1. Elections are managed by the Board Secretary on behalf of the Board of Governors. The Board Secretary is responsible for interpreting the election rules to ensure that the spirit of the Board’s intentions is adhered to.
2. The Board Secretary will issue a Call for Nominations for candidates for election to the Board of Governors at a convenient time before an election. A minimum of three weeks should be allowed for people to respond from the time that the majority of eligible recipients receive the Call for Nominations.
3. Anyone may put themselves forward for election provided they have been in continuous paid-up membership for at least six months prior to the date on which the ballot is due to start, that they have signatures of support from two other people who are either paid-up members or current BFI staff, and that they are not disqualified under either Article 6(f) of the Royal Charter, or for failing to meet other eligibility criteria (e.g. ‘ordinarily resident’ requirements and HM Revenue & Customs rules relating to ‘Fit and Proper Persons’). Current BFI staff members, persons in any form of paid employment with the BFI or BFI freelancers or contactors, are not eligible to stand for election.
4. It is a condition of standing that a candidate will provide the Board Secretary with an email address for all correspondence, and that this email address may be shared with all other candidates and with the Chair of the Nominations & Appointments Committee.
5. Nominations received after the deadline or incomplete nominations (e.g. those without the correct number of qualified nominees) will be disqualified.
6. Candidates will supply statements in a form specified by the Board Secretary. Statements not received by the deadline will not be published. Statements will be published in the same form they are submitted including any spelling or grammatical errors, subject to (1) the Board Secretary making such minor formatting changes as seem to them sensible (e.g. replacing underlining with italicising) and consistent with the BFI’s normal style; (2) the Board Secretary referring any Statements or parts of Statements (publication of which in their view would not be in the interests of the BFI or would contravene legal or regulatory requirements) to the Chair of the Nominations & Appointments Committee for a decision about whether those Statements or parts of Statements should be deleted. Any publishing or distribution errors made by the Board Secretary or their agents which in aggregate are relatively minor will not invalidate the election process, and the Board Secretary will decide whether or not any errors require electoral materials to be reprinted or another remedy undertaken (all at the Secretary’s discretion).
7. The electorate will consist of all those members and subscribers who are in membership at the ‘freezing’ date, which is the date on which the Board Secretary confirms the list of voters to the mailing house. No one who subsequently enters membership may vote in that election.
8. The balloting period shall be at least four weeks.
9. Balloting shall be by freephone or internet voting. The failure of a small number of candidates to receive balloting materials shall not invalidate the election. Solely at the Board Secretary’s discretion, a replacement ballot may be issued (e.g. to an elector who presents a signed statement that they have not received the original ballot) but they may at their discretion decline to issue a replacement ballot once the total number of replacement ballots issued is, in their judgement, in danger of becoming significant in the context of the total number of ballots likely to be cast.
10. Candidates may campaign or electioneer provided they do so in a way which neither leads to complaints nor which – in the opinion of the duty manager of the facility or the Board Secretary – interferes with the operation of the BFI’s facilities or is in their judgement otherwise inappropriate.
11. The Board Secretary will publish the results of the election as soon as is reasonably practicable after receiving them, subject to the qualification that the Board of Governors will treat the results as being advisory rather than mandatory. The name of the candidate appointed will be published at a later date.
12. Where less than 10% of the total electorate has participated in the election (‘participation’ includes spoiled ballots) the election will be null and void. The Board of Governors will then determine how to fill the resulting vacancy.
13. Where there is an unresolved dispute the Board Secretary may refer it – or candidates may appeal – to the Chair of the Nominations & Appointments Committee, whose decision will be final.
14. In exceptional circumstances, where the Board Secretary considers a candidate has behaved in a way which is wholly inappropriate or in a manner which appears designed to or is likely to damage the BFI or the election process, they may request that the Chair of the Nominations & Appointments Committee disqualify that candidate; their decision is final. Any votes cast for that candidate would then be lost and not declared, and no replacement ballots would be issued.