Overview for Districts and Multiple Districts
As global concerns surrounding the Covid-19 virus (“Coronavirus”) expand and world governments take steps to minimize the spread of illness, many districts and multiple districts are inquiring about the obligations and the challenges in holding constitutionally-mandated conventions. LCI understands those concerns, and supports the efforts of districts and multiple districts to ensure the safety of our Lions convention attendees and the community at large.
For districts and multiple districts in areas that are unaffected, and who are able to safely conduct normal business, we recommend that conventions be conducted as planned, but that you continue to monitor the situation in your respective districts.
For those Lions Districts (single, sub- and multiple) that are located in countries where government restrictions are limiting the ability of the district to conduct elections, or where public gatherings are being discouraged in order to protect the safety of citizens and minimize the potential spread of illness, please be advised that alternative methods for conducting the requisite elections, and conducting voting on any resolutions that are not able to be postponed, will be permissible if district conventions cannot be held in-person.
Many of the provisions of your district’s constitution and by-laws must still be applied to conducting elections, including the following:
* Issue an Official Call detailing the time, date and location of the convention
- If not being held in person, the official call must indicate
- the manner in which voting will be conducted,
- when outstanding dues must be paid in order to be entitled to delegates,
- when elections will end and ballots must be received (or postmarked if by mail) in order to be considered valid
- District must be able to provide evidence sufficiently demonstrating that all Lions Clubs in the district received the necessary information.
* Nominating Committee must be named
- Candidates must submit their intention to contest for a respective office, and the nominating committee shall validate candidates as provided in the district’s constitution and by-laws
* Credentials Committee must be established.
- Committee must verify club delegate credentials and ensure that only those clubs entitled to delegates are permitted to vote
- Committee must ensure that those clubs eligible for delegates receive formal ballots for voting purposes
* Elections Committee.
- Committee is responsible for establishing the ballot format and other election materials, vote tabulation and resolving all questions concerning the validity of individual ballots
- Vote tabulation must be conducted in the presence of the full elections committee, including each candidate-appointed observer eligible for delegates receive formal ballots for voting purposes
We strongly recommend that all districts seek to comply strictly with the International Constitution and By-Laws and mandatory provisions of the Standard District Constitution and By-Laws in order to minimize the likelihood of an election complaint being filed.
However, please note that all actions taken in good faith by a respective district in an effort to ensure a free and fair election will be taken into consideration in the event a formal election complaint is filed.
Election FAQs During COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to adapt the way we work, live and serve. With the current limitations surrounding meeting in groups, Lions Clubs International has developed these helpful answers to some of your most asked questions regarding holding district conventions and club elections.
May we change the multiple district or district convention to a later date?
Yes. We ask that reasonable notice be provided through an official call (or an amended official call if notification has already been provided), and that the district convention be held by May 31, 2020 and multiple district convention by June 15, 2020.
May the district convention happen after the multiple district convention if need be?
Yes. If there are no resolutions approved at a district convention that must also be ratified at the multiple district convention, a district may hold their convention after the multiple district convention. Again, the district convention must be held by May 31, 2020.
May we hold our elections electronically?
Yes, the International Board of Directors has authorized districts and multiple districts to conduct conventions and/or elections via alternative means, such as mail, email, mobile application or other reasonable method.
How can clubs pay dues if banks are closed?
In the event it is impossible for a Lions club to pay outstanding dues due to bank closures or other government restrictions, district credentials committees are being encouraged to permit delegates for those clubs that are able to produce a demand draft, check, or other payment method that reasonably demonstrates a club’s ability to pay outstanding dues.
Are district governors allowed to extend their terms for another year?
No. The mandatory provisions of the Standard District Constitution and By-Laws requires districts to elect officers annually, and failure to do so will result in vacancies for fiscal year 2020-2021. While an induction ceremony is generally conducted during the International Convention, it is not required in order for district governors to take office.
If we are unable to hold our convention to elect officers, what happens next?
If a convention is not possible and no elections are held electronically or otherwise prior to May 31, 2020, then an anticipated vacancy will be declared for the officer positions, and the district governor team will be filled under the proper vacancy filling procedure. Should this occur, the Immediate Past District Governor should contact DistrictOfficers@lionsclubs.org and instructions for the process on how to fill these vacancies will be sent.
Any questions or concerns regarding your district or multiple district conventions should be directed to DistrictOfficers@lionsclubs.org.
If our club cannot meet, how can we conduct our annual election of club officers?
Unless prohibited under a club’s constitution and by-laws, the Standard Club By-Laws permits all Lions clubs to conduct meetings via alternative meeting formats. This allows each Lions club to choose a method of conducting elections that is suitable for those members. This can be via phone, email, a combination of the two, or any other method that is acceptable to the Lions club members.
For additional questions or concerns regarding your club operations or elections please contact us via email at email@example.com.