Outside Organizations Hire Our League To Oversee Their Board Elections

You Can Help!

Ballot-boxThe League of Women Voters periodically has been asked to assist with organizational Board elections, and within the last several years has done so for Berkeley Community Media organization that provides oversight of Berkeley’s local public access cable TV channels; the Oregon Park Senior Apartments Cooperative Board (under a court order); and the Cooperative Center Federal Credit Union (known by most as the Co-Op Credit Union).  We have been able to earn several hundred dollars annually through these organizations contracting with us. Each of these elections requires three or four League volunteers to commit for a few hours each over a limited time period—usually just a day.

The League of Women Voters has a well-deserved reputation of unbiased fairness when it comes to providing information about election issues and producing forums with Berkeley/Community Media, the organization that produces Berkeley’s local public access cable TV channels, to help voters make up their minds about candidates for office. That reputation has led to many local Leagues being asked to assist with overseeing Board elections for other nonprofit entities like homeowner associations, credit unions, and student body associations. We are referred to as a “third party independent” overseer, or sometimes a “teller of elections,” and some organizations’ by-laws require the use of this independent “teller” or overseer—the League having no “horse in the race” and thus assuring fairness of the election process.

For our League, this all began in the 1970’s when we were asked to assist with poll-watching and vote tallying for the Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC), which led to our assisting with the Berkeley City College (then Vista College) student elections.  Back in the day, the ASUC election brought us a good deal of revenue (in our last year of performing this service, it was $10,000).  With the computer age taking over many such functions, the ASUC eventually turned to on-line voting and our services were no longer required.

But, since then, we continue to realize new opportunities. If you’re interested in helping out (the task is quickly grasped), you are welcome to join the team we can call upon when groups contact us to provide our highly-regarded private election services.  Please contact Sherry Smith at js1589@berkeley.edu if this is a task that interests you.

– Sherry Smith

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