Election Procedures for WES BOT (a policy of the Lay Leadership Development Committee)


  • Ballot Distribution  Fourteen days prior to the election, ballots listing all of the candidates will be distributed by email to the WES membership list. They will also be available on-site at WES and at the Spring Membership Meeting.
  • Ballot Security  There is no electronic voting at this time.  Voted ballots must be secured in a sealed envelope annotated with following information:


    1. The voter’s name legibly printed on the envelope (to ensure against duplicate votes). (It is recommended, but not required, that voters print their names on the front of the envelope.)
    2. The date the voter is submitting the ballot legibly printed on the envelope.  (It is recommended, but not required, that the voters print the date on the front of the envelope).
    3. The voter’s signature on the back of the envelope across the seal (to prevent tampering).
    4. Any ballot/envelope not conforming to the above will be disqualified.


  • Ballot Submission  The voted ballot (secured in the sealed envelope) must be received by WES no later than the start of the Spring Membership Meeting.


  1. The ballot must be submitted in one of these ways:
      1. By mail to Washington Ethical Society, 7750 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20012, Attn: LLDC/Board Ballot.
      2. Hand-delivered in person and placed in the BOT election box  
      3. Hand-delivered on the date of the election to the election recorder at the beginning of the Membership Meeting on the first Sunday of June.
  1. Failure to follow these procedures when submitting the voted ballot will disqualify the ballot. 




Additional Procedures:


  • Ballot Counting  Ballot counting is the responsibility of the Lay Leadership Development Committee and the counting will be conducted only by members of the LLDC in a private/secured area. Observers and representatives will not be permitted into the area to oversee the counting process.
  • Accounting for the Envelopes


  1. After the voting period closes, all envelopes (including those received by mail, and those hand-delivered to the ballot box or to the election recorder at Membership meeting) will be compiled and the names of voters checked against the WES membership list. 
  2. Any envelopes not properly secured and annotated as outlined above will be set aside for further inspection.
  1. Envelopes with illegible names or without signatures across the back seal will be destroyed and the ballots will not be counted.
  2. Undated envelopes will be counted UNLESS there are duplicate envelopes for that member (see below).
  3. Multiple LLDC members may engage in this first step of envelope accounting.
  1. All duplicate envelopes will be set aside for further inspection.
  1. If the duplicate envelopes are annotated with different dates, the most recently dated envelope will be used for counting purposes and the earlier dated envelope will be destroyed.
  2. If it cannot be determined which of duplicate ballots is the most recent, e.g., the duplicated envelopes have the same date no date, or one of the envelopes is missing a date, both envelopes will be destroyed and the ballots will not be counted.  


  • Opening the Envelopes  After all of the envelopes have been checked against the WES membership list and non-compliant envelopes managed according to the process above, one or more LLDC members will open all of the applicable envelopes and place the ballots in a stack.
  •  Tallying the Votes


  1. Two LLDC members will complete the first ballot tally in a private area. One member, MEMBER A, will read aloud the names of the person(s) receiving votes on the ballot and the other member, MEMBER B, will tally the vote(s) from that ballot onto a piece of paper listing each of the candidates’ names. 
  2. Once all of the ballots have been tallied, a recount of the ballots will be done. Again, in private, two LLDC members will repeat the ballot tally, but a third LLDC member, MEMBER C, will replace Member B. Member C will read the votes from each ballot aloud and MEMBER A will tally these votes from each ballot on a separate and new piece of paper listing each of the candidates’ names. 
  3. If the two counts match, the election results are final. If the two counts do not match, the recount will be repeated, alternating Member B and Member C, until there are two matching counts of the ballots.


  • Reporting Election Results  Because utmost priority must be given to the integrity, accuracy, and quality of the process, rather than to the speed of the process, the election results will not necessarily be announced at the Membership Meeting. If final results are available before the end of the meeting, they will be announced at the meeting. If the final results are NOT available by the end of the meeting, they will be announced via a broadcast email to the WES membership at large.



  1. Names of winners will be announced. Vote counts and rankings will not be announced or released to the general membership.
  2. Any candidate who wishes to know the vote count must request the information within 72 hours of election results.
  3. Candidates who request the vote counts will receive the information within 24 hours of the request.


  • In the Result of a Tie  In order to protect the integrity of the ballot process, the LLDC will follow the same procedure outlined above in the event of a tie, but on an accelerated timeframe.


  1. A new ballot, showing only the candidates who received the same number of votes, will be mailed, emailed and posted on the WES website no later than the Tuesday after the election. Hard copies will also be available at WES. (The candidate’s original statements will be included for reference. WES will also ensure that the video of the candidate’s forum, if one was held, is available during the whole voting process, including the period for ties.)
  2. No new candidates will be included.  
  3. Ballots for the tie will be due before the beginning of Platform on the second Sunday after the original election. Ballots can be mailed to WES or placed in the ballot box, as in the original election.
  4. Votes will be counted after Platform on the second Sunday after the original election (and announced immediately to the membership via broadcast email), so that all new Board members will able to attend the first meeting of the Board, held the third Sunday following the original election.