Each district elects two Delegates and an alternate(s) whose primary responsibility is to represent the conscience of the district's groups to MA World Services. Delegates shall be elected by the Third Legacy Procedure. Delegates should be elected at least 90 days prior to the Conference to allow them sufficient time to become familiar with the Conference Agenda. Outgoing Delegates are strongly encouraged to act as "service sponsors" to the incoming Delegates.

Experience shows that extra time should be scheduled at the District Service Committee (DSC) meeting during which the election takes place. It can be helpful to recruit a volunteer or two who can count the votes away from the participants. If the volunteers are familiar with the process and are not participating in it, so much the better. You may want to have paper and pencils for balloting, and a larger piece of paper or whiteboard and marker, to list the names of elegible members.

Eligibility

All MA members meeting the sobriety requirement are eligible to be elected as Delegates. Delegates must be sober. Sobriety is defined as abstinence from marijuana and all mind altering substances, including alcohol. The minimum recommended length of sobriety is one year.

Term of Service

A Delegate's term is one year with a two term maximum of continuous service.

Third Legacy Procedure

The Third Legacy Procedure is the method used for selection of Delegates and Trustees. The purpose of the special procedure is to eliminate, as much as possible, the role of personality, ego and competition in the process of selection of Delegates and Trustees.

In the traditional electoral process, a candidate declares or is nominated for office and then actively campaigns for the position. The candidate invests an often considerable personal interest in obtaining the position. The successful candidate experiences ego gratification; the unsuccessful candidate experiences personal rejection.

For the recovering addicts in MA, the traditional electoral process is risky and has the potential to damage the unity that is an important part of our recovery program. Our Third Legacy procedure removes, as much as possible, the elements of declaration and competition for our trusted servant office.

The Third Legacy Procedure is as follows:

Rules and Procedures

  1. The names of persons who meet the requirements for the service commitment are placed on an eligibility list.
  2. Candidates may strike their name from the list at any time
  3. To vote, each voting member writes the names of their chosen candidates (from the current eligibility list) on a secret ballot.
  4. For each round of voting, voters must write the exact number of names as there are positions to be filled (i.e., if there are three Trustee positions available, voting members must write the names of three candidates on their ballot). As positions are filled, the number of names required on each ballot will change.
  5. Errors made by voters regarding 3 or 4 above shall require that the vote be discarded and a new vote taken.
  6. The final 2 candidates eliminated by the above procedures will serve as Alternate trustees. The person with the most votes will serve as the first Alternate; the other will be the second Alternate.

The Process

  1. The FIRST VOTE is taken. Any person receiving two-thirds or more of the votes is elected. (N.B.: This vote may result in no one being elected.)
  2. A SECOND VOTE is taken (if required). Any person receiving two-thirds or more votes is elected. If all available positions are not filled, ‘automatic withdrawals” begin. The names of candidates receiving ONE-FIFTH or fewer of the votes are removed from the eligibility list. However, the number of candidates remaining must not be less than the number of positions still available plus one. (Candidates receiving the most votes are retained to satisfy this requirement. There may be cases where candidates who did not receive one-fifth of the votes remain on the list.)
  3. A THIRD VOTE is taken (if required). Any person receiving two-thirds or more of the votes is elected. If all available positions are not filled, the names of candidates receiving ONE-THIRD or fewer of the votes of the votes are removed from the eligibility list. However, the number of candidates remaining must not be less than the number of positions still available plus one. (Candidates who received the most votes are retained to satisfy this requirement. There may be cases where the candidates who did not receive one-third of the votes remain on the list.)
  4. A FOURTH VOTE is taken (if required). Any person receiving two-thirds or more of the votes is elected. If, at this point, positions remain unfilled, the names of candidates receiving ONE-THIRD or fewer of the votes are removed from the eligibility list. However, the number of candidates remaining must not be less than the number of positions still available plus one. (Candidates who received the most votes are retained to satisfy this requirement. There may be cases where candidates who did not receive one-third of the votes remain on the list. The chairperson then entertains a motion to:
    1. stop balloting and draw remaining names from the hat; or
    2. conduct a fifth and final vote.

If (4a) above carries, the remaining names go into a hat and positions are filled in the order that the names are drawn:

If (4b) carries, a FINAL VOTE is taken. Any person receiving two-thirds or more of the votes is elected. If no election is made, remaining names go into the hat and positions are filled in the order that the names are drawn.