Running an Election


January 9, 2017 -

Selecting your officers to lead a club, council, committee or board is one of the most important responsibility of a group.   Some clubs will have special rules for eligibility to be an officer; for example, some clubs may require that officers be starting their third year in the club, or that they must be a certain age.  Also, it is important that everyone knows the duties of each officer position.  For the club to have a successful year, the individuals elected must be willing to carry out the duties and understand their responsibilities.   This outline is designed for clubs to utilize when running an election. 

After reading all of the officer job descriptions the current president stands, raps the gavel once and says……

President:  Nominations are now open for President.  Are there any nominations for President?

Member raises hand and is recognized by the President:    I nominate Sarah

President:  Sarah do you accept the nomination for President?   (Nominee has the option to accept or        decline, if nominee accepts their name is placed on the ballot.  If nominee declines then their name does not appear) 

President:  Are there any additional nominations?  There is nothing wrong with self-nominations.     (The above steps are repeated until there are no additional nominees.  The current president can be nominated to run again as long as they are eligible. Once all nominations are completed, the president will ask for a motion to close nominations.)          

President:   Is there a motion to close nomination for President?  

Membership:   I move to close nomination for President. 

President:  Is there a second?

Membership:  Second

President:  Nomination for President is closed.

** Note:  after the nominations are closed, it is appropriate for those nominated to give speeches telling why they want to be elected.**

Electing officers should be done in a ballot format.   This allows for individuals to vote without peer pressure, and can vote for the best candidate instead of promoting the “popularity” contest.    Suggest having three individuals, not related to anyone on the ballot to be the official counter of the election.  After the counting of the ballots, there should be an official announcement of who was elected. 

If the officer position is uncontested, then the president can ask for a motion to cast a unanimous ballot. 

President:  Seeing no additional nominations, I would entertain a motion to close nominations and cast an unanimous ballot. 

Member:  (After being recognized by the president).  I move to close nominations and cast a unanimous ballot for Sara. 

President:  Is there a second?

            Member:  Second

President:  All in favor of closing nominations and casting a unanimous ballot for Sara as President say aye.    (Give time to vote)   All opposed say no.  (Give time to vote)

            President:  (If favorable)  Congratulations,Sarah is now our new President. 

Each officer position should be handled as stated above in the following order:  President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Corresponding Secretary, Reporter and any other positions the club may have.   Allow for each officer position to be announced before proceeding to the next position, this allows for individuals to run for another position if not elected to the first one. 

Following the election of all positions, the president should entertain a motion to destroy the ballots. 

            President:   At this time I would entertain a motion to destroy the ballots. 

            Member:  I move that all ballots be destroyed

            President:  Is there a second?

            Member:  Second

President:  It has been properly moved and seconded to destroy the ballots.  All in favor say aye. (Give time to vote)    All opposed say no.  (Give time to vote)    Ballots will be destroyed. 

Any 4-H group in need of Parliamentary Procedure training or for further information about holding an election should contact the Leadership Civic Engagement work team at


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