Election Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


July 27th

Nominations open
September 27th Motions to be included in the notice must be received by board@smodyssey.com by this date (or brought to board meeting on September 28th).
September 28th Nominations close at end of smOdyssey board meeting. (No write-ins. No nominations at the annual meeting unless we have fewer candidates than seats.)
September 30th, 6PM Final text of candidate statements and motions to be included in the notice must be received by election@smodyssey.com.
October 2nd Notice sent to members of record as of this date.
October 9th Members of record as of October 2nd should receive notice of meeting and proxy information by this date.
October 20th, Noon Proxies mailed to the P.O. Box must arrive by this date.

October 25th, Noon

(Formal meeting starts at 1:00PM)

Annual meeting for election of directors and other business brought before the membership.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the meeting will be online via Zoom rather than in person.

Contact Information:

Postal mail:

P.O. Box 26372
San Jose, CA 95159-6372
Attn: Election Coordinator




Questions for all members

Q: Who can vote in this election?
A: Any member in good standing on October 25th, 2020 is eligible to vote.


Q: What is a “member in good standing”?
A: A member in good standing is someone who has completed the membership process which is as follows:

  1. Submitted an application
  2. Paid their annual fee
  3. Completed an orientation
  4. Been approved by the membership committee.
  5. Has not had their membership revoked for any reason.

Q: Who will receive notice of the candidates and issues to be decided at the Annual Meeting?
A: We will send a written notice of the election to members in good standing as of October 2nd, 2020. The written notice will be sent to your postal address and will include statements from the candidates received by September 30th and proxy materials. If you do not receive this notice by October 9th, contact election@smodyssey.com.


Q: Do I have to vote?
A: The Bylaws (and California Law) require a quorum of 1/3 of the membership to vote in person or by proxy in order for the vote to be valid. Please vote in person or send in your proxy form!


Q: Do I have to come to the Annual Meeting to vote?
A: No. You can authorize another member in good standing to vote on your behalf at the meeting or you can assign your proxy to the Board of Directors to vote as you direct.
You can mail your proxy to the smOdyssey P.O. Box noted above.


If you authorize a specific member to act as your proxy, that member must present your proxy form to the Election Coordinator at the meeting on October 25th.
If you assign your proxy to the Board of Directors, your proxy form must be received by the Secretary of smOdyssey during or before the October 25th meeting to be counted. If sending to the P.O. Box, it must be received by October 20th.


Q: Can I change my mind after I file a proxy?
A: Yes. You can file another proxy. The one with the latest date, received by October 20th, will be counted. If you choose to attend the meeting in person, proxy(s) will be void and your vote in person will be counted.


Q: Can I vote at the meeting?
A: Yes. The ballot box will open after candidate statements and Q&A from the membership completes and will remain open until it is declared closed by the meeting chair.


Q: How late can I vote on the 25th?
A: We don’t know. It depends on how many people are at the meeting and what other business is brought before the meeting. Ample time will be given for those present at the start of the meeting to cast their ballots. When everyone present has had an opportunity to vote, we’ll declare the balloting closed and start counting votes so we can announce the results and get out of there. The point is, don’t count on being able to vote at the meeting if you come in late. Send in your proxy if you can’t be at the meeting on time.


Q: I want the membership to consider my motion to … at the Annual Meeting.
A: Please send your motion to board@smodyssey.com as soon as possible and no later than 6PM, September 27th. The final text of your proposal must be sent to election@smodyssey.com by 6PM, September 30th for inclusion in the notice to members.


Q: Why are 3 seats open for election this year?
A: The board of directors passed a motion in August 2019 to grow the size of the board to 3 seats. The bylaws were changed in 2015 to require all of the seats to be elected each year for terms of one year.

Questions for those unable to attend the meeting in person

Q: How do I vote if I can’t attend the meeting?
A: You can vote by proxy.


Q: What is a proxy?
A: A proxy is a person who is authorized to act for you. In this case, someone authorized by you to vote for you at the meeting.


Q: Who can be my proxy?
A: Any member in good standing can serve as your proxy, or you can assign your proxy to the Board of Directors.


Q: How do I authorize my proxy?
A: The written notice sent to members of record as of October 2nd, 2020 will include a proxy form.

It will allow you to:

  1. Select a specific member OR the Board of Directors to act as your proxy at the meeting.
  2. Authorize or withhold authorization to vote FOR each candidate running in the election.
  3. Authorize or withhold authorization to vote FOR or AGAINST each motion included in the notice of the meeting.
  4. Authorize or withhold authorization to vote on any motions brought at the meeting not specified in the notice of the meeting.

