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ISGH Elections 2017

The 2017 ISGH Election Center

The Official Page for the 2017 ISGH elections
ANNOUNCEMENT!
  • Please note that the deadline for nominating individuals for the open positions (see a list below) has been extended to Sunday, October 22nd. Instructions as to how to submit your nomination can be found here.
  • If you wish to retrieve your membership information, please click here.

Dates of the Election
Early Voting: Sunday, December 3rd from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Locations: TBA
General Voting:  Sunday, December 10th, River Oaks Islamic Center, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Disclaimer
The Election Commission is an independent body that does not endorse any candidate. Its mission and goal is to run an ethical and valid election. It reserves the right to change dates, deadlines and regulations as needed to fulfill its objective.

Important Links

Email: ec2017@isgh.org
Facebook: https://www.fb.com/isghelections
Membership lookup: www.isghmembership.us

A. IMPORTANT DATES AND DEADLINES FOR 2017 ISGH ELECTIONS:
1. May 31, 2017
Members of ISGH who have filed their membership applications or renewed their membership before the end of June, and have paid their dues will be considered as the eligible voting members.

2. 3rd Sunday of July: July 16th, 2017- Completed
The Board of Directors of ISGH shall select and appoint Chairman and at least four other members of the Election Commission, with an effort to have a member from each Islamic Center.

3. 2nd Sunday of August: August 13, 2017 - Completed
A tentative list of eligible voting members is posted on the bulletin boards in the Islamic Centers (ICs) by the respective Directors and in the Main Center by the General Secretary.

4. 1st Sunday of September: September 3, 2017 - Completed
The General Secretary of the ISGH provides the final list of the eligible voting members (approved by the ISGH Board of Directors) to the Chairman of the Election Commission.

5. 4th Sunday of September: September 24, 2017 - None
The General Secretary shall provide a written approved copy of BOARD approved referendum issues (if any) or changes to Constitution & Bylaws to the Election Commission.

6. 1st Sunday of October: October 1, 2017 -
The Election Commission shall announce election procedures and make the nomination forms available to all eligible voters for downloading on the ISGH website www.isgh.org/elections

[Note: Due to the delay caused by hurricane Harvey and the fact that the final membership list did not get delivered to EC in a reasonable time before this deadline, the zip groups and numbers of reps have not yet been finalized. If there is more than a couple of days delay in the zip grouping announcement, deadline for the nominations for Area Reps ONLY will be extended by one week. All other election schedules will remain same.]

7. 4th Sunday of October: October 22, 2017 -
The last date for receiving the nominations for contested positions by noon (Article VII, Sec. 3A).

[Note: ONLY for Area Rep nomination; due to the delays in the finalization of the membership list, EC has decided to extend the nomination deadline, ONLY for Area Rep Nominations, by one week. The deadline for Area Reps nomination now is by noon on 22 October 2017]

8. 1st Sunday of November: November 5, 2017 -
Election Commission announces a preliminary list of eligible nominees.

9. 2nd Sunday of November: November 12, 2017 -
The last date for the withdrawal of a nomination, by 12:00 noon. Election Commission must receive withdrawal on paper, fax, or email on or before this date/time.

10. 3rd Sunday of November: November 19, 2017 -
The Election Commission makes the announcement of the final nominations at 5:00 PM and also publishes them on the ISGH website.

11. 4th Weekend of November: Nov. 25 & 26, 2017 -
This weekend shall be used to arrange Mandatory Candidate Orientation Sessions, and Introduction of Council, Assoc. Dirs., & Shura candidates at ICs.

12. 1st Sunday of December: December 3, 2017 -
Early balloting at designated Islamic Centers 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

13. 2nd Sunday of December: December 10, 2017 -
Election Day balloting in the ISGH Main Center from 10:00 a.m. -
5:00 p.m. (with short breaks for Zuhr & Asr Salat).

Announcements of the election results shall be as soon as the counting of the ballots is completed. After the announcement of results, pertinent data shall be collected, sealed, and delivered to the General Secretary who shall ensure that the seal is left intact until the new BOARD and Councils are sworn in.

14. 3rd Sunday of December: December 17, 2017 -
If needed, hold Run-Off Election at Main Center for Executive Body positions and at designated Islamic Centers for other positions.

15. 1st Sunday of Jan 2018: January 7, 2018 -
Oath-taking Ceremony at Main Center (after Zuhr salat). Mandatory Newly Elected Officials Orientation Session.

