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MANP's Electronic Voting Bill, LD 894

by Jennifer Gray

MANP’s bill, LD 894, An Act to Expressly Allow Nonprofit Corporations to Conduct Electronic Voting (sponsored by Senator Geoffrey Gratwick) has been printed and referred to the Maine Legislature’s Judiciary Committee.

LD 894 would allow a nonprofit corporation to enable its members to vote for directors or officers by electronic transmission through a change in its bylaws.

Last summer, the Blue Knights, a member nonprofit based in Bangor, approached MANP about supporting their bill to allow Maine nonprofit membership organizations to be able to utilize electronic voting for their membership. They have an international membership and it’s quite expensive for them to use mail which is currently required under existing law.

In response, we surveyed our members and the overwhelming result was that they want to be able to vote electronically. Of the 244 responses, 86% responded that they had no concerns with Maine nonprofits utilizing electronic voting. Twenty-two percent have legally defined members who are entitled to vote on key issues such as electing the board or officers who would benefit from this bill.

Nonprofits—as with other corporations—are increasingly serving stakeholders and members from across broader geographic regions, and this clarification in the law would help nonprofits take full advantage of modern technology.

Savings dollars on postage would allow the affected nonprofits to use these savings for their mission work.

Stay tuned as this bill makes it way through the legislative process.

 

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