2015 election of American Mensa

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The 2015 election of American Mensa is the regular biennial election in which all elective positions on the American Mensa Committee are filled. In addition, there are a number of proposed bylaw amendments on the ballot.

A large amount of member unrest this time led to a particularly heavy ballot, with as many as four candidates for some offices and a large number of bylaws referenda (some put in place by the American Mensa Committee, some by Annual Business Meeting, and some by petition).

Contents

Candidates

(N) = Nominating Committee nomination, (P) = Petition, (PP) = Petition in progress, not yet successful

Candidate petition page in national site

The candidate petition deadline was February 1, 2015, which is considerably later than the November 1 petition deadline for referenda. Members signing the petitions must be in good standing as of December 1, 2014.

Chairman

First Vice Chairman

  • Mary Lee Kemper (P)
  • Heather Poirier (incumbent) (N)

Second Vice Chairman

  • LaRae Bakerink (incumbent) (N/P) (Website)
  • John Neemidge (P)
  • Terri Steele (P) (withdrew)
  • Barbara Kryvko (P) (withdrew) (Website)
  • Bill Murray (P) (withdrew)

Secretary

Treasurer

RVC 1

  • Lisa Maxwell (P) (unopposed)
  • Deb Jennings (N/P) (withdrew)

RVC 2

  • Caroline Bruno (N/P)
  • Cam Smart (incumbent) (N/P)

RVC 3

  • Julia Ashley (incumbent) (N) (petition failed) (unopposed)

RVC 4

  • Jim Cartwright (N)
  • Jon Gruebele (N) (Website)
  • George Haynes (P) (Website)
  • Jeudi Juetten (N) (withdrew)

RVC 5

  • Baker Ring (incumbent) (N) (petition failed) (unopposed)

RVC 6

RVC 7

  • Greg Kontz (incumbent) (N) (unopposed)

RVC 8

  • Andras Blake (P)
  • SueAnn Gilmore (N/P)

RVC 9

  • Dez Sagray (incumbent) (N) (unopposed)

RVC 10

  • Thomas G. Thomas (incumbent) (N) (Website)
  • Jack Brawner (N)

Referenda

Bylaws referenda require a two-thirds vote of the membership to pass. There are several methods of getting them on the ballot, and three of these methods were used this time. (Another method, by two-thirds of members in attendance of local group business meetings with a combined attendance of at least 150 members, was not used.) When first posted officially after the conclusion of petitioning, they were named but not numbered; later, numbers were added for reference. There are 13 proposals on the ballot.

The official page in the national site for these referenda is here.

Referenda initiated by the AMC

One way to get bylaws referenda on the ballot is for the American Mensa Committee to pass them by a two-thirds majority.

1. Replacement of the text of Bylaws of American Mensa in entirety (Omnibus Amendment)

Passed by the AMC at the September 6, 2014 meeting in Grapevine, TX, this massive amendment changes wording in many sections of the bylaws, including changing the terminology by which the AMC is referred to "Board of Directors" instead of "American Mensa Committee", a change the AMC has been acting as if it were already in effect. One of the changes adds in a qualification to the ombudsman's privilege of receiving all AMC communications to except those with "legal privilege". (Official page)

7. Candidate Nomination Deadline

Passed by the AMC in a teleconference in May 2013; moves the date that the Nominating Committee announces its nominees from (at latest) October 1 to no later than one month from the deadline for nomination petitions. (Official Page)

8. Nominees for Chairman, First Vice-Chairman, and Second Vice-Chairman

Also passed in May 2013 teleconference; extends the requirement that Chairman candidates have previous AMC experience (unless no suitable candidate is willing to run) to all Executive Committee positions. (Official Page)

11. Duties and Responsibilities of the National Ombudsman

Also passed at the Sepember 6 meeting, it changes the wording of the sections listing the ombudman's powers, independently of the omnibus admendment which also has a provision affecting the ombudsman. It specifies the ombudsman's role as arbitrator or mediator, but removes the provision calling for him/her to "render substantial justice". (Official Page)

Referenda initiated at ABM

Another way to get bylaws referenda on the ballot is to pass a resolution at the Annual Business Meeting of American Mensa (at the AG), which requires a majority vote of those members present.

