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2020 National Convention Update
By Brian J. Wagner
At the time of this writing, America continues to follow the new norm of social distancing, with many states implementing shelter-in-place or stay-in-place protocols and retail and food venues either closed or providing only drive-thru service to help reduce or prevent the spread of COVID-19.
On May 3, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the NAPS Executive Board voted to postpone the 2020 National Convention until August 2021. When the national convention takes place, members can expect some COVID-19-related changes; some not. Here’s the scoop!
First, NAPS Headquarters understands the majority of national convention resolutions are supported and passed at NAPS state conventions. However, due to the pandemic, many scheduled spring and summer NAPS state conventions have been canceled. NAPS Headquarters thanks those state branches and their respective NAPS regional and area vice presidents for their action to protect NAPS members and their families against the spread of COVID-19.
Although a NAPS state convention may have been canceled, that does not prohibit a NAPS state or local branch from submitting national convention resolutions. There is no NAPS Constitution & Bylaws requirement that requires a resolution first be approved at a NAPS state convention prior to submission to NAPS Headquarters for publication in the national convention One Book. For previous national conventions, local branches have sent in national convention resolutions on their own.
As a result of rescheduling the 2020 National Convention until August 2021, the resolution deadline will change to a later date in 2021; that date has yet to be determined. However, what has not changed is the process for submitting resolutions.
National convention resolutions are submitted via email to Executive Vice President Ivan D. Butts in a Word.doc format for publication in the One Book. Once a new resolution deadline date is established, resolutions received after that date will not be accepted by NAPS Headquarters, but can be submitted at the national convention to the executive vice president—with 1,500 copies—prior to the submission deadline as outlined in the National Convention Rules.
Second, there will be a change in the nomination process for national office positions, including the 2024 host city presentations. According to the NAPS Constitution, Article VII, Elections, Section 2: “On or before the afternoon of the next to final day of the convention, the President shall appoint a Ballot Committee of three (3) or more members, and declare the convention open for the nomination of candidates for the various offices.”
At past national conventions, Ballot Committee members were announced Tuesday afternoon of the national convention. That shall be the case at this convention. Per Article VII referenced above, the declaration to open nominations of candidates for various offices may occur after the Ballot Committee has been announced. In counsel with NAPS national parliamentarian Dr. Bruce Bishop, it is appropriate to open nominations for national office on Thursday morning of our national convention, instead of Thursday afternoon.
Therefore, after the Registration and Credentials Committee’s report on Thursday, the first order of convention business will be the opening of nominations for national office, as well as presentations from cities vying to host the 2024 convention. Advancing nominations to Thursday morning will allow the Ballot Committee plenty of time to prepare ballots and also enjoy Thursday night hospitalities with the rest of the convention attendees.
Third, there is a change to the number of members on the Ballot Committee and the acceptance and counting of the ballots. As for the Ballot Committee, we will be using half the number of committee members we have in the past.
In addition, committee members will not count ballots from their own NAPS area or region. An Excel program, devised by new Ballot Committee Co-Chair Bob Tolman, South Dakota State Branch 946, will evenly distribute ballots among Ballot Committee members to count.
Each committee group will be assigned four specific NAPS areas—not affiliated with their branches—to count ballots. Final ballot counts will be verified by the Ballot Committee chair and co-chair. This process is expected to be more efficient in counting and providing election results quicker.
As a NAPS family and with the support of one another, we will get through this COVID-19 pandemic stronger than ever. Until the NAPS National Convention next August 2021, please be safe and continue following CDC guidelines and social distancing.
Now it is time for my ice-cream-flavor-of-the-month recommendation: key lime pie.