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National Federation of the Blind of California Convention Virtual Voting Engagement Policy

This Virtual Voting Engagement Policy is adopted by the National Federation of the Blind of California Board of Directors on Thursday, October 21, 2021, for recommendation to the California Convention.

Nothing in this voting policy is intended to change the affiliate constitution. The convention remains the final authority with respect to all issues of policy. Members in attendance may participate in all convention discussions as a matter of right. These procedures simply implement the method for following the constitution in a virtual convention setting.

The below procedures are intended to provide clarity and advance notice on how the virtual convention will be managed in 2021. This document will be read and voted upon by the board of directors during its meeting on October 21, 2020 and then read a second time on October 24 prior to voting. Those eligible to vote on this proposal will be any verifiable member present and voting at the session on Sunday, October 24, 2021, as described below.

Voting

  1. Every member in good standing who registered for the convention by October 21, 2020, may vote on matters brought to the convention, including the election of the board of directors, and passage of resolutions and motions.
  2. All voting will be initially polled using the “raise hand” function so labeled in the Zoom application controls or by pressing the corresponding *9 key from the Zoom telephone line. Zoom hosts reserve the right to remove any person from the general session on Sunday who raises their hand during a call for voting without a user name that reasonably matches the name provided during online registration or from a telephone number other than the one provided through the online registration. Members may verify the name and phone number they have on file by reviewing the confirmation email received upon successful registration. Corrections may be made prior to October 21, 2021 through a request to any member of the board of directors.
  3. Any matter up for vote, including contests with more than two candidates,  must receive 75% or greater support of the total votes cast by the eligible convention voters present and voting through the initial poll of Zoom raised hands in order to be affirmed.
  4. Present and voting will mean the subset of convention voters who actually cast a vote on a given question. Thus, voters who are indifferent to a matter cannot block its consideration by the convention by choosing not to cast a vote.
  5. All votes will be allocated at least 2 minutes for vote time and may be extended by the chair as needed to count raised hands and verify voter identity.
  6. If the matter up for vote does not pass with 75% or greater of the total votes cast by Zoom raised hands, the chair will poll the delegates and/or alternates by roll call for a definitive outcome. Each chapter and division organized under the affiliate will appoint its president to be the delegate to the convention. The president of each chapter or division will appoint an alternate.
  7. It is a conflict of interest for a delegate/alternate to vote for themselves. The alternate shall be polled in any contest if the delegate is up for election in a matter. The chapter/division shall forfeit its vote if the delegate is unavailable and the alternate has a conflict.
  8. If the delegate is not available after their name is called thrice on Zoom, the alternate will be polled.  If the alternate is unavailable after their name is called thrice on Zoom, the chapter or division will forfeit its vote on the matter.  The matter up for vote must receive a majority of the total delegate or alternate votes cast and not forfeited to pass.
  9. If delegate/alternate roll call voting indicates at least a simple majority of the total eligible chapters and divisions support for or against a matter, the chair may elect to move to the next order of business.
  10. In the case of a board position contest in which no candidate receives 75 percent or greater of the raised hands vote and no candidate receives a majority of the delegate/alternate votes, the candidate with the fewest delegate/alternate votes will be removed from the contest and the delegates/alternates will re-vote. This process will be repeated until a candidate obtains a majority of the delegate/alternate votes cast.
  11. An opportunity to practice voting will be offered in the convention on a question that has no impact on the policy of the organization.

Motions and Nominations from the Floor

  1. Only delegates and members of the board of directors will be able to make motions, second motions, and nominate candidates from the floor during the convention.
  2. Should a member of a delegation wish to make a motion or nominate a member for election by the convention, a delegate or member of the board of directors must bring it forward on their behalf.
  3. A member may petition any delegate or member of the board of directors to support their motion, especially if the delegate from their own chapter or division will not support the motion.

Resolutions

  1. Resolutions to be presented to the convention must proceed through the resolutions committee process as usual.
  2. Resolutions being recommended to the convention by the committee will be posted to the web at http://www.nfbcal.org/resolutions by 8:00 am Pacific on Saturday, October 23, 2020.
  3. Chapters and divisions will be encouraged to discuss resolutions with their delegates and alternates during the time set aside for caucuses on Sunday morning, October 24, 8:30 am to 9:30 pm.
  4. Those wishing to speak for or against a resolution on the floor of the convention must submit their interest in doing so by using the “raise hand” function from the Zoom application or Zoom telephone line at the appointed time.
  5. In determining the amount of debate a resolution requires, the chair may use the Zoom polling option to get a sense of the crowd, ask the delegates for their feeling on cutting off debate, or engage some other strategy outside of the voting system to gauge the convention.

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