Questions for those thinking of running for the Board

Q: Who can run for the Board?
A: Any member in good standing nominated in accordance with the procedures below is eligible to run.


Q: What is the term of office for newly elected directors?
A: The newly elected board members will serve for 1 year terms.


Q: Can I run for President/Vice-President/Treasurer/Secretary/...
A: Not directly. The Bylaws specify that the membership shall elect the Board of Directors and the Board of Directors shall elect the President, Vice-President, Treasurer and Secretary from within the Board. The winning candidates will select these officers immediately after the election.


Q: Do I need to be "out" to be a Board member?
A: While you may use your scene name when representing smOdyssey at most events and for most smOdyssey business, you should be prepared to sign legal documents (contracts, tax forms, ...) with your full legal name. Some of the documents that officers and/or directors of a corporation must sign become public records. The corporation is required to file a form with the state of California that includes the names and business or residence address of the President, Secretary and Treasurer of the corporation. You will be representing smOdyssey at various public events, therefore the likelihood of encountering someone from your vanilla life is greater. You should also be prepared for the possibility of media attention.


Q: How do I get nominated to run for the Board?
A: Any member in good standing can nominate any other member in good standing (other than themselves). The nomination must be made in person at a smOdyssey board meeting (or other smOdyssey event where announcements are appropriate) prior to close of nominations on September 28th, 2020.

(Nominations will NOT be accepted at the annual meeting unless there are fewer candidates than seats available.)

The nominee must:

  1. Be a member in good standing at the time of nomination and have been a member for at least 6 months on the day of the election.
  2. Be present at the nomination.
  3. Verbally accept the nomination. (Please do not make a big speech at classes or other events where time is limited. Keep it short. For example: “I accept the nomination.”)
  4. Send E-mail to election@smodyssey.com with:
    • The legal name of the member who nominated you (so we can confirm they are a member. Their name will not be published.)
    • Your legal name (to verify membership. Your legal name will not be published in the notice unless you ask us to.)
    • Your name as you wish it to appear on the ballot.
    • Your membership number.

You must get this information to the Election Coordinator by 6PM Wednesday, September 30th, 2020.
Please send whatever part of this information you have available as soon as possible after you are nominated!


Q: What are the smOdyssey events appropriate for nominations?
A: Any official smOdyssey event counts. The main events are:

Monday, July 27th smOdyssey Board Meeting
Sunday, August 9th

Cover to Cover discussion group
D/s In the Middle discussion Group

Monday, August 24th smOdyssey Board Meeting
Sunday, September 13th Cover to Cover discussion group
D/s In the Middle discussion Group
Monday, September 28th smOdyssey Board Meeting

Q: Will smOdyssey publish a statement from the candidates with the proxy materials?
A: Yes! A statement (up to 300 words) and (optionally) a photo (headshot) to be included in the written notice to members.

Send your statement and/or headshot to election@smodyssey.com as soon as possible to be included in the notice to members.

The publication deadline is 6PM Wednesday, September 30th, 2020.

The Election Coordinator will not publish any statements or photos received after this time.

Q: How else may I advertise candidacy?
A: There are several ways:

  • If you ask us to do so, we will put your statement and/or headshot on the web site.
  • You are welcome to make announcements of your candidacy at any smOdyssey event where announcements are appropriate.
  • You are welcome to make announcements on the smO-Member e-mail list and the smOdyssey group on FetLife.
    (Please start your Subject line with “[Election]” to allow subscribers who do not want to read election announcements to create a filter.)
    (Election announcements are NOT permitted on the OdysseyForum e-mail list.)
  • Each candidate will have 2 minutes to make a statement at the Annual Meeting.

Q: What benefits do Directors get?
A: The satisfaction of a job well done! Directors (and officers) of the corporation are not compensated. You may be reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred in your duty. You are still eligible for the same discounts that all members are eligible for, however you may not participate in any drawings, raffles, or other contests sponsored by smOdyssey, Inc.

Q: How will the election results be reported?
A: The number of votes received by each candidate will be announced after ballots are counted at the Annual meeting. The five candidates who receive the highest number of votes will be declared the new directors.
This information will also be published with the minutes of the Annual Meeting.

Q: What else should I know before I run for the Board?
A: Candidates should read "what it means to be a board member", the bylaws and draft operating procedures. These documents are available on the smOdyssey web site at:


Candidates are also encouraged to:

  • Familiarize themselves with California Nonprofit Membership Corporation Law
  • Attend smOdyssey board meetings
  • Attend and volunteer at other events
  • Make themselves known to the membership.