American Sociological Association

Section Elections

Each year, section members elect more than 200 leaders from a slate of more than 550 candidates. Section elections are conducted simultaneously with ASA-wide elections. Sections work with the ASA Office to coordinate its election. All sections must meet association-wide deadlines or conduct separate balloting at its own expense. Unless stated otherwise in the section bylaws, an election must be conducted each year and each open position should be competitive (having at least two candidates for each open position). 


Section Nominating Committee Chair / Election Coordinator

  • Coordinates entire section election process
  • Leads nominating committee and candidate recruitment process (as defined within individual section bylaws)
  • Recruits at least two candidates per open position. For example, if there are two section council positions open, at least four candidates must be recruited.
  • Notifies the candidate that they have been nominated for the position and ensures they meet candidate requirements (e.g. membership in ASA and the section)
  • Enters ballot information onto online voting system including position, candidate name, and email address by the listed deadline. 

Section Chair

  • Stays informed of the nomination and election process and ensuring the nominating committee chair / section election coordinator is fulling their responsibilities and meeting all deadlines.
  • Announces election results to section membership


  • Learns and understands the responsibilities of the position to which they have been nominated before accepting the nomination. Accepting the nomination to be a candidate implies fulfillment of the position responsibilites if elected for the duration of specified term. 
  • Enters and edits their biographical information by the deadline
  • Ensures current ASA membership (only Regular, Retired, or Student Members are eligible to hold elected office) and section membership by March 1 to be eligible to appear on ballot. 

ASA Office

  • Provides information, tutorials, and timelines to all participants
  • Works with third party election vendor 
  • Verifies the membership status and eligibility of all candidates 
  • Validates all petition signatures and voter lists
  • Responds to questions regarding the election


Creating a Ballot - Section Chairs and Nominating Committee Chairs/Election Coordinators

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

September 1
Contact information on Section Nominating Committee Chairs/Election Coordinators due to ASA Office

Initial email sent to Section Chairs and Section Nominating Committee Chairs/Election Coordinators informing them of anticipated ballot.

November 1
Confirm anticipated ballot of vacant positions.

November 10
Section bylaw amendment proposals due.

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

Preparing for the Election - Candidates for Office

Early February 
Candidates are invited to enter their biographies and statements on the official ballot site. 

February 28
Deadline for candidates to enter their biographies and statements on the official ballot site.

March 1
ASA and Section membership deadline to appear on the ballot

Election - All Eligible Voting Members

March 31
Last day to join ASA and sections to be eligible to vote in this year's election. 

April 30, 2020*
The ASA Elections Open. Members will be sent emails to their online ballots.

May 29, 2020*
Voting in the current year's elections ends at 5pm eastern.

Reporting Results - Section Chairs

June 2, 2020*
ASA Office will contact and notify all candidates with election results. Section chairs are responsible for announcing results to section membership after candidates have been notified.

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


  • 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). Associate members cannot hold office at either the ASA or the Section level. 
  • All candidates must be ASA members and members of the section by March 1.  
  • 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 election 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 ASA Office. In addition, petition signatures may be collected in electronic formats as well as handwritten. 
  • Bylaws Amendments and other ballot measures are reviewed through a seperate process and must be approved by the Committee on Sections and ASA Council. For more information, please contact 

Diversity Statement

Sections are encouraged to nominate candidates who reflect the diversity of the association in areas such as demographic characteristics, professional status, institutional type, and employment sector. Please read ASA's Diversity Statement for more information.


The ASA Office will notify all candidates of the election results after the results have been tabulated and certified a few days after the election closes. Section chairs are responsible for publicizing results to section members.

Candidate Biographical Information and Statements

All candidates are invited to provide relevant biographical information for the election. Candidates for section offices will be contacted by the election vendor with a link to enter their information on a website. This information will be made available on the 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, below are the items one may include in the biography. Please note that the items are broad and may not apply to all candidates. Please skip the items that do not apply. 

Name and Affiliation
Enter your name and affiliation exactly as you want it to appear on the ballot. Please enter middle initials or names in the same text box as First Name.

Present Professional Position
Provide title/rank, place of your current employment and the dates of employment.

Former Professional Positions Held
Provide three (3) 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.

Enter 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.).

Positions Held in ASA
Enter up to five (5) positions you have held in ASA or an ASA Section with the most recent first

Office Held in Other Organizations
Enter up to five (5) offices you have held in organizations other than ASA with the most recent first. ASA Section offices should not be listed here. 

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.

Personal Statement
Provide a personal statement of no more than 150 words explaining why you are seeking office and why you feel qualified to be elected. 

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