REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS
The Pacifica Foundation (Pacifica) is a 501(c)(3) membership-based radio broadcasting
organization with approximately 95,000 members nationwide, affiliated with stations in New
York, Houston, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, and Berkeley.
On or about March 1, 2012, Pacifica will begin a process that will involve ten separate
elections wherein members in four of its five signal areas will elect nine (9) listener delegates
and three (3) staff delegates to serve on Local Station Boards. Members of the fifth station
will elect eighteen (18) listener-member delegates and six (6) staff delegates.
Pacifica is now soliciting proposals from qualified election management organizations to
provide all or some of the services related to these elections.
We invite your organization to submit a proposal by February 10, 2012 for
(a) National/Local Elections Supervisor functions;
(b) Balloting & Tabulation functions; or
(c) Some combination thereof
Please find enclosed an outline of the information needed in the proposal, followed by details
of the specific services required. Proposals for multi-year contracts may be considered.
Important Please Note - The National Election Supervisor (NES) is responsible for
Balloting & Tabulation functions. Therefore, proposals that encompass only the NES/LES (Local Election Supervisor) duties as specified below of this Request, but not direct provision of the
Balloting/Tabulation functions listed below, must provide an overview of the intended
handling of these functions. Similarly, proposals to provide Balloting/Tabulation but not all
NES functions must specify intended interface with a separate NES.
Past elections have been via paper ballot. The successful applicant for Balloting & Tabulation
services will have the ability to advise and guide Pacifica on process(es) to transition to
electronic balloting. Cost proposals for balloting should recognize a likely mix of paper and
electronic voting and identify, with as much specificity as practical, any cost differentials that
may result from the actual mixture.
All election processes must adhere to provisions of The Pacifica Foundation Bylaws
[http://pacifica.org/kewg.org/bylaws/index.html: See Article 3 Sections 1-4, 7, 8, 10; Article
4 Sections 1 - 8; Article 7 (all); and Article 15 (all)].
A PDF of the current Pacifica bylaws with a clickable table of contents can be downloaded here (364kb).
Pacifica’s Executive Director Arlene Engelhardt will select the NES based on the analysis and
recommendations provided by the Elections Committee of the Pacifica National Board.
Final decisions concerning a contract for Balloting & Tabulation services, if distinct from a
contract for the NES, will be made by the NES, working with Ms. Engelhardt and the
The Elections Committee will evaluate proposals on a qualitative basis that will include the
completeness and timeliness of the response, a review of references and related materials,
interviews with senior personnel to be assigned to the project, and results of discussions
with other clients.
Please prepare your proposal following the format of the outline provided. Submit your
proposal along with any supporting materials you would like to have considered to:
Pacificaproposals@gmail.com to the attention of Michael Novick, Secretary, Pacifica Foundation Elections Committee.
Key Contacts for information you may seek in preparing your proposal are:
Ms. Arlene Engelhardt, Executive Director
email@example.com 510 849 2590
Ms. Carolyn Birden, Chair, PNB Elections Committee
Pacificaproposals@gmail.com 917 520 1268
We would appreciate a response even if you decline to submit a proposal.
Please note the appropriate documents for use in preparing your proposal:
Details of Services Required – NES/LES
Details of Services Required - Balloting & Tabulation
2012 Elections Timeline
Summary of 2009-2010 Elections Balloting and Responses
Please indicate which Elections services you propose to provide:
___ National/Local Election Supervisor functions alone;
___ Balloting & Tabulation functions alone; or
___ Partial Combination
1. Describe how your company will approach the 2012 delegate elections, including staffing
structure you propose to interact with Pacifica in administering this contract. Identify by
name(s) and roles all personnel who will be assigned to this project.
2. Describe specific outreach efforts, if any, that you would recommend and, if approved,
implement to encourage, involve, and increase participation by members in the elections.
[Note – failure to attain quorum has been a problem in some prior elections]
3. For Balloting services, describe your
* system for ensuring ballot integrity
* planned use of any proprietary or third party software and/or hardware such as
scanning devices, computer equipment; and
* proposed utilization of mailing houses, printing establishments or any other third
party vendor(s) – including specification of which, if any, are Union shops.
4. Set forth your detailed budget and fee proposal for the 2012 election, including
discount(s), if any, that would be applicable to each budget line item in the case of a
5. Provide as much specificity as practical concerning cost differentials that may result from
varying mix of paper versus electronic voting.
6. Identify specific costs associated with your recommended outreach efforts to encourage,
involve, and increase participation by members.
7. For each line item in the one-year budget, please identify potential cost savings, if any,
that could be provided through utilization of Pacifica volunteers.
8. Identify specific costs, if any, associated with proposed use of software, hardware,
mailing houses, printing establishments or any/or other third party vendor.
Information about Staff and your Firm
9. Provide biographical data for all personnel who will be assigned to this project.
10. Summarize your company’s experience providing election services to not-for-profit
entities, especially of size and complexity similar to those of Pacifica.
11. Detail your company’s experience providing services involving Proportional
Representation voting systems, in general, and Single Transferable Vote method in
12. Identify your 5 largest clients and provide client contact information for references.
13. If affiliated with any public or private election oversight or advocacy associations, please
provide information describing the nature and time duration of such affiliation.
