Making ALA Voting Easier

If you’ve been an active voter in ALA elections, you know that the ALA Governance Office made some changes last year to start making the whole process easier. For example, JoAnne Kempf in the ALA Governance Office put together a handy brochure about the candidates and various offices to help make sense of the crazy long ballot. For the first time, voters could also use mobile devices to fill out their ballots.

This year, even more changes for the better are coming. I recently learned that we’re finally going to get change my own personal pet peeve as a voting member, the separate login. That’s right – for the 2013 election you’ll finally be able to log in with your regular ala.org username and password. Please take a moment to do a little chair dance with me.

Another feature I’ve always wanted is an “I voted” badge I could share and put on my personal site, and I’m happy to say this is also being implemented for 2013. Once you submit your ballot, you’ll be shown the badge and share options. As an ALA staff member, I can’t share how I voted, express support for a particular candidate, or help with a candidate’s campaign, but I definitely want the ability to easily show that I did vote as a member.

In addition, ALA staff got together to standardize how candidate information will appear on the ballot across all units, and JoAnne will do an updated brochure about the candidates. JoAnne and Lois Ann Gregory-Wood are continuing to improve the process where they can, but we’re always open to your suggestions.

The 2013 election will run from March 19th through April 26th, with announcements made on May 3rd. You can find past election statistics on the ALA website, but the percentage of voters has generally been trending downward since a high of 39% in 1970. I’m hoping these kinds of changes will reverse that trend, because we all need to take an active interest in the future of our association. When the time comes, I hope you’ll help us get out the vote!

Addendum, March 18, 2013: Unfortunately, it turns out we’re not going to be able to offer voting using existing member logins this year. Instead, eligible members will get the same type of email they’ve gotten in the past with a unique login they use just for voting. Hopefully we can implement single sign-on for the 2014 election.

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