Green Party of the United States
Home Vote Results History Contacts Admin
 National Committee Voting


Proposal Details

Proposal ID220
ProposalResolution to Amend the Rules and Procedures on Internal Elections Policy
PresenterCommittee on Bylaws, Rules Policies and Procedures
Floor ManagerMarc Sanson
Discussion04/17/2006 - 04/30/2006
Voting05/01/2006 - 05/07/2006
Presens Quorum 0.6666
Consens Quorum 0.6666 of Yes and No Votes


On April 1st, 2006, your Committee on Bylaws, Rules, Policies
and Procedures "endorse(d) for the favorable consideration
of the National Committee of the Green Party of the United
States a resolution to amend the Rules and Procedures of the
Green Party of the United States to adopt a new Policy on
Internal Elections."

On behalf of the Committee, it is our honor to here transmit
to the National Committee, this proposal below and to urge your
timely and favorable consideration of this paper.

The one thing Delegates, representing all facets of the recent
controversy arising from the Tulsa Election for Steering
Committee members, can likely agree to is this:
Collectively, we lack any degree of clarity as to what
is intended by the scant fifty-one words of guidance
which exist in the Party's bylaws to govern the conduct
of its internal elections.

It was our intention in drawing these proposed rules to do
so in a way which does not require revisiting the bylaws.
Our intention here has been to codify best and wherever
possible existing practices. It was our intent to create a
procedural framework for the implementation of the fifty-one
words provided by the bylaws.

This paper represents a rewrite of the policy used by the
Georgia Party since 1998, which was adapted originally from the
model then published on the website. This paper
has greatly benefitted from the review of members of the staff
of the Center for Voting and Democracy and by members of the
Proposal 182 Working Group on CoChair Elections. We weighed
their sometimes conflicting advise along with the experience
and wisdom of our Committee members and recommend to you the
below paper. The staff at the Center for Voting and Democracy
were impressed by the scope and completeness of these rules,
are watching this process and wish to publish what it finally
adopted by the National Committee as their new model.

On behalf of the Committee, we stand ready to answer questions
to clarify the author's and the committee's intent in how
this proposed policy is framed, to share with you the input
and feedback we received and to address concerns raised by
any Delegate from a Member State or Caucus.

Please do not hesitate to write should you have any questions.

s/ Hugh Esco, Co-Chair
s/ Jason Nabewaniec, Co-Chair
Committee on Bylaws, Rules, Policies and Procedures
of the Green Party of the United States


A Resolution to endorse for the favorable consideration of the National
Committee of the Green Party of the United States a resolution to amend
the Rules and Procedures of the Green Party of the United States to
adopt a new Policy on Internal Elections.

A Resolution of the
Committee on Bylaws, Rules, Policies and Procedures
of the Green Party of the United States

Resolved, that the Committee on Bylaws, Rules, Policies and Procedures
here endorses for the favorable consideration of the National Committee
of the Green Party of the United States the following resolution to
amend the Party's policy related to the conduct of internal Party

A Resolution to adopt a new policy to govern the conduct of internal
elections, to provide rules for the tabulation of such elections, to
define certain terms, including "winning threshold", to provide for the
form of ballots used in such elections, to provide methods for
resolving ties, to provide that "no-other-candidate" shall be a choice
on each ballot, to provide for the filling of vacancies; to provide for
the certification of software for use in such internal elections; and
for other purposes.

A Resolution of the
National Committee of the
Green Party of the United States

Resolved, that this Policy may be cited as the "Policy on Internal

Resolved, that the Rules and Procedures of the Green Party of the
United States are here amended by inserting at the end a new Article
6., to read as follows:

