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Letters to the Editor

I’ve been a member of SIOP for years and have enjoyed TIP all along. I frequently enjoyed the humor and lightness routinely provided by Paul Muchinsky.
 
It’s important to know that my sense of humor leans toward the crude, sophomoric side of things. There’s enough intellectual stuff to read, thank you very much, so something that’s just stupidly funny appeals to me. With the January 2012 issue (“Revised Identity Branding” by Paul Muchinsky), though, I cringed, and I’ll predict that I’m not the only reader who did.
 
I think that it was over the line to include this piece in TIP. While my home state of Michigan came through unscathed (“Leading the Nation in Peninsulae”), I winced when I read the tags for West Virginia (“1.9 Million People, Two Sets of DNA”), Vermont (“Ben’s OK, but Jerry’s a Prick”) and probably a third of the others.
 
It’s not as though I’m about to ask that my subscription be cancelled, but I am requesting that humor that comes at the expense of others be left out of future issues. As a member of SIOP, it’s embarrassing and I wish that I could reach out to readers in states that were slighted and say, “I’m SO sorry…”
 
David R. MacDonald
 

 
Editor’s Note: The following three letters to the editor are all regarding SIOP’s election procedures. They are printed in the order in which they were received, each a response to the previous. The final letter, from Doug Reynolds, Adrienne Colella, and Eduardo Salas, provides information about SIOP’s current election procedures and election reform plans currently underway.
 
 

December 10, 2011
 
To: The Editor of TIP
 
Coincidence is often the mother of change. Today’s coincidence was so striking that it said to me “Send a letter to the Editor of TIP.” This letter concerns SIOP’s election procedures. I make the case that, in the service of perceived fairness and greater participation, our election procedures need to be changed. I ask that you send an e-mail to the members of SIOP’s Executive Committee asking for three changes: 1. Establish procedures for how nominees get on the ballot; 2. Elect by majority; 3. Disclose the numerical results. Here is my story and I’m sticking to it.
 
Last week I wrote to Dave Nershi, our terrific executive director, asking for the numerical results of the 2011 election. Dave promptly replied that the SIOP Election Committee must authorize the release and he assured me that the election was conducted with “scrupulous fairness”—something I never doubted. The Chair of the Election Committee, President Elect Doug Reynolds soon replied: The results would NOT be released because the results might discourage SIOPers from running; he would raise the issues with the Committee; he personally favors a more transparent process, but change requires “discussion and support from the Election Committee and the Board…will require several steps and likely won’t happen all at once.” The “several steps” and “won’t happen all at once” sounded to me like nothing is going to be done, so I put the issue from my mind and went back to preparing for a fishing trip to Argentina.
 
This is where the coincidence came in. Did you ever totally forget about something? I was throwing out old SIOP files and, lo and behold, came across a copy of an e-mail I wrote on 10 December 2009—exactly 2 years ago—entitled “SIOP Election Results”. The e-mail was directed to our SIOP president with copies to assorted past presidents and colleagues. The e-mail is SO timely today that I will quote extensively from it:
 
We have been lucky in the past with a golden generation of leaders who were knowledgeable and interested in both practice and academics, and with experience in both.  How do we get the next generation interested?”
 
[I]f we want to get willing practitioners involved we need to
work on SIOP governance…Most SIOPers are aware, I think, that academics make up 38% of members, but hold most of the offices.” (numbers from probably 2008)
 
A funny thing has happened these last couple of years—we had 2
practitioners running for president and only one academic. I do not know
what happened last year, but this year we know (note: how “we” knew this back in 2009 I haven’t a clue) that the practitioners split the vote so that the academic got elected with 36% of the vote. Although I am sure that Adrienne Collela will do a wonderful  job… most SIOPers would not be comfortable with the fact that she was elected even though nearly 2/3rds (64%) of the voters DID NOT VOTE FOR HER.  They would be even more concerned if they realized that only about 10% of SIOP members voted—so Ms. Collela was elected by 3.6% of the members!
 
