of collusion, impropriety or just a conflict of interest, that could cost the association and the shareholders money in court fees which would far outpace the amount spent on hiring a professional, independent outside organization.
What is cumulative voting?
Cumulative voting allows shareholders toapportion the total number of voting shares they own in any way among the candidates for the board. When cumulative voting is used, a minority of shares may be able to elect one or more directors by giving all of their votes to one or several candidates.
Why do so many organizations and companies hold their Annual Meeting in the spring?
Most companies and organizations have Decembeer 31 as their fiscal year end date. at that time, they set a record date and within 90 days must have their Annual Meeting. The timing of this sets most meeting dates in the spring.
There was no ballot return envelope in my voting package. What should I do?
If there isn't a ballot return envelope in your electio package, you should contact management as soon as possible to obtain the correct address. Normally the mail toaddress will appear in another part of the correspondence and then you can mail it yourself.
What is a Proxy?
The definition of a proxy is (1) the granting of authority by shareholders to others. The authority to represent someone else, especially in voting. A person authorized to act on behalf of another.
What if I don't attend the meeting and I don't send in my proxy?
Your ownership interests may not be represented at the meeting. If enough shares are not represented at the meeting, in person or by proxy, the meeting may have to be adjourned for lack of a quorum or certain proposals may not have enough votes to pass.
What happens if I don't mark my proxy or ballot.
The proxy or ballot normally contains a statement telling you what will happen if you fail to indicate your voting direction. In most cases the people appointed as your proxy will have the power to vote your shares as they see fit. In some cases your shares are voted in the manner recommended by the Board of Directors. In other cases the proxy will be voided.
What if I don't sign my proxy or ballot?
A proxy or ballot that has not been signed or is improperly signed will not be included in the tabulation and not represented at the meeting (void/disregared).
What if I want to attend the meeting?
Send in your vote anyway. If youattend the meeting, you will be given the opportunity to vote in person if you wish to change your vote. A vote cast at the meeting, in person, supersedes any proxy previously submitted.
What is a ballot?
A ballot is the form that is used to vote your interests at a shareholders or unitowners meeting. A proxy holder that wishes to cast a vote at the meeting is given a ballot to vote your shares after they have handed in your proxy form.
What is a Special Meeting?
A special meeting is any meeting called by stockholders, shareholders or unit owners, outside of the Annual Meeting. A special meeting may be called by the Board of Directors in response to an extraordinary event such as a merger or in reponse to a legitimate request from a shareholder, unitowner or stockholder.
What is an Annual Meeting?
An Annual Meeting is a yearly event that publically owned corporations and private organizations are required to hold. Annual Meetings are typically when the Board of Directors are elected and decisions are put to the shareholders, unitowners or stockholders concerning actions to be taken in the future.
What is an Inspector of Elections?
An inspector of elections or election monitor is, or should be, an impartial third party appointed by statute, corporate charter or by law. The inspector typically determines the number of shares outstanding and eligible to vote at the meeting, verifies the existance of a quorum in order to hold the meeting, determines the number of shares represented at the meeting, counts all proxies and ballots, resolves and records any challenges and certifies the results.