The following is a copy of the email I sent to the MG along with ADF-Discuss and ADF-Leadership. A link to this page was also shared on the ADF General Discuss group. A new post will be made with any results.
It has recently come to my attention that our 2017 Elections Officer (EO), Bonnie Landry, was also running for office as NERD while also running the elections.
First, let me say I have no doubt that the results are correct, as she was running unopposed. So, let us not go down that rabbit hole, I don't see a need for re-voting.
Bonnie was appointed at the December MG meeting after confirming she was not running. (see https://www.adf.org/members/blogs/mg/02262017-2313 first thing under new business) My understanding (but I cannot find any published confirmation) is that Rev. Sean Harbaugh was assisting her as her deputy and was on the elections officer email address. During nominations, Bonnie was nominated and accepted.
My concern is that the EO gets an email of every vote. This includes the name, email, and member ID of the person voting, and what their votes were. This means that we now have the situation where a candidate for office knows who voted for and against her. In general this is a big issue for me as it opens up the possibility of the person taking retribution against or giving favors to those that voted against or for them respectively. Also if this were a tight race, it opens the possibility that the EO could fix the vote for themselves. I am not making an accusation that this has happened. Our secular elections don't allow a candidate for office to run the election they are in and the vast majority of our subgroups also don't. Why would we even consider it is appropriate in our elections?
My questions are the following:
- If Sean or anyone else was her deputy, why did they not insist that Bonnie step down from the EO role and take over when she accepted the nomination for NERD?
- The MG used to approve the paper ballot which would have shown the EO running for NERD. Did the MG not review the ballot, and if they did, why did they not take action to remove Bonnie as EO before the voting began?
- Was the MG notified that the EO was running for office by the deputy EO? If they were why did they not take action?
- Did the MG recognize with the posting of the final vote tallies that the EO ran for and won office, and what actions were taken as a result?
- Were any procedures broken by this and what procedures will be put in place to prevent this from happening again?
Again, I don't question the results of the elections. I see major ethical lapses and conflicts of interest in what was done, and this needs to be addressed and prevented from ever happening again or the integrity of our whole voting system is gone.