Issue Date: March 26, 2012
Low ACS Voter Turnout
Why is there only a 15% voter turnout in American Chemical Society elections (C&EN, Feb. 13, page 6)? I think the answer lies in the fact that ACS’s biggest problem is also its major asset—the size of the organization. A friend of mine and I were talking about this letter, and we both came to the conclusion that a cadre of people are active in the society, making up roughly 10–20% (our guess) of the actual membership. The rest believe the size of the organization is so large that their vote, and their voice, is meaningless.
This is particularly true of elections, since it seems the same names always seem to come up for election. There is an air of exclusivity to elective office in ACS. Only those in the 10–20% are welcome. I don’t think this is really the case, or at least I hope not. But at times it does feel that way, both at the national and local levels.
The challenge for ACS leadership is to find some sort of actions that disprove this perception. Simple words, no matter how comforting and welcoming, are an empty effort.
By Neal Golovin
I believe the low voter turnout occurs because the presidency of ACS means little to many of us. As an industrial chemist for most of my working life, the value of ACS to me was in the journals and regional and national meetings. The titular leader of ACS had little visible impact on what was largely a staff function.
If ACS would like larger voter participation, I suggest making the positions of ACS executive director and editor-in-chief of C&EN elective.
By Con McCormick
- Chemical & Engineering News
- ISSN 0009-2347
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