6. Election Rules for the conduct of the Internal Election of the Party

A. Scope, Definition and Principles


Each election for internal Party office held by the National Committee
of the Party shall be conducted pursuant to this policy. Each chartered
Committee, including the Steering Committee, and Working Group and
Caucus of the Party, while free to develop for the ratification of the
National Committee their own rules to govern internal elections, are
urged to adopt rules governing such elections based on the following
Model Election Rules for Internal Election of the Green Party of the
United States. In the event that any Committee, Working Group or Caucus
of the Party fails to adopt its own rules to govern such internal
elections by one year after the effective date of these Model Election
Rules, this Article shall govern subsequent internal elections unless
and except as amended by the National Committee or the Committee,
Working Group or Caucus in question. Elections to name a Party nominee
for public office shall be conducted according to rules proscribed by
the Rules and Regulations of the Quadrennial Presidential Nominating


"Preference Voting" shall mean a voting system which achieves
representation in deliberative bodies proportional to the support such
representation enjoys among the voters by allowing voters to rank
candidates for the internal Party offices in the order of their choice,
according to the method described and by tabulating votes pursuant to
the rules provided in this Article.


Preference Voting tabulates votes based on the principle that any vote
cast which would not otherwise help elect a voter's most preferred
candidate(s), shall be used to help elect that voter's next most
preferred candidate(s). Thus, if a voter's first choice among the
candidates receives more than enough votes to win, the surplus
proportion of that vote will be transferred to that voter's second or
succeeding (next-highest ranking) choice. Alternatively, if a voter's
first choice candidate is eliminated, that vote instead will be cast
for the voter's second or succeeding (next highest ranking) choice.

B. Ballot Specifications and Directions to Voters

Ballots shall be simple and easy to understand. A sample ballot
illustrating voting procedures shall be available as a part of each
Party election administered under these rules. Except as provided by
Article VI., of the Bylaws of the Green Party of the United States for
the election of Steering Committee members, each election of persons to
serve leadership roles within the Party shall be conducted so as to
provide for the secrecy of each ballot, under procedures provided by
this Policy. On each ballot, in addition to the nominated candidates,
"No other Candidate" and a blank line to allow for a write-in candidate
shall also appear as an option for each office. Directions provided to
voters shall conform substantially to the following specifications:


For each body or office standing for election, vote for as many
candidates as you like by ranking candidates in your order of choice.
Indicate your first choice by marking a "1" next to that candidate's
name, your second choice by marking a "2", and so on. DO NOT ASSIGN ANY
TWO CANDIDATES THE SAME RANK. If you wish, choose only one candidate.
However, if you vote for only one candidate and that candidate has
either already been elected or has been eliminated, your ballot will be
considered "exhausted" and not transferred to any other candidate. Note
that ranking additional candidates cannot affect a higher-choice
candidate's chance to win.

C. Tabulation of Votes

The Committee conducting an election shall name an Election Tabulation
Committee of two or more Committee members, who are not standing for
election, nor represent a state represented by a candidate who is
standing for election. In accordance with the principles expressed
above, ballots shall be counted by the Election Tabulation Committee
according to the following rules:

1. Determination of Victory Threshold

(a) For any given election, the number of votes necessary for a
candidate to guarantee an elected position shall be termed the
"threshold" or "winning threshold," however, candidates including
"no-other-candidate," can win seats with fewer votes than the threshold
if after distributing all surplus votes and distributing the votes of
all eliminated candidates, there remain positions to be filled. Votes
of the candidate last eliminated shall be transferred, and the election
shall be at an end.

(b) The threshold is used to determine transferable surpluses as
defined below. The threshold shall be the fewest number of votes that
can be obtained only by the winning number of candidates. This
threshold is determined by dividing (the number of valid votes cast) by
(the number of seats + 1). In an election to name a single individual
to fill an office, the winning threshold shall be a simple majority of
the non-exhausted ballots cast and these rules may be referred to as
instant run-off voting.

2. Rules regarding the transfer of votes:

The following rules regarding vote transfer shall apply to all stages
of the tabulation:

(a) Votes acquired by a candidate in excess of the threshold for that
election shall be termed their "surplus". A candidate's surplus votes
shall be transferred according to the following rule: transfer a
portion of each vote determined by dividing the surplus of the
candidate by the total number of votes for that candidate, rounded to
the third decimal place, to each voter's next choice. Votes cast for
candidates who are eliminated (as described below) shall be transferred
at their full current value to those voter's next choice(s).

