Due to the outbreak and rapid spread of the coronavirus disease known as COVID-19, on March 6, 2020, Gov. Eric J. Holcomb declared a statewide public health emergency under Executive Order 20-02. As a result, the 2020 Annual Meeting was postponed. On March 23, 2020, Gov. Holcomb entered Executive Order 20-08 directing Hoosiers to stay home except for the performance of essential services. It was determined by public health agencies that the gathering of large crowds should be avoided without precautions including physical distancing. REMC annual meetings historically attract well more than 1,000 people and it was determined that such a large gathering would pose a public health risk. Due to health and safety concerns for the members, the corporate bylaws were amended to allow for cancellation of in-person annual meetings in cases of public health and other emergencies and to accept the certified electronic and paper ballot voting tally as the official, final outcome of election of directors. The in-person portion of the 2020 annual meeting was thereafter canceled. This report shall serve as the record of the election results for 2020, in place of in-person meeting minutes.
REMC is guided in the conduct of its corporate affairs by the Indiana REMC Act, the Cooperative’s Articles of Incorporation, and by its Bylaws. The Bylaws provide that the affairs of the Cooperative be managed by seven directors and for the election of directors in staggered three-year terms. Directorate Districts 3, 6, and 7 were up for election in 2020.
Pursuant to Article IV, Section 4.06 of the Bylaws, candidates were nominated for the director positions by submitting a written petition signed by a minimum of fifteen (15) members.
The following persons were nominated by petition:
- In District 3 the sole nominee was incumbent Director John Biesel;
- In District 6 the sole nominee was incumbent Director Paul Graf;
- In District 7 the nominees were Denny Hill, Jeff Myers, and William (Bill) Russo.
The 2020 election results were prepared, certified, and notarized by the third-party, independent company hired by REMC to conduct the electronic and paper ballot voting, Survey and Ballot Systems (SBS). It was reported that there were 22,093 eligible voters in the 2020 election. In order to have a valid election a quorum of members must vote. A quorum constitutes one-fiftieth of the total of all REMC members. REMC had 18% voter participation – a clear quorum – with 3,977 members casting their votes in the election. The officers of the Credentials and Election Committee certified the election results and declared the following winners:
- In District 3, John Biesel was elected to a three-year term as Director.
- In District 6, Paul Graf was elected to a three-year term as Director.
- In District 7, Jeff Myers was elected to a three-year term as Director.
The REMC will resume in-person annual meetings in the future unless prevented by public health and safety or other emergency circumstances.