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Bar News - January 14, 2011

NHBA Board Election to Be Conducted Online

The 2011 NH Bar Association elections will be again be conducted online. Ballots for the 2011 NHBA Board of Governors will be circulated, completed, and counted electronically, through an online voting vendor who validates the eligibility of voters while preserving their anonymity. The process makes voting easier for members and increases voter participation, all while decreasing costs.

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.

The NH Bar Association in 2010 reviewed proposals from several online election vendors before choosing Elections Online, an Arlington, VA-based company that serves a number of associations.

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.

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

Questions about the balloting can be directed to Denice DeStefano, assistant executive director.

Supreme Court Rule 42(9) requires all NH admitted attorneys to notify the Bar Association of any address change, home or office.

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