Prior to this year’s national elections in November, United Power members have the opportunity to have a say in the future of their electric cooperative. Each year our members’ votes in the director election determine who will represent them on the co-op’s board.
United Power invites participation from its members. Members have a finger on the pulse of their communities and understand what’s important to them. As an electric utility, your knowledge is critical to helping the co-op better serve its members.
Every Vote Matters Equally
United Power is a not-for-profit cooperative owned and controlled by the members it serves. When you become a member, you automatically receive the benefits all other members share, including the right to vote for board representation. Your vote always matters. As a member, your vote carries equal weight as any other member’s vote, regardless of what kind of account they have or how large it is. This is a cooperative principle known as “one member, one vote.” Director candidates must also live within United Power’s service territory, so you know you’ll be voting for someone who understands your community’s needs. They could even be your friends or neighbors.
Running for a Board Position
The primary difference between an investor-owned utility (IOU) and cooperative is democratic control. IOUs make decisions to appease stakeholders and shareholders who might not live in the same state, let alone the same community. Any United Power member in good standing is eligible to run for a position on the cooperative’s eleven-member board of directors. Directors serve three-year terms in one of four geographical districts. Although directors must live in one of these districts, members vote on an “at-large” basis, explained in more detail next.
Voting in the Election
The cooperative mails director ballots in March and encourages all members to cast votes in the election. Although directors live in a specific geographic district, they represent all members and are therefore elected on an “at-large” basis. This means members may cast a vote for a director in each district and not just their own. Directors serve in geographic districts to ensure adequate accessibility for members and to provide a representative cross-section of United Power’s member base in their leadership role. Learn more about voting policy here. Your vote always matters. To learn more about a director candidate, consider attending one of our Meet the Candidate events. (Details here.) Director profiles will be available online after February 14.
2020 Director Election
This year, four positions on United Power’s board are up for election at the 2020 Annual Meeting & Director Election, scheduled for Wednesday, April 15, 2020. Members may submit their ballot via mail, at drop boxes located at any United Power office location or in-person at the Annual Meeting. More information about how to submit your ballot may be found on the Annual Meeting page.