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AMA ballots… Maybe a change?

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Old 10-19-2004, 09:27 AM
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BillyGoat
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Default AMA ballots… Maybe a change?

Wish I had a dollar for every time I read in the past couple months “Do not send your ballots to AMA headquarters” or read a mention on how many ballots went to the AMA in the last election.

With all that in mind I scrutinized this ballot for why so many mistakenly send theirs to the AMA. From my observations I’m willing to bet that a proportionate number of ballots equal to the last election will be sent to the AMA this time as well, despite all the warnings and memorandums.

My theory is because it’s attached to and looks too much like part of the membership renewal. In the renewal section the member is asked to mark a few boxes (like a ballot) do you want MA mailed in a bag, contributions to the national site, your primary interest, etc? Even though the ballot portion says to remove at perforation and an envelope and postage is not necessary, just a few inches above that is a notice in bold that says, “Do not Detach”.

The whole package, renewal and ballot are too similar, too busy and has contradictions; don’t remove this but remove this. It doesn’t help that the ballot is at the bottom of this combined page. By the time they get to it they are seeing mostly blah blah blah, skipping entire sentences and paragraphs. The important stuff is often gets skipped, ask any teacher. I see my wife grade papers and she comments every time “these kids would do much better if they would read ALL the directions”. Much doesn’t change after high school.

There needs to be a clear distinction between the ballot and the renewal. Ideally the ballot should NOT be attached to the renewal at all, at the very least the background color should be vastly contrast.
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Old 10-19-2004, 10:09 AM
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Default RE: AMA ballots… Maybe a change?

Billy is right...It is amazing that this process cannot be better ran. Embarrassing to say the least. Of course the blame is shared with and due to the membership’s sheepish ways.

I have never understood why in the helck we have the NEED to seed the ballot one place and the membership to another. Of course there will be some that will have some reasoning for such but that is just a bunch of BS. Hmmm…it seems to me that MORE voting would (of course more ballots WB counted)take place if the renewal and ballot were sent at the same time to the same place. Maybe the method used now is beneficial to the incumbents and we just allow them to continue without abandon.
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Old 10-19-2004, 10:19 AM
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Default RE: AMA ballots… Maybe a change?

A standalone sheet should have been included. That standalone sheet should have had a tear off postcard. On the top of the main sheet it should read something like this in bold red type "VOTE!". Then below explain what offices are at stake and that they simply need to check off their choices on the attached postcard and drop it in the mail postage is prepaid.
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Old 10-19-2004, 11:27 AM
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Default RE: AMA ballots… Maybe a change?

What they've done, very cleverly, is to require a very mild intelligence test to be passed in order to vote.

I also examined the combined renewal/ballot form this year, and my conclusion is that it's not really that bad or misleading. After looking at the form, I would expect that headquarters would receive a LOT of ballots along with the renewals, but that most of them would be blank. In other words, people who weren't interested in voting would not tear off the ballot and would send it in with their renewal. If they are receiving a lot of filled in ballots, then AMA members are not as intelligent as I would think.

On the question of why a separate place for the ballots, the old timers can tell the story in more detail, but it's done to ensure an un-biased counting of the vote. The only folks who get to see the filled-in ballots are an auditing firm.
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Old 10-19-2004, 11:31 AM
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Default RE: AMA ballots… Maybe a change?

ORIGINAL: littlecrankshaf
I have never understood why in the helck we have the NEED to seed the ballot one place and the membership to another.
I'm glad that my vote is being counted by a third party, just one of things I wouldn't trust in the hands of the good ole boys club. Like I'm glad my vote for US president has never been counted by the White house staff.

ORIGINAL: Mike in DC
I would expect that headquarters would receive a LOT of ballots along with the renewals, but that most of them would be blank. In other words, people who weren't interested in voting would not tear off the ballot and would send it in with their renewal.
Exactly! Another reason for a stand-alone ballot. For some reason I have this image of Dave Brown putting in some late hours at HQ detaching blank ballots from membership applications.[&:]
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Old 10-19-2004, 11:59 AM
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Default RE: AMA ballots… Maybe a change?

ORIGINAL: BillyGoat


...Like I'm glad my vote for US president has never been counted by the White house staff.

[
Verses the DNC?[sm=rolleyes.gif] Oh yah only AMA here, but you can see the similarities!
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Old 10-19-2004, 12:32 PM
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Default RE: AMA ballots… Maybe a change?

What is to prevent the marked ballots still attached to the membership card from finding its way to the auditors? Or unmarked ballots still attached from being marked and then sent to the auditors? Who opens the blue envelops returned to Muncie? I see little difference in letting Muncie staff count the ballots and letting them "discard" those sent there. Either we trust them or we don't.

