2011 election of American Mensa

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The 2011 election of American Mensa was the regular biennial election in which all elective positions on the American Mensa Committee were filled. In addition, there was one proposed bylaw amendment on the ballot.

There were 5,966 returned ballots from 45,043 eligible members with a final participation rate of 13.25%. 2,317 ballots were submitted via Web voting and 3,649 by paper ballot. Maggie Truelove was the election chair.

While there was no formal "anti-establishment" slate this time (as there had been with the "Round Table" team led by Dick Amyx in the 1993 elections), several candidates campaigned or were widely viewed as being in opposition to those currently in power, notably Lee Berkovits for chairman, Cary Chilson for treasurer, and Jared Levine for secretary.

Controversy erupted as the initially-reported results were quickly revoked for two of the positions due to an error by the outside vote tabulators (Survey and Ballot Systems). After examination by a third-party forensic auditor, it was determined that the electronic votes (via the American Mensa Web site) were mis-tabulated in the two races in which there were more than two candidates and the preferential voting system was used. The revised results changed the outcome of the vote for 1st Vice Chairman and Treasurer.

Several challenges were filed by candidates afterward, but no further action was taken after the final results were announced.

The bylaws amendment dealt with changing the manner in which vacancies in Regional Vice Chairman positions are filled, to comply with New York State law (under which American Mensa is incorporated); the current bylaw calls for appointment of replacements by the AMC, but this is apparently not lawful. Several attempts have been made to amend this, ranging from calling for new special elections to (as in this year's proposal) selection of a replacement by the Local Secretaries within the region involved, with differing opinions as to the legality of some of the proposals. This one failed due to lack of the required two-thirds vote.

Original results in two races with errors

1st Vice Chair

Candidate Round 1 Votes Round 2 Votes Notes
Robin Crawford 2,871 3,319 Declared elected (but later revoked)
Dan Burg 1,758 2,365
Cookie Bakke 1,188 Eliminated in 1st round


Candidate Votes Notes
Cary Chilson 3,379 Declared elected (but later revoked)
Nick Sanford 1,414
Guy Conti 910

Final results

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

  • RVC 1: Andrew Heffernan
  • RVC 2: Marc Lederman
  • RVC 3: Betsy Mark
  • RVC 4: Ken Silver
  • RVC 5: Bob Cox
  • RVC 8: Debra Reiger
  • RVC 10: Mel Dahl


Candidate Votes Percentage Notes
Elissa Rudolph 4,159 71.4% Declared elected
Lee Berkovits 1,670 28.6%

1st Vice Chair

Candidate Round 1 Votes Round 1 Percentage Round 2 Votes Round 2 Percentage Notes
Dan Burg 2781 47.8% 3560 61.6% Declared elected
Cookie Bakke 1791 30.8% 2215 38.4%
Robin Crawford 1245 21.4% Eliminated in 1st round

2nd Vice Chair

Candidate Votes Percentage Notes
John Recht 3,426 60.1% Declared elected
Lori Norris 2,271 39.9%


Candidate Votes Percentage Notes
Heather Poirier 3,453 60.2% Declared elected
Jared Levine 2,283 39.8%


Candidate Votes Percentage Notes
Nick Sanford 2165 38.0% 2966 52.9% Declared elected
Cary Chilson 2110 37.0% 2640 47.1%
Guy Conti 1426 25.0% Eliminated in 1st round


Candidate Votes Percentage Notes
Roger Durham 385 70.5% Declared elected
James Franzen 161 29.5%


Candidate Votes Percentage Notes
Peggy Pannke-Smith 282 84.2% Declared elected
VeraLouise Kleinfeld Pfeiffer 53 15.8%


Candidate Votes Percentage Notes
Clark Jones 460 63.1% Declared elected
Joan Johnson 269 36.9%

Bylaw Amendment 1

Position Votes Percentage Notes
For 3008 54.8% Failed to get required two-thirds vote
Against 2478 45.2% Amendment fails.

External links

Preceded by:
Elections of American Mensa
Succeeded by: