There are six main stages within the annual AMA professional chapter election process.
- Form a nominating committee (November)
- Identify board candidates (December)
- Prepare and send the candidate slate to members (January)
- Send the election ballot to members (February)
- Complete elections and submit results (due March 1)
- Select committees and prepare for the upcoming year (Spring)
Form a Nominating Committee
Early November, the nominating committee should be appointed to identify board candidates for the coming chapter year.
It is suggested that four or five people serve on the nominating committee, which can include people like:
- Most recent past chapter president(s) – suggested chairperson of the nominating committee
- Current chapter president – ex officio member of the nominating committee
- Current chapter president-elect
- Member(s) at large – selected by the chairperson of the nominating committee
Because of a perceived conflict of interest, members may not serve on the nominating committee if they are also proposed for an office on the slate of candidates to be produced by the committee. Exceptions include the current president and current president-elect whose positions carry the expectation that he/she will serve as president the following year.
Identify Board Candidates
The nominating committee is tasked with identifying board candidates as outlined in the chapter’s constitution and bylaws. The committee should recruit and interview potential candidates in November and December to finalize the slate by early January.
A minimum of six chapter board members must be elected annually: three of these must be the president, the president-elect, and the secretary/treasurer. If the same person holds the secretary/treasurer position, three more board members must be elected six board members. Additional elected board members are specified by each chapter in its constitution and bylaws.
It is recommended that the president-elect has served on the board for two years before taking that office.
All elected or appointed board members must be active AMA members. There are no exceptions to this policy, and it is the chapter’s responsibility to verify membership before reporting officers to the AMA Support Center.
Student members may hold only appointed board positions, and they have no voting privileges.
Prepare and Send the Candidate Slate to Members
The nominating committee must prepare a slate of one or more candidates for each board position. This slate must also be sent to eligible voting members (not including student members) by mid-January to allow sufficient time to send the election ballot by early February.
There is no official form to use when sending the slate to members. Still, they must be informed in writing that they may recommend candidates to the nominating committee by submitting a petition signed by 2% of the eligible voting members.
Send the Election Ballot to Members
Election ballots must be distributed to all chapter members in good standing (excluding student members who don’t have voting rights) by early February so that election results can be finalized and reported by March 1.
There is no official form to use when sending the ballot to members. Still, candidates on the ballot must run individually, not as an entire slate, and there must be space on the ballot designated for write-in candidates for each open board position.
The nominating committee’s chapter secretary or chairperson should handle balloting for the election. If your state and your professional chapter constitution and bylaws allow it, voting may be conducted electronically. Election ballots should be returned to the nominating committee’s chairperson, or a specifically appointed committee member, within two to three weeks of the distribution date. Never return ballots to the candidates. Complete Elections and Submit Results
Complete Elections and Submit Results
Elections must be completed by March 1, and the results announced to the membership soon after.
Election results must be submitted to the AMA Support Center via Salesforce by March 1. Board members must be identified in Salesforce before chapter registration for Leadership Summit. This ensures that all board members receive relevant communications and resources from the AMA Support Center and are covered by the professional chapter liability insurance purchased by the AMA Support Center on behalf of chapters.
Select Committees and Prepare for the Upcoming Year
Once elected, chapter board members should begin to select their committees and plan for the upcoming year. It is recommended that committees are appointed by late April to allow sufficient time to prepare for the upcoming year.
The incoming president and president-elect should attend Leadership Summit, usually held in early May. It’s highly encouraged to have as many board members as possible to attend this important training event.
Chapters should schedule a joint meeting of the old and new board of directors and committee chairs to review and discuss overall chapter objectives and progress. The joint meeting, transfer of materials, and planning should be completed by the end of June. Chapters should put final touches on the annual plan and budget in July. These reports must be submitted to the AMA Support Center via the chapter reporting platform by August 1.
The professional chapter succession planning toolkit is a great resource to help AMA chapter leaders prepare for the year ahead. It can serve as the roadmap to help leaders analyze their chapter, build their future vision, and keep them organized when starting the new chapter year.
The Professional Chapters Council (PCC) is also here to support chapter leaders in succession planning and the chapter election process.