January, 2002
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors

Questions About Nominating Practices Answered


Voting Members received the following message with their 2002 Officers ballot. This explanation of a basic ASHI practice may be of interest to others who are on their way to becoming voting Members or who are unaffiliated but contemplating joining the Society.

A Message from the Officer Nominating Committee:

Each year when we establish a slate of candidates for the ASHI Officer positions, the question is raised whether or not we should nominate more than one individual for each position, or submit a single-slate to you the voting Member. As you will see, we chose to submit the latter option, a slate with one nominee per position. Also, as we did not receive petition candidates this year, the slate remains as established by the Nominating Committee.

Our committee discussed this issue at length and decided to provide this explanation on why we have chosen this method and why many of the previous nominating committees have taken the same path.

According to the Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure, a nominating committee is “one of the most important committees of an organization because it can help to secure the best officers. The nominating committee should be permitted to use its judgment in selecting the candidates who will give the best service to the organization.”

We believe that it is not possible to identify more than one person who is “best” for the position. Clearly, one individual will be better qualified than the other.  Also, since the Officer Nominating Committee is representative of the membership through the participation of the Council, we are qualified to choose and present the optimum slate to you.  Finally, since ASHI provides the opportunity to be placed on the Officer Ballot via a petition process as well as the ability to vote for write-in candidates, we believe the process is fair to all in the Society.

The following excerpt from the Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure provides further background on single and multiple slates for associations:
“A single slate, meaning one nominee for each office, frequently offers certain advantages provided that nominations may also be accepted from the floor and that election by write-in votes is not forbidden.  In some organizations the belief persists that it is more democratic to have two or more nominees for each office in order that there may be a contest. This belief is probably based on the fact that national and state governments have a two-party political system and therefore have a candidate from each party for each office.  But there is a growing tendency for non-governmental organizations to nominate a single slate.

When a nominating committee is required to submit the names of two or more nominees for each office, it often faces a dilemma.  If the committee members decide, for example, that candidate A can offer the best leadership, they are obliged to do either of two things.  They may add another nominee who is not well qualified in the hope that candidate A will be more certain to be elected, or they may add regretfully the name of candidate B who is also well qualified, and sacrifice one of their two best potential leaders by defeat.  There is no particular democratic purpose served by nominating several members in order to defeat all but one of them.”

We hope you will appreciate and understand our reasoning for choosing to submit a single-slate to you for a vote. Your participation in this process is valuable and crucial to the future of our Society.

Thank you

ASHI Officer Nominating Committee