AA’s Third Legacy Procedure
AA’s Third Legacy Procedure is a special type of electoral procedure, used primarily for the election of Area Delegates, Regional and other Trustees and International Delegates, where more than one candidate is nominated.
It is considered to be unique to AA, and at first glance, appears to introduce a strong element of chance into a matter that should depend solely on the judgement of the majority. In practice, it has proved highly successful in eliminating the influence of factions or parties. A second-place candidate who may be extremely well qualified, but without early popular support is encouraged to stay in the balloting rather than withdraw.
IT MUST FIRST BE ESTABLISHED
- That the candidates are eligible and willing to stand.
- That the right to vote has been established.
- If the election involves appointing an Alternate position, it should be decided in advance whether the runner-up will be that Alternate or whether this will be by a separate election.
(Note that there is an illustrated version of this below which you might find easier to follow.)
- The Chairperson of the meeting will take charge of the proceedings.
- Two scrutineers are appointed, preferably from among those not eligible to vote.
- The names of candidates are written on a black/whiteboard or similar.
- The vote will be written on the board against the names of candidates.
- The first candidate to receive two-thirds of the total vote is elected.
- All ballots are secret, so blank papers (and sometimes pencils) are distributed.
- Written ballots are cast in the traditional way (one choice to a ballot), collected and given to the scrutineers to count; the tallies are then posted on the Board.
- If no candidate receives the necessary two-thirds of the vote at the first ballot, a second ballot is held, duplicating the first.
- If no candidate receives the necessary two-thirds of the vote at the second ballot, any candidate having less than one-fifth of the total vote is withdrawn automatically except that the two top candidates must remain. In the case of a tie for first place, only the tied first-place candidates remain. In the case of a single first place but a tied second place, all first-place and second-place candidates remain.
- A third ballot is then held with the remaining candidates. If no candidate receives the necessary two-thirds of the vote at the third ballot, candidates with less than one-third of the total vote will be withdrawn automatically, except that the two top candidates must remain. In the case of a tie for first place, only the tied first-place candidates remain. In the case of a single first place but a tied second place, all first-place and second-place candidates remain.
- A fourth ballot is then conducted as for the second and third above.
If no candidate receives the necessary two-thirds of the vote, the Chairperson establishes by formal motion (with seconder) on a majority show of hands, whether to hold a fifth ballot or go straight to the “hat” and be decided by lot. That is, candidates names are written on slips of paper and put into a receptacle. Whichever is drawn out by the Chairperson, is elected.
- If no candidate receives the necessary two-thirds of the vote in the fifth ballot, or if the meeting has decided to drop the fifth ballot, the choice will be made by lot (by the “hat”).
- In the final round, the names of the remaining candidates will be placed in a hat, box or other suitable container, and a person nominated by the Chairperson will draw one candidate’s name from the hat.
- That candidate is then elected.
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