The strength of the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) is directly related to the quality of its leadership. Our ability to attract candidates with appropriate leadership skills will be enhanced by the clarity and availability of information regarding the nomination process.
These official NAD Election Policies and Procedures address the following topics, in preparation for the Biennial NAD Conference.
The document applies to all candidates who seek to run for the offices of President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and four Regional Representatives, as follows:
|Vice President||Two Years|
|Region I Regional Board Member||Four Years|
|Region II Regional Representative||Four Years|
|Region III Regional Representative||Four Years|
|Region IV Regional Representative||Four Years|
FORMATION OF THE NAD ELECTION COMMITTEE (NADEC)
A. Committee Members and Past Presidents
The Election Committee shall consist of three past NAD Presidents, as selected by the Past Presidents Council, and the Past Presidents Council shall select the Chair for the committee. The Election Committee shall have a minimum of two representatives from National Affiliate Organizations. Two Past Presidents or the designees shall be selected by their National Affiliate Organizations. The Election Committee will review the list of National Affiliate Organizations with NAD Headquarters to identify and update affiliate membership status.
The National Affiliate Membership Based Organizations are, but not limited to, listed as follows:
- American Association of the Deaf Blind (AADB)
- ASL Teachers Association (ASLTA)
- Cerebral Palsy and Deaf Organization
- Deaf in Government (DIG)
- Deaf Seniors of America (DSA)
- Deaf Women United (DWU)
- National Asian Deaf Congress (NADC)
- National Black Deaf Advocates (NBDA)
- National Hispanic Latino Association of the Deaf (NHLAD)
Any past NAD President who seeks an office on the NAD Board of Directors shall not serve on the election committee.
All Past NAD Presidents shall not participate in any campaigns.
The Past NAD Presidents as a whole shall have the power to fill any vacancies that occur on the Election Committee during the term of the committee.
The chair shall be selected among the Past Presidents. The new chair assumes office at least 6 months prior to the conference.
- a. Presides at all meetings of the NADEC.
- b. Prepares meeting agendas and correspondence.
- c. Acts as liaison to the Board of Directors and Delegates in preparation for the elections at the conference, and during the conference.
- d. Review Candidate Filing Form and accompanying materials, and ensure verification of membership prior to approval of candidates.
- e. Ensure candidates review Election Policies and Procedures document and as well as the Election Guidelines.
- f. Review Election documents with the Election Committee prior to the start of the election process to ensure complete understanding of the procedures. Performance of these procedures is strictly limited to the Committee and shall not include any staff members of the NAD with exception to disseminate information to delegates, conference attendees and the community.
- g. Provide the leadership in presiding over elections at the Council of Representatives meeting.
The Election Committee’s role is to carry out NAD Election Policies and Procedures prior to and during the Biennial NAD Conference. Official elections for all position vacancies on the NAD Board of Directors will be held during the Council of Representatives meeting.
The Election Committee has the authority to determine the disqualification of declared candidates if they intentionally and repeatedly violate any of the policies and procedures set forth for NAD elections, as outlined in the Election Policy.
The Election Committee’s charge is to monitor the campaign and election activities to ensure they are in compliance and integrity.
They will review election documents, including Candidate Filing Form and accompanying materials, and ensure verification of membership prior to approval of candidates.
B. Election Process
Candidates on the official Election Committee roster at the start of the biennial national conference shall be entered into the election process.
The Election Committee shall coordinate presentations by candidates for Officer positions immediately after the second session of the Council of Representatives. The Election Committee shall also coordinate presentations by candidates for Regional Board Members positions at the second Regional Caucus for their respective region. All candidates shall make such presentations on their own behalf for a maximum of three minutes each.
Current NAD Bylaws require ballot vote for election of Officers and Regional Board Members during the Council of Representatives. In the case of a single candidate for a position, the Secretary may cast the ballot on behalf of the delegate assembly, at the discretion of the delegates.
Officers and Regional Board Members shall be elected by a Plurality Vote of delegates.
Announcement of election results by the Election Committee shall occur immediately after votes are counted and swearing in of new Officers and Regional Board Members shall take place prior to the close of the conference.
- a. The election shall be held through a ballot available via electronic/paper means to each delegate checked in at the time of election, listing the names of all persons nominated for the office and regional board member positions.
