Polls open for ALA election on March 17

Contact: Steve Zalusky
Manager of Communcations, ALA PIO
(312) 280-1546

For Immediate Release
March 10, 2009

CHICAGO – The American Library Association (ALA) is holding its annual election for president-elect and members-at-large for ALA Council.

Polls open on Tuesday, March 17 Polls close at 11:59 p.m. CDT on Friday,  April 24.

Broadcast e-mails announcing that polls are open will be sent beginning at 9 a.m., with the last e-mails sent by 9 a.m. on March 19. The broadcast e-mails will announce that polls are open and state the member’s number, pass code and instructions. All members who have a validated e-mail address will receive a notice. Those without an e-mail address, or whose e-mail bounces, will receive a special letter providing instructions on how to vote online, as well as a unique password.

If you have not received your ballot by March 20, please call ALA Membership and Customer Service at (800) 545-2433 (press 5) or send an e-mail to membership@ala.org. We will confirm your eligibility and send you a ballot.

The Election Committee will certify the election results on May 1. That day, the candidates will be notified and the election report distributed.

This year’s election is a special one, since it will be the first to be held nearly entirely online. The only exception will be made for members who are homebound and do not have Internet access.

ALA introduced online voting in 2003. Since then, the election has been conducted through a combination of online voting and paper ballots. With the rise in printing and postage costs, the production and mailing of paper ballots has grown costly. The majority of ALA members now have e-mail addresses and access to the Internet at home or at their local library. The move to an online election will save in postage and printing costs, as well as nearly a half million pieces of paper.

It is important for voters to check with their library information technology personnel or Internet service providers to make sure that spam filters will not prevent ALA from e-mailing the ballot forms.