We can’t control how many people vote, but we should be electing a President Elect as well as others by a majority of those voting, not by a plurality. Clearly we should be having a runoff. Why don’t we? I checked the By Laws and they charge the Election Committee (Past Pres, Pres. and President Elect) with running the election. I asked Dave Nershi for the Administrative Manual dealing with Elections and it says little more.  If the Election Committee sets the rules, they can change to a majority election. It seems to me the Election Committee should do this immediately. Can any of you see ANY reason why this should NOT be done?
 
There turns out to be a peculiarity in the By Laws that empowers the Election Committee to willy-nilly add nominees if they feel the ones that come from Members are not “representative enough” (note: this apparently happened in 2011.)
 
I am sure that the Election Committee would NOT try to influence the election, but there will always be a conspiracy theorist who thinks that the Election Committee will add candidates to the Ballot …with the result of splitting the votes…The clause in the By Laws may have been appropriate at one time, but would seem to be a problem today and should be removed. But, to change the By Laws is more of a problem. So, if nobody can think of a reason NOT to change to a majority vote, how do we get them (the Election Committee) to do that?...Shall we do something, or shall we sit back and let this happen again?”
 
My e-mail goes on to discuss the need for transparency and releasing the election results, but I had previously fought that battle and lost. Need I say that nothing happened back in 2009, or 2010, or 2011! No doubt the new president and Executive Committee had a busy agenda.
 
I have no knowledge of the numbers for election results for 2011—they are kept secret. My guess is that like 2 years ago we elected another wonderful president with no more than 10–15% of the members voting and with the winner receiving perhaps 35–40% (or less) of the vote. If that is true, it would mean that yet again about 5% (or less) of the members elected the SIOP president. It used to be (and as a SIOP member for 60 years I know what used to be), being a SIOP officer was more of an honor for eminence (e.g, Bob Guion, Doug Bray, Marv Dunnette), with not all that much to do; today it is a visible role that might polish one’s personal or organizational brand (most SIOPers probably have never heard of the candidates) and requiring lots of time and effort.
 
Things have changed, let’s change with them. If we really want more people to participate, it’s time for transparency, and election procedures that better represent SIOP. I disagree with President-Elect Reynolds that change must be slow and piecemeal. None of these changes (majority election, a procedure for putting candidates on the ballot, disclosing results) requires bylaw change. Let’s change for 2012!! President-Elect Reynolds has implied how to do this—get the support of the SIOP Executive Committee.
 
Let’s just do it. Let’s go SIOP viral. Let’s have a SIOP spring. Send an email today to the Executive Committee at SIOP@siop.org; Subject line: Attn: Executive Committee Message: Change the election procedures.
This is NOT a practitioner/academic issue—it is a SIOP issue. If 6% of us send the e-mail, we will equal or exceed my estimated vote turnout for the president; who knows, we might get something done.
 
(Full disclosure, I am a retired Fellow who has never run for a SIOP Elective office and never will!)
 
George P. Hollenbeck
 
 

January 22, 2012
 
Dr. Lisa Steelman, Editor of TIP
Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology
 
Dear Lisa,
 
We are writing as a group of concerned SIOP members to support George Hollenbeck’s call for election reform in SIOP. Over the years a number of members have raised issues about the current election process. While there are a range of issues that need to be addressed, the main concerns are:
Election process irregularities. There is concern that the election committee (the current president, past president and president-elect) can change the ballot (who gets on the ballot and how many candidates there are) based on their personal discretion. This seemed to happen in the recent elections and leads members to question the election process.
 
Lack of transparency. SIOP maintains a high level of secrecy over the election process and results. SIOP has refused recent requests from members for the full election results, the decision process that is used, and even the number of nominations received by candidates.
 
