Friday, April 9, 2010

48 hours

That's how long you've got to cast your ballot in the 2010 Society of American Archivists (SAA) election: the polls close at midnight on 11 April. If you were an SAA member in good standing as of 28 February 2010, you're eligible to vote in this election.

Most SAA members are voting electronically this year, and the process is easy, quick, and practically foolproof. It took me all of three minutes to complete my ballot -- and I spent some of that time shooing one of my cats off my keyboard.

Of course, reading the candidate statements took more time. Fourteen brave and awesome archivists are running for three offices -- Vice President/President-Elect, member of Council (3 positions), and member of Nominating Committee (3 positions) -- and all of them have thought-provoking things to say about the future of SAA and the archival profession.

Those of you who are relatively new to SAA might protest that you're really not comfortable voting for candidates you haven't actually met. I understand your hesitation, but my experience suggests that, in most instances, the candidates' written statements are actually good indicators of their outlook and goals. Moreover, I've always made it a point to vote for at least a couple of people I don't know. I live in the Northeast, and as a result most of the archivists I know are also Northeasterners. I don't want Northeasterners to dominate SAA, and I do believe in giving unknown (at least to me) but promising people a chance to prove themselves. Doing so may be a bit risky, but so is leaving the house in the morning. To date, I've never had cause to regret voting for an unknown, and some of those unknowns are now friends; "hey, I voted for you!" is a fantastic conversation-starter.

At any rate, if you want some say in determining SAA's member services, stance on funding for archives and other policy issues that affect the profession, and contributions to the ongoing development of the archival profession, then read those candidate statements and VOTE, fer Pete's sake! And why not beat the rush and do it now? That way, you'll have the rest of the weekend to sleep in, savor the coming of spring, get caught up on all your chores, and watch Treme.

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