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Elections Committee Report
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IPS Standing Committee:

Elections Committee Reports

2007 Annual Report of the Elections Committee
IPS Council Meeting – Rio de Janeiro
Prepared by:  Steven Mitch, Chairman

     Since the last report given to the International Planetarium Society during the Council meeting in Melbourne, Australia, the 2006 IPS elections have been successfully completed.  After the IPS meeting in Melbourne, the candidates for President-Elect, Executive Secretary and Treasure/Membership Chair were asked to submit their biographies, a current photograph and a brief candidate’s statement to be included with the ballots.

     The candidates for the office of President-Elect were Dr. Tom Mason, Steve Tidey and Stephanie Parello.  Lee Ann Hennig ran as the unopposed candidate for the office of Executive Secretary and Shawn Laatsch ran as the unopposed candidate for the office of Treasurer/Membership Chairman. 

     2006 marked the second time that IPS used electronic balloting for an election of officers, and everything worked extremely well.  The entire process was very efficient.  Again, Alan Gould was instrumental in setting up the electronic format for the posting and retrieval of the ballots, and the Elections Committee would like to commend Alan for his efforts, along with our sincere thanks.

     567 e-ballots were mailed to members with e-mail accounts and 88 regular ballots were mailed to IPS members with no known e-mail accounts in mid-October.  The date of December 8, 2006 was established for the postmarked return deadline.   Of the 655 total ballots sent, only 241 were returned.  Just as in the 2004 elections, only 37% of the total ballots sent out were returned.
     A significant aspect of the electronic balloting is the low cost of holding the elections.  The 2002 election cost IPS $632.00.  The 2004 election cost IPS $317.50.  The 2006 election cost IPS $106.89 (far fewer mailed ballots, less postage).

     As the ballots returned, the hardcopy, regular postage ballots were kept sealed and safely stored until several days past the deadline to make sure all overseas ballots had time to arrive.  The electronic ballots were stored in an Excel document by Steven Mitch and Jon Bell, designated by Elections Committee Chairman, Steven Mitch, to act as a backup site in case the primary site server failed, and to verify the accuracy of the balloting.
     Steven Mitch, Elections Committee Chairman and IPS member, Jon Bell, verified the electronic ballots on December 18, 2006.  The hardcopy, regular postage ballots (only 12 were returned) were counted twice for accuracy.  Dr. Tom Mason was declared the victor for the office of President-Elect (term 2009-2010).  Lee Ann Hennig (unopposed) for the office of Executive Secretary and Shawn Laatsch (unopposed) for the office of Treasurer/Membership Chairman were also declared winners.

     The winning candidates were notified by telephone or e-mail by the Elections Committee Chair.  Letters with the official results were e-mailed to Martin George, President and to Lee Ann Hennig for the IPS official files.  The IPS membership was notified of the elections outcome by e-mail via John Schroer’s "IPS News” and the IPS listserve, and Dome-L.

      The Elections Committee will continue to be proactive in encouraging members to take a greater role in the process of selecting future leaders of the organization.  The membership will also be challenged to become more active in the organization by serving in a leadership capacity or serving as a member of an IPS committee. 

     The Elections Committee will be putting forth a call for nominations for the next round of elections as required by IPS By-Laws, beginning in March of 2008.  A preliminary slate of candidates for the offices of President-Elect, Executive Secretary and Treasurer/Membership Chair will be presented in a report to IPS Council meeting at the 2008 biennial conference in Chicago, Illinois.

The members of the IPS Elections Committee are as follows.

Steven Mitch, Chairman
Benedum Planetarium
Oglebay Park                            
Wheeling, WV  26003
Fax 304 243-4110

Tatsuyuki Arai
Katsushika City Museum
3-25-1, Shiratori
Katsushika-ku, Tokyo 125-0063
Fax +81-3-5680-0849

Wayne Wyrick
Kirkpatrick Planetarium
Kirkpatrick Science & Air Space Museum
2100 N.E. 52nd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
Fax 405 602-3768

Jon Bell
Hallstrom Planetarium
Indian River Community College
3209 Virginia Avenue
Fort Pierce, FL  34981
Fax 561- 462-4796

The Elections Committee anticipates a budget of no more than $150.00 (postage and staff time) for the 2008 elections.

Respectfully submitted,

Steven R. Mitch, Chairman
IPS Elections Committee
June 7, 2007

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