We propose that SIOP and the Executive Board immediately address these concerns so that the elections can be seen as open and fair. The election process needs to be standardized and transparent, and the full election results need to be shared with SIOP members. Specifically we propose:
  1. SIOP should appoint an Election Reform Working Group composed of SIOP members that fairly represent different SIOP member groups (members who have ever been elected to a SIOP position can be included up to their proportion in the full SIOP membership to avoid any election bias). This group should be charged with developing election reform recommendations that fully address all of the election concerns.
  2. The working group should be given 2 months to propose election reforms. The Executive Board should then be required to vote up or down on the whole set of unamended recommendations within a month (and if rejected the EB should clearly explain why to the membership). A vote by the full membership should be scheduled no later than this summer if it is necessary to change bylaws.
These reforms should be in place well ahead of the next SIOP elections occurring later in 2012.
 
We think it is critical that SIOP pursues election reform in order to have an inclusive, transparent and accountable professional organization.
 
Respectfully, (in alphabetical order)
 
Richard Arvey, PhD                   Robert Lee, PhD
Steven Ashworth, PhD               Mary Lewis, PhD
Wendy Becker, PhD                   Robert Lorenzo, PhD
Judith Blanton, PhD                   Alison Mallard, PhD
David Bracken, PhD                   Morgan McCall, PhD
David P. Campbell, PhD              Jeffrey McHenry, PhD
Wanda Campbell, PhD                Margaret McManus, PhD
Stephen Cerrone, PhD               Gerald Olivero, PhD
Richard Cober, PhD                   Ann Ortiz, PhD
Benjamin Dattner, PhD               Edward Pavur, PhD
David Day, PhD                        Patrick Pinto, PhD
Philip DeVries, Jr., PhD               Christopher Rotolo, PhD
Ben Dowell, PhD                       Peter Rutigliano, PhD
Diane Ducat, PhD                     Jeffery Schippmann, PhD
Ronald Festa, PhD                    M. Peter Scontrino, PhD
Michael Frisch, PhD                  Terri Shapiro, PhD
Deborah Gebhardt, PhD             Rob Silzer, PhD
Michael Grissom, EdD                David Smith, PhD
Sarah Henry, PhD                     Melvin Sorcher, PhD
Ramon Henson, PhD                  Chris Steilberg, PhD
Joyce Hogan, PhD                    Michael Trusty, PhD
Robert Hogan, PhD                   Rebecca Turner, PhD
Katherine Holt, PhD                   David Van Rooy PhD
Michael Hopp, PhD                    Diane Keyser Wentworth, PhD
Leaetta Hough, PhD                  Paul Yost, PhD
Johan Julin, PhD                       Seth Zimmer, PhD
John Kennedy, PhD                   Anthony Zinsser, PhD
Stephen Laser, PhD
                    

SIOP Election Procedures: The Rest of the Story
Doug Reynolds, Adrienne Colella, and Eduardo Salas
SIOP Elections Committee
 
The letters to the editor presented in this series offer a dim view of SIOP’s election procedures. Hollenbeck uses inaccurate information and innuendo to amplify concerns about SIOP’s election traditions. Prior to publication, Hollenbeck’s letter was widely circulated by a candidate in the most recent election along with a petition alleging unspecified election irregularities. Fifty-five recipients agreed to join the author of the petition in calling for election reform (published in this series of letters to the editor and referred to hereafter as the joint letter). We find these tactics unfortunate.
 
Setting aside our quibbles with the rhetoric, the fundamental concern of the authors of these letters is that SIOP’s election procedures should be changed; on this point, we agree. In fact, over that past 2 years, members of the Election Committee have proposed and implemented several changes to the election process within the current bylaws. Following the most recent election cycle, a series of additional changes were proposed and have been approved by the Executive Board for implementation. In this article, we detail the recent changes and describe additional plans to modernize the SIOP election procedures.
 
But First, a Bit More About the Quibbles…
 
Hollenbeck (this issue) quotes a memo from his personal files and muses about the percentage of SIOP members who have voted in recent elections. Hollenbeck underestimates the percentage of members who vote, and uses this estimate to support his argument. The participation rate in the recent election was 30% of the members who are eligible to vote; a rate that is typical of recent years’ elections. Of course, vote counts have never been publicized, so SIOP members are unable to critique the basis for Hollenbeck’s conclusions. As a side benefit, perhaps this dialogue will encourage more people to vote.
 