(b) Except as provided by Section G., below, votes may not be
transferred to candidates who have already surpassed the threshold, nor
may votes be transferred to candidates who have been eliminated. When a
voter's next choice is not eligible for receipt of transferred votes,
that vote (or portion of a vote) shall be transferred to the voter's
next indicated choice until all choices on that ballot have been

(c) If a voter omits or mistakenly designates any choice on their
ballot, the vote shall be transferred to that voter's next clearly
indicated choice.

(d) Any votes cast for eligible write-in candidates or for "no other
candidate" shall be tabulated in the same manner as those for
candidates whose names are printed on the ballots; provided that the
voter assigns any such candidate a choice in relation to other
candidates appearing on that ballot for that office.

(e) If a ballot has no more available choices ranked on it, that ballot
shall be declared "exhausted." Ballots ranking two or more candidates
as the voter's first ranked choice shall be declared "exhausted".
Ballots with two candidates sharing the same rank shall be declared
exhausted when a transfer of a surplus would put in doubt which
candidate would next be eligible for the transfer, unless all but one
of the candidates with the shared ranking have already been defeated or
elected making them ineligible to receive a transfer.

3. Stages in the Tabulation for multi-seat positions:

(a) Any candidate who's total votes at any stage of the tabulation
exceeds the winning threshold shall be declared to have won a seat.

(b) Vote counting shall start with a tabulation of first choice votes
and with the transfer of a proportion of any existing surplus votes
according to the rules specified above. Transfer of surpluses shall
commence with the candidate having the largest surplus and proceed
successively to the candidates with the next largest surplus.

(c) If the transfer of surplus votes to voters' next choice candidates
creates a new surplus, then a proportion of these votes shall be
transferred to those voter's succeeding choices, until all surpluses
have been transferred or all declared choices on a ballot have been

(d) When all surplus votes have been distributed in this manner, a
tally shall be taken. Any remaining surpluses created by any transfer
shall once again be transferred, and a new tally taken, until all
surpluses have been transferred. Then the remaining candidate with the
least number of votes shall be eliminated.

(e) This process of transferring surpluses followed by eliminating
candidates with the least number of votes shall continue until the
number of candidates remaining matches the number of positions to be
filled. Votes of the candidate last eliminated shall be transferred,
and the election shall be at an end.

4. Tabulation for single seat positions

If a candidate recieves a majority of the first-choice votes, then that
candidate shall be declared elected. If no candidate receives such a
majority, then the candidate with the fewest first choices shall be
declared defeated. Ballots cast for this defeated candidate shall be
transferred at full value to the next choice candidate marked on each
ballot. Last-place candidates are eliminated and their supporters'
ballots transferred to next-choice candidates who are still in the race
in a similar manner until a candidate receives a majority of votes that
have not been exhausted.

5. Determinations in the case of a Tie:

For ties between candidates occurring at any stage in the tabulation,
determinations shall be made based on whomever was credited with the
most votes at the previous successive stages of tabulation.
Specifically, if in any round of tabulation, two or more candidates
have an equal number of votes, the candidate with the most first
choices shall prevail. If two or more candidates have an equal number
of first choices, than the candidate with a greater number of second
choices shall prevail, and so on. If this information fails to resolve
the tie, the Election Tabulation Committee shall consider the approval
expressed by the ballots determined by the ranks assigned by all the
ballots which ranked each tied candidate in question and whether any
ballots cast ranked no-other-candidate at a higher preference than a
candidate in question.

D. The Conduct of Elections

Except as provided by Article VI., of the Bylaws of the Green Party of
the United States for the election of Steering Committee members, each
election of a Committee or Caucus of the Party subject to these rules,
held to name a person to fill a leadership role, shall be conducted by
secret ballot pursuant to procedures provided in this Policy.

1. Elections conducted face-to-face

For elections held during face-to-face meetings of a Party Committee or
Caucus conducting such election, the election may be conducted using
paper ballots which conform in design to the requirements of this
Policy or by any process provided for in paragraph 2.

