Election Committee Procedures

I. COMPOSITION of the Subcommittee:

The Election Committee (EC) shall consist of seven (7) members chosen from the Project-wide membership. Four members will serve as EC representatives for the XXGenWeb States, one will serve as the EC representative for the Archives and other Special Projects, one will serve as a Representative-At-Large and one will serve as Dataset Manager. From these members, the EC shall choose a Chair and a Publicist-Secretary, each to serve for one year as defined in Article III. The Chair of the EC shall vote only in the case of a tie.

The National Coordinator (NC), as ex-officio member, and one other non-voting Advisory Board (AB) Representative chosen by the Board, shall serve as advisors on the EC subcommittee. They shall not be eligible to be either the Chair of the EC or its Publicist-Secretary.

II. FORMATION of the Subcommittee:


1. As necessary to select new or replacement EC Members, the EC will publish a Call for Volunteers by sending it to the National Coordinator to post on BOARD-L, followed by posting it on the on the Election Committee's Webpage as well as disseminating the call  to USGENWEB-Discuss, STATE- COORD, USGENWEB-ALL, the Special Projects mailing lists, the regional mailing  lists, and any lists or other avenue appropriate to reach the most volunteers including if necessary a personal e-mail to each project volunteer.  The subject of the message should reflect the nature of the message.  (Call for volunteers, reminder about registering to vote in an upcoming election, etc.)

2. Any member of the project who is eligible to vote is eligible for membership in the EC, the exception being that no Advisory Board member may serve as a working member of the EC.  From the list of volunteers, the EC shall select new or replacement members for the EC. This list of volunteers shall then be submitted to the Advisory Board for approval and confirmation. The Advisory Board shall not be allowed to "pick and choose" any individual committee member, but must approve or disapprove the slate as a whole.. Should the Advisory Board disapprove the slate of members in its entirety, the process shall be repeated.


1. If deemed necessary by the EC, the EC may take on additional temporary workers May 1st through the final announcement of National Election Results.

2. The selection of the EC Chair and the EC Publicist- Secretary shall be made by secret ballot sent to the two Advisory Board members for counting and verification. Both Advisory Board members to the EC list shall post the results of the voting. The results of the secret ballot will be forwarded to BOARD by the Advisory Board.members for the record.


1. Because the election process is confidential, and membership data is personal, all EC volunteers must state a willingness to abide by total confidentiality.  Volunteers must also state they understand that violation of this confidentiality agreement will result in immediate expulsion from the EC.  Furthermore, the expelled volunteer may not serve on the EC again.


1. Any EC member or individual (including those from the AB) that is subscribed to the EC List, is required to notify the EC chair of his or her intent to accept a nomination in any election conducted by the EC. The notification must be made no later than 24 hours before the opening of nominations, so that he/she may be temporarily unsubscribed from the EC List.

2. If the member does not accept a nomination, he/she may rejoin the EC at the end of the nomination period. If the member accepts a nomination, he/she may rejoin the EC once the election has reached a final conclusion regarding the position he/she was seeking.

III. TENURE of the Subcommittee:

A. Regular terms (not the filling of unexpired terms) shall run for two years. Newly appointed members may be appointed to either two or one year terms as is necessary to stagger the turnover in EC members. The terms of the DM and the RAL should always be staggered.

B. Terms shall be from January 1 to December 31. EC members, whether appointed to fill an unexpired term or appointed to fill a full 2-year term may volunteer for and be reappointed for additional terms.

C. EC Members may be removed, by a simple majority vote of the EC, for cause including but not limited to: failure to perform his/her duties on the EC especially during critical election periods; disruptive, inappropriate, or unprofessional behavior either on the EC list or publicly; public or private breech breach of confidentiality of either the EC list or Project members information; non-responsiveness; and/or other actions which present a conflict of interest or are not in keeping with the intent and spirit of the EC.

D. If the EC Members vote to allow the offending member to stay, the Chair may then remove her/him for showing continued unprofessional behavior or any other as given above for one more infraction without a membership vote. This will be true for the remainder of the member's term.

E. By majority vote of the EC, the EC may petition the AB for removal  from the EC, of the AB Advisor to the EC for the same reasons as above. The request is sent via the NC who will forward the petition along with documentation to EXEC. The Advisory Board will give a review of the request high priority.