Hollenbeck also implies that the Election Committee ignored member nominations when placing candidates on the ballot in the most recent election. In fact, in 2011, nominees were placed on the ballot based on the number of member nominations they received. This information was shared with Hollenbeck before he drafted the letter, yet the implication remained in the letter published here.1 Innuendo is probably more useful than fact if the objective is to generate controversy.
 
Some aspects of Hollenbeck’s letter are simply in error. Hollenbeck states that the election committee sets the rules for elections. Rather, according to SIOP’s bylaws elections are run “according to procedures set by the Executive Board” (Article 5,§6). This is a technicality, to be sure, but when one is proposing bylaws changes, it’s probably best to know the specifics.
The biggest error in Hollenbeck’s letter, and echoed in the joint letter, is the mischaracterization of the intent of the Elections Committee. Hollenbeck laments perceived inaction in the past few years and summarizes the statements of the president-elect as suggesting “nothing will ever happen.” [The first author responds: The quotes are correct: I did write to George that change will likely take several steps and won’t come all at once, and that’s actually what I meant. In the same communication I also mentioned that we were looking carefully at the process this year, and I made a commitment to raise his suggestions with the elections committee.] Hollenbeck’s only mistake here was assuming that nothing had happened and nothing ever will.2
 
So, one is left to wonder, why would so many of our wise and good-natured colleagues sign on to a petition with such vaguely stated allegations? Perhaps it’s because there are a few issues with our elections traditions, and it is time to change them.
 
We agree with the items listed for change in Hollenbeck’s letter, and we would add another important one: the number of people on the ballot should be expanded. In recent years, most offices on the ballot for SIOP’s elections have had three candidates (the bylaws allow between three and five for most roles). A three-candidate ballot is particularly problematic when you have two similar candidates and one who is less similar. This similarity could apply to gender, age, race, prior positions within SIOP, employment setting, and so on. As Hollenbeck notes, an imbalance in the ballot leads conspiracy theorists to assume a bias is at work, intending to split votes across similar candidates. Rumors of vote splitting have existed within SIOP for years; we feel this is a disservice to the Society and unnecessarily detracts from our professional and collegial culture. We sought to change the three-person ballot this year, so we included more candidates on the ballot compared to ballots from recent years; the expanded ballot generated a variety of reactions, ranging from appreciation of a broader and more inclusive candidate slate to claims of ballot manipulation.
 
The changes we made this year are best understood within the context of other changes that have been proposed and enacted.
 
A Brief Chronology of Recent Changes to the Elections Procedures (Including a Tour Inside the Secret World of the Elections Committee)
 
Despite Hollenbeck’s claims to the contrary, discussions about changing the election procures began several years ago. In the fall of 2010, then-President Salas raised the need for a formal policy regarding the choice of nominees to appear on the ballot. The Executive Board passed a motion stating: The people with the top number of nominations will be on the ballot. In the case of ties, the Elections Committee will use its discretion to fill out the ballot. (Executive Board Minutes, September 2010). This rule was to be used as guidance during the 2010 election and strictly applied in the 2011 election, given that the 2010 process was already underway at the time of the discussion. Thus, the first change requested by Hollenbeck (“establish procedures for how nominees get on the ballot”) had already been approved and enacted. Board minutes describing this change are publically available on the SIOP website.
 
At the start of the nominations process in 2011, the Call for Nominations included the new policy, in bold font, in the nominations instructions. And it was noticed—the number of nominations submitted increased by well over 200% of the prior year; nearly 400 nominations were received from about 250 nominators. The Elections Committee met on several occasions to discuss the implications of broader candidate slates. We debated several benefits of an expanded ballot for all roles, including the move away from three-person slates, the encouragement of new candidates, the ability to include more balanced slates across practitioner and academic employment contexts, and greater diversity across a variety of demographic categories.
The disadvantages of expanding the ballots were also reviewed. Concerns include the fact that, unless a clear preference emerges, the winners would be elected with a plurality rather than a majority of votes. As Hollenbeck notes, this has been the case for some time, but expanded slates could exacerbate the issue. Further, there was concern that any change from prior years could be perceived as an attempt to manipulate the outcome. Apparently we were right about this one.
 
