What controlsthe voting age for the board of directors of a non-profit corporation, theby-laws orstate law?

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What controlsthe voting age for the board of directors of a non-profit corporation, theby-laws orstate law?

I’m on the board of directors of a church. I’ve been debating our organization’s member voting age with another director. Currently, in our by-laws, the minimum voting age is set at 16. I contend that because it says 16 in the by-laws, that’s what we must go by at the next election of the board of directors. He contends that because IL’s legal voting age is 18, we must follow that law even though our bylaw states otherwise.

Asked on September 13, 2010 under Business Law, Illinois

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Ok, in some respects here you are comparing apples with oranges.  The state voting age is the youngest age in which an individual has the ability to vote in a state or Federal election.  Your election for the Board of Directors in a Church is not a State or Federal election, correct?  But I believe that the laws that you are concerned about here are the laws in your state regarding how a minor is treated for purposes of entering in to agreements and whether they are precluded under the law from being members with voting privileges in a corporation.  Some states do NOT limit the age to 18 BUT the ability of the minor to re-neg or dis-affirm the agreements made becomes risky.  Seek help in your area.  


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