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2018 AGU Election Statistics

AGU’s Leadership Development/Governance Committee recaps the timing, participation, and other details of the organization’s recently completed 2018 leadership election.

By , Robert A. Duce, Luis Gonzalez, Hans Lechner, Catherine McCammon, Jim Pizzuto, , George Tsoflias, Vaughan Turekian, Tong Zhu, , and

In its most recent biennial election, for which voting ended last month, AGU membership chose 57 new leaders to serve 2-year terms in 2019–2020. Union officers, Board members, section officers, and student and early-career representatives to the Council were elected. Here the AGU Leadership Development/Governance Committee takes a look back at the voting this year and how 2018 stacked up in comparison to prior elections.

See the accompanying article entitled “Lozier to Be AGU President-Elect/AGU Leadership Transitions” for election results and an overview of the leadership transition that’s now getting started.

Electronic Voting

Members voted electronically, and access to voting was provided to all eligible voters for a period of 30 days. All members who joined or renewed their membership by 13 August 2018 were eligible to vote in this year’s leadership election.

Survey and Ballot Systems, Inc. (SBS) conducted the voting. SBS, which offers election planning and management services, provided unique login links and other support services for eligible voters throughout the election. On 27 September, the company certified the results, which were then reviewed by the AGU Leadership Development/Governance Committee.

Participation Rate Tops 20%

The total number of ballots validated in the election was 9,141. The number of eligible voters was 45,491, making the participation rate 20.09%. This is slightly lower than in AGU’s last election in 2016 in which the participation rate was 21.13%.

SBS provided all voters the opportunity to rate their satisfaction with the 2018 voting process. In response to this election, 4,259 comments were received. This is a good indication of voter engagement, and 89.5% of voters continue to be satisfied or very satisfied with the voting process. Voters provided many comments and suggestions, which AGU will analyze and discuss over the coming weeks. Voter feedback is very important, and comments received in 2016 were instrumental in helping the Leadership Development/Governance Committee plan for the 2018 election.

Getting the Word Out

The election was supported by articles in and other communications throughout this year. The Leadership Development/Governance Committee published the proposed slate in on 7 June and the final slate on 17 July.

A special election website was created to aid members with the voting process. Promotion of the election included the AGUniverse newsletter, Eos print ads, Eos Buzz ads, the AGU home page carousel, Facebook, Twitter, and emails. The election vendor sent reminder emails to eligible voters throughout the election, as did section leaders.


After reviewing the election report provided by SBS, the committee kicked off the process to notify candidates and announce the results. The process required that all 114 candidates be notified before the election results could be publicly announced. Each of the 23 sections participating in the 2018 election provided a single point of contact to receive results and contact candidates. Leadership Development/Governance Committee members contacted Board candidates and the student and early-career candidates. Results were released online on 10 October 2018.

The Leadership Development/Governance Committee expresses its gratitude to all candidates and to all AGU members who voted.

—Leadership Development/Governance Committee: Margaret Leinen (Chair; email: [email protected]), Robert A. Duce, Luis Gonzalez, Hans Lechner, Catherine McCammon, Jim Pizzuto, Sabine Stanley, George Tsoflias, Vaughan Turekian, Tong Zhu, Chris McEntee, and Cheryl Enderlein

Citation: Leinen, M., et al. (2018), 2018 AGU election statistics, Eos, 99, Published on 15 October 2018.
Text © 2018. The authors. CC BY-NC-ND 3.0
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