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Home Election FAQs During COVID 19

Overview for Districts and Multiple Districts

As global concerns surrounding the Covid-19 virus (“Coronavirus”) expand and world governments take steps to minimize the spread of illness, many districts and multiple districts are inquiring about the obligations and the challenges in holding constitutionally-mandated conventions. LCI understands those concerns, and supports the efforts of districts and multiple districts to ensure the safety of our Lions convention attendees and the community at large.

For districts and multiple districts in areas that are unaffected, and who are able to safely conduct normal business, we recommend that conventions be conducted as planned, but that you continue to monitor the situation in your respective districts.

For those Lions Districts (single, sub- and multiple) that are located in countries where government restrictions are limiting the ability of the district to conduct elections, or where public gatherings are being discouraged or prohibited in order to protect the health and safety of citizens and minimize the potential spread of illness, please be advised that alternative methods for conducting the requisite elections, and conducting voting on any resolutions that are not able to be postponed, will be permissible if district conventions cannot be held in-person.

Many of the provisions of your district’s constitution and by-laws must still be applied to conducting elections, including the following:

  1. Issue an Official Call detailing the time, date and location of the convention
    1. If not being held in person, the official call must indicate
      1. the manner in which voting will be conducted,
      2. when outstanding dues must be paid in order to be entitled to delegates,
      3. when elections will end and ballots must be received (or postmarked if by mail) in order to be considered valid
    2. District must be able to provide evidence sufficiently demonstrating that all Lions Clubs in the district received the necessary information related to the district convention and voting procedures.
  2. Nominating Committee must be named
    1. Candidates must submit their intention to contest for a respective office, and the nominating committee shall validate candidates as provided in the district’s constitution and by-laws
  3. Credentials Committee must be established
    1. Committee must verify club delegate credentials and ensure that only those clubs entitled to delegates are permitted to vote
    2. Committee must ensure that those clubs eligible for delegates receive formal ballots for voting purposes
  4. Elections Committee
    1. The committee is responsible for establishing the ballot format and other election materials, vote tabulation and resolving all questions concerning the validity of individual ballots. The committee's decision shall be final and binding.
    2. If elections are conducted electronically, the elections committee must be permitted to validate or confirm the final vote tabulation.
  5. Secret ballot must used
    1. The confidentiality of each vote applies whether in-person or electronic.
  6. Attendance requirements
    1. Quorum applies whether in-person or electronic and must be documented based on live attendance.

We strongly recommend that all districts seek to comply strictly with the International Constitution and By-Laws and mandatory provisions of the Standard District Constitution and By-Laws in order to minimize the likelihood of an election complaint being filed.

However, please note that all actions taken in good faith by a respective district in an effort to ensure a free and fair election will be taken into consideration in the event a formal election complaint is filed.

If you have any questions, please contact the Legal Division at legal@lionsclubs.org.
 

Election FAQs During COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to adapt the way we work, live and serve. With the current limitations surrounding meeting in groups, Lions Clubs International has developed these helpful answers to some of your most asked questions regarding holding district conventions and club elections. 

  1. May we change the multiple district or district convention to a later date?  
    Yes. We ask that reasonable notice be provided through an official call (or an amended official call if notification has already been provided), and note the district convention shall be held no less than 30 days prior to the convening date of the international convention, and the multiple district convention be held no less than 15 days prior to the convening date of the international convention.
     
  2. May the district convention happen after the multiple district convention if need be?
    Yes.  If there are no resolutions approved at a district convention that must also be ratified at the multiple district convention, a district may hold their convention after the multiple district convention.
     
  3. May we hold our elections electronically? 
    Yes, the International Board of Directors has authorized districts and multiple districts to conduct conventions and/or elections via alternative means, such as mail, email, mobile application or other reasonable method such as utilizing a third-party election vendor.
     
  4. Does LCI recommend a particular platform for meetings or elections?
    Given the complexity and variety of requirements, budgets, and platform options available, it is the responsibility of each club, district, and multiple district to determine which platform best suits their needs. We strongly encourage each club, district, and multiple district to thoroughly research and understand their various options and applicable costs.
     
  5. How can clubs pay dues if banks are closed?
    In the event it is impossible for a Lions club to pay outstanding dues due to bank closures or other government restrictions, district credentials committees are being encouraged to permit delegates for those clubs that are able to produce a demand draft, check, or other payment method that reasonably demonstrates a club’s ability to pay outstanding dues.
     
  6. Are district governors allowed to extend their terms for another year?
    No. The International Constitution prohibits a district governor from succeeding themselves in office. The mandatory provisions of the Standard District Constitution and By-Laws requires districts to elect officers annually, and failure to do so will result in vacancies for the next fiscal year.
     
  7. If we are unable to hold our convention to elect officers, what happens next?  
    If a district convention is not possible and no elections are held electronically or otherwise prior to 30 days before the convening date of the international convention, an anticipated vacancy will be declared for the district officer positions, and the district governor team will be filled under the proper vacancy filling procedure. Should this occur, the Immediate Past District Governor should contact DistrictOfficers@lionsclubs.org and instructions for the process on how to fill these vacancies will be sent.
     
  8. How should “good standing” be determined?
    The Board of Directors has authorized flexible payment of International dues, and Lions clubs in good standing on December 31, 2020 are not being placed in status quo or financial suspension if international dues are outstanding through June 30, 2021. Therefore, in determining “good standing” of a Lions club at a district or multiple district convention for purposes of establishing delegate entitlement, those clubs which are not in financial suspension or status quo and have paid all district and multiple district dues should be considered to be in good standing and eligible for delegates.
    For a Lions club to be considered in “good standing” and eligible for delegates during the International Convention, the Lions club must not be in status quo or financial suspension, and must have
    1. District (Single, Sub-and Multiple) dues and fees paid in full; and
    2. No unpaid balance of International dues and fees greater than U.S.$10; and
    3. No unpaid Lions Clubs International account balance greater than U.S.$50, outstanding ninety (90) days or more.

Any questions or concerns regarding your district or multiple district conventions should be directed to DistrictOfficers@lionsclubs.org

Club Elections

  1. If our club cannot meet, how can we conduct our annual election of club officers? 
    Unless prohibited under a club’s constitution and by-laws, the Standard Club By-Laws permits all Lions clubs to conduct meetings via alternative meeting formats. This allows each Lions club to choose a method of conducting elections that is suitable for those members. This can be via phone, teleconferencing platform, email, or any other method that is acceptable to the Lions club members.

For additional questions or concerns regarding your club operations or elections please contact us via email at clubofficers@lionsclubs.org