2. Elections conducted by a distributed Committee or Caucus

Any election conducted pursuant to these rules by a Committee or Caucus
not meeting at a face-to-face meeting may be conducted on such online
election application as may from time to time be approved for such use
by the National Committee of the Green Party of the United States or by
mail-in ballots. Any election conducted by mail-in ballots shall use
uniformly prepared ballots sealed in an inner-return envelope with no
identifying markings, returned in an outer return envelope bearing
across the seal of the envelope the signature of the Committee or
Caucus member casting the ballot. No signed outer envelope nor unmarked
inner envelope may be opened except at a time and place publicly
announced to the members of the body conducting the election and in the
presence of a quorum of the Election Tabulation Committee and whatever
Party members may wish to observe, except that a Caucus may by Caucus
rule limit observers to Caucus members. Each candidate shall have the
right to be represented by an observor present for all aspects of the
tabulation. Photocopies shall be made of each outer envelope prior to
the tabulation. Outer envelopes shall be opened in a manner which
preserves the signature of the voter authenticating the ballot as their
own. No unmarked inner envelope shall be opened until all signed outer
envelopes have been opened and the resulting secret ballots have been
shuffled to preserve the anonymity of each and every vote. The
tabulation of ballots shall not proceed until the Election Tabulation
Committee has made a determination as to the intent of each voter as
expressed on each ballot.

3. Elections not conducted by Paper Ballots

Each election, not using paper ballots, shall be conducted using the
Voting Pages application, developed by Susan Dridi of the Green Party
of Virginia, the version dated March 5th, 2006, checksum
dc4487de40677313681fc43663154790, or such future version, compliant
with these rules, as may, by resolution of the National Committee, be
certified for such use from time to time.

4. Preservation and Disposition of Election Records

(a) For any election conducted by paper ballots (whether face-to-face
or by mail-in ballots), all original election materials, including
ballots and tally sheets, with an original signed copy of the report of
the Election Tabulation Committee shall be sealed under the signatures
of each Committee member. Such sealed record shall be preserved for a
period equal to the longest term for which the election in question
elects a candidate. Copies of each such document may be preserved for
review. No such sealed original record may be unsealed except by
resolution of the National Committee or by Order of a Court of
competent jurisdiction.

(b) For each election whether conducted using paper ballots or the
voting application, an original signed report of the Elections
Tabulation Committee, including the details of each ballot received
sufficient to permit an independent tabulation, shall be preserved,
published and made available at the principle office of the Party for
inspection by any member of the Party or in the event of a Caucus
election, by any member of the Caucus. An electronic form of the report
shall be published, web-accessible, in the archives of the Party.

(c) Party staff are directed to report annually on the inventory of
such election records being preserved in the Party's offices. Staff may
be authorized to destroy or dispose of such records by resolution of
the Steering Committee, naming which elections' records may be disposed
of pursuant to subparagraph (a) of this paragraph.

E. Certification of Election Results

1. Tabulation & Report

Except for elections conducted by mail-in ballots, immediately upon the
close of the polls the Election Tabulation Committee shall tabulate the
ballots pursuant to these rules. Mail-in ballots shall be tabulated at
a duly noticed face-to-face meeting of the Election Tabulation
Committee. Immediately following the tabulation of such ballots for
elections conducted face-to-face or by mail-in ballot, or within
seventy-two hours for all other elections, the Election Tabulation
Committee shall file its written report on the election with the
Committee or Caucus holding the election. Such report shall declare
which candidates were elected to which seats and for what terms for
each election they are charged with tabulating. The Election Tabulation
Committee shall publish as an appendix to their Report the details of
each ballot received sufficient to permit an independent tabulation.
Such report shall further evaluate the extent to which these rules
anticipated the demands of the election and gave adequate guidance to
the Election Tabulation Committee on the conduct of its

2. Receipt & Right to Challange Election Results

When a Committee or Caucus or its officers are in receipt of such a
report from an Election Tabulation Committee appointed to tabulate one
of its internal elections, or of a properly filed Challenge as
described in paragraph 3., below, such report or Challenge shall be
immediately transmitted to its members, and the question shall be put
to the body, on the eighth day following the transmittal of the report
of the Election Tabulation Committee, on certifying the results as so
reported, and as a distinct question, on sustaining each Challenge as
may have been timely filed. In presenting a question on sustaining a
Challenge, it shall be made clear to the body considering such
Challenge, that to sustain the Challenge is to act to adopt such
amendments to the certification as may be proposed by the sustained
Challenge. Such questions shall be resolved according to the will of a
simple majority of a quorum voting and consistent with the Committee's
or Caucus' usual process for the consideration of procedural motions.

