Attention Prospective Candidates
BY SCOTT DeARMAN, CHAIR
Vietnam Veterans of America will conduct its election of all National Officer and Board positions during the 16th National Convention to be held August 13-17, 2013, in Jacksonville, Florida.
Fellow veterans: The Elections Committee invites you to think about your future role in the leadership of VVA. The committee encourages all those considering running for office in 2013 to think about and evaluate whether you are willing to take on the responsibilities of an officer or a Board member. Take time now to consult your family, friends, and those whose opinions you value to determine if this is the next step you are willing to take in your involvement in VVA.
Remember: The election process has begun, so be ready, be committed, and be sure. The future of VVA could be in your hands as a representative of this organization. The Elections Committee welcomes all those who wish to be a part of the elections process and who aspire to be VVA leaders.
POSITIONS OPEN FOR ELECTION
VVA National President
TERM OF OFFICE
All National Officer and National Board positions are for terms of two years, beginning at the close of the 2013 National Convention through the close of the 2015 Convention.
Candidates for all positions open for election must be individual members of VVA in good standing.
Candidates for any of the National Officer positions must meet the requirements to hold office, as set down in the VVA National Constitution under Article I, Section 5, Paragraph A, as revised August 18, 2011:
“To qualify for election . . . to any of these offices a candidate must have been an individual member of the Corporation, in good standing, (1) for a continuous period of not less than twelve months immediately preceding the opening of the National Convention at which such candidate seeks election . . . and (2) such candidate must have held a position as an officer or board member at the national level or as an officer at the state council or chapter level during any continuous period of twelve months prior to the date of the opening of the National Convention at which such candidate seeks election.”
Candidates for At-large and Regional Board of Directors must meet the requirements to hold office as set down in the VVA National Constitution, Article I, Section 4, Paragraph B (1 and 2) for Regional Directors and Article I, Section 4, Paragraph B (1 and 3) for At-large Directors as revised August 18, 2011:
“To qualify for election, a candidate must have been a member of the Corporation, in good standing, for a continuous period of not less than the twelve months immediately preceding the opening of the National Convention at which candidate seeks election. . . . The candidate must have held an elected position at the national, state, or chapter level for any continuous period of twelve months prior to the date of the opening of the National Convention.”
Candidates for Regional Board positions must reside within the region they wish to represent.
The time period this election announcement covers is from January 1 to April 30, 2013.
LETTER OF INTENT
Prospective candidates must submit Letters of Intent to the VVA Elections Committee by April 30, 2013. Letters of Intent must include the candidate’s name, address, home and work phone numbers, and the position he or she is a candidate for. A prospective candidate may announce and run for only one position.
With regard to the paragraph entitled “Eligibility,” prospective candidates for National Officer and Board positions must include in the Letter of Intent a signed statement that includes the national, state council, or chapter positions they have held and the dates they held these positions.
The Elections Committee will begin accepting Letters of Intent on January 1, 2013, at the following address: VVA Elections Committee, c/o Adolph Gardner, 7 Crum Road, Walkersville, MD 21793-8018.
All Letters of Intent must be postmarked on or before April 30, 2013. They must be sent to the Elections Committee’s Walkersville, Maryland, address. Any Letter of Intent that does not meet the postmark requirement or is sent to any other address will be considered invalid and will not be accepted by the Elections Committee.
Those who plan to run for an elected position from the floor cannot distribute any campaign materials or announce or campaign on any website, including their own, or accept any authorized contributions prior to being approved as a candidate by the Elections Committee at the Convention. Any violation of this rule will result in disqualification.
The Elections Committee will begin mailing Candidate’s Packets to prospective candidates who have submitted their Letters of Intent beginning January 1, 2013. To avoid possible loss or destruction of these packets, they will be sent via Certified Mail-Return Receipt Requested.
These packets contain information, instructions, and rules regarding the conduct of the election process that are of vital importance to every candidate. Included in these packets will be some forms. Candidates are required to complete the forms and return them to the Elections Committee.
NOTE: The Candidate’s Packet will include a Cut-off Date Calendar that lists events and dates that are very important to each candidate’s campaign for office. Failure to meet any of the deadlines will be grounds for disqualification.
CONDUCT OF CAMPAIGNS
Candidates may use the national flag of the United States of America, the VVA national logo, and the VVA national flag on their campaign material. No VVA, state council, or chapter letterhead may be used. Campaign materials are considered to be (but are not limited to) buttons, pins, brochures, posters, pictures, emails, and websites. A photograph of a candidate wearing his or her VVA national, state council, or chapter lapel pin is acceptable. Additionally, a photograph of a candidate who is wearing a jacket, shirt, or hat that has a VVA national, state council, or chapter logo or patch on it also is acceptable.
Candidates may not solicit or accept campaign contributions in any form from VVA or any VVA state council or chapter. Campaign contributions are considered to be (but are not limited to) money, paper, envelopes, postage, free printing, free phone calls, use of websites, or email.
Candidates may not solicit or accept any campaign endorsement from VVA, any state council or chapter, or VVA newsletters, newspapers, websites, or electronic mail sites.
Candidates may solicit and accept campaign contributions and endorsements from any member of VVA, provided that the contributions or endorsements are not in violation of rules and that any written endorsements are on the individual’s personal stationery. It is strictly prohibited for any person to use VVA national, state council, or chapter letterhead, website, or electronic mail for the purposes of writing letters of endorsement.
A candidate’s own website or electronic mail may be used to campaign, but the restrictions noted above remain in effect.
It is not the wish, nor is it the intention, of the VVA Elections Committee to embroil prospective candidates in unnecessary red tape in order for them to have their names on the 2013 VVA National Election Ballot. There are, however, certain steps that must be followed by all candidates to keep the election process within the guidelines of the VVA National Constitution and to make the process fair and even.
The rules, instructions, and requirements set down in this announcement - as well as those that will follow in the Candidate’s Packet - are simple and easy to read, understand, and follow. Therefore, the failure of a candidate to play by the rules or meet the requirements of the VVA National Constitution and the Elections Committee will cause that candidate to be disqualified and his or her name removed from the ballot.
The VVA Elections Committee welcomes those members who are about to step forward and take part in a most important part of VVA: the election of Officers and Board Members who will guide VVA for the next two years.