Last year, the Nodak board of directors amended the cooperative’ bylaws to accommodate absentee mail-in ballots. This mail-in option will be available for all director elections and other issues at the discretion of the board of directors. This bylaw change takes effect with the annual meeting, which is scheduled for Saturday, April 13, 2002.
We, of course, prefer that you attend the annual meeting on April 13, listen to the business reports, and vote for the candidates of your choice for the three director positions that are open. We feel there is a real value in listening to the candidates speak as they are introduced. Most candidates are generally at the meeting location early and more than willing to answer any questions you have about their intent as a director.
If you cannot attend the annual meeting, you now will have the opportunity to still cast a vote for the director election. You will need to contact our office for an absentee ballot after all nominations are in. The Nominating Committee meets on February 27, and any nominations by petition are due on the same day. Immediately after February 27, we will respond to any requests for absentee ballots.
All absentee ballots must be returned to our office no later than 4:30 p.m. on Friday, April 12, 2002. This is the last business day before the annual meeting. People voting by mail will be instructed to place the completed ballot in a ballot envelope, and that envelope will be placed inside another mailing envelope. The envelopes will not be opened until the meeting convenes on April 13.
With the mail-in ballot option, it was necessary to amend the cooperative bylaws pertaining to nominations by petition. The bylaws formerly stipulated that a petition to be nominated for a board position had to be received no later than 30 days before the annual meeting date. To accommodate the time needed for members to request an absentee ballot and return the voted ballot to our office, this deadline was moved up. The bylaws now stipulate that a petition for nomination must be received no later than 45 days before the annual meeting. This will give us ample time after nominations are completed to send out the notice of the annual meeting with the names of those who have been nominated. It will also provide ample time to respond to all requests for absentee ballots.
We want to re-emphasize our preference for you to attend the annual meeting rather than voting by absentee mail-in ballot. However, if you have a conflict with the time of our annual meeting, this option will allow you to participate in one of the most important functions of a consumer-owned electric cooperative.