Vote at 10/24 meeting to improve NWTA elections process

The NWTA has grown tremendously in the past few years, and that has highlighted some challenges with the way we elect our board members. We are proposing changes to our board election process in order to create a more open equitable system, and bring more members into the elections process by increasing access and convenience.

Current NWTA bylaws specify that the Board of Directors election is in person at our January member meeting. With over 5000 members, it is not realistic to gather a majority of the membership together in one room for in-person voting. NWTA also has members throughout the region, and it can be challenging to get to the meetings. To address these issues, we propose the following system for Board of Directors elections: NWTA will have an annual 4 week voting window. The voting will be linked to your membership account and will be conducted electronically so that members have ample time to make informed choices and vote. Winning candidates will be announced at the January member meeting. 

Also there are a couple updates on voting eligibility:

  • To be aligned with Oregon non-profit statutes, we are clarifying that multi-person memberships will have one vote per position/topic submitted by the primary member on that membership.
  • Annual members that are current on dues, or Monthly members that have been current on dues for the preceding 12 months qualify for voting privileges.

With this new proposed system, we are also clarifying the process of how candidates apply to and qualify for the Board of Directors ballot. 

  • Candidates will apply through an application process where the specific qualifications sought will be published.
  • Incumbent board members shall compete in the same process as new candidates.

Our bylaws specify that any change to how board members are elected requires a ⅔ majority vote of members present at the meeting where the change is proposed. If those present at the October membership meeting do not vote in the package of proposed changes by a ⅔ majority vote, no change can be made and we will have to continue using  the current method of electing board members.

NWTA’s Board of Directors supports the proposed change to a voting window and electronic voting, as a way to increase participation and equity in the elections process for all members. Please come out to our August membership meeting Tuesday 10/24/2023 at from 6:30-8:30 at The Lucky Labrador Brew Pub (on Hawthorne) and make your voice heard, and help us modernize our elections process.

Lucky Labrador Brew Pub

915 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR 97214

See below for proposed changes to NWTA bylaws: (strike through shows what has been removed, red shows what has been added.

Article III


Section 1: PRIVILEGES AND RESPONSIBILITIES. Membership may be established, from time to time, by NWTA and provide both voting and nonvoting privileges. Members shall support NWTA’s mission and purpose, although members may choose to not participate in or publicly support any particular action taken by NWTA without relinquishing membership privileges. NWTA members are also members of IMBA.

Membership categories may include:

A. Supporting Members Membership – shall consist of such an individual, multiple individuals, organizations, and or agencies, as are interested in furthering NWTA’s purpose mission.

B. Board Members.

Section 1: ELIGIBILITY. Individuals, groups of individuals, organizations, and agencies that are interested in furthering NWTA’s mission and purpose are eligible for a Voting or Honorary membership.

Section 2: DUES. NWTA may, from time to time, establish annual dues for Membership.

Section 2: GOOD STANDING AND DUES. NWTA may, from time to time, establish annual dues for membership to support the organization. A membership is in good standing if all required dues set by the Board have been paid. Failure to pay required dues may result in loss of membership in accordance with these bylaws.

Section 3: DESIGNATION AND ADMISSION. NWTA shall have two classes of memberships: “Voting Membership” and “Honorary Membership.”

A. Voting Membership. A Voting Membership shall consist of an eligible membership that has committed at least 12 consecutive months of support, inclusive of the ballot submission date.
B. Honorary Membership. An Honorary Membership shall consist of an eligible membership that does not meet the qualifications of a voting membership. Honorary memberships do not have voting rights.

Section 4: VOTING. Individual members Each Voting Membership whose dues are current shall be entitled to one vote per position/topic (1) on election of Board members and (2) on any other matter the Board may refer to the membership for a vote; which vote may be electronically submitted at the discretion of the president. Election of Board members shall be done by vote each year with ballots open for the 4 weeks preceding at the January general annual membership meeting. The ballot will be submitted by the primary member of the membership.

Article VII


Section 1

B. NOMINATING ELECTIONS COMMITTEE. A Nominating An Elections Committee consisting of at least five (5) members, the make-up of which may be some current Board members and at least one Supporting Individual Voting Member who is not a current Board member. Candidates for a Board position cannot be a member of the Elections Committee. The Board shall appoint members of the Nominating Elections Committee. The Committee’s duties shall be executed in as follows to:

1. Assess and identify specific skills, and expertise, and qualifications needed for the Board.

2. Solicit and recruit names of Board member nominees from the membership and community at large. Solicit candidates for election to Board service, by organizing and executing a public application process with clearly defined qualifications.

3. Nominate Board member candidates who agree to become members in good standing meet the published qualifications.

4.  Evaluate the performance of existing Board members and Officers and recommend actions to the Board. 

Nominees for a Board position cannot be a member of the Nominating Committee.