- b. Candidates shall be listed on the ballots in alphabetical order.
The following members who are in good standing are eligible to vote:
- a. Delegates from state associations
- b. Delegate from affiliate organizations
D. Voting Procedures
The Election Committee shall designate a Past President to conduct actual voting for Officers and Regional Board Members during the Council of Representatives meeting.
The selected Past President shall explain voting procedures and ensure with the Credentials Committee that each delegate votes for only one candidate for each available position.
The Election Committee shall select a small group of people who are not delegates to count the ballots, while being monitored by the Election Committee.
The voting process during the third session of the Council of Representatives meeting shall be as follows:
- First, delegates shall consider and vote for candidates for the offices of President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer, respectively.
- Second, delegates shall consider and vote for candidates for the Regional Board Member position in their own Region only.
- Third, delegates running for office cannot vote during the election of the position that they seek.
- Fourth, election results shall be announced by a member of the Past President’s Council upon the Election Committee’s verification of voting results for each office immediately after the election process.
E. Election Standards and Procedures
The following statements include provision of the NAD bylaws and policies of the Board of Directors.
All regular members in good standing are eligible for nomination for election to office, i.e., 2-year membership of both NAD and State Association.
B. Solicitation of Nominations
1. Publication of Notices for Election
- a. The NAD website, and social media outlets shall serve as the major vehicles for announcing the biennial election process and election results.
2. Candidates filing deadline
- a. Candidates shall submit all required items to the Election Committee at least 45 days prior to the start of the conference. Note: the NAD requires candidates to obtain official candidacy status prior to the deadline. The candidate MUST provide documents to prove eligibility status (active NAD and state association memberships, as required).
- b. Any late submissions will not be considered for candidacy, except if there are no other applicants for the respective position(s).
- c. Candidate names posted on the NAD website (with the candidate’s website URL, if applicable) are considered declared and certified by the NAD Election Committee.
- d. After the candidate-filing deadline, video responses to standard questions asked for all candidates will be posted on the NAD website until the end of the election period.
3. Requirements for submission
- a. Candidates must submit:
- i. A letter of intent
- ii. Complete Candidate Filing Form
- iii. Proof of NAD membership status for the two years preceding election. This email verification must be attached to the Candidate Filing Form.
- iv. Proof of state association membership or organizational affiliate membership base status for the two years preceding the biennial conference. This must be provided through an official letter from the state association or organizational officer.
- v. Biographical Statement (150 words or fewer) including information about the candidate’s present employment, national and state association activities, professional affiliations, and awards received. It will be submitted in both English and ASL format.
- vi. Platform Statement (150 words or fewer stating the candidate’s commitment to the Association and position. It will be submitted in both English and ASL format.
- vii. Photograph – preferably a high resolution. Use of NAD logo on attire is not allowed.
4. Candidacy Filing Form
Individuals interested in running for a position on the NAD Board of Directors must complete the five parts of the candidacy submission for consideration on the NAD website under the Conference section. Potential candidates must be a member of the NAD and an affiliate organization (including state association) in good standing for a minimum of two years.
Submissions are due by 30 days prior to the start of the conference. Incomplete or late submissions will not be accepted. For questions, contact the Election Chair at [email protected].
The Election Committee will announce official candidates for officer and regional board member positions on the NAD Board of Directors on the NAD website.
5. Candidacy Confirmation Letter
(The letter below will be sent to candidates whose applications have been reviewed by the Election Committee and deemed to be eligible for official candidacy.)
6. Announcement of Candidates
- a. The NAD shall announce candidates for the office of NAD Board of Directors to the membership at least 30 days before the biennial national conference.
- b. Each candidate shall submit the following materials for distribution:
- Biographical Statement – (150 words or fewer) including information about the candidate’s present employment, national and state association activities, professional affiliations, and awards received.
- Platform Statement – (150 words or fewer) stating the candidates’ commitment to the Association and position. Limited editing will be done on the information received from the candidates. Candidates shall receive a copy of the edited material for approval prior to releasing the information.
- Photograph – preferably a high resolution. Use of NAD logo on attire is not allowed.
