NAHJ Elections Frequently Asked Questions

When will the 2020 elections take place?

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, NAHJ will be holding its 2020 board elections electronically. The Board of Directors voted to schedule the 2020 elections from September 28 to October 2 following the NAHJ/NABJ Convention and Career Fair that will take place virtually August 5-8, 2020. 

What positions are up for election this year?

Ten positions are up for election: President, Financial Officer, Secretary, Vice President for Print, Vice President for Broadcast, Vice President for Digital, Spanish Language At-Large Officer, Academic At-Large Officer, General At-Large Officer and Student Representative.

You can read more about each position on the NAHJ 2020 Elections Hub or by reading the NAHJ Elections Guide.

How long does each board member serve?

All board members, with the exception of the Student Representative, serve two-year terms. The Student Representative serves a one-year term. The President cannot serve two consecutive terms.

How do I nominate someone for a board position?

To nominate someone for a board position, you need to fill out the nomination form through the NAHJ 2020 Elections Hub. You will need to sign into your MemberClicks Account in order to fill out and submit the nomination form.

If you don’t remember your login credentials, such as your username or password, you can use the “Retrieve Username” or “Reset Password” at the bottom of the member login page. You can also reach out via email for support, using membership@nahj.org.  

The nomination form will let you submit nine (9) nominations at a time, but there is no limit on how many times you can fill out and submit a nomination form.

Can I nominate myself for a board position?

Yes! But you need to make sure that you meet the eligibility requirements, which are listed below. You can use the same nomination form found on the NAHJ 2020 Elections Hub landing page.

Please note, you cannot nominate yourself unless you are a member in good standing. To be a member in good standing, you must pay or renew your membership dues by the Elections Date of Record, which is July 30, 2020.

Am I eligible to run for a board position?

According to the NAHJ bylaws, only Regular Members in good standing can run for and serve on the board. Regular Members consist of persons whose principal means of support is earned in the gathering, editing, or presentation of news. Regular Members may not be employees of a government-supported news organization.

To be a member in good standing, you must pay or renew your membership dues by the Elections Date of Record, which is July 30, 2020.

To run for President, a Regular Member must have served at least one term on the Board of Directors in any capacity before serving as president. A member’s past service on the board need not immediately precede their term as president.

The bylaws also state that only an Academic Member in good standing can run for and serve on the board as the Academic-at-Large Officer. Academic Members consist of persons who are educators of journalism in educational institutions of higher learning.

Finally, the bylaws state that only a Student Member in good standing can run for and serve on the board as the Student Representative. Student Members consist of persons engaged in a program of full-time study in a recognized educational institution of higher learning.

Each position also has additional eligibility requirements you must meet in order to run for and serve on the board. Please read the NAHJ Elections Guide for additional details. 

NOTE: Eligibility requirements for each position begin on page 6 of the elections guide.

The eligibility requirements say I need to get 25 signatures to get nominated, how do I do that?

To get your signatures, ask someone to go to the NAHJ 2020 Elections Hub landing page and submit a nomination form. When they get to the nomination form, ask that they select the position you would like to run for from the drop down menu then type your name into the form. Finally, ask them to hit “submit” at the bottom of the form. On the backend, our system will collect the nomination and count it as a signature for you. 

NOTE: Only Lifetime, Regular and Academic Members can submit a nomination form. Student members can only nominate someone for the Student Representative position. Associate Members cannot submit a nomination or vote in the elections.

I’ve been nominated for a board position or I’ve nominated myself for a board position, does this mean I’m a candidate? 

Not yet!  Once you have been nominated for a board position and receive the necessary number of signatures, you will be vetted by the Election Committee. If you pass the vetting process, you will then be formally included on the ballot and in the running for a board position.

What does the Election Committee need to determine if I qualify for the ballot?

Beyond meeting the criteria for the board position, a candidate must also demonstrate a commitment to NAHJ through regular involvement in the organization and demonstrate a commitment to journalism by being active within their place of employment at a news gathering organization, or college or university journalism program.

Additionally, candidates are asked to provide the Election Committee with a current résumé, two (2) professional references, and contact information of their current employer.

In the case of the Student Representative, candidates should submit a current résumé, two professional or academic references and contact information for their school’s registrar.

In the event that the Election Committee finds you are not eligible to run for a board position, a representative of the committee will contact you and if possible, give you the opportunity to meet the necessary qualifications.

For additional details on qualifying as a candidate for the Board of Directors, including the Election Committee’s vetting process, please read the NAHJ Elections Guide

NOTE: Candidate qualifications and vetting information begins on page 8.

What is the Election Committee and can it help me with my nomination?

The Elections Committee is a group of NAHJ board members appointed by the president to help find candidates and review their qualifications. They are also in charge of verifying the election results, under the watch of the Executive Director and any candidate who wishes to be present.

To ensure a fair election process, the Election Committee strives for independence and will almost always refrain from lending their signature or endorsement to help a potential candidate qualify and run for a board position. 

To provide additional support to candidates during the 2020 election, the board has created the 2020 Elections Advisory Committee. This committee has been given the mandate to support the Election Committee as needed. They also have the ability to search for and recruit candidates for vacant board positions, provide technical assistance on the process and field questions for members. 

To contact the Elections Advisory Committee, email elections@nahj.org

I don’t see an answer to my questions, what do I do? 

You can review the entire NAHJ Elections Guide, which includes information such as the 2020 Elections timeline, full details on board position positions, eligibility requirements and additional roles and responsibilities for each board position. 

You can also email the Elections Committee using elections@nahj.org