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Memorandum: The Validity of the DCBA Election of Officers and Directors

Wednesday, September 5, 2018   (0 Comments)
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Dear Members,

We understand that there have been communications regarding concerns about the May 2018 election.We take this matter seriously.In addition to being previously reviewed, I appointed a 2018-2019 Election Committee of members of the Executive Committee to examine the election process.Their report is below.If you would like to discuss this matter, please reach out to me, Jacqui Kiviat, our Executive Director, or Tom Santoro, the Elections Committee Chair.


Thank you for your membership in the DCBA.



Stephanie Carman

DCBA President




To: DCBA Membership

From: DCBA Elections Committee

Date: September 5, 2018

Subject: The Validity of the DCBA Election of Officers and Directors


The issue


  • An e-mail has been circulated among some DCBA members that questions the validity of this year’s election results.
  • These issues have been investigated by the Executive Committee, which by our by-laws, is made up of the officers and one member of the board from each of the five groups and the 2018-19 Elections Committee.
  • We are pleased to report that there were no irregularities in, nor any challenges to, the election vote totals. The issue raised in the email was considered by the Board of Directors in June and determined to be unfounded and of no consequence, and therefore, the board accepted the election results.


The source of the issue


  • After the election results were announced, the outgoing president of the association, acting unilaterally, named several persons to investigate the election.
  • This was an unprecedented and ultra vires act, as the by-laws require that any standing or special committees be established by the board of directors.
  • Without the knowledge of the board, one of the members of this unauthorized committee contacted the vendor which organized and conducted the on-line election process. The spokesperson for that vendor authored an e-mail describing her perceptions of the process. That e-mail has been widely circulated, without the vendor’s knowledge or authorization, among a number of members of the DCBA.
  • As confirmed by a subsequent contact with the vendor, the vendor’s account reflected a lack of understanding of the requirements of our by-laws and unfortunately may provide fodder for spurious claims to be made.


The facts


  • For many years, the DCBA by-laws have required that “Votes cast for a smaller amount of nominees than the number of Director vacancies to be filled in a particular class shall not be counted.”This rule has been followed with respect to all positions and all ballots.That has meant in practice that there has never been a ballot option to not vote for a contested position.
  • When the ballot vendor initially prepared the ballot, it erred by preparing a ballot that allowed a voter to opt out of voting in one or more groups.This does not comply with the DCBA by-laws.
  • Consistent with the specific ministerial duties provided in the by-laws, Secretary Jane Muir corrected this error with the ballot vendor, requesting the elimination of the option labeled as “not answered.”
  • With this correction, the ballot format was consistent with both the by-law requirements and with the ballots used in previous years.
  • The action taken by Ms. Muir was consistent with the association’s governing documents and her ministerial action was not a conflict of interest.
  • The opinion of the ballot vendor that a “not answered” option should be included in a ballot is simply contrary to the dictates of the DCBA by-laws.
  • The ballot vendor’s opinion that the 30% voter turnout was “on the low end” is contrary to the history of the DCBA elections. In fact, the voter turnout has been typically 10-15% or less in previous years.




  • The actions taken by the Secretary to correct the format of the ballot were consistent with the DCBA by-laws.
  • There were no close election outcomes.In fact, the outcome of the election established that the winners prevailed by votes of:

· 68.6% to 31.4% President-Elect

· 71.8% to 28.2% Vice-President

· 56.6% to 43.4% Treasurer

· 84.3%, 75.3% and 40.4% Group Two Directors

· 78.5%, 67.6%, and 53.8% Group Three Directors

  • None of the defeated candidates appealed to the Board of Directors as permitted by the by-laws.
  • The board of directors addressed the issues that had been raised at their meeting in June, and accepted the election results.
  • After the recent circulation of the uninformed and unsupported claims of irregularity, the current Executive Committee and the 2018-19 Elections Committee reviewed the matter and concluded that, in fact, there were no election irregularities and that the election was conducted in accordance with the DCBA by-laws.

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