Voting & Elections
A fundamental part of the cooperative difference is that we are democratically controlled by our members. We embrace democracy through our annual Board of Directors election, in which PEC members elect other members to serve as directors, and in some years, in which members vote on proposed Co-op initiatives. Director candidates are nominated by members through a petition process.
Voting typically opens in May, and our members are able to submit ballots online, through the mail or in person at the PEC Annual Meeting, where elections conclude and voting results are announced each June.
2014 PEC Election Timeline
- Jan. 21 – April 7 — Board director nomination-by-petition period.
- April 21 — Board director candidates officially announced.
- April 24 — Candidate forum at PEC headquarters in Johnson City, where Board candidates communicate their credentials, experience and views to members.
- May 22-27 — Ballots, candidate biographies and notice of annual meeting mailed to members; online voting begins.
- June 13 — Online and mail-in voting ends.
- June 21 — PEC Annual Meeting at the Leander ISD
South Performing Arts Center; in-person voting, election winners announced.
2014 Election System Vote and Director Election
Board Districts 2 (map) and 3 (map) director positions will be up for election in 2014. Members from those districts interested in running for one of these positions can learn more about the nomination petition process here.
Also, our Board has called for a member vote to decide which system PEC members would prefer to use in future elections to elect the Co-op's Board of Directors. This vote will be between the Co-op's current at-large system of voting and a single-member district system.
The PEC Board of Directors intends to pursue the implementation of whichever system the voting membership favors, and this includes making necessary modifications to the Cooperative’s governing documents and urging lawmakers to implement any necessary changes to state law. PEC takes no official position for either system of electing directors.
The following considerations chart outlines for members some of the differences and similarities between the two election systems. Review the chart and then feel free to discuss the topic with other members at our online forum.
Election System Considerations Comparison (click)
Note: The highlighted rows indicate differences.
|Consideration ||At-large voting (current system) ||Single-member
|Voting reach ||Members may vote to elect directors of all districts. ||Members may vote to elect their district’s director. |
|Voting frequency ||Members may vote each year to elect directors of any district up for election. ||Members may vote once every three years to elect their district’s director. |
|Means of maintaining democratic, equal voting strength ||Members’ voting strength is equal regardless of district size and population. Redistricting (and related costs) is not required to maintain equal voting strength. ||Equal member voting strength is maintained by redistricting (periodically adjusting district lines to balance the number of voters in each district). |
|Compliance with Texas Utilities Code ||Complies with Texas Utilities Code Sec. 161.070, which entitles all members present at a member meeting to one vote on each matter submitted to a vote at the meeting. ||PEC may need to work with state legislators to ensure compliance with Texas Utilities Code Sec. 161.070, which entitles all members present at a member meeting to one vote on each matter submitted to a vote at the meeting. In a single-member voting system, members attending an annual meeting would vote in the director election only if the director representing their district is up for election. |
|Costs to PEC and members ||Costs will be incurred each year to distribute ballots to the entire membership. The annual election requires a ballot to be printed and mailed to every Cooperative member. Also, periodic costs may be incurred to redistrict (adjust district lines) to balance the number of members in each district. || |
Costs may fluctuate from year to year based on whether ballots are mailed to the entire membership or only to districts with director elections. In some years, ballots will be mailed only to members in districts where an election is underway. Cooperative-wide mailings would be required in some years for membership-wide votes on other issues. Also, periodic costs may be incurred more frequently to redistrict (adjust district lines) to balance the number of voters in each district.
|Ballot referendums ||Members may vote on Co-op-wide ballot referendums, regardless of district. |
|Director nomination process ||Directors/candidates must maintain primary residence in the director district from which election is sought and are nominated by petition from members in that district. |
|Director fiduciary duties ||Directors have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of all Co-op members, regardless of district. |
|Director qualifications ||Directors/candidates must meet the director qualifications established in PEC’s Bylaws. |
|Democratic member control ||PEC members have the opportunity to participate in setting policies and making decisions. Members nominate and elect fellow members — through annual democratic elections — to serve on the PEC Board of Directors. Every member has an equal voice — one vote each — regardless of the number of meters they have or the amount of electricity they use. |