Elections were not held according to the rules – what can I do?

Max from Tasmania has asked this question:

A motion was passed at a recent meeting and has been acted on. 

My question is it appears that I cannot rescind the motion. What can I do as the election was not held in accordance with all directions, rules and regulations. 

There are two questions here. The first is on the rescission of motions. If the motion has been acted on, there is no point in rescinding the motion – it will achieve nothing.

The second question is about elections not being held in accordance with the rules. Please remember that I am not a lawyer and you may need to seek legal advice. Also, although you have said it is a voluntary organisation, I am not sure if it is incorporated, or a company limited by guarantee and that changes what you can do.

So my answer is general. Firstly, you need to ascertain what evidence exists that the election was not conducted according to the rules. Next, you need to decide just how serious the breach was. Thirdly, because you are a voluntary group,  you need to assess the overall impact of what has happened. If the group is functioning well, albeit maybe being run by people you don’t approve of, then maybe the wisest course of action is to do nothing. It is very important to pick your battles, especially in voluntary groups.

If you do decide to do something, then I suggest you firstly sit down with key people and raise your concerns. Then if necessary, formally write to the people who have done the wrong thing with the evidence and state the course of action you would like to see happen.

If the breach is serious, then I suggest you seek legal advice. If you do this, take all the evidence with you. Lawyers need facts, not opinions and they also need evidence in order to give you accurate advice.

The most important thing to remember is the purpose for which the group exists and whether a challenge to rules being broken is helpful in the long term. Many voluntary groups have been destroyed by people in conflict, losing sight of the purpose for which the group exists.

Please Note: The author is not a lawyer and accepts no responsibility for anything which occurs directly or indirectly as a result of using any of the suggestions or procedures detailed in this blog. All suggestions and procedures are provided in good faith as general guidelines only and should be used in conjunction with relevant legislation, constitutions, rules, laws, by-laws, and with reasonable judgement.

 

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