5 Tips for Your Upcoming PTO or PTA Election


Holding an election soon? Here are some important points to consider.

by Rose Hamilton


Parent groups often aren’t certain how to nominate and elect new board members. You might worry that you aren’t being official and procedural enough on such an important matter.

In general, large organizations do well with a nominating committee of a few people who are tasked with promoting the election, seeking nominations, and recruiting folks they believe will serve the group well.

But smaller groups often find it works best to let the current board handle these nomination tasks, simply because the manpower for a separate committee isn’t there.

Help your new leaders transition smoothly and keep your group going strong

Big or small, the key is to be unbiased and work to get the best folks on the board.

Here’s what the nominating committee needs to consider:

1. If you’re holding elections soon, the nomination process should be under way already. Publicize the upcoming election via newsletters and social channels. Ask people to nominate worthy candidates and seek out folks who you think would serve the group well.

2. Make sure you have good candidates on the ballot. It’s fine for members to nominate themselves. If a person nominates someone else, check to see whether that nominee is really interested in the job.

3. Get the word out a few weeks before election about who’ll be on the ballot. That will give group members time to assess candidates.

4. You might want to have candidates say a few words about themselves before the election, especially if there’s more than one candidate for a board position.

5. Be prepared on the day of election to accept nominations from the floor. Check your bylaws to see whether there are any rules concerning these nominations, including procedures that stipulate when and how to call a close to nominations.

For more help on the nomination process, check these resources:

PTO Officer Election FAQs

Election Ballot Template

Originally posted in 2013 and updated regularly.

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