AMA Elections

House of Delegates (HOD) election rules & procedures

In anticipation of the call for the Special Meeting of the House of Delegates, your speakers have been reviewing our current campaign and election processes and have developed the following plan to best simulate these processes for the special meeting. Our goal is to assure that all candidates will have equal opportunity to present their campaign and that all delegates have equal opportunity to vet each candidate to their satisfaction.

Elections

  • In accordance with our bylaws, nominations for president-elect, speaker and vice speaker will be made “from the floor” after which nominations will be closed. Elections will then be held for these offices.
  • Contingent upon the election of Gerald E. Harmon, MD, as president-elect, four seats will be open for election to the BOT. The BOT candidates’ two minute self-nominating speeches will be aired and all previously nominated council candidates will be announced. There will be an opportunity for further nominations from the floor. After the close of nominations, voting will be conducted live via smartphone or computer using a secure platform.
  • Run-off elections, if necessary, will be held once results are available.

Active campaigning

Active campaigning will be allowed once nominations are announced by the BOT. It is anticipated that this will occur once the call for the special meeting is made. Active campaigning is not allowed until that time.

Mailers

Given the shortened campaign time frame, the HOD office will make the HOD delegate/alternate delegate mailing address list available to candidates as soon as possible. This will facilitate the preparation of campaign materials so that they may be mailed as soon as nominations are announced by the BOT.

Emails

  • The HOD office is prohibited from distributing email addresses to candidates. However, we are aware that email lists may be “mined” from the AMA Pictorial Directory. While we do not condone use of email addresses obtained in this way, we will not consider this a campaign violation. We remind all candidates that any electronic election communication must include an “opt-out” feature.
  • Candidates are encouraged to be respectful of the challenges physicians are facing during this time and to limit their electronic communications accordingly.

“Live” virtual interviews

  • To simulate the in-person interview process as much as possible, virtual interviews via platforms such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom may be arranged.
  • Included in the communication to the HOD announcing the special meeting will be a notice asking delegation/caucus chairs to determine if their group would like to set up virtual interviews with the BOT candidates, the council candidates or both.
  • If interviews are desired, groups must provide the HOD office with contact information for the person responsible for scheduling and which candidates they wish to interview.
  • A deadline will be established by which the HOD office should be informed of their desire to do interviews.
  • The HOD office will then collate the list for each race and send it to the candidates to schedule directly with the designated contact person.
  • It will be a requirement that if a delegation or caucus intends to interview any candidate in a particular race that they provide an equal opportunity for all candidates in that race. Each candidate should be allotted equal time. Delegations may select any platform (telephone, Teams, Zoom, etc.) they wish for their interviews, but the same platform should be offered to all candidates.
  • It will be the responsibility of the individual candidates to contact the designated person to arrange an interview.

Pre-recorded interviews

  • Your speakers or the HOD office will contact candidates in contested races. Each candidate will be given an opportunity to record (in one take) their “stump” speech/introduction (one minute) followed by answers to a series of questions specific to each race. These videos will be recorded by AMA communications staff using an online platform.
  • The HOD office will provide all candidates with instructions and a list of helpful information (i.e., internet connection, lighting, background, etc.) to maximize the quality of their recording session.
  • Your speakers will monitor these sessions to ensure that each candidate is given equal opportunity to present and to assure equal quality of the recording obtained.
  • Once completed, these “pre-recorded interviews” will be linked to the HOD website.
  • This will provide an opportunity for those delegates not able to participate in scheduled virtual interviews to see the candidates perform in a simulated interview setting.

BOT candidate self nominating speeches

  • Each BOT candidate is required to give a two minute nominating speech. To simulate this the candidates will be required to give their speech virtually, in one take, recorded by our AMA communications staff.
  • As above, the candidates will be given instructions by the HOD office to prepare for this taping, and it will be done in conjunction with the taping done for the “pre-recorded interviews.”
  • These videos will be presented in random order at the special meeting prior to the vote.

Newly opened positions on councils

  • Given that several candidates for the BOT are in unexpired terms on councils (CMS and CSAPH) newly opened positions could be created on these councils.
  • Any individual considering being nominated for a newly opened position will be required to submit a conflict of interest form to the HOD office prior to a deadline of 48 hours before the beginning of the virtual meeting.
  • All potential candidates are encouraged, although not required, to submit a photo to be shown during the virtual meeting at the time of elections.
  • In the event of new nominations for any race, all candidates’ conflict of interest statements will be posted on the HOD website and displayed during the virtual meeting and each candidate, including all remaining previously announced candidates, will be allowed to give a two minute speech via a phone line (no video). All potential candidates will receive instructions in advance on how to call in for this speech.

Campaign websites

Previously, candidates have not been prohibited from having campaign websites. In addition, candidates have been allowed to include the URL in their election manual essay and on other campaign materials, once active campaigning is allowed. Candidates will continue to be permitted to utilize personal campaign websites, as has been done in the past.

Social media

Current rules regarding the use of social media are limited to a prohibition on declaring that one is a candidate until after the BOT allows for active campaigning. This same guideline will be followed.

Election manual

The election manual will continue to be published on the HOD website as it has been previously formatted. It will be published when the call for the special HOD meeting is made.

Photos

Photos submitted for the election manual will be displayed on the speakers page and may be shown during the virtual meeting at the time of elections. If you would like to submit an alternative photo for this purpose, please submit it to the HOD office as soon as possible. Send an email to [email protected].

Points of personal privilege

Given the constraints inherent to the virtual meeting, candidates (successful and unsuccessful) will not be given the opportunity for points of personal privilege after the announcement of the results.