3. The Resolution to a Challenge to Election Results, Proposed for

(a) Any contest to the results proposed by the Election Tabulation
Committee for certification by the body conducting the election shall
be filed within seventy-two hours of the transmittal of the report to
be challenged. It shall take the form of a Challenge to the Election
Results, as Reported by the Election Tabulation Committee on . It shall
set out the facts supporting its contention that the election proposed
to be certified were not conducted in accordance with the rules
governing such elections, and that a proper application of the rules
would have yielded a different result. Such Challenge shall also
propose amendments to the certification report to permit the body to
certify those portions of the report, supportable by the evidence, and
proposing a course of action for the resolution of the remaining
contested seats or questions.

(b) Such a Challenge may be filed by (i) any candidate who appeared on
the ballot by virtue of having been nominated for consideration in such
election, or (ii) any write-in candidate for whom the Election
Tabulation Committee reports that they have received a number of votes
within five percent of the winning threshold necessary to win a seat in
the election or (iii) by any voter who presents evidence that their
ballot was not appropriately recorded in the tabulation of the

(c) If there is objection to the certification, the question of
sustaining the challenge shall be put to the Committee, followed by the
question of Certifying the Report, as amended by any sustained
challenge. The will of a majority of those voting, with the
participation of a quorum of the Committee, shall be binding on each

F. Filling a Vacancy:

Any vacancy on any elected body of the Party shall be filled by interim
appointment by recounting the ballots from the election which elected
that member, by an Election Tabulation Committee designated by the body
experiencing the vacancy, in the manner specified herein, except that
the vacating member's name shall be deleted from all ballots. Any
candidate accruing sufficient votes to surpass the winning threshhold
in the recount that was not elected to office in the original count
shall fill the vacancy. If such a recount fails to resolve a vacancy,
the body may provide for a special election under these rules to fill
the seat until the next regularly scheduled election of the body for
that position. For the purpose of filling vacancies, all ballots shall
be retained by the Secretary or other officer designated by each Party
Committee which conducts elections for a period equal to the longest
term to which one is elected by such ballots. The question of filling
an open seat to which a Committee has made an interim appointment shall
be put before the next regular election of the body.

G. No-Other-Candidate

If at any point in the count, "no-other-candidate" has received a
winning threshold of the votes cast, the election for one seat on the
body is considered complete and the body shall not certify any
candidate as having been elected to that seat. Any surplus votes cast
for "no-other-candidate" shall be transferred to a new instance of
"no-other-candidate" who shall continue to be eligible for the transfer
of surplus votes. A vacancy shall exist and the existing body shall
call for a new election to fill such vacancy pursuant to these rules.


Implementation of this proposal would require the
preparation of sample ballots conforming to the
requirements of the policy. The business logic of the module ought to be reviewed
for conformity with the rules for the resolution
of ties. That same module would also require a patch
to enforce the rounding rule related to the transfer
of fractional surpluses. Elections conducted under
these rules by mail-in ballots would require staff,
printing and postage costs over the costs of elections
as currently conducted.


Hugh Esco ,
Jason Nabewaniec
Co-Chairs, Committee on Bylaws, Rules Policies and Procedures


Questions about this system?
Contact the Voting Admin.
The Green Party of the United States voting system is free software, licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL).
You can download a copy here.
To independently verify a ranked choice vote, or for information about how that works, go to Jonathan Lundell's Voting Page and upload the ballot file from the ranked choice vote result page. JL's ranked choice module is licensed under an alternate free software license.
Green Party of the United States