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ASA General Election Results: Duster Elected ASA President; Persell Elected Vice President

In time for ASA’s upcoming 100th birthday in 2005, the organization’s first web-based election ushers in the centennial-year leadership

Washington, DC, June 13—ASA conducted its first election ever that allowed members to vote online via the Internet this spring. At the time of ASA’s birth in 1905, electricity was just beginning to make inroads into American life, and now a century later, electronic voting has become de rigueur at ASA, with more than half of the voters taking advantage of this new option. Returning paper ballots via postal mail still remained an option.

In this latest election, Troy Duster, New York University, was elected to serve as the 96th President of the American Sociological Association (ASA) and will be in office as President during ASA’s centennial year. Caroline Hodges Persell, also at New York University, has been elected Vice President. Duster and Persell will assume their respective offices in August of 2004, following a year of service as President-Elect and Vice President-Elect. Duster and the 2005 Program Committee are responsible for shaping the ASA Annual Meeting, which will be held in Philadelphia, August 13-16, 2005.

Franklin Wilson, William H. Sewell-Bascom Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, was elected Secretary-Elect. Wilson will serve one year as Secretary-Elect with current Secretary Arne Kalleberg, before beginning a three-year term as ASA Secretary in 2004.

The four newly elected Council Members-at-Large are: Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, Texas A&M University; Nan Lin, Duke University; Diane Vaughan, Boston College; and Min Zhou, University of California-Los Angeles. Also elected were two members to the Committee on Publications, six to the Committee on Nominations, and six to the Committee on Committees.

In announcing the results of the election, Secretary Arne L. Kalleberg and Executive Officer Sally T. Hillsman extended heartiest congratulations to the newly elected officers and committee members, and thanks to all who have served the Association by running for office and by voting in this election.

Member Resolution on U.S.-led War in Iraq Passed

A member resolution opposing the war in Iraq was also included on the ballot. Two thirds of the members who cast a vote on the member-generated resolution voted in support of the resolution calling for the Association to take a position favoring an immediate end to the war against Iraq. The resolution emphasized that this position does not in any way reflect support for the Hussein dictatorship but rather a view that such involvement could create more problems than solutions. This resolution was placed on the ASA annual election ballot before the conclusion of major hostilities in Iraq. The membership vote ecomes an official position of the American Sociological Association.

Nearly 31 percent of ASA’s membership who were eligible to vote in the 2003 election cast votes, and almost all voted on the resolution. In addition, most who voted participated in a public opinion poll reflecting their personal views on the American involvement in the war: 75 percent were in favor of America ending its involvement.

Healthy Turnout at the “E-Polls”

The ASA community can take pride that of the 9,536 members eligible to vote, 2,940 ballots were cast, constituting a 30.83 percent response. This is the highest ASA voter participation rate in four years, perhaps due in part to the fact that ASA offered the capability to view election information and cast votes online. This voter participation rate is higher than most nonprofit associations experience, according to surveys. Nonprofit associations typically have participation rates among eligible voters of less than 20 percent. Although this was the first year that ASA offered the capability to view election information and cast votes online, some 55 percent (1,600) of the voters took advantage of this new feature, using a special and secure ASA election webpage.

Bylaws Amendments

In addition to the candidates, the 2003 ballot also included seven proposed amendments to the ASA Bylaws (see page 1 of the March 2003 Footnotes or Members overwhelmingly approved all seven of the proposed amendments, which immediately become part of the Association Bylaws.

Full Slate of 2004 Newly Elected Officers

Troy Duster, New York University

Vice President-Elect
Caroline Hodges Persell, New York University

Franklin Wilson, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, Texas A&M University
Nan Lin, Duke University
Diane Vaughan, Boston College
Min Zhou, University of California- Los Angeles

Committee on Publications
Judith Howard, University of Washington
Erik Olin Wright, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Committee on Nominations
Julia Adams, University of Michigan
Manuel de la Puente, U.S. Census Bureau
Susan Farrell, Kingsborough Community College
John Hagan, Northwestern University
Rosanna Hertz, Wellesley College
Annette Lareau, Temple University

Committee on Committees
James Jasper, Independent Scholar
Cynthia Fuchs Epstein, City University of New York-Graduate Center
Rick Fantasia, Smith College
Michael Kimmel, State University of New York-Stony Brook