Election FAQ

Q: When is the election?
A: Each year from mid-March through mid-April

Q: How do I get my ballot?
A: The official ballot is emailed to you from ALA, but you can view the sample YALSA ballot (.pdf).

Q: It is past the first day of the election, and I have not received an email from ALA.  What do I do?
A: Check your spam and junk folders.  If it is not there, then confirm that you are eligible to vote.  Your membership had to be current as of Jan. 31st and you must have a valid and current email address on file with ALA by checking your profile.  If all of these things are in order, and you still don't have a ballot, contact Joanne Kempf at ALA.

Q: Is there a way to learn about what issues and candidates are on the slate before the actual election?
A: Yes. Each February YALSA posts a sample ballot on the elections page, which contains everything that members will be asked to vote on, and provides bios of candidates.  Additionally, each March the YALSAblog posts interviews with candidates.

Q: Why do some YALSA candidates appear alone on the slate, except for a write-in option?
A: The Nominating Committees, who are comprised of YALSA members, work hard for nearly a year to find, vet and select the best members they can for the different positions that are up for election.  YALSA's Bylaws state that the committee must nominate the minimum number of candidates for any office or position.  For example, if there are four elected spots on the Printz Committee, the nominating committee must come up with a minimum of four qualified candidates.  Association industry best practice holds that Nominating Committees should be trusted to do their job finding the best possible candidate.  According to the Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure: 1) many qualified candidates will not run for office if they are thrown in contest with other members and peers; 2) requiring a nominating committee to submit two or more nominees per office creates a dilemma.  For example, if they have determined Candidate A is the best candidate, then they could opt to find a Candidate B who is under qualified and who will probably not win the election, or they can seek out another highly qualified  candidate.  However, this latter option sets up the scenario that one of the two must be defeated, and many defeated candidates choose not to run again.  As a result, the organization loses a leader.

Q: What positions are elected?
A: Board Member at-Large, Fiscal Officer, Division Councilor, President-Elect, Secretary.

Q: How do I get my name on the ballot?
A: Read this information on the Elections page for details.

Q: Where can I learn about the work of the Governance Nominating Committee?
A: On the web site via the Governance Nominating Committee page

Q: When and how are election results announced?
A: They are posted on the ALA and YALSA web sites about 10 days after the voting closes.

Q: I thought that some book award committees used to be on the ballot, but I don't see them any longer.  Are the committees gone?
A: No.  All of YALSA's book award committees still exist.  The change, which occurred in 2018, is that all of these groups are now appointed positions instead of elected ones.

Q: How long of a term do Board Members get elected for?
A: Directors-at-Large typically get elected for a three year (36 month) term.  If a board member resigns in the middle of their term, members will elect someone to fill the remaining year(s) of their term, which could be 1 or 2 years.

Q: Where can I learn more about the ALA election and ballot process?
A: On the ALA web site