F. Replacement of EC members shall be handled in the same manner as section II, subsection A.2, above.

IV. DUTIES of the Subcommittee:

A. The EC's primary responsibility shall be to conduct the USGenWeb Project's Annual Election. The EC may conduct other polls or elections within the Project, as appropriate.

B. The EC shall be responsible for maintaining a Project wide Membership List.

1. Such Membership List shall be updated on a continuing basis through the following:

2. Use of the Membership List:

C. The Election Committee shall also be responsible for maintaining an up-to-date Registered Voter List:

1. All Project members, who are eligible to vote, shall also be eligible to register to vote.

2. The Registered Voter List shall be updated on a continuing basis through the following:

3. For polls and other appropriate elections, a period of two weeks shall be provided for registrations, unless all eligible voters have registered to vote prior to the expiration of said registration period.

4. Registration is necessary for all elections conducted by the EC.

5. Verification of all voter registrations shall be determined by:

6. Though members may use various email addresses for the projects they are associated with, only one name and e-mail address will be maintained on the voter list. Each member should register once using one name and one email address. Multiple registrations under multiple names and/or email addresses will be handled as a discrepancy.

7. Use of Registered Voter List:

8. Members shall be removed from the Registered Voter List under the following circumstances:

D. The Publicist Secretary or the EC Chair shall manage communications to the Advisory Board and to the project as a whole via appropriate project lists, and any other avenues deemed appropriate during day-to-day operations of the Committee.

E. The Publicist Secretary or the EC Chair shall be responsible for writing quarterly and post-election reports for submission to the Board and the Project.


A. All members of the Project (as defined in USGenWeb By-Laws ARTICLE  IV. MEMBERSHIP) shall be eligible to register to vote and to vote in  any election or poll in which they are a qualified voter.  A requirement that one be a member for at least 30 days prior to the start of an election is acceptable purely on an administrative basis. State-level or Special Project-level voting restrictions shall not affect a member's right to register to vote, and as a registered voter to vote in any national level election or poll.

B. Challenges to a member's eligibility to vote shall in no  circumstances be addressed by the EC. The XXGenWeb State Coordinator or Project Coordinator shall address the challenge in a timely fashion so as to allow the person to vote in the current election. If they do not, the person shall be given the benefit of the doubt and allowed to vote. If a Local Coordinator continues to challenge the decision of the State Coordinator, then the matter shall be referred to the regional Advisory Board rep. If the Local Coordinator continues to challenge the decision made by the Regional Advisory  Board Representative, then the matter shall be referred to the entire AB. The decision of the entire Advisory Board shall be final. However, should the matter fail to be decided before the end of  should there be no decision on the matter, any election or voting issue the person shall be given the right to vote by default.

C. Eligible registered voters may vote once for each region or special project position, for which they are eligible, once for national positions including NC and RAL, and once for any national issue that may be placed on a ballot, including but not limited to bylaws amendments. Changing a vote will not be permitted.


A.  When nominations are made, the EC shall be responsible for  obtaining verification that the nominees are eligible to run for and  hold the office for which they are nominated, by contacting the appropriate project leadership, and based solely on the criteria in  Article VI, Section I of the Bylaws. No determination of eligibility shall be made by the EC, including that of good standing. Nominees  shall be assumed to be in good standing unless determined otherwise by the Advisory Board or State Coordinators or Special Projects leadership.

B. It is consistent with the spirit of Bylaws Article VI, Section I. that Assistant State Coordinators and State Co-Coordinators shall have the same right and privilege as State Coordinators to run for and hold office.

C.  Contact persons for eligibility verification:

D.  In the event the appropriate project leadership does not respond in a timely fashion, the NC or an available AB Representative will be contacted.

E. If the nominee or member challenges a finding that they are ineligible to run for and hold office, or to vote, the EC shall in no circumstances make a ruling on the challenge. It shall be incumbent upon the Advisory Board to address the challenge in a timely fashion. In the case of a nominee, not later than two days after the close of nominations; in the case of voting, not later than one week prior to the voting period.

F. Nominees shall have a period of 48 hours from the time that they are notified of their nomination to inform the EC of their decision.

G. In the event two AB seats are available in a region (one to fill an early vacated seat, the other to fill a full term seat). Members shall be nominated for either the two-year term, or the one-year term. Voting will be handled as usual.