Decisions about ballot composition were not taken lightly. Our committee met several times to discuss the issues during October of 2011 as we prepared the ballots for the four open roles on the board. These discussions took several meetings to resolve, with clear agreement about the need to expand the number of candidates on the ballots but debate about how far to expand it. The bylaws allow between three and five candidates for the roles to be filled this year. In the end, our decision was unanimous: We would include a broad slate for president-elect (the top five nominees) and let those who vote decide the issue. For other roles on the ballot, we placed the top four nominees on the ballot. Nomination counts were somewhat lower for these roles, and by placing the top four candidates, we were able to include all candidates that received larger numbers of nominations.
 
As these discussions proceeded, the top four candidates for all roles were informed they needed to get their bios together for the ballot. This turned out to be an issue because some candidates began to publicize information about the election based on the address list on the request for their bios. As the committee’s discussion advanced, the slate was expanded, and a call was placed to an additional candidate to ascertain agreement to appear on the ballot. Note that before a candidate can appear on the ballot she/he must specifically agree to accept the role if elected. This decision can take a few days to make, so the final slate could not be set until confirmation was received. Throughout this process, several of us received unsolicited input regarding recommended candidates, leaving us to wonder if every Elections Committee has experienced such lobbying.
 
Just prior to the release of the ballot on November 1, a candidate for Membership Services Officer dropped out of the race and requested not to appear on the ballot. This change was made, but it was too late to secure a replacement. Thus one race included only three candidates, despite our intention to set a larger slate for every role. The final ballot was published to the membership on schedule, November 1, 2011.
 
So Why Not Release the Results?
 
SIOP voting closed on November 30, and within a day or two all candidates were informed of their outcome (win or lose). Shortly thereafter, the first author, in his role as chair of the elections committee, received two written requests for the full voting results. One request was from a candidate in the election, the other was from Dr. Hollenbeck; both requested the vote tallies for the roles and candidates included in the election. Both requests were declined. Our reasons are described below. A third request followed that inquired about our policies regarding why voting results are not published, and who decides how many names make the ballot.
 
As the facilitators of the election process, a part of our role is encouraging people to run. Sixteen SIOP members appeared on the ballot in 2011; we sought to encourage participation from a broader group of candidates this year. Publishing low performance could discourage subsequent attempts, and, as many current Board members can attest, losing a few elections is common before winning one. An informal poll of several candidates found that many did not want the results to be posted.
 
Society elections are sensitive, and increasingly so. They are the confluence of the Society’s interests and personal interests. Requests for information on the part of one candidate must be considered in light of fairness to all candidates. Strong vote counts for some candidates may boost performance in subsequent elections, lower vote counts may detract from others.
 
Also, the requests for vote tallies came after the election, not beforehand. Many of the participants in this year’s election were repeat candidates; the expectations for how the results are communicated had already been set by our past elections. Other candidates were new entrants to the process, and posting their performance could easily prove discouraging. As far as we are aware, the voting results for SIOP’s elections have never been posted publically. According to Dave Nershi, our executive director, many associations do not post voting tallies for similar reasons.
 
There are also plenty of good reasons to post the voting results, assuming all participants in the election are informed of this practice in advance and agree to these terms when they run. As SIOP grows, we should provide better information about how our election process is managed and transparency regarding the results.
 
These arguments are a distraction from the point, however. The requests received for voting tallies in early December did not seek the public release of the vote count. The requesters asked for the information to be sent directly to them. If our policy has been not to publically post results, why would we willy-nilly send them out privately upon request? Perhaps these requests were designed to be easy to refuse. For this year’s process, we decided to share only the number of votes received by individual candidates who requested their own vote count.
 
Revising the Elections Procedures
 
Throughout the elections process this year, we discussed the need to better document and publicize the elections procedures, and as we did so we considered how the process should work if we designed it based on principle instead of precedent.

