Inside the CFA Credentials Committee
Cat Talk|April 2020
The “Inspectors of Election” is the formal term referred to in New York Not-For-Profit Law that applies to CFA operations. The group has been called “tellers” in previous meetings. As a group this also constitutes the “Credentials Committee.”
Nancy Dodds

We are specifically provided for by law to ensure fair elections, determine challenges and questions, and to tabulate votes. This committee is the only group authorized to determine questions on the right to vote. The members of the committee are presented to the CFA Board of Directors for consideration. The group is selected because of our participation in and knowledge of CFA activities, our independence, geographical diversity, familiarity with Annual Meeting procedures, and reputations for integrity.

We pay for our own transportation, we pay for our hotel rooms, and we pay for our meals. We typically arrive at the Annual Meeting hotel on Wednesday so we can begin our work on Thursday morning, the day we handle any issues surrounding the eligibility for seating delegates, for voting, and any challenges regarding “ownership” of clubs, if necessary. Of necessity, we begin our meeting in the morning and complete our business before delegate check-in, which typically begins at 1:30 PM.

As a result of the Credentials Committee recommendations in the 1980’s to adopt more stringent requirements for clubs to provide membership/officer lists and payment of dues, the Constitution was updated with those requirements. Only the club Secretary of Record became authorized to provide Central Office with updated lists and any changes to the Officers of their club(s). Online registration of officer/membership lists, followed by online registration of delegates and by online voting, has reduced the number of challenges; previously, these challenges took up several hours of the Credentials Committee’s time to resolve.

How does the Credentials Committee get involved with delegates?

The timing for clubs to receive delegate information actually occurs before the deadline for payment of dues and membership materials. Since dues and membership must be received in order for the club to be eligible to send a delegate to the Annual Meeting, this means that all clubs might receive the delegate information but not all will necessarily be eligible—not if their dues haven’t been paid and membership lists haven’t been submitted by that deadline. Central Office keeps sending out reminders if there are items still needed. The Credentials Committee also keeps monitoring the information even prior to the Annual. Last year, for example, a club actually registered a delegate but did not pay its dues. The club was dropped from membership June 1 for nonpayment of dues. The Committee advised Central Office staff not to seat the delegate.

How does the voting process ensure confidentiality of a club’s vote?

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