Bob Martin Elected ARS Vice President!
Here are the official results of the 2015 tally of ballots for American Rose Society Vice President:
Robert B. ‘Bob’ Martin – 829 (65.8%)
George S. ‘Sam’ Jones – 429 (34.2%)
I have therefore been officially declared the winner of the Vice Presidential election and will take office in September for a 3-year term. Under Society bylaws I will thereafter automatically become the 56th President of the American Rose Society for an additional 3-year term.
Thank you for your support. Thank you for your encouragement. Thank you for voting for me. I plan to do everything in my power to carry out the policies and initiatives that I have advocated and to justify your support.
During the election I was pleased to have the public endorsement of three past American Rose Society Presidents, two recent ARS Treasurers, 38 present and former ARS regional and district directors, 20 present and past ARS Committee Chairs, 97 present and past local society Presidents, and 131 ARS members from the casual to the committed. I was also publicly endorsed by 29 local rose societies. I appreciated this unprecedented vote of confidence and express my special thanks to each of you. To see the listings click here.
Other Election Results
Following are the results of the other races on the ballot. I extend my congratulations to all the winners and look forward to serving on the Board of Directors with those elected. Complete official results, including candidates running unopposed and deemed elected are available by clicking here.
ARS BYLAW AMENDMENT
Yes – 764 (64.7%)
No – 416 (35.3%)
Bruce M. Monroe – 38 (54.2%)
Lois B. Fowkes – 32 (45.8%)
Thomas ‘Tommy’ Cairns – 233 (67.0%)
John F. ‘Jack’ Kiley – 115 (33.0%)
Donald F. Myers – 37 (57.8%)
Richard John Donovan - 27 (42.2%)
DEEP SOUTH DISTRICT
Ralph Stream – 68 (50.7%)
Wayne Arthur Myers – 66 (49.3%)
Why the Delay?
On Friday July 31 at 5:00 pm Central Time, I received a phone call from the Tally Committee informing me that I had won. Then, and in an email received shortly thereafter, I was for the first time informed that "Board approved certification procedures require signatures of candidates in order to have final certification of the election by the Executive Director. You have 48 hours to sign off or contest an election. Please sign and return this letter if you do NOT contest the election. 48 hour period is from Friday, July 31, 2015 5:00 PM Central - Sunday, August 2, 2015 5:00 PM Central. Please return your signed form by 9:00 AM Central Monday, August 3."
Continuing, I was informed that "Candidates will be required to refrain from public comment during the 48 hour waiting period." Although not clear, I was lead to understand that comment included the announcement of results. And, although I believed this entire process of blacking out the results of an election to be unprecedented - if not downright bizarre - I in fact refrained from publicly announcing the results during that 48-hour period.
Final count of all voting was complete at Noon (CDST), Friday, July 31, 2015. Voting was by online ballot only; no mail-in votes were accepted. Only one vote per member was allowed. All duplicate votes were disqualified.
Total Ballots Received – 1590
Eligible Votes Counted – 1322
Total Ballots Received but not counted:
Duplicates – 237
Incorrect Unique Voter ID numbers – 45
Blank (no votes) – 5
Ineligible memberships – 4
Expired Membership – 1
Election Procedures Require Reform
I have previously commented during the campaign that I do not believe that the election procedures used in this election were member-friendly. I add to those comments those above on the 48-hour waiting period on results. In addition, in studying the report on the balloting as detailed above I note that 1,590 ballots were received but only 1322 eligible votes counted. There were 237 duplicate ballots disqualified. Under the rules, a duplicate ballot disqualified all ballots from that member, even if there was an honest mistake. I believe that every member's vote is entitled to be cast once and counted, and that we need to identify ways to make sure this happens. I have added this to my list of issues to be examined upon taking office. I solicit your comments on how we might improve our election procedures.