In the traditional voting process for SIDP, two elections have been held each year, a primary and final ballot. According to our by-laws, a winner must receive a majority of votes cast but a winner is not likely established during the first election with multiple candidates on the ballot. Recently, there have been 4-8 candidates per position through nominations from membership as well as election committee members contacting members with SIDP committee/Board experience. In addition, the Board has requested to encourage participation in the election process to increase percent of membership voting. Feedback we received from members was that having two elections was confusing because they could not remember when they voted, and there were too many candidates to properly review their biographies and position statements.
Last year, due to the desire to announce winners at the SIDP Annual Meeting being held at ASM Microbe in June, nominees were asked for their CV so the committee could review who was most qualified according to previous committee/Board experience. The committee selected the top 2 nominees for each position that had the most experience with SIDP leadership roles (e.g. elected position or committee chairs). This year, a set of screening criteria was developed to make the screening process easier and more transparent.
Traditional two election process (no pre-screening, primary election with all eligible candidates, then final election with the top two candidates who had the most votes at each position from primary election):
● All eligible nominees placed on the election ballot; no one feels left out
● Less barriers to nomination because nominators can provide a name without nominees having to complete screening form
● Faster turnaround time from the end of nominations to first ballot voting
● Large ballot (possibly >8-14 candidates) makes candidate review and selection more cumbersome for members
● Possible voting based on name recognition rather than previous SIDP committee or board involvement
● Confusion from membership when e-mails and reminders about second ballot sent and they don’t remember when they voted
One election process (pre-screening, one election with top two candidates for each position):
● Ballot restricted to candidates with the most experience on SIDP committees and/or board
● Proposed screening form helps inform nominators and potential nominees of desired qualifications
● Smaller ballot (2 per position) allows SIDP members to review candidate biographies and position statements on ballots more thoroughly to make educated selection
● One election limits confusion surrounding a primary and final election
● Perceived subjectivity of candidate selection: would be improved through the use of a nomination screening form and scoring system which is transparent to the SIDP community
● More time commitment for nominees to complete screening form plus bio/position statement if selected
● Highly qualified candidates could be excluded due to ballot size if multiple individuals are recognized throughout nominations. This may limit interest in running in future years if not selected.
● Additional work for Elections committee to perform screening
PS. One alternative was suggested and endorsed by many of the committee members as a hybrid of the two systems. The committee could rank the top 3-4 candidates and submit to the Board a recommendation for slating the top 2 nominees. The executive board could then approve or amend that recommendation before the ballot is sent to members.
Having a nominations committee process and a single election seems like the best way to go. Have them create criteria for candidate evaluation for approval by the Board. I would recommend that the candidates totality of contributions to the profession rather than just SIDP be considered, with some additional weight on SIDP contributions. I am also in agreement that the committee could put forward 3-4 candidates for the Board to select from. The board would have the final say on the ballot candidates.
Agree with the hybrid version since it's less cumbersome but also less exclusionary than the two candidate only option.
I agree with the hybrid version, as well. The two election option is not ideal, but more consideration should be made to each of the nominees.
I agree with the hybrid process resulting in a single election as well. For the sake of transparency, you might consider posting a summary of the overall candidate pool online for those members who are interested. For example, provide the total number of candidates per position and the median (range) of the scores, along with the scores for the final top two candidates. This could help address any member concerns and/or inform those interested in running in the future.
I agree with the move to one election. I support the creation of the candidate slate by the Elections Committee with final approval by the Board (I don't think the Board needs to select from a narrowed pool; simply approve those candidates slated by the Elections Cmte). I suggest allowing for up to 3 candidates for each position rather than just 2.
I agree with the comments made by Chris Paap and Elizabeth Hermsen.
Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists • 823 Congress Avenue, Suite 230 Austin, Texas 78701 • (512) 328-8632