By now, all active ABA members should have received a 2012 ABA proxy ballot, along with a letter from me and Board Chair, Lou Morrell. That ballot also includes the non-binding referendum on possible expansion of the ABA Area, as well as an invitation to what is shaping up to be a very interesting and informative annual membership meeting.
And the letter has some pretty interesting news, too—news about our growing membership numbers, about how you can now claim a large percentage of your ABA membership dues as a tax deduction, and about a special deal on membership renewals, for starters.
The ballots and letters were mailed here in Colorado on Friday, August 24. We do use non-profit mailing rates (not bulk rate, that's different and slower) whenever possible, which save a lot of money. However, the delivery schedule can be, shall we say erratic. Many people in Colorado and New Mexico, including all of us at HQ, received the mailing the next day. By the middle of the following week, they had begun reaching the US Great Lakes states and Pacific Northwest. And by the end of that week, we were already seeing dozens of completed ballots returning to us.
But as gratifying as the flood of responses has been and though the letters have by now been received as far away as Australia, there are still members who report not yet receiving them, including ironically, Lou Morrell, who lives in a remote little hamlet called New York City. If you are one of these members, we apologize, and we would still would very much like to hear from you.
Here's what you can do. Go to aba.org/proxy12. There, you'll find links to download both the letter and the proxy ballot. You'll also find useful additional information about the membership meeting and voting your proxy.
To cast your ballot, simply print out the ballot pdf, vote, sign it, and return it to: ABA Proxy, 1618 W. Colorado Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80904 by September 21. Note that we'll only be able to count votes for the election of board members received on or before the 21st. However, since the ABA Area referendum is non-binding, we have a bit more leeway on timing there. We'll go ahead and tabulate responses on the area question received on or before September 30.
And of course, you must be an active ABA member for your vote to be counted. (Technically, members only expire the last day of odd-numbered months. So if your membership didn't expire on or before July 31, you were sent a proxy and are eligible to vote.)
In these ways, we're hoping to be able to have the participation of just as many of you as we can. An effective, dynamic membership organization needs regular input from its members. I'm thrilled that we've had such good response rate to this year's and last year's ballots, a stark and refreshing change from the anemic turnouts of the several years prior.
Thanks to all of our members for supporting the ABA and for taking the time to participate in its governance and direction. It makes all the difference.