Lincoln Electric Cooperative members voted to give voting rights to all members. Granted, that’s not actually what Proposed By-Laws Change #4 said, but it is precisely what it accomplished. While there was a delegate certificate included in the Notice of Annual Meeting, it applied only to voting “the membership of a corporation, association, school, political body, church or firm with multiple ownership”. Individuals cannot vote by proxy (See article 3, section 4 of the by-laws).
Individuals cannot vote by proxy, and members were required to register and vote at the meeting in order to vote. So, who couldn’t vote at this last meeting?
Effectively, for Canadian Members of LEC, voting was prohibited this year. While our Canadian neighbors have some capability to cross the border, it’s limited and comes with a mandatory 14 day quarantine -It’s insane to expect anyone to donate 2 weeks of their lives purely for a LEC meeting, however exciting the meeting.
But it wasn’t just Canadian Members that couldn’t attend. This year’s Notice of Meeting included the warning of limited bathroom facilities, and for some members of our community that’s a huge issue [It’s hard to imagine that bathroom visits every10-15 minutes aren’t sufficiently limiting of major life activities to qualify under ADA].
But- no more! While some members of LEC have been previously denied their vote at the annual meetings, this will no longer be the case. The Proposed By-Laws Change #4, passed at Saturday’s meeting will give them the same ability to vote as other LEC members. This change introduced mail-in ballots, which means physical attendance of the meetings will no longer be a requirement to vote.
While mail-in ballots are not without problems, this change will make LEC more accessible to its members. To read the by-law changes (all passed), check out the Notice of Annual Meeting, found here.