C. Campaign Expectations and Protocol
1. General Conduct of Campaigns
A campaign for election shall be conducted in keeping with the ethical standards of the profession. A candidate shall conduct him/herself in a manner that is professional and within the highest standards of personal decorum. A candidate may not speak against an opponent in a personal manner or disparage the opponent in any way.
Propriety and decorum are expected at all times, and each candidate shall refrain from comparing themselves to or naming other candidates prior to and during the conference. Candidates shall communicate this expectation to their campaign team as well as those who provide campaign support. This also applies to the use of their website, and social media, whether it be through Facebook, Twitter, or other platforms.
2. NAD Social Media Policy for Candidates Running for Election
This Social Media Policy is to provide clear guidelines as to what candidates who are participating in the current organization elections should and shouldn’t do when using Social Media to interact with community and supporters for electioneering. The goal is not to censor candidates from airing opinion but to conform within acceptable civility that is commensurate with our organization’s long-standing vision.
a. Four Cardinal Points
- Be Civil
- Be Responsible
- Be Credible and
- Be Responsive
b. Content Privacy
Before creating any social media post that is likely to involve copyright such as film or images, it is vital to make sure that you have obtained appropriate permissions for re-use. This applies to both consent for media content use of our organization’s proprietary contents. Candidates are encouraged to link to contents instead of uploading them.
All candidates will have equal exposure to the NAD’s resources and technical expertise. The access to these resources will not have undue influence on the election outcome.
Before starting a Social Media Campaign, candidates should read NAD Bylaws and Election Guidelines.
e. Voter education
All candidates shall have the freedom to disseminate their campaign materials and manifestos to educate their supporters and fairly win other supporters.
f. Social Media Account Managers
Candidates who use social media account managers will be liable for all posts made by the account manager. It is, therefore, the responsibility of a candidate to ensure that their account managers adhere to the set organizational policies.
Candidates should avoid making negative and improper comments about opponents, the NAD’s Board members, and Staff.
h. Public Image
All candidates for election should understand that their comments reflect not only their personality but also the brand of our organization. As a result, broadcasting of information through social media considered to be defamatory, obscene, or libelous should be avoided.
i. Conflict of Interest
Candidates who are already board members with access to insider information should avoid using this information or give an impression that would create an unequal playing field for other candidates.
j. NAD Social Media Accounts
The NAD’s social media accounts should not be used to campaign for any candidates. These social media channels include any channel owned by or affiliated with the NAD. Candidates with admin access to such accounts are prohibited from using it to promote their candidacy.
NAD accounts should not be used to tag, re-tweet, share posts or communicate with partisan candidates or organizations that have a preferred candidate.
Candidates should avoid making personal views as the official communication of the NAD. Although they may speak about the NAD, they should avoid making statements that could be interpreted as NAD’s position. When expressing personal opinions on organization and election matters, candidates should make it clear that the sentiments are personal and not official statements of NAD.
l. Personal Privacy
All candidates should be cautious about their social media privacy and information they disclose about themselves on social media. The organizations recommend candidates to use the appropriate security settings and social media security measures to protect their private data. They should be aware that Social Media accounts are vulnerable to being hacked and take reasonable precautions to prevent it.
m. Full Disclosure
Candidates should disclose any posts or other materials that are the result of special requests, freebies or similar offers so that the voters are aware of, and are not unfairly influenced by, the content thereof. Candidates should commit to rejecting offers of bribes and to reporting such instances to the election committee.
n. Online activities
All candidates should avoid engaging in online activities that might give a wrong perception regarding the NAD’s policies. Accepting endorsements from extremist groups or persons involved in criminal activities should be avoided.
Candidates should avoid inciting supporters or causing rowdiness during and after the elections.
Online abuse. No candidate shall post information that can create mutual hatred or cause tension between different opposing groups. Candidates should engage only in positive and constructive criticism. Candidates should refrain from criticizing other candidate’s private life that is not associated with their aspiration to serve NAD.
p. Be authentic
All candidates are encouraged to be original. These will help them take responsibility for their thoughts and opinions. Candidates should not post using an alias or another person’s identity.
Candidates should be respectful of all views expressed on social media sites. When publishing their disagreements, candidates should commit to maintaining civility and respect in their style and tone. Candidates should avoid spreading false news and propaganda about other candidates.
