2017 New Jersey Revised Statutes
TITLE 17B - INSURANCE
Section 17B:18-26 - Method of election when demand is made by public directors that other candidates be nominated

17B:18-26. Method of election when demand is made by public directors that other candidates be nominated

If the public directors shall file a demand pursuant to section 17B:18-24 that other candidates be nominated, the election shall be according to the method prescribed in this section as follows:

a. The commissioner within 30 days after the receipt of such demand by the public directors, shall appoint a nominating committee of 15 of such qualified voters who shall appear to the commissioner to be willing and qualified to select a candidate for each of the offices of the elected directors whose terms of office expire at the date of the next ensuing election. No officer, director, employee or agent of the corporation, nor any relative thereof by blood or connection by marriage in nearer degree than second cousin, nor any person who shall have served on such a nominating committee at any previous time, shall be eligible to be named by the commissioner to serve upon such nominating committee. The commissioner shall forthwith cause notice of the time and place of the first meeting of such committee to be sent to each member thereof. Within 30 days following the appointment or within such further period of time not exceeding 15 days as may be determined by the commissioner, the nominating committee shall by a majority vote select a candidate, suitable by training and experience to serve, for each such office of elected director, other than any candidate nominated by the board of directors, and shall within such period file with the commissioner a certificate setting forth the names, addresses and occupations of the candidates so nominated, together with a statement in writing from each of such candidates that he will accept if elected. The commissioner shall notify the secretary of the corporation of the names, addresses and occupations of the candidates so selected by the nominating committee.

b. When nominations shall have been made by such nominating committee, the commissioner shall cause notice of the election to be published at least 4 times at intervals of not less than 1 week, the first publication to be not more than 5 months and the last publication not less than 3 months prior to the date of the election in at least three newspapers published in each state of the United States and in each province of Canada in which the corporation is authorized to do business, one of such publications in each state or province to be, whenever possible, in a newspaper published in the capital city of such state or province. Not less than 4 months prior to the date of the election, copies of such notice shall be posted in such offices maintained by the corporation as the commissioner may direct, in a conspicuous place to which the general public has access, and shall remain so posted until the record date hereinafter specified. Such notice shall contain the names, addresses and occupations of the candidates nominated by the board of directors and of the candidates nominated by the nominating committee, and shall advise the policyholders as to the procedure required by sections 17B:18-18 to 17B:18-28, inclusive, to be followed in voting. The death or withdrawal of any candidate or the nomination of any candidate in his place before or after the completion of publication or posting shall not invalidate such notice. The omission of any publication or posting herein prescribed shall not invalidate such notice nor the election to which it relates.

c. The commissioner shall prepare the form of ballot which shall contain: (1) the names of the candidates for director nominated by the board of directors, and so designated, and separately the names of the candidates for director nominated by the nominating committee, and so designated; (2) the following statement: "The Commissioner of Insurance of New Jersey neither approves nor disapproves the nomination of any of the aforesaid candidates" ; (3) blank lines for the insertion of the policy number and signature of the qualified voter; and (4) such instructions for the proper completion of the ballot as the commissioner may deem necessary, including a statement of the date of the election and that the ballot must be received on or before such date. Each ballot shall be accompanied by a gummed postpaid return envelope, addressed to the commissioner, on which the words "Ballot for Directors" shall be printed. The commissioner shall cause ballots to be mailed at least 30 days prior to the date of the election to all applicants for ballots who appear to him, after checking the applications against the records of the corporation, to be qualified voters of the corporation on the record date. No election shall be held invalid by reason of any irregularity or failure in the preparation or forwarding of any ballots pursuant hereto.

