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2017 Election Results and Analysis

Thanks to everyone that came to the meeting this past week. Even though we didn’t have any real competition among the candidates and the result was practically predetermined, we still had to hold an election by ballot because the constitution (now bylaws) required it. I also had forgotten to add an amendment to forego an election in cases where we only have one candidate. In any case, I think it was good to hold a ballot election because having the data would allow me to do an analysis of the results.

The analysis of elections in Indiana is a topic that I’ve been very interested in recently. I have already done analyses of several Monroe county elections including an analysis of IU Bloomington Faculty Council elections. I’m currently working on a website to publish these finding and hope to have it ready in the near future.

But back to our election. There were two voting systems used in this election: plurality vote and majority vote. The bylaws called for a plurality vote for the officers (Article IV § 6) and a majority vote for amendments (Article VII). A plurality vote means the winning candidate or proposition is determined by whichever has the largest number of votes. A majority vote means more than half of the votes cast are required to win. FYI: plurality voting is the system that is used in most (if not all) elections in Indiana.

The primary metric I look at when analyzing an election is its efficiency rating. The efficiency (or effectiveness) of an election can be determined by looking at the ratio of wasted votes to effective votes. Wasted votes are either unnecessary or insufficient to elect a candidate, while effective votes are both necessary and sufficient to elect a candidate. In general, voting systems that produce a greater percentage of effective votes than wasted votes are better for voters in that more of their votes actually matter in determining the outcome. Greater efficiency means that more voters’ voices are heard.


Officers

For the election of the officers, we only had one candidate for each office so there was really no need for an election in these cases. Each officer received a 100% of the votes cast and there were no write-in candidates. The threshold for election using a plurality vote is usually the second-highest number of votes. But when there isn’t any other candidates, the question becomes: “Are any votes necessary to elect a candidate?” The two possible answers are that either no votes are necessary or that only one vote is necessary. I searched Robert’s Rules of Order for guidance, but didn’t find any definitive answer. So I asked Brad King, the co-director of the Indiana Election Division. He said that as far as state law is concerned, there is no requirement that a candidate receive any votes to be elected. So without any other guidance or bylaw of our own, I set the election threshold to zero. The end result is that none of the votes cast in these races were necessary. This gives them a 0% efficiency rating.

Since the results were the same for each office (president, vice-president, secretary, and treasurer), I’m only displaying the charts and graphs once.

President: Debora (Ralf) Shaw
Vice-President: Mike Trotzke
Secretary: Ann Birch
Treasurer: Shirley Watkins

Votes Wasted Votes Wasted % Effective Votes Effective % Total %
Officer

30

30

100.0%

0

0.0%

100.0%

Total

30

30

100.0%

0

0.0%



Directors-at-Large

For this race, we had four seats and four candidates. The efficiency rating of this race would have been identical to the officers’ races (100% waste) except there was one difference. We did have one write-in vote. This one vote actually increased the effectiveness of this race by about 7%.

This means if you cast a vote in this race, you had a 7% chance that your vote was effective.

Directors-at-Large:
Carole Canfield
John Grigutis
Jillian Kinzie
Jeremy Nation

Votes Wasted Votes Wasted % Effective Votes Effective % Vote % Ballot %
Nation

29

27

93.1%

2

6.9%

25.9%

100.0%

Grigutis

28

26

92.9%

2

7.1%

25.0%

96.6%

Canfield

27

25

92.6%

2

7.4%

24.1%

93.1%

Kinzie

27

25

92.6%

2

7.4%

24.1%

93.1%

Basey

1

1

100.0%

0

0.0%

0.9%

3.4%

Total

112

104

92.9%

8

7.1%



Amendments

According to Article VII, a majority vote is required to make amendments to the  bylaws. This is the basic principle that most organizations should be using to make decisions. It ensures that any choice or decision is supported by a majority of the voters as well as ensuring that a majority of the votes are also effective.

Compare the efficiency ratings of these results with the results of the plurality elections above.

Amendment 1: Shall the main document of the BRNA be renamed from constitution to bylaws?

Votes Wasted Votes Wasted % Effective Votes Effective % Total %
Yes

27

12

44.4%

15

55.6%

96.4%

No

1

1

100.0%

0

0.0%

3.6%

Total

28

13

46.4%

15

53.6%


Amendment 2: Shall the parliamentary authority referred to in article VIII be changed to reflect the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order and the name change from the previous amendment (if passed)?

Votes Wasted Votes Wasted % Effective Votes Effective % Total %
Yes

29

14

48.3%

15

51.7%

100.0%

No

0

0

0.0%

0

0.0%

0.0%

Total

29

14

48.3%

15

51.7%


Amendment 3: Shall Article IV § 6 be removed in order to require a majority threshold for electing officers?

Votes Wasted Votes Wasted % Effective Votes Effective % Total %
Yes

25

10

40.0%

15

60.0%

89.3%

No

3

3

100.0%

0

0.0%

10.7%

Total

28

13

46.4%

15

53.6%



In closing, I believe it’s the duty of those of us running elections (at any level) to make sure that they are as efficient and effective as possible.

—John Grigutis

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