Ok, so I am about two weeks late posting this. No excuses for my tardiness (those will come in another post), just right down to it:
I lost. Again.
According to the results posted by ARIN back on 5 November, I came in 12th out of 17 candidates, with 94 votes. A huge THANK YOU goes out to everyone who supported and voted for me! It means a lot!
Congratulations to all of the winners: Paul Andersen, Scott Bradner and Lee Howard in the BoT election and Chris Morrow, Bill Sandiford, Stacy Hughes, Heather Schiller, and Rob Seastrom in the AC election. I know that you will all serve ARIN and the community well!
Far more disappointing for me than my loss is the level of turnout:
2009 Voter Statistics
3507 ARIN members as of 7 October 2009
3049 Eligible voters* as of 7 October 2009
*ARIN members in good standing with properly registered Designated Member Representatives
478 unique member organizations cast a ballot in the Board of Trustees election.
468 unique member organizations cast a ballot in the Advisory Council election.
492 unique member organizations cast a ballot in either the Board of Trustees or Advisory Council election.
I am a little shocked actually. This means that while only 458 ARIN members failed to register a DMR (and perhaps less, depending on how many are not in good standing – aka owe ARIN money), over 2,500 DMRs failed to vote. That’s only about 16% who actually cast a ballot at all. That’s a bit staggering.
What’s worse is that it is even lower than last year. In 2008, 511 ballots were cast out of 2,443 Eligible voters – that’s 20%. To be fair, registration was up in 2009; almost 87% of members registered a DMR this year as opposed to just over 76% last year. But that doesn’t do any good if they don’t cast ballots!
Unfortunately I am not able to find similar stats posted for prior years. However, based on the number of individual votes in 2002 through 2007, we can easily see that the turnout was far lower than in either of the two most recent elections. If the current numbers are any indication, only about 100 to 200 ballots were cast in each election through those years. After seeing last years jump in participation and then this years high registration rate and huge number of candidates, I had hoped that the trend would hold for ballots cast as well. Of course, I had also hoped to be elected – shows what I know! =)
Joking aside, this really is a serious problem. In order for an organization or a process to be community driven, the community must drive it. Not just a small, vocal portion of that community but the whole community. Sixteen percent of registered voters is not even close to the whole community. As a point of reference; in the 2008 presidential election over 60% of eligible voters cast a ballot. If we want ARIN to continue to be a truly open, community based, grass-roots organization, we need to engage ARIN members in a way that drives turnout much closer (if not beyond) that number.
If you have ideas to engage the ARIN community, please leave a comment or drop me an email!