ELECTION

Annual Election Process

Overall

IC 14-33-5-2 – Election to fill vacancies; number of votes to elect:

  • At each annual meeting of the district, directors shall be elected to fill vacancies on the board due to expiration of terms, resignation, or otherwise.
  • The election shall be conducted by written ballots
  • To be elected an individual must receive a plurality of the votes of the freeholders of the district who are:
    1. Present and voting in person; or
    2. Absent but have mailed or delivered a written ballot vote.
      • A written ballot vote must be signed and mailed or delivered to the district office. A ballot is valid if delivered or received before the scheduled date of the annual meeting.

IC 14-33-5-1 – Board Member Qualifications

  • A director must have the following qualifications:
    1. Be:
      • A freeholder of the area of the district for which appointed; or
      • An officer or a nominee of a corporate freeholder of the area of the district for which appointed.
    2. Be qualified by knowledge and experience in matters pertaining to the development of the district. 

Step 1

IC 14-33-5-3 – Nominations

  • Beginning October 24 and not later than November 1, the board shall invite nominations to fill vacancies on the board at the next annual meeting by one (1) publication in a newspaper of general circulation in each county in the district. Each publication must do the following:
    1. Contain the names of the directors whose terms are expiring and the area of the district involved.
    2. Invite nominations to fill vacancies.
    3. State the qualifications for the office as prescribed by section 1 of this chapter, except for the following:
      • A nominee does not have to have been a petitioner for the establishment of the district.
      • A nominee does not have to be a resident of the area of the district for which nominations are invited.
  • Nominations for director must:
    1. Be submitted to the office of the district in writing before December 1 following notice of vacancies; and
    2. Be signed by at least five (5) freeholders from the areas designated by the secretary's notice.
  • Nominations that are mailed are valid if:
    1. Delivered or postmarked before December 1;
    2. The envelope has sufficient United States postage; and
    3. The envelope is addressed to the district's office

Step 2

IC 14-33-5-4 – Annual Meeting

  • The annual meeting of the district must be held at the time designated by the court:
    1. At the district's office; or
    2. At a place in or near the district as determined by resolution of the board adopted before December 1 of the year.
  • Notice of the annual meeting of the district must be given by one (1) publication in a newspaper of general circulation in each county in the district at least fourteen (14) and not more than thirty-one (31) days before the annual meeting. The notice must contain the following:
    1. The names of the nominees
    2. The place where the election will be held
    3. The time of the election
    4. The fact that this is the annual meeting of the district
    5. The purposes of the meeting
    6. The time during which ballots may be cast

Step 3

IC 14-33-5-5 – Ballots; Certification

  • Before the annual meeting, the board shall prepare the ballots and a list of the freeholders of the district, which must be certified by the county auditor and placed in the district's files. A deficiency in this process or an omission of the names of any freeholders does not void action taken at an annual meeting.
  • Only one (1) vote may be cast per freehold

Step 4

IC 14-33-5-6 – Voting Procedures

  • At each annual meeting and before the election of directors, the chairman shall appoint three (3) freeholders of the district who are present at the annual meeting to act as clerks of and conduct the election.
  • Before the casting of a vote, each freeholder must sign the list of freeholders opposite the freeholder's name in the presence of the secretary of the district. If the clerks find that a freeholder's name is erroneously omitted from the list, the clerks shall place the name on the list. The omitted freeholder is then entitled to cast a ballot.
  • The clerks shall note the fact of receipt of a valid written ballot vote opposite the freeholder's name who cast that vote. At this time, the written ballot vote is considered cast.
  • At the close of the election poll, the clerks shall count the cast ballots and make a report of the results. The secretary of the district shall record the results in the records of the district. The chairman shall then declare the successful nominees elected, and the elected directors are entitled to and shall assume all the duties of the office for which elected.

Step 5

IC 14-33-5-7 – Oath of Director

  • Promptly after appointment or election a director shall take the following oath:
    • "I solemnly swear that I shall, to the best of my ability, strive to accomplish the purposes for which the district is established and properly to operate and maintain its works of improvement."