Executive committee election guide


This guideline assists clubs in conducting fair and open elections for Executive Committee members. The guideline should be read in conjunction with the club’s Constitution.

Club Returning Officer

The executive committee needs to appoint a Returning Officer. The role of a Returning Officer is to conduct, in its entirety, the election for the Executive Committee. The club Returning Officer cannot be a candidate for any position being contested in an election. It is essential that the Returning Officer is not seen to have any affiliation with or show support to any candidate. The integrity of an election relies on the ability and complete impartiality of the Returning Officer. The Returning Officer may or may not be a member of the Club.

The role broadly includes:

    1. preparing the notice inviting nominations;

    2. ensuring the notice is published;

    3. receiving nominations;

    4. accepting nominations and getting formal approval of nominations

    5. closing nominations;

    6. organising the voting

    7. counting votes; and

    8. Providing the result to the club.


For club elections:

    1. there should be a specific period between the date nominations are invited and the close of nominations;

    2. the close of the roll of members entitled to vote should be no later than the time set for the close of nominations;

    3. there should be a period of at least two weeks between the close of nominations and the commencement of the voting period or the AGM if voting is at the AGM;

    4. the days and times for voting should be convenient for members and should ensure that as far as practicable, members are given adequate opportunity to vote;

    5. members not present may vote using a proxy letter

Notice of Election by Returning Officer

Subject to the requirements of the club’s Constitution, an election notice should be emailed to all club members, put up on social media outlets and club notice board.

The notice should:

    1. state that an election is to be held and identify and provide contact details for the club Returning Officer;

    2. set the time and date for the close of the roll of eligible members;

    3. invite nominations, listing the positions to be contested;

    4. specify how nominations can be lodged;

    5. fix the time and date for the close of nominations; and

    6. advise the day(s) and time(s) for voting; if voting is at the AGM (recommended), the time, date and location of the meeting


A nomination form should include the following information:

    1. the full name, and contact details (email/phone/) of the candidate;

    2. the position or positions for which the candidate is standing;

    3. the full name, and contact detail of the nominator; and

    4. the place and time by which to lodge nominations.

If the Returning Officer believes that a candidate is not eligible, the Returning Officer should, as soon as practicable after receiving the nomination, contact the candidate and advise them of the circumstance and that it needs to be rectified before nominations close.

Unless there are extenuating circumstances entirely beyond the control of a candidate, the Returning Officer should not accept a nomination after the time and date fixed for the close of nominations.

Acceptance and withdrawal of nominations

As nominations come in, the Returning Officer should get in contact with each candidate via email to inform them that they have been nominated. A candidate who has been nominated should be given the option to withdraw that nomination.

Uncontested elections

If, when nominations close, the number of persons who have been duly nominated as candidates for a particular position does not exceed the number to be elected to a position, each of those persons is elected. Any positions remaining unfilled should be filled according to the club’s Constitution.

Contested elections

If by the close of nominations, the number of persons who have been nominated as candidates for a position or positions exceeds the number of persons to be elected, then the contested positions must go to a vote.

Voting systems:

The voting system the club uses is at the club’s discretion, provided the executive committee members are ‘fairly and democratically’ elected. The voting system may be defined in your club’s constitution, so be sure to check that first. In the absence of defined procedures in the club’s constitution, the club should use:

  • the ‘One Vote' system- where club members will select only one candidate for each position up for election. The elected candidate for each position will be the candidate with the most votes.

Result of election

Once the outcome of the election has been determined, the Returning Officer should advise all club members through an email and the President can present the new executive committee.

Retention of Materials

In case there is any challenge by a candidate concerning the result of the election, the Returning Officer should keep all the materials for one month before destroying them.