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OPEA is a grassroots association ran by Oklahoma State Employees. Every year OPEA hosts elections for board seats that are divided into geographic regions. This year region 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11,  Retiree West and Region 10(Vacant) seats are up for elections. Region 5 that represents Oklahoma County has 3 seats up for election due to the number of members in this region.

If you want to be more active in OPEA and take a more active role in improving state employment and retirement, you may want to consider running for an OPEA office.  The filing period is June 14th through June 26th at 5 PM. All offices up for election have a two-term beginning January 1, 2022

Regional directors serve on the OPEA Board of Directors which meets six to eight times per year either in person or virtually and attends important OPEA events like the annual convention. They often communicate with legislators and other state leaders to advance OPEA’s agenda. Regional directors also work to increase local membership, coordinate local OPEA activities, and communicate with members in their region.

If you are interested in running for an office email Tony DeSha with any questions. If you wish to run for a position, please fill out the form below or email your answers to tonyd@opea.org.

OPEA will screen the applicants to make sure they are eligible to run for the office and will notify them of their eligibility. If you have questions, please email Tony DeSha. OPEA’s election rules are shown below and we encourage you to review them before you decide whether you would like to run.

Candidates will be informed of unofficial results first and official results will be announced at the OPEA Annual Convention and Delegate Assembly on August 28th.

OPEA Campaign and Election Rules

Summer 2021

 

Candidates for OPEA elective offices are expected to campaign in such a way as to bring credit upon themselves and foster the growth and unity of the organization. It is the responsibility of the candidates to familiarize themselves and their campaigners with the following rules.

I. Positions for Election
The Director positions that will be elected are Regions 1,3,5,7,9,11, Retiree West Region, and Region 10, a currently vacant seat. Region 5 will have three positions and all other regions will elect one position.
II. Candidates for Regional Director
Candidates for Regional Director shall:
1. Be an active state employee and dues paying member of OPEA for one year prior to filing;
2. Not has been a member of a competing organization as established by the OPEA Board of Directors for two years. (Competing organization has been defined as Oklahoma Corrections Professionals and Communications Workers of America/Oklahoma State Workers Union.); and
3. Live or have their OPEA membership in the OPEA Region for which they are seeking office.

Candidates for Retiree Director shall:
1. Be a retired participant of the Oklahoma Public Employees Retirement System and a dues paying member of OPEA for one year prior to the end date of the filing period;
2. Not have been a member of a competing organization as established by the OPEA Board of Directors for two years. (Competing organization has been defined as Oklahoma Corrections Professionals and Communications Workers of America/Oklahoma State Workers Union.); and
3. Live in the OPEA Retiree Region for which they are seeking office.

III. Certification of Candidates
The Election Board staff liaison in consultation with the Election Board Chair, or designee, will verify the requirements of each candidate.

IV. Term of Office
The terms of office for the Regional Directors elected during regular election cycles are two years. The terms begin January 1st of the year following the election except Region 10 where the director will serve beginning August 1, 2021 until December 31, 2022.
V. Candidate Filing
A. The filing period shall be from June 14th through June 26th at 5:00 p.m. Filing forms must be received in the OPEA office no later than 5:00 PM CST June 26th, 2021.
B. Filing forms shall include name, position sought, home address and telephone, agency, agency address, and telephone. Biographies, photos, and a statement for the Advocate are due at the time of filing.

VI. Election Schedule
Voting instructions will be emailed to voters on, or before, August 2nd, 2021. The voting period will run from August 2nd through August 16th, 2021. Votes received after August 16th, 2021 p.m. CST will not count.

VII. Election Vendor and Methodology
The election will be conducted by Election-America. Members may only vote by email

VIII. Voting Eligibility

A. Members who are active state employees or retiree members may vote for OPEA President

B. Members who are active employee members may vote for the Regional Director seat corresponding to their residence or place of employment if previously designated.

B. Retiree members residing in the Western Region are eligible to vote for the Western Region Retiree Director.

C. To be eligible to vote, members must be a dues paying member as of July 1, 2021.

IX. Voting
A. On the morning of the election opening, voters will receive an email with a link to the voting site’s online ballot, Voting Code, and a Personal Identification Number (PIN).
B. On the site with the online ballot, the voter will enter their Voting Code and PIN that was provided in the email.
C. The member will then make their candidate selection(s) and click on the VOTE button!

X. Results
Candidates will be informed of unofficial results no later than August 20, 2021. Official results will be announced on or before August 28th, 2021
XI. Campaign Rules
A. Publicity in the Advocate
1. All candidates will have their pictures, biographies, platforms and statements of qualifications published free of charge, in the July Advocate. The total word limit for their biography is 300 words.
2. Candidates may purchase advertising in The Advocate at a cost of $50 for one-eighth of a page. Content shall be in accordance with the Preamble to these rules.
3. OPEA candidates shall meet the same deadlines as others advertisers.
4. The Editor shall be responsible for determining the placement of ads.
5. Signature ads must be accompanied by a signed release from participants.
6. The Editor shall note the content is a political advertisement.
B. Campaign Material
1. Acceptable Campaign Material
a) Materials shall be purchased by the candidate within the spending limits established in Section IX F of these rules.
b) Materials shall be formatted in such a manner as not to be confused with official OPEA material.
c) Candidates shall not use the official OPEA logo or stationery.

2. OPEA Information
a) The Association will provide each candidate with a member list on disk for the region in which the candidate is seeking office. A paper copy is available by request from the OPEA office at $.10 per page.

b) Candidates must sign an affidavit that they will use the information only for their campaign and must return the materials to the OPEA office after the election.
C, Endorsements
1. The Executive Director and the OPEA staff shall express no opinion on, or in any way be involved in the OPEA elections as a candidate advocate.
2. To prevent any perception of a conflict of interest, members of the Association Election Board shall not endorse any OPEA candidate.

D. Spending Limits
1. The campaign spending limit for President is $2,500.
2. The campaign spending limit for Regional Director is $1,500.

E. Campaign Expenditure Forms/Procedure

The OPEA Election Board shall establish a candidate campaign expense form upon which all candidates shall document all campaign expenditures. Said forms shall be submitted to the OPEA office within ten working days after the closing date to return the ballots. Complaints regarding spending in excess of set limits shall be made by a candidate to the Election Board for investigation no later than ten calendar days after the announcement of election winners.

XII. Complaints

Any OPEA member may file a complaint regarding campaign behavior at any time during the campaign but no later than five working days after the official announcement of election results at the OPEA Convention and Delegate Assembly. The complaint shall be in writing to the OPEA President at the OPEA office with a copy to the Election Board Chair and a copy to the Executive Director.

The President shall refer complaints to the Election Board or the Board of Directors, as deemed appropriate.
i. Failure of the Election Board to act on any election complaint shall result in the complaint being referred to and considered by the OPEA Board of Directors.
ii. The Board of Directors shall render decisions on any complaints filed no later than 30 calendar days after the complaint is filed.
1. Action by the OPEA Board of Directors may include, but shall not be limited to:
a. A letter of concern.
b. A personal conference.
c. A referral to the Election Board for procedural violations.
The Election Board Chair shall submit a recommendation accompanied by any relevant documents to the Board of Directors, the complainant, and the alleged violator.
2. The Board of Directors will consider the recommendation and notify the concerned parties by certified mail of its decision.