2. Non-Voting Membership of the American Mensa Committee (Make appointed members non-voting)

Proposed by Jess Byron at the 2014 ABM, and passed by attending members (after a close quorum call), this would make appointed AMC offices non-voting members of the body. (Official Page)

3. Voting Membership of the American Mensa Committee (Remove past/past-past chairs)

Proposed by Jess Byron at the 2014 ABM, and passed by attending members, this would eliminate the positions of Past Chairman and Past Past Chairman from the AMC. (Official Page)

Referenda initiated by petition

Referenda can also be placed on the ballot by getting 250 signatures on a petition, which may be achieved by a combination of paper and electronic signatures. A section of the American Mensa website lists referenda up for petition and allows logged-in members to "sign" by clicking on a button. For this election, proposed referenda needed to be submitted by 11:59 p.m., Central time, on Oct. 15, 2014 for review by the Bylaws Committee (who checks their conformance with other bylaws and laws), following which they are posted for signatures which must be placed by 11:59 p.m., Central time, on Nov. 1. Due to a national office error, signing was briefly disabled the morning of November 1 in the belief that the deadline was passed, but this was reversed once it was pointed out that there was still a day to go, and was later ruled not to be relevant to the success or failure of petitions due to the number of hits to the page for the one failed petition during that period to be fewer than the number of signatures by which it fell short.

4. Recall elections

Proposed by Jared Craig Levine, this establishes a procedure to remove AMC members from office. As of November 1, it had received 431 electronic signatures (and possibly some paper signatures as well), guaranteeing it a spot on the ballot. (Official Page)

5. Nominating Committee

Proposed by Lee Roberts Berkovits, this eliminates the Nominating Committee, leaving the petitioning process as the only way to get onto the ballot as a candidate. As of November 1, it had received 271 electronic signatures (and possibly some paper signatures as well), guaranteeing it a spot on the ballot. (Official Page)

6. Candidate petition signatures

Proposed by J Howard Prince, this increased the number of petition signatures for election candidates to 250 instead of 50. As of November 1, it had received 305 electronic signatures (and possibly some paper signatures as well), guaranteeing it a spot on the ballot. (Official Page)

9. American Mensa Committee meetings

Proposed by Billie R McNamara, this referendum called for increased notice to members of special AMC meetings. As of November 1, it had received 261 electronic signatures (and possibly some paper signatures as well), guaranteeing it a spot on the ballot. (Official Page)

10. Audio and Video Recordings

Proposed by Michael J Eager, this guaranteed the right of members to make audio and video recordings of open-session AMC meetings, something which is currently prohibited by AMC-imposed rules for supposed legal reasons. It also requires recordings of telephone and electronic meetings to be made available afterward to the members. As of November 1, it had received 279 electronic signatures (and possibly some paper signatures as well), guaranteeing it a spot on the ballot. (Official Page)

12. Restore and Protect Powers of the National Ombudsman

Proposed by Claire T Natola, this acts in the opposite direction of an AMC-initiated proposal to reduce ombudsman powers, by guaranteeing the ombudsman the right to access to AMC meetings and communications. As of November 1, it had received 451 electronic signatures (and possibly some paper signatures as well), guaranteeing it a spot on the ballot. (Official Page)

13. Annual Dues

Proposed by Michael J Eager, this called for the specific amount and date of dues increases to be noted when passed in two consecutive AMC meetings as required by an existing bylaw whose spirit had been somewhat defeated by the AMC passing vague resolutions omitting that relevant information. As of November 1, it had received 291 electronic signatures (and possibly some paper signatures as well), guaranteeing it a spot on the ballot. (Official Page)

Member Regions

Proposed by Billie R McNamara, this causes all members to be assigned to a region (and thus get to vote on an RVC) even if they are not a local-group member (by preference or because they live outside the country). As of November 1, it had received 134 electronic signatures (and no paper signatures according to a later statement on the national site), but it failed to reach the number needed to make it onto the ballot and did not qualify.