 

The Elections Committee met in early December to debrief the process and to discuss proposed modifications to the elections process. The following principles were discussed:
 
  • The elections process should be more transparent
  • The process should be inclusive and encourage member participation in each stage of the election (i.e., in the nomination and voting processes)
  • The process should be fair and impartial to individual candidates
There are several steps involved with changing procedures: (a) work in collaboration within the Elections Committee to review the current procedures and gain agreement to changes; (b) propose changes to the board for discussion and approval; (c) implement changes that are allowed under the bylaws; (d) if new procedures require bylaws changes, propose changes to the membership; (e) hold a vote of the membership on bylaws changes; (f) if approved, implement new procedures under the revised bylaws. The good news is that several of these steps have already been completed.
 
Following our discussions in December, we drafted revised election procedures based on the principles above. Further, we presented the new procedures to the Executive Board during their winter meeting on January 20, 2012. The Board suggested minor modifications to the proposal, and with these changes, the new policy was passed with unanimous approval. All of the proposed changes are consistent with the bylaws, so at this time the new procedures are already in effect and being applied, where possible, to the APA Representative election taking place this spring. The new procedures include the following substantive changes from the current procedures:
 
  • New flexibilities will be allowed during the nominations period so that nominations can be amended by members until the last day of the nominations period.
  • The target number of slots on the ballot is specified within the procedures. The elections committee will continue to fill those slots based on the number of nominations received. In the case of ties, candidates will be picked at random within the tied rank.
  • 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 an instant runoff method (the Ware system). All candidates for each office will be ranked by voters to allow for an instant runoff and a majority winner.
  • 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.
The full policy is provided in the Appendix and will be incorporated into the administrative manual to be used by future elections committees.
 
Next Steps
 
There are still issues to be examined. Currently the bylaws allow for multiple nominations to be submitted (for different nominees) from each member. Should this feature remain? Now that we have moved to a process that builds the ballot from the sheer number of nominations, could this flexibility become unwieldy as candidates push for nominations? Should the election committee have any discretion when nominees are tied? The revised procedures remove this feature in practice, but the bylaws still allow it should future boards decide to revisit the issue. Permanent change on these items will require a bylaws change and a vote of the membership. These questions will be posed to a newly appointed strategic planning committee. A possible bylaws vote may result.
 
Conclusion
 
SIOP’s election procedures have been in need of an update and better documentation. Over the past 2 years, we have implemented a process for choosing nominees to fill the ballot and expanded the list of names on the ballot. (Note that prior election committees have also used expanded ballots but not in recent years). These changes were lauded by some and enraged others, as evidenced by the letters that appear in this series. The mere fact that these changes sparked immediate controversy suggests a level of distrust in the election process that does not reflect well on our Society. Election procedures that are not clear to those with a strong interest in the outcome leave plenty of room for skeptics to be concerned, regardless of the intent of the Election Committee. Our committee’s aim was to create a process that works for SIOP, is clearly stated, and transparent.
 
It is our hope that these changes will be understood in the spirit of collaboration under which they were developed. Our intent was to create processes that will serve the whole of SIOP for the long run. We should indeed have a SIOP spring, but, unlike the assumption behind the letters in this series, getting there doesn’t need to be a confrontation—we are all on the same side.
 
APPENDIX
 
SIOP Elections Committee Administrative Procedures
Drafted 12/21/2011, Revised 1/16/12, 1/21/12; Approved 1/21/12
 
