As the votes are counted after the club’s first board election in several years, Carlton have detailed why a class of members – the AFL club support members – had been barred from voting.
The Blues took a legal position that AFL club support members – who had long been considered Carlton members with voting rights – could not vote, in a judgement that upset some members who had voted in the past and prompted one of the candidates for the election, Steve Khatib, to raise the issue with the club.
But, as the deadline passed for voting in the election that pitted three board members – headed by former club champion and football director Chris Judd – against two challengers, the Blues revealed that, in the course of running this election, they had discovered that, under the club rules, AFL members with a Carlton package should never have had the vote in the first place.
A club spokesperson said that the club’s reading of their consititution was that to be eligible to vote, a member had to be what was described as an “ordinary member”, who had to have an 11-game, adult membership. Under their reading of the rules, this did not include AFL club support members (whose membership fee is divided between the AFL and Carlton) or three-game members and they were consequently not allowed to vote.
Voting online and via ballot papers ceased at 5pm on Friday. The three board members seeking re-election are ex-captain Judd, QC Chris Townsend and recruitment executive David Campbell. Two candidates are running against them – businessman and Softball Australia chair John Hollingsworth and Khatib, a rank and file member who criticised the club’s decision to remove AFL members from the voting roll.