GVEA Bylaw changes - the analysis begins
Seventeen amendments to the bylaws of GVEA were passed by the membership after a count of over 5000 mail-in/drop-off ballots last night.
Two bylaw changes did show a marked difference with less support:
One change removed the bylaw section that limited the co-ops debt to $460 million. This now means that the policy the board developed and passed 3/29/10 that more than doubles this debt limit will be in effect and that the board can change at will. This policy (last page) and other policies modified with the bylaw changes can be found here
The second bylaw change passed with less support was GVEA proposed Roundup Program, where your bill will be rounded up to the next even dollar amount and the funds collected (est. $15,000/mo.) to be given to charities of GVEA's choice. The controversial aspect to this program was that it is Opt-Out, meaning you are included automatically and must call GVEA at 452-1151 or send an email to them (firstname.lastname@example.org) to opt out of the program.
With the many delayed and un-received ballots due to sending them via the Ruralite, I don't think that GVEA will be using that method of delivery again. More likely is a push to develop an on-line voting method, now allowed by bylaw change.
I would also hope that this many changes and some so poorly worded in one vote don't happen again. It was generally poorly organized and not worthy of what we should expect from our co-op.
GVEA Ballot Count #8 - all bylaw amendments pass
Here's the final vote on the bylaws. Analysis and commentary to follow after a night's sleep. WAY TOO many ballot issues, all those present agreed.
Received 5114 valid ballots, but 14 were spoiled, total counted 5100
Approve all - 3201
Disapprove all - 536
14. 414 (remove debt limit)
17. 449 (round-up bill)
GVEA Ballot Count #7
Election judges are done with their tally. Multiple spreadsheets for tallying those who voted for individual bylaw changes are being tallied by Cory and Corinne.
In the meantime, the drawing for the free electricity was pulled out of the hopper by Hollis, one of the election judges, with his eyes closed. It was a fully loaded hopper with over 5000 envelopes inside. Obert Friberg (sp) was the winner. GVEA wasn't thinking they would call him tonight. I thought if I won, I'd want them to call up to 11 pm and it's only 10:40 pm now.
A handful (10) of questioned ballots were discussed, some with duplicate ballots, strange signature locations, some that were picked up at GVEA when their mail ballots didn't arrive and then later, the mail ballot did arrive. The general rule followed was that the first valid ballot to be received was the one counted.
Most elections judges are sticking around, talking, waiting to sign off on the final tally, being done with the aid of a tape based adding machine. There is a place for this now ancient technology.
GVEA Ballot Count #6 - incumbent Bergh wins District 5
Preliminary count in District 5:
Ron Bergh - 606 (44%)
Hank Bartos - 441
Tim Beck - 331
200 ballots came in without signature on the outside envelope. They are opening those to see if any were signed inside, as the instructions allowed for. To date only one did, with a few more that had a check for payment of their bill (but no ballot).
Extra ballots checked - 5 had signatures inside.
Final count District 5
Ron Bergh - 608 - 44%
Hank Bartos - 441 - 32%
Tim Beck - 331 - 24%
Total ballots counted - 1380
Looks like some of the observer staff are leaving, though a recent lightning storm resulted in some spotty electrical outages in various areas of town.
GVEA ballot count #5
Final bit of counting of District 5. 213 ballots that were unsigned on the outside are being opened to see if signed on the inside. Of the 1365 pre-verified ballots, it looks like one person got about 500 votes. 40% is needed to avoid a runoff with 3 candidates on the ballot.
Ron Bergh - incumbent
Beck didn't get very many ballots, but he didn't campaign that anyone could tell.
On the bylaw ballot, 3 piles are being made - Yes on all, No on all, Yes only as approved on the other side.
From my perspective, it looks like the "Yes on all" have the majority, with 2-3 times the pile size compared to the others.
GVEA Ballot Count #4
The bylaws group in the new board room just completed opening the outside envelopes.
GVEA Ballot Count #3 - District 6 winner - Sloan re-elected
District 6 election has been certified by the election judges. Under 50 minutes
John Sloan - 322 votes
Tana Wood - 99 votes
Ballots with no signatures not counted - 32
Ballots with wrong signatures not counted - 8
On to District 5 with 3x as many ballots to count.
The main board room is still opening outside envelopes for the bylaws vote.
GVEA Ballot Count #2
The staff have slit the outside envelopes and are giving them to the election judges, who then verify the name and signature on the outside and take the ballots out. These then go into a hopper for the next staff slitting of the envelopes. The old Board Room is getting District 6 ballots while the new Board Room is getting the bylaws ballots to open the outside envelopes.
BTW, the last bylaw vote on the G&T in 2008 had a 21% return.
GVEA ballot count #1
Just for fun and for those who can't be here, I've decided to report on the GVEA ballot counting for the bylaw changes and Districts 5 and 6 election. Just getting started now at 6 pm.
About 13 people here as election people, staff includes CEO Brian Newton, Diane Porter (presenting) and Corinne Braddish (Communiucations), VP Member Services, Dave Gardner, Attorney Cory Borgeson, board chair Bill Nordmark, board member Ward Merdes, some MAC members.
May 4 - district ballots went out
May 7 - bylaw ballots went out
Appropriate sig, no signature, questioned ballots, wrong signature, multiple ballots in a single envelope They were secured and counted daily during collection. Outside envelopes are to be saved and put in the hopper for the drawing for "Free Electricity for a Year" (up to $1760).
10% required for district elections
650 votes or 3% (1,011) required for bylaws
District 5 - ballots mailed out 6,435, returned 1,365 - 21% return
District 6 - ballots mailed out 1,604, returned 487 - 30% return
Bylaws - ballots mailed out 33,726, returned 5,114 - 15% return
Cory charges the election judges with their rights and responsibility to make decisions on validity. Noted that some ballots are already questioned, but election judges will decide on each. Ballots will be double counted, staff will open envelopes by machine.