Definition of Terms:
         Voting Members: Members of the Home who have reached the age of 16, and who have been in the Family for at least six months.
         Simple Majority: A vote in which the will of over 50% of the voting members determines the outcome of the vote
         Two-thirds Majority: A vote in which 67% (two out of three voting members) must give an affirmative vote for a measure to pass.

A. General Voting Rules.

1. Unless specified otherwise in the "Charter of Responsibilities and Rights" or in the Election Rules, a simple majority determines the outcome of the matter being voted on.

         If you cannot get a unanimous vote, a simple majority will have to do rather than hold up the wheels of progress! (ML #663:vii-1.)

2. A two-thirds majority is required to determine the outcome on any financial matter being voted on. Only voting members 18 and over may vote on financial matters.

         No major [financial] decisions or purchases, etc., shall be made ... without at least a two-thirds consent of the local Colony Council (ML #329B:44).

3. Unless specified otherwise in the Election Rules, a Home must determine its own method of balloting. Since Homes must vote on a variety of matters, they should find a practical and efficient method of balloting.
         There are some voting procedures that require the use of a
secret ballot, and in such cases the Home must use a secret ballot as the method of voting. Most of the votes that will be conducted by the Homes will not require secret balloting, and therefore each Home may decide what method of voting it will use. Such methods could include a discussion and simple show of hands, or checking off a chart left on the Home's bulletin board, etc. There may be many different options, and the Home must decide by a simple majority which option to use.

4. If a voting member abstains from voting on a matter, a Home's voting population is decreased by one for that vote.

         Allowing abstentions is a good idea. They may not know, so rather than vote against it, they could just not vote (ML #671:16).

5. If a voting member is absent from a Home at the time a vote is taken, he must be informed and allowed to cast his vote on the matter, either at that time or upon his return.

         Any absentees can vote by mail or telephone, whichever is necessary, according to the urgency of the situation (ML #336A:36).

a) In the absence of a voting member, a Home can still vote on a matter and enact the outcome. If, however, the vote of an absent member causes a change in the outcome of a Home's vote, the matter enacted will cease.

b) The absent member can, if he chooses, appoint a proxy (one who will vote in his place). If a proxy is appointed, the absent member cannot vote upon his return on a matter that was voted on in his absence, as his proxy already cast his vote.

(1) The proxy cannot vote in place of the absent member on financial matters.

B. Home Officer Elections.

1. Elections for Home officers are to be held prior to the required date, as stipulated by your respective continental office, for your February and August Home monthly report.

a) Elections of temporary Home officers must be held within seven days of a new Home opening. Within 90 days of the new Home opening, another Home officer election must be held.
         When a
new Home opens, the members must hold immediate Home teamwork elections to elect a temporary teamwork. Sometime during the next 90 days, preferably once the new Home has gathered most or all of their personnel, they must hold another election.
         Then, on the date for the
next Home teamwork election, or vote of confirmation, the Home would conduct another election or a vote of confirmation, so as to be synchronized with other Homes worldwide.

2. One week before the home officer elections, the Home must read Home Election Guidelines in LNF 217 (Appendix D), and hold a meeting in which Home members can submit nominations.

a) Nominations must have a second, and nominated members have the right to decline a nomination.

b) The names of those nominated must be posted in the Home until the election is held.

c) Homes of more than three voting members must have at least three Home officers who are responsible for Personnel, Outreach, Business, and Childcare (if there are children). If there are only three officers, then one would have to take two of these portfolios. The Home can decide by a simple majority if they want to have more than three Home officers.

d) Only voting members can be nominated and elected to be Home officers.

(1) Since 16- and 17-year-old members have no vote in financial matters, they are not eligible for the Business Home officer position.

(2) Members 16 through 20, and voting members who have been live-in Charter Members for less than one year, will be considered "trainees" for their first six months as a Home officer if it is their first time ever as a Home officer, as outlined in point 6 of the Home Election Guidelines in Appendix D.

3. Each Home officer position (not portfolio) must be voted on in separate balloting. A simple majority determines the order of which position will be voted for first.

4. Once a nominee is elected to a position, they are not eligible for nominations to any other Home officer positions.

5. Elections must be by secret ballot.

6. The Home officer nominee who receives the most votes for each Home officer position will therefore occupy that position.

