Magazine article Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc. The IRE Journal

Absentee Ballots to Be Allowed for First Time in Board Elections

Magazine article Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc. The IRE Journal

Absentee Ballots to Be Allowed for First Time in Board Elections

Article excerpt

For the first time in IRE's 27 years, absentee ballots will be accepted in the board of directors' election this June.

The new voting procedure will allow interested members who are unable to attend the annual membership meeting at the national conference to participate in choosing the organization's leaders.

"Over the years,there have been concerns voiced by members who could not afford or did not have the time to attend the national conference," said Mike McGraw, a member of the special committee created by the board to examine the absentee question. "The board felt it was time to address that issue," he said.

The special committe includes Shawn me special committee includes Shawn McIntosh of The Clarion-Ledger; James Polk, CNN; Dianna Hunt, Fort Worth Star-Telegram; James Steele, Time Inc.; and McGraw, The Kansas City Star.

McGraw added that all sides in the issue - especially those who have historically opposed absentee balloting - worked hard to come up with an acceptable solution. He said the IRE staff and board have come up with a practical and secure application of the new procedures.

Absentee balloting is meant to supplement, not replace, IRE's traditional election process, which encourages membership meeting attendance as a sign of commitment to the group and to involve as many members as possible in discussions of importance.

Members attending the annual conference are still expected to cast their votes at the membership meeting. Only those not planning to attend the meeting - and requesting a ballot in advance - will be able to vote before the conference.

The absentee balloting system will include several safeguards, including use of addresses of record, signed special ballot envelopes kept under lock and key and sealed until the membership meeting, and cross-checks of absentee voters against conference registration rolls.

Declaring as a candidate

The deadline for candidates to make it onto the absentee ballot is April 8. …

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