Question: Vote for officers in person only?

Our bylaws are a little vague. We have used email to vote on issues throughout the year because we don’t want members who cannot make the meeting not to have a say. But it is time for voting for new officers. Should we make it mandatory to be present to vote for officers?

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Advice from PTO Today

Elly writes:

Generally, absentee and proxy votes overcomplicate PTO business. It’s a good idea to make it clear they are not allowed.

There are a few reasons why Elly doesn’t like the idea of voting for board officers by email, either. The main one is the matter of fairness. How can you guarantee that there’s a legitimate and eligible voter behind every incoming email and that no one has voted more than once? Even if you think this is unlikely, it can create the appearance of unfairness. If the vote is close or at all controversial, you may be creating unnecessary problems for your group. And if people get the feeling that you’re manipulating the vote to help candidates you favor—even if they’re completely wrong—that’s a quick way to kill involvement.

On the other hand, some groups do take executive board votes by email. Because of the smaller size of the group, that can work in certain situations.

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