Judge Selection Process
Selection Of DCA National Specialty Judges
Over the years, and especially now with the advent of Dachshund discussion forums on the Internet, Dachshund fanciers often discuss and ask questions about how DCA, as a club, and the DCA Board handle various tasks, events, and activities. This is the first in a series of articles designed to answer those questions, sponsored by the DCA Education Committee, chaired by Marci Forrester. This article will describe the process of nominating and electing breed and obedience judges at the annual DCA National Specialty Show.
Judges are nominated and elected at the Annual Membership Meeting that is held at the same time and place as the DCA National Specialty. DCA members who attend the Annual Meeting check in at the Meeting registration table, are checked against the current Membership list (only DCA members residing in North America, including Canada, are eligible to vote, per Article II, Section 1.E of the DCA Bylaws), and receive a package of materials, which includes the meeting agenda, a list of eligible judges, and ballots of various colors for voting on judges or other matters that may come up for a vote. The DCA secretary and assistant secretary are responsible for providing a current roster, the ballots and the list of eligible judges. Judges are selected for the Annual Specialty 2 years in advance. At the DCA 2005 Annual Meeting in Houston, TX, judges will be selected for the Annual National Specialty in 2007.
Just prior to the Annual Membership Meeting, tellers are selected to count the ballots. The head teller is generally a board member. The President, as chair of the meeting, establishes the coat that will be voted upon first and then asks for nominations from the Regions. EVERY DCA member, including those who are not able to attend the Annual Meeting, can nominate judges through their respective Regions prior to the National Specialty. Nominations are then opened to the membership. Judges must be AKC licensed or licensed by the governing canine bodies in other countries, they may not be provisional. Judges must agree not to judge Dachshunds for 6 months prior to the National Specialty within 1,000 miles of the National Specialty show site. These nominations are recorded by the DCA Secretary. Once there are a number of nominations, any DCA member may move to close nominations and, if the motion is seconded, the members vote upon the motion to close nominations. The name of each judge nominated is read. The President instructs members to use a specific color of the ballot to vote. The tellers collect the ballots and leave the room to count the votes. When the tellers return, the head teller reports the names of the two judges who have received the highest number of votes. The members then vote on those two judges, with the judge receiving the highest number of votes being elected as the judge for that coat. The other judge is the alternate. The alternate is used only if the selected judge is unable to accept the assignment. The alternate is not subject to the six month quarantine, is not offered any type of contract and will be considered as the first choice should the elected judge not be capable of fulfilling the assignment. The same process is followed for electing judges for the other 2 coats and for the obedience judges. The intervariety (Best of Breed) judge is selected by drawing during the Specialty. Sweepstakes judges are not generally AKC licensed judges and are selected by the host specialty club(s).
There are some DCA members who ask why DCA does not allow members to nominate and elect judges by mail, as this would enable all DCA members in North America to participate in the selection process. The process described above has been used to nominate and select judges at the Annual Membership meeting because the membership voted to do it that way. However, the process could be changed at any annual meeting by a two-thirds vote of the membership attending. Should the process change to include the entire membership the cost factor should be considered. Each first class mailing to all eligible voting households costs around $500. So, at a minimum, handling the entire nomination and election process by mail would cost around $1,500 plus the cost of printing and supplies. Three mailings would be required: a mailing to solicit nominations, a mailing to send out ballots to vote on the judges who were nominated, and a mailing to send out the runoff ballots.
If you have a question about DCA policies and procedures and would like to have it answered in this series of articles, please contact
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