1.   Responsibility:
The Election Committee shall conduct and supervise all elections of the Society.
2.   Committee Members
The Election Committee consists of the President-Elect, the President, and the Immediate Past President. The President-Elect serves as chair.
Reference: Bylaws
3. Election Procedure
a) Send Call for Nominations (September 1 for SIOP Officers). The Election Committee, using the facilities of the Administrative Office, sends by e-mail a call for nominations each year. The nomination ballot shall allow for at least three nominees to be submitted for each open position. Nominations are to close 30 days after opening and the results returned to the President-Elect within two days of the close of nominations. The nominations site should remain open to each member throughout the nomination period; this allows for the addition of nominees throughout the nomination period.
b) Secure nominees for each office. The Election Committee counts the nominating ballots and contacts those with the most votes to ascertain their willingness to run for office. The ballot comprises:
(1) For the office of President-Elect the top five member-nominated candidates will appear on the ballot.
(2) For the offices of Financial Officer/Secretary and the Officers-with-Portfolio positions, the top four member-nominated nominees will appear on the ballot.
(3) For each Division Representative to be elected to the APA Council, the top three member-nominated nominees will appear on the ballot.
The people with the top number of nominations will be on the ballot. In the case of ties, the Elections Committee will choose among the tied candidates randomly.
c) Submit names of nominees. The Election Committee certifies to the Executive Director a list of nominees for each office. The Executive Director verifies that each nominee is eligible for office and that the procedures for placing nominees on the ballot were followed. For APA Council Representative nominees, the list of nominees is sent to APA before the APA deadline.
d) Obtain nominee agreement. Once verified by the Executive Director, the Chair of the Election Committee contacts proposed nominees to gain agreement to appear on the ballot and serve a three-year term if elected. Should a nominee decline, an alternate should be contacted to fill the open slot on the ballot. Nominees should be informed at the time of their consent that the vote count will be publicized per section 4b.
e) Prepare ballot. The Administrative Office prepares a ballot for all offices except APA Council Representative. Ballots are made available to the membership for 30 days. Votes for SIOP president-elect and officer positions shall be recorded using the Ware single transferable vote method (voting is done by ranking candidates and an automatic runoff is calculated, per the procedures used for APA’s presidential election3) for each position on the ballot. Voting for APA Council Representative is handled according to APA procedures for these roles. Candidate biographical information (and goals statements for candidates for president) should be available at all times during the voting period on both the SIOP website and on the ballot site.
f) Notify winners and losers (prior to the winter Board meeting). The Society election data are provided by the Executive Director to the President-Elect who confirms the results and notifies the Election Committee and the Executive Director of the outcome. In the case of the APA Council Representatives, APA notifies the President-Elect (Chair) of the results (usually by mid-July), the Chair notifies the Election Committee of the outcome.
g) Report election results. The Election Committee announces the winners of the election on the official website and by reporting to the Members at the next scheduled business meeting of the Society. Written confirmation of the election results from APA is retained in the Financial Officer/Secretary’s files.
4. Communication of Results
a) Nominations count. Individual nominees may be informed of the number of nominations she or he received upon request to the Chair of the Elections Committee.
b) Interim results. While an election is in process, the Executive Director may share the total number of votes received with the elections chair. The number of votes per candidate will not be shared until the election is complete.
c) Election vote count. Results of the vote count will be shared with the candidates and will be posted publically (e.g., on the SIOP website).
 
---------- 
1 Personal communication (e-mail) between the first author and George Hollenbeck, Dec. 9, 2011. Note: all written personal communications referenced in this article are available from the first author.
2 The first author spoke with Hollenbeck prior to publication of his letter to review concerns of fact and tone. Hollenbeck agreed to some edits (thanks George!), and cited his line “that’s my story and I’m sticking to it” regarding others. Hollenbeck concurred that it was best to correct the record in a separate article, thus the current piece.
3 From the APA Association Rules (110): “Preferential election ballot. In any election specifying a preferential election ballot—a ballot on which the voter is given a limited set of alternatives and chooses among them by placing them in rank order—the Ware System of the single transferable ballot shall be used in determining the result of the election. Ballots are distributed to the first unique choice on each ballot. If no candidate is elected, the one receiving the fewest choices is defeated and the ballots assigned to him or her are redistributed to the highest remaining unique choice, if any. As soon as any candidate receives a majority of the votes cast, he or she is elected. The procedure continues until one candidate has a majority or until all candidates but one are defeated. The remaining candidate is elected whether he or she has a majority or not.”