Election Information

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Elections for unit officers and the Executive Board are conducted annually. Officer terms start and end at the end of the association's annual conference, typically held in April. Voting for the Executive Board is conducted online; paper ballots will only be mailed to members who have not provided TLA with an email address. Unit elections may be conducted online if their unit bylaws allow it; if choosing to participate in online elections, units must declare this intention to TLA by that year's deadline. A general timeline is below, and detailed timeline is made available to unit officers in the fall of each year. Units must also consult their individual bylaws to ensure any additional elections requirements are met. Members eligible to participate in association elections must have a current membership by February 1 to participate in that year's elections.


Units should note these principles when choosing to participate in online elections:

  1. Units must provide TLA with a finalized slate of candidates by the deadline provided by TLA. 
  2. TLA provides an online candidate bio form in the Members Only section that is open to all candidates. Candidates are encouraged, but not required to fill out the online bio form, which is viewable by all association members.  
  3. The unit is entirely responsible for ensuring and monitoring that all candidate information has been entered into the online form by the deadline for inclusion in the online balloting process.
  4. TLA staff will not edit candidate information. If desired, units may communicate with candidates any problems they see with their submissions. If the unit undertakes a role to proof the text or recommend any corrections, then the unit must ensure equity among all candidates.
  5. If a unit uses the online balloting system, the unit elections will be held entirely online (i.e., no mail-in ballots).
  6. Election instructions and election results are communicated by staff to the unit chair, who is then responsible for sharing this information with the unit's nominating committees or candidates, as appropriate.


November - mid-month

  • Units must declare their intent to participate in online elections by notifying the TLA office.
  • The slate of officers should be finalized for each unit.
  • Each unit chair or nominating committee should transmit to their own candidates the instructions for entering biographical information and statements of concern into the online system.

December - mid-month

Candidates must complete their biographical information and statements of concern. TLA staff will neither enter the information for any candidate nor monitor, edit, nor approve the submissions (that's the responsibility of the units).

Early January

  • TLA will post the candidate information for all participating units on the TLA website. Please note: TLA will not mail out printed unit biographical information or unit ballots.
  • TLA will work with an outside survey company to finalize balloting preparations and will process memberships to be sure that all memberships received as of February 1 are marked as current and eligible for voting.
  • Units must monitor that their candidates have submitted the online information. Copies of each candidate's entry are available in the Members Only section of the website for review at anytime by the chair of the appropriate division, round table, or interest group. Units may undertake the role of communicating proofing errors to their candidates, if they so desire. TLA will not edit candidate information.

February - mid-month

  • Electronic balloting information is transmitted to all members with a valid email address.
  • Printed ballots for Executive Board members are sent to members without email addresses.
  • Members receiving the paper Executive Board ballots are still able to vote electronically for unit officers. They are instructed that in order to vote for officers in participating units, they can use the a member number and E-signature printed on the ballot.
  • Units should publicize their slate of candidates to encourage voting participation.

End of March

  • Deadline for submission of print and electronic ballots; tellers from the survey company count ballots and certify the election results.
  • Unit chairs will be sent their election results and asked to contact each candidate.
  • Two days after the results are shared with unit chairs, the results will be posted on the TLA website.


Unit representatives must notify their unit's candidates to enter their biographical information in the online form. Candidates should follow the instructions below to access the online form and submit their information:

  1. Login to the TLA website and go to the Members Only Section.
  2. Under the Misc Forms section, click on the link for "Unit & Board Officer Candidates - Bio Form"
  3. Click on the appropriate division, round table, or interest group and on the applicable position.
  4. Complete the questions relating to biographical background and statement of concerns (which has a 125 word limit that is strictly enforced).

If participating online elections, all unit election material will be conducted online only. No unit candidate information will be printed or included in the mailed ballot, and the printed ballot will only list TLA Executive Board candidates. All unit elections must adhere to TLA policies relating to eligibility and the handling of the elections.

Please contact Dana Braccia if you have any questions. 

Created on Nov 3, 2010 | Last updated December 06, 2017