Candidates for officer positions may seek members to endorse their candidacy and announce endorsements as a means of providing evidence of qualifications for a position and support for their candidacy.
Candidates must obtain clear and specific written permission to use the name of any person as an endorser and must explain to the endorsing person the exact manner in which the endorser’s name will be used. The board members, employees, and contractors of the NAD are prohibited from endorsing the candidates.
Each candidate may create and publish their own website using the candidate’s desired content and design. The NAD logo and other NAD graphics shall not be used in any form or manner. No other individual, institutional, or organizational websites shall be used for campaigning purposes. The NAD will provide links from its website to the official candidate’s website.
Disclaimer: The candidate’s website is their own creation and responsibility, and the NAD takes no responsibility whatsoever for the information posted. The NAD reserves the right to cut the link between its website and the candidate’s website if campaign propriety and decorum expectations are violated, which is determined by the Election Committee.
Campaign materials must be in keeping with the professional nature of the organization. Normally the content of materials will be limited to a picture of the candidate, a statement of positions, a listing credentials and qualifications, and names of endorsers. Materials may not include visuals or comments regarding an opposing candidate.
Candidate literature, promotional materials, and novelties can only be distributed after the end of each official business meeting (Council of Representatives), and display and/or distribution of such materials are restricted only to designated tables to the sides or rear of the meeting room. Such information shall be available for delegates and members viewing and/or collection. Candidates shall be responsible for placement and removal of materials each day; otherwise, these materials will be discarded during facility cleaning and set-up processes.
T-shirts, hats, pins, buttons, and stickers worn by candidates and the candidate’s supporters are allowed. Other types of promotional materials and novelties may be used, as long as these are approved in advance with NAD Headquarters and the NAD Election Committee, due to facility contractual restrictions; facilities often forbid the use of confetti, balloons, and distribution of food/drink samples.
Large posters that are placed on easels are allowed. Candidates shall be responsible for poster materials and expenses for easel rental. Location and placement of such posters shall be cleared in advance with NAD Headquarters. The candidate and their campaign team members shall not interfere with, remove, or substitute their posters for existing NAD Conference posters.
There shall be no posting of campaign materials or similar items on hotel walls, pillars, dividers, doors, or other hotel surfaces with campaign materials, nor can such materials be affixed to display or surface areas in use by the NAD or other vendors during the conference. The candidate shall be responsible for damage to hotel property if the candidate or their campaign committee violates these regulations.
5. Private Campaign Parties
Candidates may host private campaign parties, however they may not conflict or interfere with scheduled conference events. Candidates shall inform the NAD Election Committee on when their party will be held, to ensure compliance with the rules.
Completion of a Meeting Space Request Form is required (send email request via NAD website; these will be processed on a first come first serve basis. The NAD Headquarters will then authorize the hotel to release space for such events. Please note: All expenses and arrangements for private campaign parties shall be the responsibility of the candidate, including catering arrangements. Candidates may choose to host parties within their hotel rooms or suites, at their own expense. Candidates must also comply with hotel regulations.
6. Personal Appearances
In keeping with the policy that the region “as a whole” may not endorse candidates, candidates for the same office must be offered equal access to region and national functions. If a candidate requests or is invited to appear or speak at the region or national function in the capacity of a candidate, the same access must be actively offered to the opposing candidate.
The Board has charged the NAD Election Committee with the responsibility of monitoring campaign and election activities. A request for a review of a complaint of a potential or alleged election practice violation can be made by any delegate of the Association. In the event of such a request (or complaint), the Chair will immediately notify the Election Committee. If the Committee concludes that a violation has occurred, the Chair will notify the candidate of its violation.
The NAD Election Committee shall determine whether a violation has occurred and, if so, whether the violation is of major or lesser degree. The determination of whether a major violation has occurred will be based on the following:
- Degree of departure from the guidelines
- Degree of harm to the opposing candidate
- Closeness of the election
- Relationship between the departure/violation and the election results.