VII. VOTING Mechanism

The voting mechanism selected should be confidential and secure,  accept votes according to member participation and eligibility to vote for an individual position, give notice either online or via personal email that the vote or votes were recorded, count votes and return reliable results within a short period. It should also be flexible, and free.


A. The EC shall be responsible for maintaining a web site for the EC that shall include but is not limited to a page or pages easily accessible from the home page:

1. Containing a form (or forms) to allow members to Register, make changes to their individual information including changes in Project participation and email address, and the ability to remove their names from Registration.

2. Containing a form (or forms) to allow local project leadership or appointed contact persons to inform the EC of changes within their membership.

3. Detailing eligibility guidelines including how and who to  contact regarding problems or questions;

4. Listing all EC members with emails both hyperlinked and written out, their region of responsibility including the listing of the states in each region, as well as noting the names and email addresses of the current Chair and Publicist-Secretary; In addition the website should include:

B. A page linking to all quarterly election committee reports from the first of those given to date;

C. During an election period a page listing all candidates with URLs to their campaign pages both both hyperlinked and written out.

D.  A page containing information on past members of the Advisory Board.

E.  A page containing information on past members of the Election Committee.


The voting period for the National Elections shall be July 1 through July 31, with any necessary run-off elections scheduled to begin as soon as possible after July 31.

Amendment History:

Amended 14 October 2021 by the USGenWeb Advisory Board Motion 2021/22-06
Revised I. COMPOSITION, to change the required number of Regional/SP members from two to one.
Removed II. SERVING, Section C.1., term limits for officers.
Amended III. TENURE, Section A., to vary term length of new members.
Amended IV. DUTIES, Section C.3., to allow eliminating or shortened registration periods for State/local elections when appropriate.
Amended 13 November 2017 by the USGenWeb Advisory Board Motion 2017/18-04
Revised Section IV. C., Paragraph 8. a., to clarify when a member shall be removed from the Membership List due to chronic bounces
Revised June 2011 by the USGenWeb Advisory Board Motion 2010/11-15
Section numbers changed to conform to standard numbering format adopted 20 Jun 2009 by the USGenWeb Advisory Board Motion 2009/10-11
Amended 16 January 2009 by the USGenWeb Advisory Board Motion 2008/09-07
Revision of I. Composition of the Subcommittee
Revision of one part of a sentence for clarity, Section 2, Paragraph 1.
Revision of Section 2, paragraph 5 for clarity
Addition and revision of Section 3, Paragraphs 4 and 5.
Revision of Section B, 2c
Revision of Section II Use of the Membership list for clarity.
Revision and addition to 2, c. i, ii.
Removed paragraph section III. Use of Registered Voter List, 4.
Revised paragraph for clarity Section III, C, Paragraphs 3 and 5.
Revised paragraph for clarity Section III, D, Paragraphs 6 and 7.
Removed Section E, Paragraph 2.
Revised Section F for clarity.
Amended 8 March 2006 by the USGenWeb Advisory Board Motion 06-01a (06-02)
Revision of Section B, Paragraph 3.
Amended 11 September 2004 by the USGenWeb Advisory Board Motion 04-17
Insertion of clarifying paragraphs regarding terms of EC Members and Officers.
Amended 17 April 2004 by the USGenWeb Advisory Board Motion 04-10
Removal of Item "i." in Section B, Paragraph 4, Number II:
"i. The appropriate local leadership or appointed contact person will be notified."
Amended 24 January 2004 by the USGenWeb Advisory Board Motion 04-04
Revision of A, Section 1
Amended 25 November 2003 by the USGenWeb Advisory Board Motion 03-24
Additon of Section G.
Amended 7 November 2003 by the USGenWeb National Coordinator.
Addition of Paragraph 2, in Section D.: "It is consistent with the spirit of Bylaws Article VI, Section 9 that Assistant State Coordinators and State Co-Coordinators shall have the same right and privilege as State Coordinators to run for and hold office."
Revised 31 October 2003 by the USGenWeb Advisory Board Motion 03-22


Quick Links
Contact Us

The USGenWeb Project, Free Genealogy Online The Election Committee of the USGenWeb Project is a non-partisan standing committee charged with managing national polls and elections for the Project; providing a secure voting system; maintaining an up-to-date and accurate list of all members; and providing Volunteers with information about elections and candidates. It is not affiliated with any other election, voting, or campaign project or committee. Contact , EC Chair, or your regional EC Representative with questions and concerns.