B. POSITIONS UP FOR ELECTION

The 2017 Election Commission (“EC”) shall seek nominations for the following positions:
1. Vice President
2. Treasurer
3. Director, Northwest Zone
4. Director, Southeast Zone
5. Director, South Zone
6. Associate Director, SW – Central IC
7. Associate Director, SW – Mission Bend IC
8. Associate Director, SW – New Territory IC
9. Associate Director, SW – Synott Road IC
10. Associate Director, NO – Adel Road IC
11. Associate Director, NO – Champions IC
12. Associate Director NO – Cypress IC
13. Associate Director, NO – Woodlands IC
14. Associate Director, NW – Katy IC [Special Election for 1-year term]
15. Area Representatives for all Islamic Centers of all Zones according to zip groups
16. Special at-large elections for one each of a YOUTH and SISTER Area Reps for those Islamic Centers that have more than 10 Area Reps (excluding the two additional Area Reps)
17. Special at-large election of required Area Reps so that no Islamic Center shall have less than Four (4) Ares Reps

Note:

Zip Groups and numbers of Area Reps for each Islamic Center will be determined once EC has received the final and correct version of membership lists. As of Saturday 07 October, there are still some issues with the lists that need to be resolved.

Any special Area Rep elections needed for any IC will also be announced at the same time when the Zip Groups are announced.

C. GENERAL INFORMATION AND RULES FOR 2017 ELECTIONS

The following rules are paraphrased excerpts from the ISGH Constitution & Bylaws and from the Policy & Procedures Manual, and are hereby provided as guidelines to facilitate the election process. In all cases of errors and/or conflicts, the ISGH Constitution & Bylaws shall prevail.

I. RULES APPLICABLE TO ELIGIBLE VOTING MEMBERS:

1. Only eligible voting members shall be allowed to cast a vote.
2. An eligible voting member is a person whose name appears on the Shura-APPROVED 2017 ISGH Membership List as provided to the Election Commission.

II. RULES APPLICABLE TO THE NOMINEES:

1. An eligible voting member shall nominate another eligible voting member for one of the contested positions, on the form provided by the Election Commission, after consulting with the nominee and obtaining his/her consent.

2. A nominee for the position of President or Vice President shall be a member of the ISGH in good standing for two consecutive years and shall be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States of America.

3. A nominee for any one of the following positions shall be a member of ISGH in good standing for one year and shall be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States:

I. General Secretary

II. Treasurer

III. Zonal Directors

IV. Associate Directors

4. Additionally, a Zonal Director shall be a resident of that Zone. Nominee for Associate Director position shall be a resident of one of the Zip Codes associated with the respective Islamic Center. A nominee for the position of Area Representative shall be a resident of one of the Zip Codes.

5. An individual who has served two consecutive terms on the Shura is NOT qualified for election to a third consecutive term for the same position.

6. A nominee for the Majlis-e-Shura (Board of Directors) or Associate Director should also fulfill the requirements of the ISGH Bylaws as excerpted below:

“Qualification of Nominees for a position on the Board of Directors or an Associate Director:
(i) Besides being an eligible voting member for at least one year (2 years for nominees for the position of President or Vice President), each nominee for a position on the Board of Directors or Associate Director must meet all of the following conditions:
(a) Has been involved in ISGH as a Board of Director, Associate Director, or Area Representative, or in any of the ISGH standing or special committees, or as faculty member in any of the ISGH or affiliated educational entities.
(b) Is not serving and has not served, during the two-year period immediately preceding the date of nomination, as a director, officer, employee, Imam or Ameer of any Islamic organization not affiliated with ISGH, at the time of nomination.
(c) Has not been an employee of ISGH at any time during the two year period immediately preceding the date of nomination.
(d) Has not been removed from an elected office of ISGH (as per Bylaws Article VII Section 8) or expelled from ISGH membership for ethical reasons (as per Bylaws Article VII Section 9).
(e) Has signed a statement that he:
- Does not himself seek an elected position
- Does not put his decisions or other people's decisions over and above the decisions of Allah in the Quran and Sunnah
- Is obedient to Shariah
- Does not commit major sins.

7. Qualification of Nominees only for a position on ISGH Executive Body (President, Vice President, General Secretary, and Treasurer): All requirements enumerated in item 6 above except for the additional following requirement:
(a) Has served or is serving one full two-year term as an ISGH Board of Director or Associate Director.

8. Any person who has previously served, in the aggregate, five full terms on the BOARD, shall no longer be nominated or be eligible for election to any position on the ISGH Board of Directors. A person who has served more than one year of a two-year term shall be deemed to have served a full term. Calculation of the number of terms a person has served as a member of the BOARD shall be made on a retroactive basis beginning from the inception of ISGH.

9. Has not previously served, in the aggregate, three full terms as Associate Director whether in the same or different Islamic Centers. A person who has served more than one year of a two-year term shall be deemed to have served a full term. The calculation of the number of terms a person has served as Associate Director shall be made on a retroactive basis beginning from the inception of ISGH.

10 A member of the Election Commission cannot be a nominee for any position contested in the upcoming elections.

11. An employee of ISGH or of any of its subsidiaries cannot be a nominee for any position contested in the upcoming elections.

12. A nominee may withdraw his/her acceptance by submitting a written request on or before (12:00 Noon, Sunday Nov 12, 2017). Such a withdrawal will be final. The Election Commission MUST have this Withdrawal by the above deadline at the Main Center.