S
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Old 10-19-2004, 03:05 PM
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Default RE: AMA ballots… Maybe a change?

ORIGINAL: Red Scholefield

What is to prevent the marked ballots still attached to the membership card from finding its way to the auditors? Or unmarked ballots still attached from being marked and then sent to the auditors? Who opens the blue envelops returned to Muncie? I see little difference in letting Muncie staff count the ballots and letting them "discard" those sent there. Either we trust them or we don't.

S
Red-
It isn't staff that have earned distrust.
Anyhowz, I kinda like the current ballots. A minimal sort of voter qualification test. Too dumb to read, too dumb to vote.

Abel
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Old 10-19-2004, 04:18 PM
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Mike in DC
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Default RE: AMA ballots… Maybe a change?

You guys make good points about the potential for mischief in the ballots sent back to HQ. Is anybody in the mass mailing business who could give us an estimate of what it would cost to print the ballots on separate cards and include them in the mailing? (I assume every ballot has different control numbers on it, so take that into account.)
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Old 10-19-2004, 04:35 PM
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Default RE: AMA ballots… Maybe a change?

I for one trust the folks at Muncie not to 'cook the vote'[:'(] I also trust the Easter Bunny and what my breakfast cereal says to me...[&:]

All kidding aside, a lot of trust would be earned by AMA if they would eliminate the posibility of blank, but valid ballots going to them. Since 'in the interest of fair play' an impartial count is done by an outside agent, why contaminate it by allowing blank ballots to go to AMA HQ? - Just when I figured out how to hang my chads!

quint
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Old 10-19-2004, 04:42 PM
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Default RE: AMA ballots… Maybe a change?

who said that the one place we could possibly send the ballot and renewal to has to be the AMA? why not let us send both to the auditors and let them sort it all out, then the staff and hq are not involved at all.

if that be the way ay wana do it.

i kinda like what we got now, IQ test and all.
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Old 10-19-2004, 04:59 PM
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Default RE: AMA ballots… Maybe a change?

Mongo, you flunked the test, BUT you did qualify to join our club - Heck maybe even be the Pres...
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Old 10-19-2004, 11:19 PM
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Default RE: AMA ballots… Maybe a change?

ORIGINAL: Red Scholefield

What is to prevent the marked ballots still attached to the membership card from finding its way to the auditors? Or unmarked ballots still attached from being marked and then sent to the auditors? Who opens the blue envelops returned to Muncie? I see little difference in letting Muncie staff count the ballots and letting them "discard" those sent there. Either we trust them or we don't.

S

Yep, Red you're right, AND I DO NOT TRUST ANYONE OF THEM. The auditor works for the AMA. AMA pays their fee. They could easily provide whatever service the man-with-the-money desires.

You know my story. When ballots were counted at AMA and I -- as the incumbent -- was left off the ballot for reelection I experienced that "Trust Thing."
Pres. Earl Witt was in the same situation. Unfortunately for the Staff, Earl Witt found the boxes of write-in votes before they were destroyed. I won my place back on the EC by WRITE-IN, and Earl was just a few votes short of doing same.
While during my previous two candidacies there were a number of prominent persons bellowing how difficult I was to work with, evidenced by my being left off the ballot by the nominating committee. Yet, I like to think that my constituency thought I was doing them a good job and in spite of the good ol' boys, they - the members - wanted me back.

So, be it staff, or auditor, I protect the backside because I well know the length of their blades. [>:]
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Old 10-20-2004, 04:38 PM
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Default RE: AMA ballots… Maybe a change?

Posted at the request of Joyce Hager (email addresses edited)

-----Original Message-----
From: Joyce Hager [mailto:jhager@xxxxxxxxxxxxx.org]
Sent: Wednesday, October 20, 2004 1:10 PM
To: j.rondot@xxxxxxxx.net
Subject: Ballots

Just reviewing some articles on RC Universe and would like you to post the following:

I believe the person who wrote and made suggestions about the ballot is Billygoat. He said it would help if the ballot was in a totally different color. Good suggestion and will keep it on file for the next election cycle.

As to separating the bills from the ballots you run into the chance that the mailing house will not match up the appropriate ballot to the right person. As to doing a separate mailing of the ballot you are looking at a postage rate on the average of .32 x 140,000 - 150,000 members, plus the cost of the mailing house and the additional envelope.

As to why they are mailed to another address, this issue developed during the Earl Witt Presidency. At that time AMA employees counted the ballots, the votes were challenged and we had to count again, so in order to prevent individuals thinking that AMA employees' might stack the ballot one way or another we have an outside firm do the counting and reporting. Plus during the time that employees counted the ballots the membership was much smaller. I might also add that AMA started paying the postage for the ballots and that still did not increase the number of returns by a very big percent.
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Old 10-20-2004, 08:46 PM
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Default RE: AMA ballots… Maybe a change?