A violation might also be deemed “major” if it clearly involved a knowing, willful and deliberate disregard of the guidelines, disregard of generally accepted notions of fairness, or a violation of ethical standards. In such instances, the candidate’s behavior rather than its impact on the election would be the prime consideration. “Lesser” or “minor” violations would include technical and inadvertent breaches of the guidelines which in the opinion of the Election Committee had little or no effect on the outcome of the election.
|Speaking negatively about other candidates||1st Offense – Warning|
2nd Offense – Public apology
3rd Offense – Removal of candidacy
|Use of NAD Logo on candidate website||1st Offense – Warning with 24 hours to remove|
2nd Offense – Remove candidate website link from NAD website
|Deliberate use of NAD Logo in attire and materials||1st Offense – Warning|
2nd Offense – Notification to public of violation
|Unprofessional campaign materials||1st Offense – Warning to remove|
2nd Offense – Ban from distributing
3rd Offense – Removal from candidacy
|Unprofessional Behavior as determined by Election Committee||1st Offense – Warning|
2nd Offense – Public apology
3rd Offense – Removal of candidacy
|Violation of Social Media Policy||1st Offense – Warning|
2nd Offense – Public apology
3rd Offense – Removal of candidacy
The Election Committee is responsible for the enforcement.
D. Board Roles
Please see the NAD Bylaws for the roles of each elected Officer and Regional Representative.
E. Core Responsibilities
The NAD Board of Directors shall have general control of the affairs of the Association between biennial national conferences, during which time they shall consider action on conference recommendations.
The Board shall have the power to fill Board vacancies, except for the office of President, as they may occur between biennial national conferences, to appropriate money from the operating fund, and to ensure that the current expenditures of the Association shall not at any time exceed the regular income for each fiscal year.
The NAD Board of Directors also:
- Serves as a whole in the interests of the NAD, its mission, established strategic goals, and its membership.
- Serves as a policy-making board and as the governing body for the organization;
- Provides determination, evaluation, and adoption of governing principles, policies, programs, financial procedures, personnel practices, and courses of action affecting the welfare of the NAD;
- Approves the final budget and ensures that NAD Headquarters and the NAD Board of Directors adhere to the budget;
- Approves and, formally with the President’s signature, signs all programmatic, fiscal and personnel action related to the hiring, setting of goals and objectives, salary, evaluations, and other related actions for the position of the Chief Executive Officer;
- Provides policy direction to the Chief Executive Officer;
- Forms standing and ad hoc committees for various purposes and through which business may be discharged;
- Engages in fundraising activities and membership recruitment; and
- Only in the event of an emergency, performs the administrative functions of NAD Headquarters.
F. Expectations for Board Members
The NAD Board of Directors together shall serve as a whole in the best interests of the organization, its mission, established strategic goals, and its membership. Each member of the Board also has a clear and overriding expectation to engage in development (fundraising) and membership recruitment activities. Board members are expected to demonstrate initiative in NAD endeavors both individually and as a whole. Specifically, this expectation involves the following:
- Committing the requisite time, energy, and knowledge to fulfill Board fundraising goals/targets;
- Demonstrate a mindset to present ideas and opportunities for NAD revenue-generation;
- Developing new national, state, and local corporate and organizational donors;
- Making personal monetary donations (i.e., travel expenses for Board meetings);
- Generating individual donations by members and nonmembers alike; and
- Recruiting individual and organizational affiliate members.
Meeting expectation for NAD Board members are as follows:
- Elected candidates are required to attend the post-conference Board of Directors meeting in the morning after the close of the biennial national conference. Outgoing Board members are also required to attend, to ensure smooth transition.
- The Board of Directors shall meet at least twice each year, or upon the request of the President or at least five Board members.
- Board members are required to attend all scheduled Board of Directors meetings. If, for any reason, a Board member is unable to attend a meeting due to a prior commitment related to job, family emergency, or medical reasons, notification must be provided to the President. It shall be at the President’s discretion whether the absence will be excused or unexcused.
- Each Board officer may have a maximum of two unexcused absences during their two-year term. Each regional Board member is allowed a maximum of two excused absences during their four-year term.
- At any time, the number of unexcused absences goes beyond the maximum allowance, the President shall meet with that Board officer or regional Board member to discuss that person’s situation and come to a resolution.
- If an attendance problem persists, the President will promptly contact the Board member. The President, with the entire Board of Directors at the next Board meeting, will promptly share the Board member’s response. The Board of Directors will decide what actions to take regarding the Board member’s status, termination will be conducted per this policy (or the process specified in the organization’s bylaws.