13. All nominees for a position of the Board of Directors (Majlis-e-Shura), who accept a nomination, shall submit a short resume of their qualifications and related experience, on or before November 22, 2017, to the Election Commission.

14. All nominees for the position of the Board of Directors (Majlis-e-Shura) shall make themselves available if Election Commission organizes an introduction session at any of the Islamic Centers where nominees for Associate Directors and/or Area Representatives may also be introduced.

15. Mandatory orientation of all ISGH elected positions: Prior to the final list of Nominees being announced by the Elections Commission, there shall be mandatory ISGH Elections Orientation Sessions for all candidates seeking ISGH elected offices so that they can clearly understand and acknowledge the demands of time commitment expected if they are elected to that office. Those candidates who are unwilling to attend these orientation sessions may be declared unqualified by the Election Commission and their names shall not appear on the Final Nominations List or on the election ballot.

16. Mandatory orientation of all Newly Elected Officials: There shall be an Elected Officials Orientation Session after the ISGH elections but prior to taking the Oath of Office. Officials just elected at the ISGH General Elections shall not be allowed to take their respective Oath of Office unless they attend an Elected Officials Orientation Session. If they do not attend an Elected Officials Orientation Session and do not take their Oath of Office by March 31, their position shall be declared vacant.

III. GENERAL INFORMATION:

1. ISGH discourages all defaming and negative campaigns. Members shall discourage, at source, “defaming and negative” campaigns.

All nomination letters shall be addressed to the Election Commission and received on or before 12:00 Noon, Sunday, October 15, 2017, at the ISGH Main Center at 3110 Eastside Street, Houston, Texas 77098. [Note: Due to the delay caused by hurricane Harvey and the fact that the final membership list did not get delivered to EC in a reasonable time before this deadline, the zip groups and numbers of reps have not yet been finalized. If there is more than a couple of days delay in the zip grouping announcement, deadline for the nominations for Area Reps ONLY will be extended by one week. All other election schedules will remain same.]

3. Early balloting shall be held on December 3, 2017 at selected Islamic Centers from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

4. The 2017 ISGH General Elections shall be held on Sunday, December 10, 2017, at the Main Center between the hours of 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM (with breaks for Zuhr & Asr prayers).

5. Eligible voting members MUST cast vote in person. Proxy shall NOT be accepted.

6. All members eligible to vote MUST present photo identification, such as driver’s license, passport, student ID, etc. The identification presented must verify the identity of the voting member to the satisfaction of EC.

7. Children of eligible voting members whose names already appear on the voting list MUST present an identification showing their date of birth, (minimum age: 15 years. Identification must show DOB of December 10, 2002 OR earlier). Any person who has attained the age of 21 years on or before June 30, 2017 is not eligible to vote as a dependent child of a member; in order to vote or run for election, they should have their own separate ISGH membership.

8. Dependent, resident (not visiting) parents of an eligible member whose names already appear on the voting list MUST be accompanied by the member at the time of balloting and must present proper identification as specified above.

9. Only those persons whose names are on the list of eligible voting members will be allowed to vote. However, the EC wants to make sure that no ISGH member is denied the right to participate in this election because of an error in the preparation of the voting list. Dealing with missing names is extremely difficult on actual election day(s) and is absolutely discouraged. Under most circumstances it will NOT BE ALLOWED or WILL NOT BE POSSIBLE to do so at the time of balloting.

10. The BOARD must approve any changes or modifications to these guidelines.

D. ELECTION PROCEDURE:

  1. Election shall be conducted by secret ballots.
  2. Candidates or their representatives shall not be allowed in the ballot distributing room.
  3. Any balloting material, documentation, and data will be safeguarded using all appropriate measures (like signed and sealed, etc) and shall be left in the custody of Chairman Election Commission. No partial results or trends shall be announced or communicated to anyone.
  4. Counting of the ballots shall start on Election Day as soon as voting is completed.
  5. Candidates shall request in writing if the candidate or one of their representatives wish to be present at the time of the ballot counting. No more than one representative for each candidate shall be present in the ballots counting room.
  6. All decisions of the Election Commission shall be made by majority vote of the members of the election commission present at the time of the decision. In all matters pertaining to the counting of the ballots and the announcement of the results, the decision of the Election Commission shall be final. All election announcements shall be made by the Chairman Election Commission.
  7. In case the numerical count of the difference in ballots cast for two candidates is less than one-half percent of the total ballot cast in that specific race, one of the candidates in that race or one of their representatives may request a recount. If the numerical count of the ballots difference in ballots cast for two candidates is between one-half percent and One percent, then the Election Commission by a majority vote of the EC may voluntarily conduct a recount. Under no circumstances will there be a recount if the numerical count of the difference in ballots cast for two candidates is over one percent, unless the Election Commission votes by a 2/3rd majority to conduct a recount.
  8. The Election Commission may unanimously recommend to the BOARD to cancel the outcome of the election in whole or in part if it determines that the election was not fair due to the circumstances brought to its attention that were beyond its control.