2017 GDUI Board of Directors Elections Results

Congratulations to Our Winning Candidates!

We want to congratulate Maria Kristic and Brianna Murray who were elected as members of the GDUI Board of Directors in last week’s election. And, we are pleased to also announce that all four proposed bylaws amendments have been adopted. New terms of office will begin for Maria and Brianna immediately following the conclusion of the 2017 GDUI convention, and newly adopted amendments are effective immediately.

 Election Results Announced:

In order for the election to have been valid we are required to have a minimum of 15 percent of the membership vote in the election.  We had a turnout of   33 percent of our membership.

Our 4 proposed bylaw amendments have passed as they require a two-thirds or 66.667 percent vote in favor.

Total voters for ballot: 171 (33.0%)

Brianna Murray (164 total voters this ballot; vote for 1):

Vote in favor: 142 (86.6%)
Abstain from voting: 22 (13.4%)

Maria Kristic (162 total voters this ballot; vote for 1):

Vote in favor: 148 (91.4%)
Abstain from voting: 14 (8.6%)

AMENDMENT 1: Non-discrimination and Freedom of Speech (170 total voters this ballot; vote for 1):

Vote in favor: 158 (92.9%)
Abstain from voting: 10 (5.9%)
Vote against: 2 (1.2%)

AMENDMENT 2: Clarification of Affiliate Voting (171 total voters this ballot; vote for 1):

Vote in favor: 149 (87.1%)
Abstain from voting: 12 (7.0%)
Vote against: 10 (5.8%)

AMENDMENT 3: Designating a Seat on the Board for Immediate Past President (171 total voters this ballot; vote for 1):

Vote in favor: 134 (78.4%)
Abstain from voting: 28 (16.4%)
Vote against: 9 (5.3%)

AMENDMENT 4: Eliminating Provisions for Run-off Elections (170 total voters this ballot; vote for 1):

Vote in favor: 115 (67.6%)
Abstain from voting: 35 (20.6%)
Vote against: 20 (11.8%)

End of Results

April 10, 2017

Announcing the GDUI 2017 Elections

In our upcoming election, you will have the opportunity to both vote on filling two Board positions as well as on the amendments of GDUI Bylaws.

The Board of Directors of Guide Dog Users, Inc. (GDUI) is asking GDUI members to vote for two open Director seats (term ending in 2020).

The candidates for these positions are:

Candidates for Director:

Brianna Murray, incumbent from South Carolina                

Maria Kristic, from New York                                                     

The 2017 GDUI Elections will commence Saturday, May 27, 2017 12:00 AM (EDT) and conclude on Sunday, June 4, 2017 at 11:59 PM (EDT).

GDUI members who have paid their dues and are members in good standing by the record date of April 7, 2017 are eligible to vote in this election. Each member has one vote.

GDUI must receive the votes of fifteen percent of the members entitled to vote in this election, or at least seventy-five votes, for this election to be valid.

The two open director positions will be filled by the two   candidates who receive the largest and second-largest number of votes for director.

Any current GDUI member may request a copy of the candidate biographies from the Nominations Committee Chair at the following address: director5@guidedogusersinc.org.

In order for the proposed bylaw amendments to be considered for adoption, the Organization must receive the votes of 15% of the members entitled to vote on this question, or at least 75 votes. The bylaw amendments will be adopted if 2/3rds of the members voting on each proposal vote yes.

Voting System

Once again this year VoteNow will be handling our election.  GDUI members will have the option of voting either telephonically or online.

Your old voter ID number will no longer be valid.   In a few weeks, members will receive new voter ID numbers.  either by e-mail or postcard directly from VoteNow.  Please watch your inboxes and mailboxes for this important information.  No one else at GDUI will have access to your personal ID number so, if you misplace that new number, you may call a designated person at VoteNow to retrieve that information. You will also receive the number for telephonic voting and the link to the online ballot.

GDUI will hold two membership forums to interview the candidates running in this election. The first one will be held on Saturday, April 29, 2017, beginning at 1:00 P. M. (EDT) and the second will be held on Thursday, May 11, 2017 beginning at 8:00 P. M. (EDT). The call-in number for both forums will be (712) 432-0075; access code: 919245.

Each forum will be recorded for playback via telephone, Drop Box or Send Space. The playback number is (712) 432-1085. The April 29 forum recording will be available only until the May 11 forum is recorded; after that the May 11 forum recording will be available on the playback number.

You may email questions for the candidates, to the Nominating Committee Chairperson, Dixie Sanderson, by April 16, 2017, with the subject field, “candidate questions.” Her email is: Director5@GuideDogUsersInc.org.

GDUI has elected to proceed under Section 29.405.20(f) of the Nonprofit Code. If a member who is entitled to vote on these matters wishes to communicate with the membership about the subject matter of the vote, the member should contact the Nominations Chair. 

Dixie Sanderson

GDUI Nominations Committee Chair

Director5@GuideDogUsersInc.org

Proposed Amendments to the GDUI Bylaws April 2017

The GDUI Bylaws and Resolutions Committee submits the following four (4) proposed amendments for consideration during the May 2017 Annual election.

In order to achieve a quorum, at least 75 members, which represents 15% of the membership, must vote.  Further, a two-thirds affirmative vote is required in order to adopt an amendment.