From: Joyce Hager [mailto:jhager@xxxxxxxxxxxxx.org]
Sent: Wednesday, October 20, 2004 1:10 PM
To: j.rondot@xxxxxxxx.net
Subject: Ballots

Just reviewing some articles on RC Universe and would like you to post the following:

Now ain't that interesting? That's funny. Thanks JR. [X(]
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Old 10-20-2004, 09:18 PM
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Default RE: AMA ballots… Maybe a change?

ORIGINAL: Hossfly

From: Joyce Hager [mailto:jhager@xxxxxxxxxxxxx.org]
Sent: Wednesday, October 20, 2004 1:10 PM
To: j.rondot@xxxxxxxx.net
Subject: Ballots

Just reviewing some articles on RC Universe and would like you to post the following:

Now ain't that interesting? That's funny. Thanks JR. [X(]
Horrace

I keep tellin ya, ya got quite a soapbox here.

Several folks at HQ, and several (not just 2 or 3) members of the EC follow our antics. Generally, if a good idea shows up here, someone in the leadership is aware... just as they are of the nonsense and petty bickering.

Do you think it was an coincidence that the turbine guys, or the 3D guys, posted their concerns in this forum during the time they had issues with the process?
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Old 10-21-2004, 08:51 AM
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Default RE: AMA ballots… Maybe a change?

JR thank you for posting that message from Joyce!

Hopefully we still have the AMA’s ear in this thread because I would like to hear a response to the very eye opening twist this thread has taken… What about the ballots that do end up in Muncie? Obviously several support the probability of ballots finding their way to the auditor. Sounds easy enough to accomplish by a zealous supporter and impossible to prove after the fact.

Joyce can you please explain protocol when a membership renewal is received with the ballot still attached? We just might have some more good ideas for you.
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Old 10-21-2004, 10:15 AM
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Default RE: AMA ballots… Maybe a change?

BillyGoat

Either write to, or call Joyce. If you intend to post her answer, it's only fair to tell her. She normally will not get involved with speculation. She will, however, normally respond to any query. Her e-mail address is on the AMA site.
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Old 10-21-2004, 04:39 PM
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Default RE: AMA ballots… Maybe a change?

Well JR I did as you said and e-mailed Joyce this AM. The first part is my message to her then her response follows.

Joyce, First thank you for your response on RC Universe through JR regarding ballots being attached to membership renewals.

Not sure if your still monitoring that thread but there are speculations about the ballots that do arrive with renewals.

I don't expect anybody from the AMA to address speculation but can we get response from you regarding the question at the end of this particular post?

*******
JR thank you for posting that message from Joyce!

Hopefully we still have the AMA’s ear in this thread because I would like to hear a response to the very eye opening twist this thread has taken… What about the ballots that do end up in Muncie? Obviously several support the probability of ballots finding their way to the auditor. Sounds easy enough to accomplish by a zealous supporter and impossible to prove after the fact.

Joyce can you please explain protocol when a membership renewal is received with the ballot still attached? We just might have some more good ideas for you.

********

I will assume, unless instructed other wise, any response to this message can be posted in the RCU forum.

Thank you!


Response from Joyce Hager
I find that answering an email that has been posted on RC Universe is usually a waste of time. People tear them apart and think whatever they want anyway, regardless of the information provided.

I will answer the question posted below, actually I sent something to JR this morning but he said that person would call me, so it was not posted. I would have to say honestly, that the only position that could be affected by the outcome of an election is the AMA Executive Director. I am on contract. I am also a firm believer that if I do my job, it really doesn’t matter who is setting at the table.

Now having said that, the ballots are put in a box, locked in a room and after the election they are kept for one year. Thanks for asking
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Old 10-21-2004, 06:07 PM
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Default RE: AMA ballots… Maybe a change?

Hi BillyGoat

When I told Joyce I would suggest you call, I was not aware that you had your PMs turned off. Like most of us, you also have your e-mail turned off. Sorry I had no way to let you know she was expecting a call. You might still want to call her.

You will find that almost all of the people at HQ or on the EC will respond to messages sent or calls made. Occasionally, I will get a request to post something, which I do. This was the first time I was asked to become a go between after something was posted. That is something I really don’t want to do. I have, in the past, suggested several members of this forum contact people at the AMA. I can not think of one instance where they were not satisfied with the result, even if they did not like the answer. I am really nobody special. I have taken the time to write, call or talk to people in person when the opportunity was there or I wanted to know something specific. There is absolutely no reason that any member of the AMA can not do the same thing.

If you call 800 I-FLY-AMA the call is free. Her extension is 200, and if you tell her you are a BillyGoat, the call may go through quicker… or not
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