We recently conducted elections for board members at our church's annual business meeting. We have a signed tally sheet from the three members who counted the ballots. Do we need to save the actual ballots? If so, how long do we keep them?
There are three possible answers to your question.
First, review your bylaws or other governing documents. Does it address the issue? Most church governing documents do not address the retention of ballots, but be sure to confirm this.
Second, if the bylaws do not address ballot retention, check out the state nonprofit corporation law under which the church is incorporated. Most state nonprofit corporation laws do not address this issue.
Third, in most cases, a church's bylaws and applicable nonprofit corporation law will not address ballot retention. In such a case, check your governing parliamentary authority for guidance. The current and newly revised 11th edition to Robert's Rules Newly Revised addresses this issue as follows: