Voting for Ratification Clause in Contract

October 5, 2022

Contracts are created to set agreeable terms among different entities, so it is intuitive that contracts be agreed upon by the relevant parties before they are adopted. However, if a contract is meant to define terms of agreement among a large number of people, it may be difficult to ensure that all parties have had a say in the terms and conditions of the contract. 

To address any confusion in how to agree on the contract, the ratification clause stipulates terms of ratifying the contract or any amendments to it. Read ahead to learn about what exactly a ratification clause in a contract is, its importance, and the process of election for contract ratification. 

What Is the Ratification Clause in a Contract?

The ratification clause in a contract defines terms for the approval of the contract by the membership of the organization. Some organizations have contracts that are negotiated by a bargaining committee and are then put forward to be approved by the membership of the organization. These contracts could have terms that are directly relevant to the members, such as those regarding conditions of employment and rights and duties of employees. Such contracts are created in a democratic manner as they require a majority vote to be approved.

Why Is the Ratification Clause Important?

The ratification clause defines rules for voting on and ratifying a contract and its amendments. The absence of such a clause could create confusion amongst the drafting body and organization members over how to ratify and bring a contract into implementation.  

This clause ensures a stable mechanism for ratifying and voting so that both drafting committee members and the wider membership of the organization can understand and trust the process. 

What Is the Ratification Election Process?

The ratification election process is fairly simple. First, a committee drafts a contract. The contract is then presented to the members of the organization, and the members read and reflect upon the terms and conditions stipulated.

A vote is then held. While the exact rules for ratification are defined in the ratification clause, the voting process is usually quite standard. Often, members simply vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on whether they agree to the rights and obligations in the contract. If over 50% of the members agree to the conditions in the contract, it is ratified. If the majority votes against the contract, it fails to be ratified. 

How Can You Vote on Ratifying a Contract?

There are multiple ways to conduct ratification. The two most popular ways are the following:

  1. The Paper Ballot Method

Elections are traditionally held using a paper ballot method. Each participant is allowed a single vote. The voters vote secretly for either ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on paper and put the paper in a ballot box. Once all votes are collected, they are counted manually. The score is tallied and results are announced. 

  • Pros of using a paper ballot method:
    • As the traditional method of voting, it’s easily understood and trusted.
  • Cons of using a paper-based method:
    • Cost of resources such as paper and fuel for travel
    • Room for human error or manipulation during counting 
    • Greater risk of breach of secrecy
  1. Voting Online

As the world rapidly progresses towards digitalization, elections can now be held online. Voters can vote through a website which will automatically tally the results, eliminating the risk of human error in counting. 

Just like paper-based ballots, online elections for contract ratification will also offer two voting options: ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ Online ballots may also include the option to abstain or add additional questions or comments. 

For more information on the ratification clause in contracts, check out our article on whether a ratification contract requires good faith.

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