G. Code of Conduct
Members of the NAD Board of Directors are expected to:
- Listen carefully and respect the opinions of all members of the Board of Directors.
- Listen carefully to the opinions of deaf and hard of hearing constituents within the region and throughout the United States.
- Respect and support the majority decision of the Board of Directors.
- Recognize that the authority of the Board of Directors comes from the Board of Directors as a whole and not from individual members.
- Stay well informed of development that are relevant to issues that may come before the Board of Directors.
- Participate actively during Board of Directors and committee meetings.
- Engage proactively in the role of board liaison either in standing committee or subcommittees.
- Accurately share expressed concerns and needs of NAD constituents to the Association, and the actions of the Board of Directors to NAD constituents.
- Alert the Board of Directors to any issues that have an adverse effect on the Association or its constituents.
- Refer any complaints to the appropriate person in the chain of command.
- Ensure that the NAD is well managed by working with the Chief Executive Officer through policy makingprocess.
- Ensure that the Chief Executive Officer is qualified to manage the staff and work of the Association.
- Represent all deaf and hard of hearing persons in the United States and not just those from a specific geographic region or interest group.
- Consider themselves as “trustees” of the NAD and do their best to ensure that the Association is well maintained, financially secure, growing, and always operating in the best interest of its constituents.
- Constantly strive to learn more about their responsibilities as members of the Board of Director and how to do their job better.
- Declare any conflicts of interest between their persona or professional lives and their positions on the Board of Directors.
- Avoid voting on issues that appear to be a conflict of interest.
- Adhere to all NAD policies.
Members of the NAD Board of Directors are expected not to:
- Discuss or share Board confidential activities/proceedings in public.
- Be critical, during or outside of the Board of Directors meetings, of following Board members or their opinions.
- Use the NAD or any part of the Association for their own personal advantages or for the personal advantages of their friends and/or relatives.
- Disregard the established communication protocols with the President, Standing Committee Chairs, and subcommittee chairs along with Board liaisons and the Chief Executive Officer of the NAD.
All NAD Board of Directors members shall practice the highest degree of confidentiality and integrity.
Board of Directors members shall adhere strictly to all policies of the NAD and its Board of Directors, including this policy of confidentiality.
All print, electronic/digital and video documents/clips on Board business matters are considered confidential and not to be forwarded outside the NAD board and staff unless authorized by the President or Chief Executive Officer.
Board of Directors and Headquarters staff shall not share with any person or organization information that has not been made public unless authorized to do so by the President and/or Chief Executive Officer.
All communication and records regarding questions of misconduct by a Board of Directors member or Headquarters staff shall be kept strictly confidential.
Board of Directors members are not permitted, during or after their term of office/employment, to use information considered confidential by the organization.
Violation of confidentiality is considered a major infraction, and the Board of Directors may assess penalties for such infractions [Refer to state laws, contract requirements, or other policies concerning response to a request from NAD member by writing by subpoena or court order.
I. Conflict of Interest
All NAD Board of Directors members shall complete and sign a Conflict of Interest on the start of each new term of office, and on an annual basis. The Governance Committee shall be responsible for recommendations on how to resolve conflict of interest situations if arisen.
The Board of Directors serves voluntarily; therefore, members shall receive no remuneration from the NAD. Further,
No Board member shall use their position, or the knowledge gained there from, in such a manner as a conflict between the interest of the NAD or any of its affiliates and their personal interest.
Each Board member has a duty to place the interest of the NAD foremost in any dealings with the organization and has a continuing responsibility to comply with the requirements of this policy.
Board or committee members may not obtain for themselves, their relatives, or their friends a material interest of any kind from their association with the NAD.
If a Board member has an interest in a proposed transaction with the NAD in the form of any personal financial interest in the transaction with the outside organization involved in the transaction, or holds a position as a trustee, director, or officer in any such an outside organization, he or she must make full disclosure of such interest before any discussion or negotiation of such transaction occurs.
Any Board or committee member who is aware of a potential conflict of interest with respect to any matter coming before the board or committee shall not be present for any discussion or vote in connection with the matter.
Statement of Receipt and Agreement