Shire Election Procedures (Revised April 24, 2019)
A. Process and Timeline
1..Each shire office is elected for a term of two years. Terms start, more or less, at the start of the calendar year.
2..At the end of the term, other candidates may apply, or the incumbent may be confirmed for another term. (Some offices, such as Seneschal, have term limits imposed by the corresponding Kingdom Officer’s Policies.)
3..By Kingdom Law, a Shire is required to have a Seneschal, an Exchequer, and at least one of the following three offices: Herald, Knight Marshal, or Minister of Arts and Sciences. If a shire wishes to conduct official fighting activities, it must have a Knight Marshal or borrow one from a neighboring group. In addition, if the shire does not have a Chatelaine, another officer must be designated to submit those reports. Other offices are optional and need not be filled at the Shire level.
4..In Year A (Starting their term in January of an Odd year) we elect: Seneschal, Knight Marshal, MoAS, Fencing Marshal, Herald (Pursuivant), Archivist.
5..In Year B (Starting their term in January of an Even year) we elect: Exchequer, Web Minister, Chatelaine, Archery Marshal, Chancellor Minor, Minister of Lists.
6..Election-related communications will be posted on the Freehold email list and on the Freehold Facebook page, as equally as possible.
7..If there is a summer moot, the Seneschal will announce which offices will be up for election at the end of the year, and will remind the populace that some offices have prerequisites that the candidates should meet before running for office. (It will be up to the candidate to do the necessary research.) If a summer moot hasn’t happened by August 1, the Seneschal will send out a notice to this effect, to the email list and the Facebook group.
8..In October, the Seneschal posts a general advance reminder that elections are upcoming in November and December.
9..In early November, the Seneschal announces which offices are up for election, and announces that the candidates have two weeks to notify the seneschal and the current officer of their interest.
10..In mid-November, the Seneschal publicizes the list of candidates for each office (if any). Candidates for contested offices have until the end of November to write a message to the populace, outlining their vision for the office, if they wish.
11..Voting is done in December according to a process that will be announced and described by the Seneschal. Voting may be done at a moot (in which case absentee ballots must be allowed for), or by email, or via an online ballot form to be filled out on the shire’s website (www.mountainfreehold.eastkingdom.org). If email voting is to take place, the seneschal will designate a vote-counter.
12..Shire officers will be responsible for knowing the election timeline and making sure that the deadlines are posted in a timely fashion. Should a delay occur for any reason, it will not invalidate that cycle of elections.
13..If an office (other than the seneschal’s or the exchequer’s) becomes vacant before the two-year term is over, the seneschal will call for candidates and schedule an election, as soon as feasible, to finish out the original term. Kingdom Officer policies may dictate a different procedure, and if so, then that procedure will be followed.
14..If the seneschal’s office or exchequer’s office becomes vacant before the two-year term is over, the corresponding emergency deputy will step up and finish out the term.
B. Requirements for Getting and Holding an Office
1.Shire officers must be paid SCA members during the time they hold office, and should live within the territory of the Freehold.
2.Some offices require prior training, authorizations, background checks or other certifications. A candidate who is running for an office that has such prerequisites, should meet them before the election takes place.
3.Newly elected officers have, as their first duty, the obligation to get in touch with, and make themselves known to, their Kingdom and Regional superior. Usually a new officer must submit proof of membership and full contact details. The corresponding Kingdom Officer Policies will have full details about warranting and reporting requirements.
4.Shire officers are expected to do the things they were elected to do. That includes understanding what the Kingdom Officer requires of local officers, and that information can be found in the Kingdom Officer Policies on the EK website. Officers should also read the monthly Kingdom Officer updates and notices in Pikestaff.
5.Shire officers must get an official East Kingdom email address, and use it for any correspondence related to their office.
C. About Deputies
1. Officers may have a deputy, or several. In some cases they must have a deputy (refer to the Policies of that particular Kingdom Office). Deputies are not elected.
2. There are three types of deputies:
a) Emergency deputies, who are aware of the requirements of the office, and who can finish out the term in case of an emergency. The Seneschal and Exchequer are required to have these deputies, and the deputies must be SCA members. Other offices may have emergency deputies too.
b) Deputies in training, who may eventually succeed the officer if confirmed by election. SCA membership is usually not necessary while serving as a deputy in training, unless the policies of that office require it.
c) Deputies for special projects. Technically, autocrats serve temporarily as “special deputies” of the Seneschal. Autocrats need to have SCA membership and be 18 years or older.
Mountain Freehold’s Moot Procedures
- Moots may be called for the purpose of discussing current issues, planning future events, voting on shire expenses, voting on new officers, or for any other reason the Seneschal deems sufficient.
- The Seneschal calls the moot, by announcing the time, location and the agenda (including the issues and topics that are anticipated to be covered). Announcements should be made in all of the usual communication venues. Sufficient notice should be given – at least two weeks is recommended.
- If numerous people start vocalizing to the Seneschal that it feels like time for a moot, the Seneschal would be wise to schedule one. We do not have a scheduled frequency for moots, but the goal is to have a summer moot and a winter moot.
- Any Freeholder may attend a moot and engage in discussions. By Freehold tradition, SCA membership is not required for voting, but voters must reside in the shire’s territory.
- If voting on officers will occur at a moot, the Seneschal will devise and make known a procedure for absentee ballots to be collected and counted before the moot.
- The seneschal presides at the moot and decides how the moot will be conducted. Different seneschals have different styles, but it is generally recommended that moots be run informally (not by Robert’s Rules of Order).