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AAA Members – There Is Still Time To Cast Your Vote

Today’s blog post is a special message from your AAA Secretary, Deb Martin.

What Do 10,000+ Members of AAA Have In Common?

Beyond having DNA in each of their cells and being smarter than the average scholar, what possibly could 11,000+ active members of AAA have in common?  Well, for one thing, 10,000+ active members have not yet voted in the AAA elections.

Why is that? 

I know there are some members who feel that their vote doesn’t matter. Here is the thing: Last year, for many of the candidates the vote was very, very close.  Literally, some people won their seat by a few votes.  More often than not, the votes were very close, like 52% to 48%.   So there is empirical data to suggest that this is NOT a good reason for not voting since one vote can make a difference.

I know there are some members who feel that the AAA is run by a small inside group who controls all the power.  Here is the thing on that:  Not true.  I am a biological anthropologist and I didn’t know hardly anyone on the board when I got elected to the Secretary position.  Every year, 1/3 or so of the people cycle off the board, and new people cycle on.  There are people in positions from all walks of anthropological life and it would be statistically and scientifically impossible for a small group of people to control who is on the board or in section positions at any given moment.

I know that there are some members who feel that only cultural anthropologists  get on the slates.  This is not true.  The slates are made up from a pool of candidates who put their name in the mix.  Many of the slates are specifically designated and both candidates must represent the designation: cultural, linguistic, biological, archaeology, practicing/professional etc.  At any given time, there is representation by all kinds of anthropologists, and diversity within the subdisciplines as well.

I know that there are some members who do not vote because they don’t personally know any of the candidates.  Whoa! This one really makes me chuckle.  There are almost 12,000 paying members of the AAA!! Of course we don’t personally know many of the candidates running, why should we?  That is why there are platform statements and short bios attached with each candidate.  You do not need to personally know anyone to make an informed decision about who you would rather see hold the position.

So please, go vote.  Once you are in the system, you will see how easy it is to navigate, with photos, short platform statements and bios, everything you need to see who your gut tells you to vote for.


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