Election Process at Raft River Co-op
The Bylaws outline the Annual Meeting duties of the Election Committee. Policy 102 adds to those duties: They are responsible for the . . . balloting process . . . and the certification thereof. They issue ballots for the election and collect those ballots from the members. They “shall oversee, judge, and count the ballots.” There is no policy or bylaw giving responsibility for the security of those ballots to anyone else! And saying it doesn’t specifically exclude anyone doesn’t work!
Last year, co-op staff removed the outer envelope of the mail-in ballots and the ballots dropped off at the office before putting them in the ballot box to which they had the only key.
The Election Committee was not given possession of the ballot box until just before the Annual Meeting started and the ballot box was left unattended during the crowded voting/registration time. Later the staff members told the entire election committee to go to the auditorium to collect any remaining ballots leaving the rest of the ballots unattended. Why are staff members running the election? When confronted about the process, the Board and the Election Committee chairman saw little problem with how the election was handled. So will the process stay the same this year?
A neighboring utility’s mail-in ballots are sent directly to a PO Box in care of their attorney, and just like in official State elections, they are not opened until the proper authorities count them.
It’s past time to bring back accountability and open communication at Raft River Co-op. A new board member was voted in a year ago and another was recently appointed to a vacated seat. Make Your Vote Count this year and give them some fresh help! Out with the old, in with the new!