Heinlein Society Elections Affected by Unexpected Death of Jerry Pournelle

Results of The Heinlein Society’s board of directors elections were announced at its Annual Meeting, a phone-in teleconference held September 10. On the line were the 2017-2020 class of three seats on its nine-seat Board of Directors. An impressive 66.5% of eligible voters participated in an online election via the SimplyVoting.com website.  The three incumbent Directors standing for re-election, Dr. Jerry Pournelle, John Seltzer, and John Tilden, all won re-election, which was certified by Simply Voting on 28 August 2017.

The passing of Dr. Jerry Pournelle on September 8, after the election and certification of results, has led to the Society’s remaining Board to invoke Article II, Section 5D of its Bylaws to fill this vacancy.  At the Society’s September 11 Board Meeting, Walter Boyes, an Illinois SF writer, technologist, futurist, and fan, was selected to fill the open seat.  As a Board appointment, Walt is required to stand for a ratification vote in the 2018 Society elections.

At the same September 11 Board Meeting, Society officers Dr. Keith Kato of California, Geo Rule of Minnesota, and John Tilden of Maryland, were retained as President, Vice President-Secretary, and Treasurer respectively.  Keith Kato stated this would be his last year in office.  The remainder of the new Board, by seniority, is Joe Haldeman, John Seltzer, Elizabeth Wilcox, Dr. C. Herbert Gilliland, Dr. Beatrice Kondo, and Walter Boyes.

[Thanks to Keith Kato for the story.]

13 thoughts on “Heinlein Society Elections Affected by Unexpected Death of Jerry Pournelle

  1. “An impressive 66.5% of eligible voters participated…” This raises the question of the total number of voters. Reminds me of C. M. Kornbluth’s “Gomez” in which the narrator mentions military statements that don’t say much of anything: “Casualties a full fifteen per cent lighter than expected,” etc.

  2. And you’re knocking that, why? Nobody thinks The Heinlein Society is the size of a city. This is just the kind of toxicity I was pointing out yesterday.

  3. Toxicity? No, I’m just curious because I was once involved in copyediting the Virginia Edition (the earlier, incomplete Meisha Merlin version) as a contract employee in 2005-07 and learned about the Society that way. I don’t have any reason to knock them, but stating a percentage without a total always raises the question of what the total is, at least for me, no matter who issued the statement.

  4. And it’s not a meaningless statement, either. I wish the organizations I’m a member of all had a consistent two-thirds turnout of eligible voters.

    Let’s see how that 66.5% compares to another organization we all know and love:

    Worldcon 75 Membership (as of May, 2017, so it got bigger): 6,944
    Votes cast for the Hugo Awards: 3,319
    Commitment level: 47.79%

  5. John A Arkansawyer: Worldcon… Commitment level: 47.79%

    You’re comparing apples and oranges here. A lot of people belong to Worldcon for reasons which have nothing to do with the Hugo Awards, and the fact that they choose not to participate in the awards says nothing about their level of “commitment” to Worldcon.

    That is quite different than choosing whether to participate in the elections of the people running an organization such as SFWA or the Heinlein Society … a level of authority which Worldcon simply doesn’t have.

  6. The IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) has about 400,000 members; last year, it looks like less than 50,000 folks voted, so a 2/3 voting rate is pretty good (I looked around for similar stats for the National Space Society, which is closer to what the Heinlein Society is, but couldn’t find them).

  7. Andrew on September 12, 2017 at 5:06 pm said:

    The IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) has about 400,000 members; last year, it looks like less than 50,000 folks voted,

    How many of those members _can_ vote. E.g., I’m a member, but I don’t think I’ve got voting privileges.

    Similarly, re the Worldco citation

    Votes cast for the Hugo Awards: 3,319
    Commitment level: 47.79%

    — to vote responsibility took some time and effort (to read). Even if not voting in all categories.

  8. @Daniel Dern: I hadn’t thought of that – I’m not sure how many IEEE members are eligible to vote (I know I am, because I keep getting the ballots, but I rarely have a strong enough feeling about any of the issues at hand to vote).

  9. I considered the post an interesting snippet and insight into how such things are run.

    Percentages, in my view, are a pretty good indicator of turnout regardless of total numbers.

  10. Mike, I’m sorry you’re feeling unappreciated. We do appreciate you, very much! I’m afraid analyzing stuff is one of the ways we appreciate what you give us, though. It doesn’t mean we aren’t delighted to find out all the stuff you share with us. How do you do it? I have trouble just keeping up with your output – producing it must take an enormous commitment of time. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  11. 66.5% would have to be a round number of voters, so the minimum would be 133 voters out of 200 eligible.

    The 2016 annual report said:Committee Chair Seltzer reported current membership at 198 regular members 16 life members, and 15 supporting members.

    So I am thinking it’s probably 133 out of 200. 266 out of 400 would require huge growth in 2017.

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