Staggered elections are elections where only some of the places in an elected body are up for election at the same time. For example, United States Senators have a six-year term, but they are not all elected at the same time. Rather, elections are held every two years for one-third of Senate seats.
The three classes of United States Senators are made up of 33 or 34 Senate seats each. The purpose of the classes is to determine which Senate seats will be up for election in a given year. The three groups are staggered such that senators in only one of the classes are up for election in any two year cycle, rather than having all 100 seats up for election at once. Thus, the 33 Senate seats of class 1 were up for election in 2018, the elections for the 33 seats of class 2 will take place in 2020, and the elections for the 34 seats of class 3 will be held in 2022.
Staggered elections have the effect of limiting control of a representative body by the body being represented, but can also minimize the impact of cumulative voting.Many companies use staggered elections as a tool to prevent takeover attempts. Some legislative bodies (most commonly upper houses) use staggered elections, as do some public bodies, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Cumulative voting is a multiple-winner voting method intended to promote more proportional representation than winner-take-all elections.
In business, a takeover is the purchase of one company by another. In the UK, the term refers to the acquisition of a public company whose shares are listed on a stock exchange, in contrast to the acquisition of a private company.
An upper house is one of two chambers of a bicameral legislature, the other chamber being the lower house. The house formally designated as the upper house is usually smaller and often has more restricted power than the lower house. Examples of upper houses in countries include the Australian Senate, Brazil's Senado Federal, the Canadian Senate, France's Sénat, Germany's Bundesrat, India's Rajya Sabha, Ireland's Seanad, Malaysia's Dewan Negara, Myanmar's Amyotha Hluttaw, the Netherlands' Eerste Kamer, Pakistan's Senate of Pakistan, Russia's Federation Council, Switzerland's Council of States, United Kingdom's House of Lords and the United States Senate.
A staggered board of directors or classified board is a prominent practice in US corporate law governing the board of directors of a company, corporation, or other organization, in which only a fraction (often one third) of the members of the board of directors is elected each time instead of en masse (where all directors have one-year terms). Each group of directors falls within a specified "class"—e.g., Class I, Class II, etc.—hence the use of the term "classified" board.
A board of directors is a group of people who jointly supervise the activities of an organization, which can be either a for-profit business, nonprofit organization, or a government agency. Such a board's powers, duties, and responsibilities are determined by government regulations and the organization's own constitution and bylaws. These authorities may specify the number of members of the board, how they are to be chosen, and how often they are to meet.
A company, abbreviated as co., is a legal entity made up of an association of people, be they natural, legal, or a mixture of both, for carrying on a commercial or industrial enterprise. Company members share a common purpose, and unite to focus their various talents and organize their collectively available skills or resources to achieve specific, declared goals. Companies take various forms, such as:
A corporation is an organization, usually a group of people or a company, authorized by the state to act as a single entity and recognized as such in law for certain purposes. Early incorporated entities were established by charter. Most jurisdictions now allow the creation of new corporations through registration.
In publicly held companies, staggered boards have the effect of making hostile takeover attempts more difficult. When a board is staggered, hostile bidders must win more than one proxy fight at successive shareholder meetings in order to exercise control of the target firm. Particularly in combination with a poison pill, a staggered board that cannot be dismantled or evaded is one of the most potent takeover defenses available to U.S. companies.
A proxy fight, proxy contest or proxy battle, sometimes also called a proxy war, is an unfriendly contest for the control over an organization. The event usually occurs when corporation's stockholders develop opposition to some aspect of the corporate governance, often focusing on directorial and management positions. Corporate activists may attempt to persuade shareholders to use their proxy votes to install new management for any of a variety of reasons. Shareholders of a public corporation may appoint an agent to attend shareholder meetings and vote on their behalf. That agent is the shareholder's proxy.
A shareholder rights plan, colloquially known as a "poison pill", is a type of defensive tactic used by a corporation's board of directors against a takeover. Typically, such a plan gives shareholders the right to buy more shares at a discount if one shareholder buys a certain percentage or more of the company's shares. The plan could be triggered, for instance, if any one shareholder buys 20% of the company's shares, at which point every shareholder will have the right to buy a new issue of shares at a discount. If every other shareholder is able to buy more shares at a discount, such purchases would dilute the bidder's interest, and the cost of the bid would rise substantially. Knowing that such a plan could be activated, the bidder could be disinclined to take over the corporation without the board's approval, and would first negotiate with the board in order to revoke the plan.
In corporate cumulative voting systems, staggering has two basic effects: it makes it more difficult for a minority group to get directors elected, as the fewer directorships up for election requires a larger percent of the equity to win; and it makes takeover attempts less likely to succeed as it is harder to vote in a majority of new directors.Staggering may also however serve a more beneficial purpose, that is provide "institutional memory" — continuity in the board of directors — which may be significant for corporations with long-range projects and plans.
Institutional shareholders are increasingly calling for an end to staggered boards of directors—also called "declassifying" the boards. The Wall Street Journal reported in January 2007 that 2006 marked a key switch in the trend toward declassification or annual votes on all directors: more than half (55%) of the S&P 500 companies have declassified boards, compared with 47% in 2005.
