Guidelines For Local Elections from Supreme Advocate
These guidelines in this entry only apply to local council elections and in general apply to chapters.
Section 126 of the Laws of the Knights of Columbus establishes the offices for local councils.
Section 128 of the Laws requires local councils to hold annual elections for council officers.
Elections are to be conducted in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order.
Section 162 of the Laws of the Knights of Columbus establishes certain categories of misconduct that may expose a member to disciplinary action. Section 162(23), set forth below, provides a general rule for the conduct of candidates for council offices.
General Principle: A candidate for local council office in the Knights of Columbus is expected to conduct himself as a Catholic gentleman. While he may promote his candidacy by highlighting his own qualifications, he may not comment negatively about any opponent. A candidate is responsible for any third parties acting on his behalf. All elections must be conducted in a manner that is consistent with the principles of charity, unity, and fraternity.
A candidate for local council office may:
- Receive a nominating speech from another member of the council in which the nominating member sets forth the character and qualifications of the candidate; and (hold to three minutes)
- Make a brief statement accepting the nomination, in which he states his own qualifications. (hold to 3 minutes)
A candidate for local council office may not:
- Use, accept, or receive council funds to support his candidacy in any manner whatsoever;
- Distribute campaign buttons, t-shirts, pins, hats, bumper stickers, or any other souvenirs or promotional items;
- Send mailings or e-mails, or use social media to support his candidacy;
- Arrange or participate in debates with other candidates or their supporters;
- Campaign or have promotional items in the chambers of any business meeting, or within close proximity to the entrance of any business meeting;
- Campaign or have promotional items at or outside any religious ceremony;
- Disseminate any type of derogatory information concerning another candidate; or
- Hold a fund-raising event to finance his candidacy.
If a candidate or member knowingly and willfully violates these guidelines, he may be subject to disciplinary action.
Rev. April 2014
COUNCIL BY-LAWS ARTICLE II – Elections
Section 1. The annual election of officers shall take place at a regular business meeting held between May 15 and June 15 of each fraternal year. At least two months before the annual election, the Grand Knight shall appoint a Nominating Committee of three who shall prepare a slate of candidates for the elective council offices. This slate shall be presented to the council not later than the regular business meeting preceding the meeting at which annual elections are to take place (April or May). Other nominations may be made from the floor and nominations may not be closed until the election meeting has convened and the members are ready to ballot.
Section 2. (Election of officers is the first item under New Business.) The election of officers shall be by ballot and a majority of all votes cast shall be necessary to elect. When only one candidate is proposed for a particular office and no further nominations have been made from the floor, the presiding Grand Knight (The Election Chairman) shall declare the individual elected by acclamation. (Members nominated from the floor must be present and accept the nomination or in case of an excused absence, present their acceptance of the nomination in writing. A nomination does NOT require a second and a member can nominate himself.)
Elections are to be conducted in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order.
Roberts Rules: First item under New Business
Presiding Grand Knight: We will now conduct our election. Reads the report of the nominating committee and asks each nominee to stand.
If there are only single candidates nominated, The Presiding Grand Knight then reads the candidates and offices.) “As there are single candidates for each office (if there are), we will conduct the elections by voice vote. Is there any objection to this procedure? (If no one has called for additional nomination or a ballot vote, elections continue.) All those in favor of electing ________________ as Grand Knight, _________________ as Deputy Grand Knight … (Council should also elect three Chapter Delegates and Three Alternates-the Grand Knight is always a delegate) (reads all the names) say ‘Aye.’ Those against, say ‘No.’ The ayes have it and you have elected the following officers.” (The Presiding Grand Knight then restates the names and offices of those elected.
OR if there are additional nominations. (A nomination does NOT require a second and a member can nominate himself.)
PGK: “Thank you.” (Reads the report of the nominating committee and asks each nominee to stand.) “According to our bylaws, nominations from the floor are now in order. For Grand Knight, ______________ is nominated. 1. Are there further nominations from the floor?” (Give a few moments for response.) rap the gavel. 2. Are there any further nominations? (Give a few moments for response.) Rap the gavel. (Give a few moments for response.) 3. Are there any further nominations? Rap the gavel. When only one candidate is proposed for a particular office and no further nominations have been made from the floor, the presiding Grand Knight (The Election Chairman) shall declare the individual elected by acclamation.
_____________________ has been nominated for Deputy Grand Knight. Are there further nominations from the floor? (Give time for response.) The Presiding Grand Knight then goes through each elected position as specified in the bylaws asking for nominations from the floor. Should a nomination be received for an office that has no candidate, that election can be held by voice vote. Should a nomination be received for an office with a candidate, a ballot election must then be held for that office or offices; a ballot election must also be held at the request of any member of the association.
Section 3. The Grand Knight shall appoint two members to act as Tellers. After all who are entitled to do so have voted, the ballot shall be declared closed and the Tellers shall then proceed to count the votes in full view of the Council. One of the Tellers shall examine each ballot singly and pass the same to his associate, who shall read aloud the name or names written or printed on all legal ballots. The Recorder shall tally the same and the result thereof shall be announced by the Grand Knight.
Section 4. Each officer elected must qualify and fill the office to which he is chosen, with or without installation, at the first regular meeting in the month of July succeeding his election, unless excused by a vote of the Council, and must present himself for installation at the time specified in the notice issued by or through the State Deputy or District Deputy, unless excused by such officer. Otherwise such office shall be considered vacant.
Section 5. Vacancies in elective offices shall be filled, after notice to the members, by election at the regular business meeting next succeeding the regular meeting at which the vacancy was created.
ARTICLE III – Officers
Section 1. Only members who are in good standing and who have been initiated in the first three Degrees of the Order shall be eligible to hold office in this Council. No member shall hold more than one office at the same time.
Section 2. The elective offices shall be as follows: Grand Knight, Deputy Grand Knight, Chancellor, Recorder, Treasurer, Advocate, Warden, Inside Guard, Outside Guard (two Outside Guards may be elected) and Board of Trustees. (Council should also elect three Chapter Delegates and Three Alternates-the Grand Knight is always a delegate)
Section 3. The appointive officers shall be as follows: Financial Secretary, Lecturer, and Chaplain. The Financial Secretary shall be appointed by the Supreme Knight. The Chaplain shall be selected by the Grand Knight, Deputy Grand Knight and Board of Trustees in accordance with any rules established by the Bishop of the Diocese. The Grand Knight shall appoint the Lecturer.