Members will have opportunities to ask questions about the proposed amendments during the Candidates/Amendments Forums which are scheduled on two separate dates prior to the elections.  The first will be held on Saturday, April 29, 2017, beginning at 1:00 P. M. (EDT) and the second will be held on Thursday, May 11, 2017 beginning at 8:00 P. M. (EDT). The call-in number for both forums is (712) 432-0075; access code: 919245 followed by the pound sign.

AMENDMENT 1: Non-discrimination and Freedom of Speech

Purpose: To acknowledge the principles of Freedom of Speech and non-discrimination.  Although technically not required because it is already included within the context of the existing provision, GDUI wishes to underscore its commitment to the principles of non-discrimination and freedom of speech with the additional proposed language in the last sentence below.

ARTICLE 1.00:  NAME; GOVERNANCE; AFFILIATION

Section 1.03:  Affiliation

This Organization shall be a chartered special interest affiliate of the American Council of the Blind, and shall hence be subject to all requirements and obligations applicable to affiliates  of that organization.  GDUI embraces the principles of non-discrimination and freedom of speech.

AMENDMENT 2: Clarification of Affiliate Voting

Purpose:  to amend the language of subsection 4.06 (1), which deals with Affiliate Voting, in order to eliminate ambiguity and to conform with related sections 4.06(4) and 7.02.

Below is the proposed revision of 4.06 (1) followed by the current 4.06 (1).

Proposed revision of 4.06 (1):

4.06(1) Affiliate voting shall be limited to caucuses and business sessions taking place at the annual convention  where such business shall be strictly limited to matters coming before the ACB convention on which GDUI may wish to adopt positions or take specific actions.  At such a meeting, the membership may, by majority vote of those present and voting, call for a roll call vote on a specific matter of business.  When affiliate voting is authorized, each affiliate shall be entitled to one (1) vote for each seven (7) affiliate members, or major fraction thereof; however, no affiliate may have more than twenty-five (25) affiliate votes.

The current language of 4.06(1) is:

Affiliate voting shall be limited to caucuses and other activities authorized by the Board of Directors, with the exception that the membership at a properly called meeting, may, by majority vote of those present and voting, call for a roll call vote  on a  specific matter of business.  When affiliate voting is authorized, each affiliate shall be entitled to one (1) vote in any annual or special  meeting of the membership  or properly called telephonic or electronic election/meeting for each seven (7) affiliate members, or major fraction thereof; however, no affiliate may have more than twenty-five (25) affiliate members.

AMENDMENT 3: Designating a Seat on the Board for Immediate Past President

Purpose: designate the position of Immediate Past President as a seat on the Board.  This would involve the following changes.

5.03:  Immediate Past President 

The position of Immediate Past President shall be designated as a seat on the Board. 

  (1)The Immediate Past President shall have full voting privileges and shall serve until there is another Immediate Past President.

  (2) The designated position of Immediate Past President shall become available when the person serving as President in June of 2017 shall be duly qualified to succeed  to that office.

The present section 5.04 shall become 5.05 and read as follows:

5.05:  Board Of Directors

The Officers, Directors, Immediate Past President, and the three (3) additional members who are elected or appointed to the Board shall constitute the Board of Directors of this Organization, (hereinafter the Board).  All Officers shall be considered to be Directors as that term is used in the DC Nonprofit Code.

The current section 5.05 shall become 5.06 and shall read:

Section 5.06:  Locales of Directors

Of those Director positions that are elected to the Board, no more than three (3) members occupying those positions shall be from the same state, district, or possession.  For the avoidance of doubt, the Publications Editor, the Affiliate Liaison, the Guide Dog School Liaison, and the Immediate Past President are not elected positions on the Board.

AMENDMENT 4:  Eliminating Provisions for Run-off Elections

Purpose: Due to the costs of conducting elections, propose eliminating the provision for run-off elections (second elections).

The proposal involves eliminating sub-section 5.09 (3), which deals with second elections, and merging sub-sections 5.09 (2) and 5.09 (4), which deal with majority and plurality voting.

Changes to 5.09 Election and Tenure.  Propose elimination of sub-section 5.09(3) which reads: “In the event there are more than two candidates for any Officer position  and following the election, no candidate has received more than fifty percent of the votes cast for such office, a second election will be held immediately following the conclusion of the first election.  The two candidates receiving the most votes in the first election shall be candidates in the second election.  If either of the top two candidates elects not to stand for the second election, the candidate with the next highest vote total shall be a candidate for office in the second vote.  No additional nominees will be accepted for such office.”

5.09(2) reads “Officers will be elected by a majority  of the members present at the meeting.”  and

5.09(4) reads “Directors will be elected by a plurality of the members present at the meeting.”

Propose combining both into a new 5.09(2) to read, “Officers and Directors will be elected by a plurality of the members present at the meeting.”

End of proposed Amendments

GDUI has elected to proceed under Section 29.405.20(f) of the Nonprofit Code. If a member who is entitled to vote on these matters has any questions, please feel free to contact your Bylaws Committee members at Bylaws@guidedogusersinc.org .

Respectfully submitted,

Maria Hansen, Chair, Bylaws and Resolutions Committee

Lynn Merrill, Member

Ellen Telker, Member

Rick Roderick, Member

Maria Kristic, Member

Penny Reeder, Member