7. A committee of three people, one Home officer and two other members selected by the Home who are not Home officers, must count the votes. (Preferably not someone who has been nominated for a Home officer position.) This committee announces the results of the election.

a) In the event of a tie vote, a run-off election for that Home officer position is held.

(1) If the tie is unbroken after three run-off elections, then the Home must decide, by a simple majority, if the two candidates should both become part of the Home's officers, or if they should alternate being Home officers, one for the first three months of office and the other for the second three months.

8. Once the election is held and the results announced, the term of office begins immediately.

a) An outgoing Home officer must turn over all files, Home records, HER fund locations, etc., held in their portfolio, to the new incoming Home officers within 24 hours of the election.

9. If a Home officer position becomes vacant, or a Home officer resigns, the Home must hold an election within seven days to fill the position. The person elected to this position holds the office until the next election date.
         Teamwork elections should generally be conducted something like this: Before the elections, the Home should decide exactly what teamwork positions their Home will have. They must have three teamworkers who are responsible for Personnel, Outreach, Business, and Childcare (unless there are no children). However, they may want to have a
separate teamworker for teens, and/or some other portfolios, depending on the size and need of the Home.

         A week before the election the voting members should read the Home Election Guidelines LNF in Appendix D. They would then nominate those they feel should be on the teamwork. This list of nominees who receive a second would be displayed in the Home, without listing which teamwork position these nominees might fill.
         On election day the Home would decide which teamwork position will be voted on first, second, etc. A "position" may contain more than one portfolio, if the Home has decided on a three-person teamwork. Then the Home would, from the list of nominees, vote for someone to fill the first position. These votes would then be counted and the person who had the most votes for that position would be announced. Then the Home would vote for someone to fill the second position, again from the list of remaining nominees. After the results are known, each succeeding position would be voted for until they are all filled.
         Once elected, new Home officers should read the Obligations of All Family Officers and the Responsibilities and Authority of Home Officers and take time to hear from the Lord in prophecy for any specifics He has for them in their new job, and areas they can continue to work on and grow in when it comes to their care of their Home and its members.

From now on, each Home should hold mandatory teamwork elections. ... The voting in these elections should be by secret ballot, and you will have the opportunity to either vote in new teamwork members or to confirm your present teamwork. If you feel one or more members of your Home teamwork have not been good shepherds, you will have the opportunity to vote them out and vote in someone who you feel would do a better job. This is nothing new, each Home is supposed to have regular teamwork elections. We want you to be able to choose your own Home teamwork, people you love and trust and respect as good shepherds, those who have courage to make the difficult decisions which shepherds need to make, who can encourage you to do your best for the Lord and His work, and who can correct you when you're not doing your best. These elections are not popularity contests, and you have a serious responsibility to desperately pray for the Lord to lead and guide you to choose those whom He wants to shepherd the Home. The elections should be accompanied by united prayer for the Lord's help and guidance (ML #2865:68,69).

C. Vote of Confirmation.
         Since the election of Home teamworks has now been changed from every three months to every
six months, there is now a vote of confirmation that must be held three months after every scheduled Home teamwork election. The purpose of this mid-term confirmation vote is to make it possible to call for a new election should you find your teamwork incapable of doing the job, or if for some other reason the Home feels they should be removed from office. Since the majority of the Home elected the Home teamwork in the first place, it will require a two-thirds majority to recall them from office at the time of the vote of confirmation.
         Since voting to recall your Home teamwork is a rather sensitive matter, the vote of confirmation is to be held by
secret ballot, a simple yes/no type of vote, and must be held whether everyone is generally happy with the performance of the teamwork or not.

         A Colony shepherd should be elected for a period of not less than three to six months to give him time to prove his capability, unless he thoroughly disqualifies himself, in which event a new election must be held to select a new leader (ML #329B:41).

1. A vote of confirmation is a voting procedure held midway through the Home officers' period of office to confirm that they have the support of the Home. The Vote of Confirmation must be held, by secret ballot, by the required date, as stipulated by your respective continental office, for your May and November monthly report.

a) For Home officers the printed ballot should read:
         I confirm my Home teamwork: yes___ no ____

b) If a two-thirds majority vote against confirming the Home's officers, the Home will hold Home elections within seven days, in accordance with the Election Rules.

