ALA Executive Director Keith Fiels reviewed upcoming changes for the 2006 election process at the 2005 fall meeting of the ALA Executive Board. ALA’s first electronic election took place in 2004. Although s taff collected member feedback and took steps to correct problems and improve the election process, t he 2005 election process was still problematic. Staff met with the ALA Election Committee to take steps to improve the process and prepare for the 2006 elections. The following steps will be taken:
- The vendor will electronically send the 2006 ballots to the members over a 48-hour period as opposed to the five days it took to distribute the 2005 ballots.
- The vendor will send messages using a new ALA domain name, ALAvote.org. This should reduce the number of messages tagged as junk mail by recipients’ mail servers.
- The “submit” button will be more prominently displayed. In addition, approximately one week prior to poll closing a special reminder will be sent to members who have “parked” ballots.
- The vendor will provide ALA Member Services staff with real time access to information on the status of every electronic and paper ballot.
- An additional level of editorial review, proofreading and user testing will be added. The Election Committee will have the opportunity to participate in the review of the paper and electronic ballots prior to their distribution.
- The vendor will issue a third email reminder to all members receiving electronic ballots. Those with parked ballots will receive a fourth reminder.
- All international members who receive paper ballots will receive them via DHL international express service.
Mr. Fiels will speak to the vendor regarding the feasibility of sending a confirmation message once a vote has been cast. Additional information on this topic is in the minutes of the ALA Executive Board (EBD #2.1).