What to Do with Your Right to Vote?!

By Fabian, Nelson | Journal of Environmental Health, September 1999 | Go to article overview

What to Do with Your Right to Vote?!


Fabian, Nelson, Journal of Environmental Health


Much of what we do on your behalf is driven by input we receive from you. Often, we seek that input proactively. Through my column this month, we wish again to turn to membership and very directly appeal for your comments. Quite frankly, we need a better sense of what our membership's value system is with respect to one-person elections.

Association election practices have fascinated me for years. A surprising number of associations don't even allow members to select their leaders. In most of these associations, a nominations committee selects the people who will hold office in the future. Some associations even have their professional staff appoint future leaders!

In many other associations, the nominations committee defines a slate of prospective officers - one person for each elective office - and that slate then gets presented to the membership for ratification. What follows is only the appearance of an election. (I'm frequently amused when such associations, some of which I belong to, implore us to "exercise our right to vote." I guess asking us to "vote" sounds a lot better than asking us to "rubber-stamp" the decision of a nominations committee.)

In fairness to the associations that operate in this manner, I should acknowledge their reasons:

* First, the boards of directors tend to believe that by relying on nominations committees to carefully select future officers, they will advance only truly well-qualified people into leadership positions, thus ensuring the future of their associations. This process is seen as preferable to the more random take-your-chance process that allows anyone to run for office, qualified or not. (An inverse position is that such a process enables existing boards to self-perpetuate themselves. New blood and new ideas are discouraged. Moreover, the process invites the perception - if not the reality - that the association is being run by a good-old-boys' or girls' club.)

* Second, associations that rely on nominations committees also usually allow nominations from the floor at their annual meetings or petition drives in which the membership can add candidates to ballots. (Neither option is easy. Consequently, neither is exercised very often.)

Then there are associations like NEHA.

For as long as I have been involved with this organization, our board of directors has fiercely defended the members' right to run for office. In NEHA, anyone who wishes to run for office can do so.

The principle NEHA upholds is that the opportunity to run for office is a membership right. Moreover, our board is actually happy when an election contest gives the members a choice, even though that choice means a board director running for re-election may lose his or her office - and I've seen that happen in NEHA elections several times.

NEHA's election process distinguishes our association from many others. It's important that NEHA members be aware of this.

Before further discussing our election process, I should quickly note that NEHA provides a variety of opportunities for members to become involved in the association. Holding elective office is the ultimate form of involvement. It does, however, take time, dedication, and a lot of work. For members who want to be involved, but not to that degree, other opportunities are available - opportunities that are rewarding to the member and helpful to NEHA. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

What to Do with Your Right to Vote?!
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.