d. Each qualified voter of the corporation shall be entitled to cast one vote and all ballots shall be cast by mail upon the forms provided and shall be according to the provisions of sections 17B:18-18 to 17B:18-28, inclusive, any existing law of this State to the contrary notwithstanding. Policyholders who are qualified voters may obtain ballots by applying therefor either in person or by mail to the commissioner, or to any office maintained by the corporation, on or before the record date which shall be 70 days prior to the date of the election, stating in such application for a ballot, the name, address, policy number and date of birth of the applicant. The corporation shall prepare a list or other catalog of the applicants for ballots in such form as the commissioner may direct, showing the name, address and policy number of the applicant, whether or not he is 18 years of age or more and whether his policy has been in force at least 1 year; and such list or catalog shall specify any applicants for ballots appearing not to be qualified voters of the corporation according to its records, with a statement of the reason therefor. Such list or catalog shall be transmitted at least 40 days before the date of the election to the commissioner. The commissioner shall cause notice of disqualification to be given to any applicant who shall appear to him to be not a qualified voter of the corporation, with a statement of the reason therefor; and shall grant such applicant reasonable opportunity, within such period as may be fixed by the commissioner in his sole discretion, to present facts in support of his application. The list or catalog shall remain on file with the commissioner until 30 days after the election and shall be open to inspection by any qualified voter of the corporation, as the commissioner shall determine.

e. Ballots received by the commissioner on or before the date of the election shall be canvassed by the commissioner. The commissioner may employ such persons to assist him in canvassing the ballots as he deems necessary. No ballot shall be counted unless it is received by the commissioner on or before the date of the election, nor unless it shall set forth the number of the qualified voter's policy, be signed by him in person and be completed in accordance with the instructions appearing thereon; and no ballot shall be counted if cast for any person other than for one nominated as provided in sections 17B:18-18 to 17B:18-28, inclusive, nor if cast for more than the number of elected directors whose offices are to be filled at such election. The commissioner shall be the sole judge as to the qualifications of the voters and the proper casting of the ballots. All ballots received by the commissioner shall at the conclusion of the election be placed in sealed packages and preserved by him for at least 1 year from the date of the election. The four persons receiving the highest number of votes for the offices of elected director to be filled shall be elected for full terms. In case two or more persons shall receive the same number of votes for the same office, the commissioner shall decide the election by lot. At the conclusion of the election, the commissioner shall certify in writing to the secretary of the corporation the result thereof.

f. In case of the death or withdrawal of any candidate prior to a date 50 days before the date of the election, the board of directors or the nominating committee, whichever shall have nominated such candidate, shall nominate a candidate in his place by filing not later than 40 days before the date of the election a certificate similar to that required for the original nominations; and in case of the death or withdrawal of any candidate within 50 days before the date of the election, no substitution of a candidate shall be made to take the place of the candidate so dying or withdrawing, and the election shall nevertheless proceed. If the report of the canvass of the votes at the election shows the number of votes so cast for the candidates so dying or withdrawing, for whom no substitution shall have been made, was such that he would have been elected except for the fact of his death or withdrawal, a vacancy in the board of directors shall be deemed to have occurred as of the date of the election and the same shall be filled by a majority vote of the entire number of either the board of directors or the nominating committee, whichever shall have nominated such candidate.

g. The commissioner shall conduct the election, may make such reasonable regulations for the conduct of the election not inconsistent with the provisions of sections 17B:18-18 to 17B:18-28, inclusive, as may appear to him to be necessary or desirable, and shall authorize payment of expenses incurred by the corporation for the purpose of advising policyholders, to the extent and in the manner he deems appropriate, as to the qualifications of the candidates. He may employ such persons as he may consider necessary to assist him in the performance of the duties imposed upon him under sections 17B:18-18 to 17B:18-28, inclusive, and may require the corporation to furnish assistance in such respects and in such manner as he may direct. All expenses incurred by the commissioner or by the nominating committee with the approval of the commissioner, in performing any of the duties imposed upon them by this act shall be borne by the corporation, and shall be paid by it upon the order of the commissioner. If the commissioner shall so request, the corporation shall advance to the commissioner funds reasonably sufficient to defray such expenses and the commissioner shall remit such funds to the State Treasurer as custodian thereof. The State Treasurer shall hold such funds separate from all other State moneys and shall disburse the same only upon vouchers signed by the commissioner, who shall account to the corporation therefor.

L.1971, c. 144, s. 17B:18-26. Amended by L.1973, c. 22, s. 6, eff. Feb. 8, 1973.

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