Final results

The following positions were unopposed and the candidates were declared elected:

  • RVC 1: Lisa Maxwell
  • RVC 3: Julia Ashley
  • RVC 5: Baker Ring
  • RVC 7: Greg Kontz
  • RVC 9: Dez Sagray

Chair

Candidate Round 1 Votes Round 1 Percentage Round 2 Votes Round 2 Percentage Notes
Deborah Stone 1,664 41.2% 2,107 52.7% Declared elected
Dan Burg 1,321 32.7% 1,889 47.3%
Nick Sanford 1,054 26.1% Eliminated in 1st round


1st Vice Chair

Candidate Votes Percentage Notes
Heather Poirier 1,995 50.3% Declared elected
Mary Lee Kemper 1,973 49.7%

2nd Vice Chair

Candidate Votes Percentage Notes
LaRae Bakerink 2,059 51.7% Declared elected
John Neemidge 1,921 48.3%

Secretary

Candidate Round 1 Votes Round 1 Percentage Round 2 Votes Round 2 Percentage Notes
Lori Norris 1,463 37.1% 2,015 52.9% Declared elected
Nancy Farrar 1,391 52.3% 1,835 47.7%
Andrew Heffernan 1,092 27.7% Eliminated in 1st round

Treasurer

Candidate Round 1 Votes Round 1 Percentage Round 2 Votes Round 2 Percentage Round 3 Votes Round 3 Percentage Notes
Robert Salkin 1,417 35.2% 1,546 38.9% 1,908 51.8% Declared elected
Ken Silver 1,324 32.9% 1,516 38.1% 1,778 48.2%
William Davis 780 19.4% 914 23.0% Eliminated in 2nd round
Roger Durham 499 12.4% Eliminated in 1st round

RVC 2

Candidate Votes Percentage Notes
Cam Smart 325 66.1% Declared elected
Caroline Bruno 167 33.9%

RVC 4

Candidate Round 1 Votes Round 1 Percentage Round 2 Votes Round 2 Percentage Notes
George Haynes 203 44.1% 235 52.9% Declared elected
Jon Gruebele 157 34.1% 219 48.2%
James Cartwright 100 21.7% Eliminated in 1st round

RVC 6

Candidate Votes Percentage Notes
Tasha "Taz" Criss 256 60.5% Declared elected
Bob Bevard 167 39.5%

RVC 8

Candidate Votes Percentage Notes
SueAnn Gilmore 364 82.9% Declared elected
Andras Blake 75 17.1%

RVC 10

Candidate Votes Percentage Notes
Thomas G. Thomas 138 53.5% Declared elected
Jack Brawner 120 46.5%

Bylaw Amendment 1

Position Votes Percentage Notes
For 2,195 61.2% Failed to get required two-thirds vote
Against 1,392 38.8% Amendment fails.

Bylaw Amendment 2

Position Votes Percentage Notes
For 2,507 70.8% Amendment passes.
Against 1,032 29.2%

Bylaw Amendment 3

Position Votes Percentage Notes
For 2,610 74.4% Amendment passes.
Against 897 25.6%

Bylaw Amendment 4

Position Votes Percentage Notes
For 2,841 80.9% Amendment passes.
Against 671 19.1%

Bylaw Amendment 5

Position Votes Percentage Notes
For 2,396 68.8% Amendment passes.
Against 1,086 31.2%

Bylaw Amendment 6

Position Votes Percentage Notes
For 2,385 68.2% Amendment passes.
Against 1,112 31.8%

Bylaw Amendment 7

Position Votes Percentage Notes
For 2,273 65.5% Failed to get required two-thirds vote
Against 1,196 34.5% Amendment fails.

Bylaw Amendment 8

Position Votes Percentage Notes
For 2,064 59.2% Failed to get required two-thirds vote
Against 1,420 40.8% Amendment fails.

Bylaw Amendment 9

Position Votes Percentage Notes
For 2,703 77.9% Amendment passes.
Against 769 22.1%

Bylaw Amendment 10

Position Votes Percentage Notes
For 2,980 84.8% Amendment passes.
Against 533 15.2%

Bylaw Amendment 11

Position Votes Percentage Notes
For 2,313 66.3% Failed to get required two-thirds vote
Against 1,174 33.7% Amendment fails.

Bylaw Amendment 12

Position Votes Percentage Notes
For 2,644 75.7% Amendment passes.
Against 848 24.3%

Bylaw Amendment 13

Position Votes Percentage Notes
For 2,786 79.1% Amendment passes.
Against 735 20.9%

External links


Preceded by:
2013
Elections of American Mensa
2015
Succeeded by:
2017