As part of our occasional "We Get Letters" series, here is one from a friend who let guilt rule her/him, and now is learning more than s/he wanted to know about faculty governance.
There were 4 candidates for the position of [representative] to something called
the [many headed governance monster]. Against my better judgment I did not withdraw my name from consideration after being nominated, and to my shock I won by a plurality, which has been the customary way college-wide elections to committees have been decided.
This time the second-place finisher complained that the college's bylaws (in discussing the conduct of meetings) stipulate a majority decision, so s/he demanded a runoff. The head of our college's [assembly] (whose email I am forwarding) consulted the President of the [assembly] and the [guy who wrote down the rule manual]. Below s/he reports their Solomonic ruling--we are to keep voting until someone gets a majority of the votes.
This may make for a fascinating experiment if all four original candidates
agree to stand in the subsequent rounds.
Dear [people] -
I have heard back from [guy] and want to let you know that based on his assessment and that of [another guy], we will need to hold a runoff election for the [assembly] seat. Because of the way our bylaws are currently written, we also cannot limit the election to the top two vote getters. Rather, all of the original candidates have the right to stand for election if they wish. I will be getting in touch with [other candidates] to see whether they want to run again. I also need each of you to tell me whether you are willing to stand for the runoff.
If you have questions or want more details as to why the runoff needs to happen in this way, please don't hesitate to get in touch. My plan is to start the runoff voting by noon on [day] and close it at the end of business on [next day].
So....the decision is that the runoff will continue until someone gets a majority. And ALL FOUR candidates will continue to be on the ballot. An excellent natural experiment. At the Libertarian Convention this year, this kind of thing brought us...BOB BARR! After six ballots, I should note....