Member Matters - Democratic Member Control

Trustee elections coming soon - by Zac Perkins, CEO

Local representatives from each of TCEC’s nine voting districts control TCEC democratically. Every year within 30-60 days of the annual meeting, the cooperative holds district meetings for trustee elections. Three of the nine districts have a meeting each year allowing the trustees’ terms to be staggered. 

Democracy is based on the principle of “one person, one vote.” This means that everyone has an equal say. Cooperative organizations were founded on this same principle of democracy. Members have a say in how the cooperative is run and elect trustees to represent them. I encourage you to participate in your local electric cooperative and attend the district meetings to vote for your trustee in August.

Those interested in filing for trustee candidacy should file in person at the TCEC office, 995 Mile 46 Road in Hooker. Filing periods are included in the meeting notices and are listed with the meeting information on the next page. After completing the candidacy form, the candidate must then be certified by TCEC’s board secretary. Please view the cooperative’s bylaws at tcec.coop/bylaws or call 580-652-2418 and ask for me if you have questions regarding trustee requirements.

Any TCEC member can attend any district meeting. However, only members with their primary meter in that district are eligible to vote. A quorum of 5% of the district’s members must be present for business to be conducted. If a quorum is not present, an election will not take place and the incumbent trustee will continue serving the district as per the TCEC bylaws.

TCEC has three types of memberships: single, joint and business. As per the cooperative’s bylaws, each vote is per membership. If a member has multiple meters under one name, that person has one membership and one vote for the district of the primary meter.

If a membership is joint, the members may choose to submit a single vote or a split vote. If a membership is for a business, a voting delegate slip must be signed and returned at meeting registration. 

If a member is unsure of the type of membership they have, they should call the TCEC office at 580-652-2418 during business hours 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday, to confirm the type and make any changes at least two business days in advance of the district meeting.

Here are some things to know before you go to your district meeting:

  • A quorum, 5% of the district’s membership, must be present for business to be conducted. In most cases, this is around 65 members per district.
  • Your home, or primary account, must be in the district to be eligible to vote. Look at the top of the second page of your monthly electric bill to see which district you vote in.
  • Multiple meters? You still only have one vote for the district of your primary account (meter).
  • Members must attend the meeting in person to vote. Proxy voting is not allowed.
  • One vote per membership. If your membership is joint, you can share a single ballot or split your vote.
  • Sometimes a second person is added to access an account but is not on the membership itself. This second person would not be eligible to vote or receive capital credits. Your meeting notice indicates below the barcode whether your membership is single or joint. A new service application is required to change your account type. Call TCEC at 580-652-2418 for more information.
  • If the membership is non-residential, such as a business or a church, a delegate slip must be signed and presented at registration.
  • Bring the meeting notice you received in the mail to speed registration. If you forget, it’s okay. We can look up your membership at the meeting.

Democracy is the lifeblood of our society and cooperatives are unique because they reflect this value. That’s why it’s so important to get involved in your local electric cooperative. So please, get involved and make your voice heard. Together, we can keep our cooperative strong.

District Meeting