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Bar News - January 15, 2010


NHBA Board Election to be Conducted Online

Using a secure website service that specializes in conducting online elections, ballots for the 2010 NHBA Board of Governors will be circulated, completed, and counted electronically.

Paper ballots will be mailed to those voting-eligible members who do not have e-mail addresses; these members can mail in their ballots or use the Internet to log-on to a website where they can cast their votes.
Online voting through a vendor, who validates the eligibility of voters while preserving their anonymity, makes voting easier for members and increases overall voter participation, while reducing costs.

The NHBA reviewed proposals from several online election vendors before choosing Electionsonline.us, an Arlington, VA-based company that serves a number of associations, including the bar associations of Tennessee, Fairfax County (VA) and Washoe County (NV).

Both direct and indirect costs of conducting the annual election will be lower using the electronic distribution method, said NHBA Executive Director Jeannine L. McCoy. Fewer than 400 ballots (for members without e-mail addresses) will be printed and mailed, and all counting will be done electronically. Safeguards are in place to ensure that a Bar member can vote only once.

The ability to allow for electronic voting was approved by NHBA members in amendments to the NHBA Constitution & Bylaws approved at a special membership meeting held Nov. 3, 2008.

"We believe that conducting the election in this manner will improve the election process, increase participation, lower the expense and save some trees," said McCoy. For example, the electronic ballot will link to biographies and statements for each of the candidates so that voters will have information ready at hand when they vote. Previously, voters were mailed only ballots and were referred to the Bar News for the candidate information.

This year’s election will follow the same timeframe as previous elections. The deadline for nomination petitions is Feb. 16; voting begins on March 15 and ends on April 15.

Questions about the balloting can be directed to Denice DeStefano, assistant executive director at ddestefano@nhbar.org.

If you are in doubt about the status of any meeting, please call the Bar Center at 603-224-6942 before you head out.

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