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It's Time to Elect!

9/5/2012-

by SIOP

SIOP’s Recent Elections Procedures Changes Will Be in Effect This Election

SIOP elections are just around the corner—and so are some changes to the way we choose our leadership!

In January of this year, the SIOP Executive Board reviewed a proposal from the Elections Committee to refine several aspects of SIOP’s election procedures to make them more transparent, inclusive and encouraging of member participation, and fair and impartial to individual candidates. A new set of committee policies were adopted, and SIOP members will see these new changes during the upcoming election.

“Really, the idea here is that SIOP is growing and our processes need to grow with us,” explained Elections Committee Chair and SIOP President Doug Reynolds in the spring. “Our past procedures were not well understood by most members, and they weren’t well publicized either. The approach worked fine when we were smaller, but it relies on trust over transparency…. We are growing and changing as a society, and we felt that our election process needs to adapt too.”

SIOP already implemented the new elections policy immediately after approving the changes, for the APA representative election in the spring. Not all parts of the policy applied to the APA representative elections, but the pieces of this SIOP could implement were put in place. For example, all the candidates were told that a condition of their running was to allow the results to be publicized. The rest of the changes will now be in effect during this regular SIOP election.


The first step of the election process is now underway. Nominations are open for elected positions on SIOP’s Executive Board. The deadline for nominations is
midnight EDT on September 30. SIOP voting members should have already received an email with instructions. Please visit the elections page for further details and to submit your
nomination (you will need to login to the SIOP website).

For further information on what the election procedure changes mean to you, continue reading this article. For information on the history of the SIOP elections, a complete outline of the process of making the changes, and further information on what the changes mean to SIOP, read an interview about the changes with Doug Reynolds here, or read election procedures here.

What’s changing? There are a number of things that have changed in the elections procedures. The new procedures include the following improvements:

  • New flexibilities in the nominations process will allow members to amend their choices until the last day of the nominations period.
  • The target number of slots on the ballot will be specified within the procedures.
  • The elections committee will fill the ballot slots based on the number of nominations received. (This change was made in 2010, and we will continue the practice under the new procedures.)
  • Candidate biographies and goal statements will be posted on a website that is available to the membership throughout the voting period.
  • Voting will be conducted using a preferential voting process that allows for an instant runoff.
  • Results of the voting will be posted on a website available to the membership. Candidates will be informed in advance of the election that the results will be posted.

How will the voting process change for me? The biggest change most members will notice is that when you vote during this election you will be asked to rank the candidates you like through a preferential voting technique. Instead of the vote being all or nothing, you will be able to provide your opinion of each candidate through the ranking process as opposed to just having one choice for your favorite candidate for each seat.

How will the preferential voting technique work? Anyone who votes in the APA election will already be familiar with this method of preferential voting. It’s known as a “single transferable vote” method. It is a simple process where you rank candidates for an open position on the ballot based on your preferences. You can rank them all or just the ones you feel would be best. If your first choice does not get enough votes to win by a majority, your vote is transferred to your second choice. That way you still have a voice in the election because your other choices will be ranked and taken into consideration when choosing the winner. This process allows us to add more candidates to the ballot without splitting the votes into small groups.