Washington’s DFI Issues Guidance on Balloting Procedures

On Dec. 7, 2012, Washington’s Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) issued guidance to state chartered credit unions on appropriate balloting procedures. Separate guidance was provided depending on whether credit unions bylaws require secret ballots.

If a secret ballot is required, voter identifying information may not appear on the ballot. However, a credit union can provide a separate identification form that is submitted at the same time as the ballot to insure that only eligible voters cast ballots. If a credit union uses a secret ballot procedure, credit union employees can validate the results.

If a state chartered credit union is not required to have a secret ballot, it must still have a voting process that assures the member’s vote will remain confidential and secret from all interested parties. This means that if a ballot includes personally identifying information, the credit union should use an independent, third-party company to distribute, collect, take custody, and tabulate the ballots. If the ballot does contain personally identifying information, the credit union should refrain from describing the vote as secret.

The Association can provide resources and best practices associated with balloting. If you are seeking technical advice on best practices, please contact Kasey Rockwell at 503.350.2217. If you have questions about the bulletin, please contact John Trull, director of regulatory advocacy for the Association, or Linda Jekel, director of credit unions for DFI, at (360) 902-8778.

Posted in Industry Insight, NWCUA, Strategic Link.