(1) The term of office of a new Home officer in such a case is only until the next Home Election date.
         When the Home engages in a vote of confirmation, they vote for or against the teamwork as a
whole. So if there is one member of your teamwork who you feel is not doing a good job and you definitely don't want them to finish the second three months of their term of office, you would need to vote against the whole teamwork. If the Home's vote determines that the teamwork is not confirmed, then a new election would be called and you could nominate those teamwork members who you feel were doing a good job to be on the next teamwork.

2. Although the area officers are appointed by the continental office, a vote of confirmation by Home Referendum for the area officers must be held, by secret ballot, by the required date, as stipulated by your respective continental office, for your May and November monthly report. A Home's vote is the consensus of the majority vote of its members, and area officers' confirmation will be determined by a simple majority of the voting Homes.

a) For area officers, the printed secret ballot given to all voting members should read:
         I vote to confirm: [Officer's name] yes ____ no ____.
         I vote to confirm: [Officer's name] yes ____ no ____.

b) The Home's vote would then be tallied. If the tally results in not confirming the area officer(s), then it must be sent to the continental office with their May and November monthly report, as follows:
The majority of our Home votes:
         [Officer's name] yes ____ no ____.
         [Officer's name] yes ____ no ____.

c) It is not necessary to send affirmative votes of confirmation for area officers to the continental office.
         Area officers are appointed by the CROs; however, the Homes must confirm their appointment twice a year. If you do not feel one or more of the VSs should be on the VS teamwork, you should let your feelings be known through your vote.
         For convenience, the area office vote of confirmation will be held on the same dates as the Home teamwork vote of confirmation, that is, before the Home reporting dates for May and November. Unlike a Home teamwork confirmation, in this case you are to confirm each
individual officer, and not the VS teamwork as a whole. When voting for the area officers, the ballot must list the names of all the area officers, so members can then tick the "yes" or "no" confirmation box for each particular area officer.

         Rather than requiring all area officer confirmations to be sent into the continental office, necessitating extra paperwork and communications and additional paper work for the offices, you are only required to send in your votes if your Home votes not to confirm one or more of its area officers. This means that if you do not send in your votes you are voting yes to confirmation of your area officers.

D. Home referendum.

1. A Home referendum is a voting procedure conducted by the continental office at any time to vote on area or country goals, and must be conducted as follows:

a) The office holding the referendum must submit a written proposal stating exactly what the Homes are being asked to vote on. This proposal must list both the pros and cons, and be read by the Home's voting members.

b) Each Home, regardless of size, counts as one vote. A simple majority determines the Home's vote unless it is regarding a financial matter, in which case a two-thirds majority determines it.

(1) A Home's vote must be conveyed, in the quickest possible manner, to the office conducting the referendum.

(2) The results of the Home referendum must be made public to all the participating Homes.

c) The outcome of the referendum is decided by a simple majority of the voting Homes, unless it is regarding a financial matter, in which case a two-thirds majority determines it.

2. Area goals can be initiated at any time by Home Referendum. All area goals are subject to a vote of confirmation every six months by Home Referendum, in May and November. Area goals are confirmed by a simple majority of the voting Homes, or a two-thirds majority if it is regarding a financial matter.

a) Homes that vote to not confirm one or more of their area goals must send their opposing votes in to the continental office on or before their May and November monthly report. It is not necessary to send affirmative votes of confirmation for area goals to the continental office.

         Decisions which affect other Colonies in an area should not be made without consultation with them (ML #297:80).
         Please be prayerful about any new changes, and counsel and pray with those in your Home or in your fellowship area, as well as with your [CROs] (Maria #83:13).

b) For a vote of confirmation on area goals the printed ballot should read:
         Area goal 1 (description)        yes ____ no ____
         Area goal 2 (description)        yes ____ no ____

c) The Home's vote would then be tallied. If the tally results in not confirming the area goal(s) then it must be sent to the continental office on or before their May and November monthly report, as follows:
The majority of our Home votes:

         [Area goal No. __ (description] yes ____ no ____.
         [Area goal No. __ (description] yes ____ no ____.

         Since the vote of confirmation will be held in May and November to confirm Home teamworks, area officers and area goals that are presently in effect,
all of this information could be presented to the Homes simultaneously on one form.

Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family