American Sociological Association

Section Elections

Getting elected as a section leader is a key way members can guide the growth and future of their section. Each year, section members choose more than 200 leaders from a slate of more than 550 candidates. Each section selects its candidates through a nomination process defined by its bylaws. This is typically done through a Nominating Committee appointed by the Section's Council or Chair. Candidates may also be added to a section's ballot via petition. 

Section elections are conducted simultaneously with ASA elections. Sections are to follow ASA election deadlines and to work with the ASA Executive Office in coordinating its election. Failure to meet the Association-wide deadlines will result in Sections having to conduct separate balloting at their own expense. Unless stated otherwise in the section bylaws, an election must be conducted each year and each open position should be competitive. 

Responsibilities

Section Nominating Chair and Committee Members / Section Election Coordinator

  • Recruiting at least two candidates per open position. For example, if there are two Section Council positions open, they must recruit at least four candidates.
  • Collecting all required information from the candidate, including ASA ID number and email address
  • Notifying the candidate that they have been nominated for the position
  • Entering ballot information onto online voting system including position, candidate name, and email address by the listed deadline. 

Section Chair

  • Contacting candidates and informing them of the result of the election before notifying section members
  • Informing the Section Membership of the election's results. (According to ASA policy, the outcome of the election is publicized, but not the vote counts. A candidate may request that results be made public however.)

    Candidates

    • Entering and editing their biographical information by the deadline
    • Maintaining an active section membership during the election year and all years of their term in office
    • Learning and understanding the responsibilities of the position to which they have been nominated before accepting the nomination

    ASA Staff Election Coordinator

    • Notifying all participants and sections of deadlines, results, and any issues that may arise
    • Verifying the membership status and eligibility of all candidates 
    • Responding to any questions regarding the election
    • Working with the vendor to resolve any problems
    • Validating all petition signatures and voter lists

    Timeline

    Creating a Ballot - Section Chairs and Nominating Committee Chairs

    August
    Typically, during the annual meeting, many sections engage in bylaws writing and nominating committee nominations and other election related activities.

    November 10
    Contact information on Section Nominating Committee Chairs/Section Election Coordinators and section bylaw amendment proposals are due.

    November 15*
    Initial email sent to Section Nominating Committee Chairs/Section Election Coordinators informing them of how many positions they need to nominate.

    January 15
    All section candidate slates are finalized. Deadline for Nominating Committee Chairs/Section Election Coodinators to enter all candidates on ballot.

    Preparing for the Election - Candidates for Office

    January 16
    Candidates are invited to enter their biographies and statements on the official ballot site. For details on the information requested, please click here. 

    February 28
    Deadline for candidates to enter their biographies and statements online.

    Election - All Eligible Voting Members

    March 31
    Last day to join ASA or specific section to be eligible to vote in this year's election. 

    April 26*
    The ASA Elections Open. Members will be sent emails with special links to their online ballots.

    June 1*
    Voting  in the current year's elections ends at 5 pm.

    Reporting Results - Section Chairs

    June 3*
    Section Chairs contacted and notified of the election results. The Chairs should make an effort to contact all candidates and inform them of the results before announcing them to the section.
     

    * Actual dates may vary from year to year. The election can start no later than May 15 and members must have at least 30 days to vote. 

    Policies

    • According to the ASA Sections Manual all elections must be competitive. This means that at least two persons must be nominated for each open position.
    • ASA Bylaws (Article I, Section 2) state “Only Members, Emeritus Members, and Student Members of the Association shall have the right to vote and to hold elected office in the Association.” Associate members cannot vote in the general ASA election (but can vote in Section Elections). They cannot hold office at either the ASA or the Section level.
    • No candidate may run for chair-elect of two sections simultaneously, nor serve as chair of two sections in the same year. However members are permitted to serve at both the ASA level and the section level simultaneously.
    • Sections may have additional election requirements enumerated in their bylaws.
    • All candidates are invited to include a brief biographical entry, which will be listed on the website alongside their ballot.
    • Candidates and ballot initiatives may also be placed on the ballot via member petition. Each section's bylaws should have procedures established for doing so. The membership of petition signatories must be verified by the Governance Office. In addition petition signatures may be accepted in electronic formats as well as via handwritten signatures. Please see the Petition Guide or contact sections@asanet.org for more information.
    • Bylaws Amendments are conducted through a somewhat different process and must be approved by the Committee on Sections and ASA Council. For more information on amending bylaws, please see the Section Bylaws Process Guide.

    Diversity Statement

    In August 2010, the ASA Council adopted a diversity statement, click here to read it.

    Results

    The ASA Executive Office will provide Section chairs with full election results when they become available. Each Section chair is responsible for notifying all Candidates and Section Members of election outcomes. It is ASA practice not to release election results (vote counts and percentages) unless requested by at least one candidate. Additionally members may request records of election outcomes from the Executive Office via sections@asanet.org.
     

    Candidate Biographical Information and Statements

    All Candidates are invited to send in relevant biographical information for the election. Candidates to section offices will be contacted by our election vendor in January with a link to enter their information on a website. This information will be made available on ASA's electronic ballot and may also be included in Section Newsletters to educate members about the candidates. All biographical information should be entered into the ballot by February 28th. Please keep biographical entries and statements brief. Candidates are fully responsible for the accuracy, content and copy editing of their biographies. For your reference and convenience the questions are listed below:

    Former Professional Positions Held
    Provide three most recent professional positions relevant to sociology with most recent first. Please provide title/rank, place of employment, and dates of employment for each position.

    Education
    Please provide your three most recent degrees earned, listing the most recent degree earned first. For each, please provide the degree earned, the institution from which it was earned, and the year it was received. For example: “PhD, ABC University, 2001.” ASA style is to list degrees without periods (e.g., PhD rather than Ph.D.).

    Publications
    Please provide a list of no more than five (5) of your publications, both books and articles, with the most recent first. The American Sociological Association Style Guide provides the following direction on listing publications:

    Include the first names and surnames for all authors – use first-name initials only if an author used initials in the original publication.
    For items with multiple authors, only the first author’s name is inverted (e.g., Jones, Arthur B., Colin D. Smith, and James Petersen).
    Book titles should be italicized and not underlined.

    Offices, Committee Memberships, and Editorial Appointments Held in ASA

    Personal Statement
    Candidates for all ASA offices may provide a personal statement regarding their candidacy. Personal statements should explain to members why the candidate is seeking office and why they feel qualified to be elected. Please limit such statements to no more than 150 words.

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