Board Election Process


  • January Governance Committee Meeting – Committee, including Executive Director, reviews elections calendar and process for accuracy.
  • Mid-January – Governance Committee Chair or assignee confirms all necessary resources for elections – software/services/vendors/partners.
  • Late January – Executive Director contacts Directors whose terms are expiring to ascertain their interest in running for re-election. Executive Director also attempts to identify any Directors who may be considering departing the board off-cycle. Office Manager maintains a vacant positions list.


  • February Governance Committee Meeting – Committee reviews status of Director terms and notifies Executive Committee of upcoming vacancies.
  • February Executive Committee Meeting – Committee reviews the openings/information collected by the Governance Committee.
  • February Board Meeting – Governance Committee Chair presents the openings/information collected above to the full board, and reviews recruiting information.


  • March 1st – Office Manager obtains the list of Property Owners as of January 1st from City IT department or assessor’s office:

City Tax Assessor 
City of Portland, Maine
(207) 874-8754 (TO BE UPDATED UPON HIRING)

  • Office Manager adds owner names if known, to the list (Directors and any others known).
  • Office Manager checks list specifically regarding nonprofits that own real estate (e.g., MaineHealth) and alerts Governance Committee to any discrepancies; confirms that all properties entitled to vote are included.

NOTE: the two items immediately above are manual processes, taking time and resources. Future item for discussion is process improvement.

  • Governance Committee obtains Property Owner list (in Excel format) from Office Manager and adds unique usernames, key codes, and (last) voting weights (the latter as described in the Bylaws) for uploading into Election Runner website (as of 2/2020). See separate specific instructions for how various steps in spreadsheet manipulation are handled.
  • Executive Director forwards the address to the Governance Committee chair for monitoring during election season. Chair forwards all received mail to balance of committee members (automatically via mailbox rule).
  • Following March Governance Committee meeting – Staff confirms arrangements with a third-party processor (Albin, Randall & Bennett as of 5/2020) for voter information, ballot, and election results verifications, as directed by the Governance Committee.
  • Governance Committee sets up election in Election Runner website using the Portland Downtown elections account. See separate instructions.
  • Directors and Executive Director identify and solicit potential nominees for upcoming vacancies. Recruiting focused on identifying nominees who are energetic, engaged, motivated by the mission, willing to handle the “lift” involved in participating on this board.
  • Staff develops press release to alert Property Owners and Stakeholders (defined in Bylaws) to openings, requirements, and nominations process.
  • Staff sends out one or more messages to Property Owners and Stakeholders to encourage participation in nominations and voting, including a press release, if any.
  • Governance Committee reviews/approves all templates, lists, etc. for all elections-related communications.
  • Prior to March board meeting – Governance Committee chair reminds Directors for nominations via email.
  • March Board Meeting – Governance Committee chair gives a recruiting pep talk to full Board.


  • April 1st – Executive Director reminds Directors of requirements and available positions for last-minute recruiting encouragement.
  • April 1st – Governance Committee chair and/or Executive Director remind current Directors who are up for re-election to nominate themselves or find someone to nominate them during the nomination period. Nominations for current Directors cannot be overlooked!
  • April 1st – Staff performs mailing of nomination information and set up of nomination site online:

Property Owner nominations:

    • Each unique property owner receives a separate mailing.
    • Print mailing labels from City list. Be sure Property Owner names are used where we know them.
    • Nomination mailing includes link to online nominations page

Stakeholder nominations:

    • Office Manager gets lists from Program Director and prints mailing labels.
    • Mailing includes link to online nominations page
  • April 15th – Nominations due. Staff retrieve nominations from online site and provide them to the Governance Committee. At direction of the Governance Committee, staff will provide periodic updates of nominees as they come in.


  • May 1st – staff confirm that all nominees are current on assessments (if Property Owners) and are appropriately located in the district/meet their category requirements and notifies Governance Committee chair of results.
  • May 1st – Governance Committee chair assigns committee members to nominees for confirmation calls to be completed prior to May Governance Committee meeting (perform the staff verifications before calling nominees). Confirmation calls include: acknowledgement of nomination, understanding of board director role, general Q&A, committee interest preview (submit committee interest info to Board Chair).
  • May Governance Committee Meeting – Committee reviews status of all nominee confirmation activity; checks for extenuating circumstances; prepares and forwards the ballot to the Executive Committee.
  • May Executive Committee Meeting – Executive Committee reviews list of nominees/ballots from Governance Committee and forwards to staff for inclusion in the May board packet.
  • May Board Meeting – Office Manager includes ballots in the board meeting packet.
  • May Board Meeting – Governance Committee chair presents the ballot for approval.
  • May board meeting through June 15th – Nominees are invited to relevant board gatherings.
  • May board meeting through submittal to third-party processor – Governance Committee finalizes the Election Runner election (see separate instructions).
  • Following online election setup and immediately after May board meeting – Governance Committee provides Election Runner credentials to third-party processor for verification of uploaded voter information. Third-party changes the Election Runner password for the duration of the election to ensure they are the only parties with access from when they verify the voter information until they verify the results. Must leave adequate time from submitting to third-party until election start for verification process.
  • May board meeting through May 31st – Staff prepare materials for mailing unique voting credentials and voting instructions to Property Owners and/or Stakeholders (defined in Bylaws). Staff and Governance Committee members, along with other Directors, collate and stuff mailing materials for a “many hands make light work” approach.
  • Voting information mailed (staff) and online election activated (Governance/third-party) by May 31st. Each property or stakeholder receives a separate mailing.

In the envelope:

    • Introduction and instructions from Board Chair
    • URL for voting site access
    • Unique voting credentials per property name and parcel number or Stakeholder (defined in Bylaws)
    • Biographies of nominees will be included in the online voting site and also on the Portland Downtown website – elections page

On the envelope:

    • Sticker identifying the contents as “Board Election Information Enclosed”


  • June 15th – Votes due (or next business day if the 15th is a Sunday). Governance Committee delegate ensures voting ends as intended in Election Runner via 3rd party.
  • June 15th – Third-party processor retrieves results and returns log in credentials to the Governance Committee, notifies Executive Director and Governance Committee of the winner(s). Governance Committee subsequently downloads all results and materials from Election Runner for temporary preservation. Governance changes credentials.
  • June 30th – Executive Director or Board chair notifies nominees of election results (15 days following election end).


  • Terms begin July 1st.
  • Board Chair and Executive Director conduct orientation for new Directors prior to July board meeting.


  • September 15th – Governance Committee retains results until September 15th (90 days from end of election) in case of dispute.
  • September 15th – Executive Director forwards the address to the Executive Director (for non-election season monitoring).