14. With regard to any member of your organization, disclose any affiliation or potential
conflict of interest with former or current Pacifica Foundation members of the Board of
Directors, employees, contractors, or consultants, and any other potential conflict of
15. With regard to specific personnel to be assigned to this project, indicate any complaints
against them by any governmental or private regulatory authority and indicate any
corrective actions that have been taken by the company with respect to these persons.
NATIONAL AND LOCAL ELECTION SUPERVISORS
Designate a National Election Supervisor ("NES") who shall
1. Report to the Foundation Executive Director and oversee all aspects of the elections and
certify the fairness of all ten elections and confirm said elections' compliance with the
Pacifica Bylaws; and shall
2. Appoint, supervise and pay a Local Election Supervisor ("LES") for each of the five
stations who shall provide on-site management of nominations and campaigning,
a) Promote the elections and election time-frame to members; and answer questions
about the roles and responsibilities of local station board members
b) Verify and certify eligibility of candidates in each of the two station elections
(Listener-members and Staff-members)
c) Assemble statements and other required materials from all verified candidates
d) Work with local station personnel and members to organize and implement
candidate forums both for live broadcast and in-person community events
e) Monitor and enforce fair campaign provisions, including processing complaints of
3. Prepare and maintain a centralized election website with information on election
processes and events and with detailed pages for each of the 5 stations with candidates
information, etc. This site should be made public no later than the beginning of the
nomination period and may require daily update.
Due to a very short time period between close of nominations and mailing of ballots and
candidate information, attention to advance preparations is critical.
The NES and LESs must be very familiar with all portions of the Pacifica Bylaws pertaining to
the election of delegates. Allegations of campaign violations by participants in the election
(including on-air hosts of programs on our stations) must be addressed promptly and
professionally, without prejudice or appearance of prejudice.
There will be cases where the Bylaws are silent. In these instances it is essential that all
supervisors stay impartial and avoid any appearance of taking sides. Questions and
challenges have occurred in past elections if a candidate or candidate's supporters feel the
NES or LESs are not being fair or competent, and/or is not following the Bylaws. Failure to
ensure complete fairness and impartially in accordance with the bylaws will result in
exponentially increased workload on the NES and LESs.
BALLOTING AND TABULATION
All elections are by single transferable vote (STV). Tabulation software must be capable of
handling STV ballots involving up to 50 candidates. To date, all Pacifica elections have used
Choice Plus Pro ("CP Pro") as the tally software [available for download with documentation,
without charge, from www.votingsolutions.com] Proposals that involve alternative software
will be considered if such software is capable of producing the same results as CP Pro.
(1) Assist General Managers and development staff at each station as needed to ensure
that voter lists are clean and de-duped, and that staff addresses are not among
listener-member addresses, etc.
(2) Prepare and maintain detailed election webpages for all 5 stations.
(3) Generate confidential random Voter ID numbers within ten distinct, non-overlapping
pools of alpha-numeric identifiers.
(4) Maintain system of constantly-updated database of ID numbers to identify eligible
voters for each election who have not previously voted in the current election
(5) Design (subject to Foundation review), print, and mail candidate statement
pamphlets, simple voting instructions, paper ballots, including a fundraising appeal.
(6) E-Balloting Option - Devise and post optional web-based interactive voting pages that
members can access, using their valid ID numbers, to cast their votes electronically in
one of the ten (10) distinct elections and have the ability to print a copy of their
(7) Mail replacement ballots (approximately 5% of original mailing) as necessary.
(8) Prevent ballot stuffing; verify valid ballots.
(9) Verify that quorum, as specified in Article 3 Section 7, has been achieved in each
election by the appropriate deadline(s)
(10) Scan validated paper ballots, converting each into a ballot image file (usually a .tif
file) and converting each image file into the form required by tally program. If using a
tally program other than CP Pro and ballot file format cannot be tallied by CP Pro:
create and provide to Pacifica, equivalent (.blt) text files in CP Pro format, separately
grouped for the ten elections that will be tallied, with distinct and clearly identified
filenames to facilitate spot checks and for quality control verification.
(11) E-Balloting Option - Convert each accepted e-ballot to a line in a text ballot file for
input into tally program as above. The ability to integrate paper and electronic
ballots must be clearly demonstrated prior to bid acceptance, or by a date-certain.
RFP Pacifica Election Services DRAFT-January 2, 2012 Page 7 of 7
Balloting & Tabulation Services – Continued
(12) Prepare, with observers, accurate verifiable tallies for each of the ten STV elections
(13) Certify the election results
(14) Publish election results on webpages and via email to Pacifica and local station
management, Pacifica National Board and Local Station Board(s).
(15) Copy ballot files to appropriate folders to be referenced individually by filename in the
tally software configuration file (e.g. CP Pro's .in file).
(16) Distribute CD-R disks with images, derived ballot and configuration (.in) files, and
round-by-round results to the five LES’s, General Managers, and chairs of the Local
Station Boards, and others upon request.
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