12 of the 24 provincial legislatures have staggered elections:
Three of Australia's five State Legislative Councils use staggered elections:
Local councils in Western Australia also have staggered elections.
27 of the State Senates in the United States have staggered elections:
A senate is a deliberative assembly, often the upper house or chamber of a bicameral legislature. The name comes from the ancient Roman Senate, so-called as an assembly of the senior and therefore allegedly wiser and more experienced members of the society or ruling class. Thus, the literal meaning of the word "senate" is Assembly of Elders.
A member of parliament (MP) is the representative of the voters to a parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, this category includes specifically members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title. Member of Congress is an equivalent term in other jurisdictions.
A bicameral legislature has legislators in two separate assemblies, chambers, or houses. Bicameralism is distinguished from unicameralism, in which all members deliberate and vote as a single group, and from some legislatures that have three or more separate assemblies, chambers, or houses. As of 2015, fewer than half the world's national legislatures are bicameral.
In government, unicameralism is the practice of having one legislative or parliamentary chamber. Thus, a unicameral parliament or unicameral legislature is a legislature which consists of one chamber or house.
The National Assembly is the de jure legislature for Venezuela that was first elected in 2000. It is a unicameral body made up of a variable number of members, who were elected by a "universal, direct, personal, and secret" vote partly by direct election in state-based voting districts, and partly on a state-based party-list proportional representation system. The number of seats is constant, each state and the Capital district elected three representatives plus the result of dividing the state population by 1.1% of the total population of the country. Three seats are reserved for representatives of Venezuela's indigenous peoples and elected separately by all citizens, not just those with indigenous backgrounds. For the 2010-2015 period the number of seats was 165. All deputies serve five-year terms. The National Assembly meets in the Federal Legislative Palace in Venezuela's capital, Caracas.
A lower house is one of two chambers of a bicameral legislature, the other chamber being the upper house.
The North Dakota Senate is the upper house of the North Dakota Legislative Assembly, smaller than the North Dakota House of Representatives.
The Congress of the Dominican Republic is the bicameral legislature of the government of the Dominican Republic, consisting of two houses, the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies. Both senators and deputies are chosen through direct election. There are no term limits for either chamber.
The National Congress of Brazil is the legislative body of Brazil's federal government. Unlike the state Legislative Assemblies and Municipal Chambers, the Congress is bicameral, composed of the Federal Senate and the Chamber of Deputies. The Congress meets annually in Brasília, from 2 February to 27 July and from 1 August to 22 December.
The Legislative Assembly of Puerto Rico is the territorial legislature of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, responsible for the legislative branch of the government of Puerto Rico. The Assembly is a bicameral legislature consisting of an upper house, the Senate normally composed by 27 senators, and the lower house, the House of Representatives normally composed by 51 representatives. Eleven members of each house are elected at-large rather than from a specific legislative district with all members being elected for a four-year term without term limits.
The Senate is the upper house in the bicameral Parliament of Romania. It has 136 seats, to which members are elected by direct popular vote, using mixed member proportional representation in 43 electoral districts, to serve four-year terms.
The Connecticut State Senate is the upper house of the Connecticut General Assembly, the state legislature of the US state of Connecticut. The state senate comprises 36 members, each representing a district with around 99,280 inhabitants. Senators are elected to two-year terms without term limits. The Connecticut State Senate is one of 14 state legislative upper houses whose members serve two-year terms; four-year terms are more common.
The Congress of the Republic of Peru is the unicameral body that assumes legislative power in Peru. The congress consists of 130 members (congresistas), who are elected for five-year periods in office on a proportional representation basis.
A Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA), or a Member of the Legislature (ML), is a representative elected by the voters of a constituency to the legislature or legislative assembly of a sub-national jurisdiction.
The Haitian Parliament is the bicameral legislature of the Republic of Haiti, consisting of the upper house as the Senate (Sénat) and the lower house as the Chamber of Deputies. Both assemblies conduct legislative sessions at the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince.
House of Representatives is the name of legislative bodies in many countries and sub-national entitles. In many countries, the House of Representatives is the lower house of a bicameral legislature, with the corresponding upper house often called a "Senate". In some countries, the House of Representatives is the sole chamber of a unicameral legislature.
The Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly alone has powers to legislate laws covering state subjects in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It has a strength of 235 members of whom 234 are democratically elected using the First-past-the-post system. The remaining member is nominated as a representative of the Anglo-Indian community. The presiding officer of the Assembly is called the Speaker. The term of the Assembly is five years unless it is dissolved earlier.
The Federal government of Mexico is the national government of the United Mexican States, the central government established by its constitution to share sovereignty over the republic with the governments of the 31 individual Mexican states, and to represent such governments before international bodies such as the United Nations. The Mexican federal government has three branches: executive, legislative, and judicial and functions per the Constitution of the United Mexican States, as enacted in 1917, and as amended. The executive power is exercised by the executive branch, which is headed by the president and his Cabinet, which, together, are independent of the legislature. Legislative power is vested upon the Congress of the Union, a bicameral legislature comprising the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies. Judicial power is exercised by the judiciary, consisting of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation, the Council of the Federal Judiciary, and the collegiate, unitary, and district courts.