|August 15, 2013
Recently, AACE International surveyed its membership regarding its nominations and elections process. The survey was designed to help your Association improve the transparency of the nominating process, and increase participation in the election of future Association leadership. AACE International President Elect Martin Darley headed the Board sub-committee reviewing the survey.
In general, the survey suggests AACE International members believe they receive adequate information about the qualifications and positions of candidates. For example, only 4.5% disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement that “AACE International provides voters with adequate information about the qualifications and positions of candidates.”
While 60.4% of the survey respondents had read the candidate biographies and position statements, 14.5% indicated that were aware of the bios and statements but did not read them, 8.6% responded that they did not find those valuable and 16.5% were unaware that they were available.
As for the action voting process, 98.1% of those responding indicated that they strongly agreed, agreed or were neutral when asked if “my personal experience with online voting with AACE has been positive and I find it relatively quick and easy to vote.” When asked to respond to the statement “As a member, I am generally satisfied with the current election process”, 3.7% disagreed or strongly disagreed with that statement. Conversely, only 5.3% strongly agreed or disagreed with the statement that the voting process was “cumbersome”.
One area of immediate concern highlighted in the survey was our members’ understanding of the nominating process. When asked to respond to the statement, “In general, the process for being considered by the Nominating Committee is understood by the membership”, only 30.2% of those responding indicated they strong agreed or agreed.
“The survey underscores that the Association needs to do a much better job of communicating our nominating process. Among the steps that we have taken since the survey has been to send emails to all section officers asking for recommendations for the 2014-15 vacancies, announcing on our website how to submit nominations to 2013-14 Nominating Committee chaired by Past President Marlene Hyde and the July 2014 e-newsletter to all members regarding submitting recommendations for candidates,” observed Darley.
Darley pointed out that the AACE International Bylaws provide individuals who have not been recommended by the Nominating Committee to submit be placed on the ballot by petition providing they have a petition with the signatures of 20 voting members. Darley notes that in almost every election in recent years, at least one candidate has been on the ballot through that provision. That specific bylaws provision provides for the following:
Section 4: Other nominations for the office of Director or the office of an Officer of the Association may be made by petition signed by at least twenty (20) Members in good standing. The petitioners shall be responsible for (a) obtaining in writing the agreement of the nominee to serve if elected, (b) securing the biographical data of the nominee, (c) submitting the petitions, the agreement, and the biographical data to be received by the Vice President-Administration no later than December 15th of each year. Each candidate’s name and biographical data shall be made available to the membership no later than December 31st of each year.Darley also noted that based upon survey comments, the Association will provide more frequent reminders to members who have not voted during the February 1-March 15 balloting period and will review the feasibility of a mobile app to make the process even more convenient for members.
“As an Association, we want to make our nominations and elections process as transparent as possible. Over the course of the next year, we will be placing an additional emphasis on familiarizing our members with the nominations and election process and incorporating a more robust reminder system for individuals who have not cast a ballot,” Darley concluded.