District Council Meeting – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
District leader elections are held at District Councils’ annual meetings at District conferences worldwide between March 15 and June 1. All district officers must be paid members of Toastmasters International for the duration of their terms. See District Administrative Bylaws, Article VII: Officers, (d) Qualifications. Rules exist within Toastmasters International (TMI) to ensure that these elections are conducted fairly and without prejudice. The District Leadership Handbook page 83 onward states:
District Leader Election Voting Privileges
The only members who may vote in a District election are members of the District Council. Voting members of the District Council include Club Presidents, Vice Presidents Education, and the members of the District Executive Committee.
The Club Presidents and Vice Presidents Education each have one vote on the council. Either may designate any paid member of their club to act as their proxyholder. No other proxies are allowed. District Executive Committee members are entitled to a maximum of three votes each: two votes for the club and one vote for the District Executive Committee. Non-Committee members are entitled to two votes. Belonging to or being an officer in more than one club doesn’t give a member any additional votes.
NB: The DEC comprises Area Directors, Division Directors and the District Leadership Team (District Director, Program Quality Director, Club Growth Director, Public Relations Manager, Finance Manager, Administration Manager, and Immediate Past District Director).
Either the Club President or Vice President Education may designate, in writing, any paid individual member of the club to act as a proxyholder for him or her at the annual District Council meeting that is held in-person. If the President or Vice President Education does not attend the meeting and has not designated a fellow club member to act as his or her proxyholder, the officer or proxyholder in attendance casts two votes. The intent of this provision is to ensure that every club is represented by two votes.
A written proxy is valid at a District Council annual meeting as long as it contains all the elements set forth in Toastmasters International policy and must be delivered personally, by mail, by fax, by e-mail, by electronic transmission, or by other reasonable means to the club member who will hold the proxy.
The proxyholder must present the proxy in paper form to the credentials desk. A proxyholder cannot transfer orassign a proxy to someone else.
District leadership committee and nominated candidates
The work of the district leadership committee (DLC) is critical to ensuring long-term success for the district. Led by the committee chair, committee members screen district leader candidates for eligibility and ultimately nominate the best individuals. Identifying the best candidates for elected positions takes time and commitment. The committee should not limit itself to considering only those members who have expressed an interest in running, but should seek out qualified individuals. When the committee finalizes its nominations, the chair or the district director notifies each nominated candidate to reconfirm their willingness to be nominated and their commitment to fulfill the duties of the office. Non-nominated candidates also are notified and advised of their eligibility to seek office as floor candidates.
If you intend standing for election to any position from the floor, you must review and comply with the stated District leader eligibility. These can be found on Toastmasters International District Leaders. Floor candidates must also take note of the guidelines for candidates and campaigns. These can be found on District Campaigns Floor Candiates. People who intend to stand as floor candidates can make themselves known to the district director and receive information to help with their campaign and can have their details shown on the district’s Candidates’ Corner. At the election, the district director asks if there are additional nominations from the floor for the first contested election. Candidates nominated for one office and not elected may be nominated from the floor for subsequent offices. Floor candidates must be nominated by a member of the district council or their proxy holder. However, floor candidates may self-nominate when they are a member of the district council or a proxy holder. If a floor candidate is absent, then his or her representative may state their eligibility qualifications. The district director ensures Officer Agreement and Release Statements are collected from floor candidates for all elected positions.
One-third of club presidents and vice presidents education in the district (or proxy holders) constitutes a quorum for all district council meetings. A quorum is needed to conduct business. If any business is done at council meetings where a quorum is not present, then a majority of the clubs must approve the action through a post-meeting vote. Before election day, clubs should ensure all votes are in order and all club officer roles are filled. If a club has not filled a vote-holding officer position, that vote is lost; it may not be transferred to anyone else. If you have any questions not addressed above, please direct your query to District Parliamentarian.