by George Eynon
Delegates and Alternates, each one of us has some homework to do
getting ready for the House meeting on April 18th in Dallas. Here
is one of the significant issues that could be on the Agenda—and
even if it's not, we need your opinions…
So you want to be a
How many signatures
should you need to get on the ballot?
to the candidates selected by the AC and EC, there are two petition
candidates on the ballot for 2004-2005 AAPG officers: one for President-elect,
the other for Treasurer. As House Chair and an ex officio
member of the Executive Committee, I have received numerous calls
and e-mails on the issue of petition candidates, and it has been
a topic of discussion at the Section meetings I have attended.
question the need to allow petition candidates. Let me state at
the outset that I believe the provision for petition candidates
is a vital democratic element in the governance of our Association.
Others ask whether the number of signatures currently required for
petition candidacy is set high enough. Some members suggest that
a geographic representation of signatories might be warranted. I
know other members of the Executive Committee and of the Advisory
Council have fielded calls and missives on the issue.
are just over 18,000 members eligible to vote for officer candidates.
Currently 50 signatures are required for a petition candidate to
be added to the ballot. That is 1/3 of one percent of the total
possible voters, which seems quite low. However, that is approximately
one percent of the actual voting members; historically only about
4,500 of those eligible to do so actually vote.
signatures enough? Do we need a higher hurdle? Would 200 signatures,
just over one percent of eligible voters, be more acceptable? What
about 1,000? That's well over 5 percent of eligible voters. Is that
will be a discussion item on the House Mid-year Meeting agenda in
early January, and both the Executive and Advisory Council are also
discussing the issue. It is possible that a Resolution could be
placed before the House in Dallas for us to consider, though I would
hope we do not rush into knee-jerk legislation. As House Delegates
and Alternates, each of us must make the effort to get input from
the members we represent, and consider the issue personally, so
we can have an informed debate when the time comes. Please talk
to the members you represent, and let us know what you and they
feedback will only serve to help us all make better decisions.
to each of you for your work in the House.