District Council Process Updates

District Council Process Updates

By Jamie Pickering, DTM, District Director


April 6, 2020

Dear District Leaders,

On March 15, the Board of Directors announced that no District, Division, or Area events can be held in person, on or prior to June 1, 2020. This decision has impacted District processes and activities that are customarily conducted at in-person events. Therefore, the Board has made exceptions to several sections of the Toastmasters International governing documents. These exceptions are intended to reduce the complexity of normal annual District Council meeting processes that now need to be conducted online and allow all candidates greater opportunities to communicate with the voting members.

Effective immediately and until further notice, the following exceptions supersede the District Administrative Bylaws, Article VII: Officers, (e) Floor Candidates; Protocol 9.0: District Campaigns and Elections; and Policy 9.1: International Campaigns and Elections as follows:

District Operations:

  • Districts are encouraged to host a Candidate Showcase in one of the following ways
    • A live online event
    • Pre-recorded video interviews with each candidate in which a District representative (for example, the DLC Chair) conducts the interviews with all candidates for a given role, asking each candidate the same questions. The District representative must be joined by a District-appointed timer to ensure all candidates receive the same amount of time. Once all interviews have been completed for a given role, the videos are released simultaneously.
  • District Candidate Campaigns
    • First candidate communication to be sent by March 15.
    • Second candidate communication to be sent once the District Leadership Committee report is posted and no later than two (2) weeks before the election.
    • Third candidate communication to be sent between two (2) weeks prior and no later than the date of the election.
  • Districts are required to have an Online Candidate Corner: All candidates will have an equal opportunity to have a personal statement posted to the District website (or with the District’s primary method of communication, if not a website). These statements may not be emailed or posted on District social media. However, a link to the District Online Candidate Corner may be emailed as a District communication, informing members of the updates to the website.
  • All floor candidates are required to declare their intent to run for election at least one (1) week (7 days) before the meeting for any and all positions they are considering running for, regardless of the validity of the DLC report.
    • If the report is valid, all eligible candidates must declare their intent to run as a floor candidate seven days prior to the election. In this instance, only those candidates that have been interviewed by the DLC and have not been nominated can declare and run as a floor candidate. If a candidate withdraws after the DLC report is published, the report is still valid as the DLC has completed its task. Therefore, only candidates that have gone through the DLC process and were not nominated by the DLC are eligible to run from the floor.
    • If a position is invalid, all qualified candidates for that position must declare their intent to run as a floor candidate seven (7) days prior to the election. For example, if the required number of candidate(s) is not nominated, that position of the report is invalid. Therefore, any qualified candidate may run from the floor.
    • If the entire report is invalid, all qualified candidates must declare their intent to run as a floor candidate seven (7) days prior to the election. For example, if the DLC does not meet the deadlines or requirements outlined in Protocol 9.0, then the entire report is invalid and all candidates must run from the floor for all positions.
    • No nominations from the floor will be allowed during the council meeting.
  • Any protest related to the DLC report must be expressed at least two (2) weeks (14 days) prior to the annual District Council meeting. No last-minute protest (within 14 days) will be entertained.

International Officer and Director Campaigning: 

  • At the District Director’s discretion, Districts may invite International Director candidates in their region to the annual District Council meeting, and provide an equal opportunity to the candidates, or their representatives, to present a two-minute speech. The two-minute speech can be given at the beginning or end of the District’s Candidate Showcase, the beginning or end of the annual District Council meeting, or while votes are being counted for the District’s election.

We realize that we are temporarily reversing previous decisions. However, due to to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) we must take appropriate action in the best interest of our members and our organization.

Please stay in communication with the District Leader Support team at districts@toastmasters.org so that appropriate support and guidance can be provided.


District Leader Support Team
Toastmasters International

This email has been sent to all District Directors, Program Quality Directors, and Club Growth Directors.