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Section II

Voting and Conduct of Business

Article 7. Convocation 
 

   1.The regular meeting of the National Fraternity shall be the annual meeting of the National Council called by the National Minister. 
   2.The National Executive Council meets at least twice during the period between annual  meetings of the National Fraternity Council. 
   3.The National Fraternity Council meets for the purpose of elections once every three years. 
   4.The National Fraternity shall celebrate a National Congress at least once every five years, at a time and place determined by the National Executive Council and confirmed by the National Fraternity Council. 
   5.The Minister of each Regional Fraternity shall receive at least two months' notice of the place, day and time of the annual National Fraternity Council meeting. 
Article 8. Voting Rights 
 
    1.All members of the National Fraternity Council as defined I Article 3, Par. 1 have active voice and may vote. 
   2.The Minister of each Regional Fraternity has the primary responsibility for casting the vote of the Regional Fraternity in all elections and on all business which may come before the 
National Fraternity Council. 
   3.In the event a Regional Minister is impeded from attending the National Fraternity Council meeting, then the delegate of the Regional Fraternity shall be the Vice Minister pursuant to the 
provisions of Article 6, Paragraph 2a. 

     If both Regional Minister and Regional Vice Minister are so impeded, then a member of the Regional Fraternity Council elected by that body shall attend and exercise all of the powers 
of a delegate for the Regional Fraternity. 
   4.No Regional Fraternity may cast more than a single vote on any issue or in any election. 
   5.Even if a person has a right to vote in his or her own name by more than one title, such person may cast only one ballot. [10
Article 9. Quorum; Majority; Counting Ballots; Procedure 
 
    1.No official business may be transacted at a National Fraternity Council or National Executive Council meeting unless a quorum is present. A quorum consists of a majority of the number enrolled as attending the meeting.[11
   2.A majority, sometimes denominated an absolute majority, is more than half of the total number of votes cast. A relative or simple majority is the highest number of votes cast on a motion or in an election.[12
   3.Where questions arise concerning procedure which are not covered by the Code of Canon Law, the General Constitutions or the National Statutes, reference may be made to Robert's Rules of Order. The Presiding Officer, after taking advice, retains the power to determine any matter of procedure. 
Article 10. Elections 
 

   1.The National Fraternity Council elects the National Minister, the National Vice Minister, the National Secretary, the National Treasurer, at least one Councilor, the International Councilor and a substitute delegate for the International Councilor.[13
   2.Elections shall take place according to the norms of the law of the Church,[14] of the General Constitutions for the Secular Franciscan Order of 1990, of the Statutes of the International 
Fraternity, OFS, and of these statutes. 
   3.In tallying votes which are conducted by secret written ballot, each elector shall submit one vote. Then all ballots, including blanks, shall be counted to assure the validity of the vote.[15
Article 11. Convocation and Nominations 
 
   1.At least four months prior to elections, the National Executive Council shall appoint a Chairman for a Nominations Committee which will, acting according to norms established by the National Executive Council, present a slate of nominees for the offices to the members of the National Executive Council. This presentation shall be made approximately two months prior to the date set for the elections. 
   2.To be eligible as a candidate for election to office in the National Fraternity, one must be a permanently professed active member in the Secular Franciscan Order, and should be convinced of the validity of the Franciscan evangelical way of life, attentive to a broad and encompassing vision of the life of the Church and of society, open to dialogue and ready to give and receive help and collaboration.[16
   3.It shall be the duty of the Nominations Committee to ensure that each candidate meets the qualifications for the office which (s)he is proposed, has reviewed the duties of that office, and is willing to serve if elected. 
   4.Any individual who is elected to a national office may not hold an elected office at the Regional Fraternity or the Local Fraternity level. 
   5.The provisions of Article 76 of the General Constitutions shall be followed for convocation of the National Fraternity Council meeting for the purpose of elections. 
     a. The National Minister shall in timely fashion contact the Minister General of the Secular Franciscan Order, requesting that (s)he or a delegate preside over forthcoming elections. 
     b. The National Minister shall in timely fashion contact the President of the Conference of General Spiritual Assistants, requesting that he or a delegate attend forthcoming National Fraternity elections as a witness. 
Article 12. Right to Vote at Elections 
 
   1.All of the provisions of Article 8 above apply also to the right to vote at elections.[17
   2.During those meetings of the National Fraternity at which elections occur, the members of the outgoing and of the incoming National Executive Council, upon election, are members with 
full rights of the National Fraternity Council until the end of said meeting.[18
Article 13. Terms of Office 
 
   1.The provisions of Article 79,1 of the General Constitutions shall be followed concerning term of office and third successive term election procedures as to the National Ministers. 
   2.The National Councilor(s) are elected for a term of three years. 
   3.The International councilor who, according to the Statutes of the International Fraternity, represents NAFRA on the International Council of the Secular Franciscan Order, is elected 
for a term of six years. 
   4.For a third successive term for National and International Councilors, a two-thirds (2/3) majority of the voices of those present is required. 
Article 14. Procedure in Voting 

   1.The vote shall be taken and completed as to each office before proceeding to the next, commencing with the office of National Minister. Persons not elected to the first office voted 
upon may be nominated for remaining offices. 
   2.Further nominations shall be received from the floor at the elections. 
   3.The provisions of Article 72, sec. 4 and Article 78 of the General Constitutions shall be followed as to procedure at the elections of the National Fraternity Council. Supplemental norms may be established by the National Executive Council. 
Article 15. Provisions for Vacancies, Resignations, and Removals 
 
    1.The provisions of Article 81 and 83 of the General Constitutions shall govern the procedure to be followed in the event any elected officer resigns or is impeded from performing the duties of the office. 
   2.The provisions of Articles 84 of the General Constitutions shall govern the procedure to be followed to secure the removal for cause of the National Minister or members of the National 
Fraternity Council. 
   3.An appeal in writing from any such removal from office may be lodged within thirty days before the Council of the next higher level to that which imposed the sanction; and may also be carried in succession to the other levels of the Order. 


Endnotes



[10] CCL, Can . 168. 

[11] Robert's Rules of Order, S64. 

[12] CCL, Can. 119. 

[13] STATS SFO, Art. 22.2 

[14] CCL, Can. 164-179. 

[15] CCL, Can. 173,2. 

[16] CNS SFO, Art. 31,3. 

[17] Refer to Footnote 9 for definition of active and passive voice. 

[18] CNS SFO, Art. 79, 3. 

   
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