The ABA Area Referendum Results: What's Your Take?
by Jeff Gordon
Back in late July, I posted on this blog asking for discussion of one of the issues we at the ABA are questioned about most frequently: what, if any, expansion of the ABA Area boundaries ought to take place? I also asked for your feedback on how we ought to go about polling our membership for their thoughts. That post has garnered 70 comments so far, many of them astonishingly thoughtful and well-informed. Though I didn't comment on all of them, I did read them all and they were truly helpful in shaping the non-binding referendum that we then sent out with our annual proxy ballot.
Well, the results are in. If you've received the current issue of Birding, and you should very soon if you haven't yet, you may have seen that I reported on your answers in my "Birding Together" column. If you haven't seen the article, or are not yet an ABA member, you can read that column here.
I encourage you to go ahead and give it a read. It's short, and goes through the tallies with a minimum of editorializing.
But blogs, of course, are all about editorializing. And I'd like to hear what you have to say about the results. Are you surprised? Or did things pretty much go the way you expected? Perhaps even more important, in view of what the membership has told us here, what would you like to see happen next?
Should we move immediately to consider the question of annexing Hawaii? What about the other areas? Their addition wasn't favored by a majority. Does that mean they should be removed from further consideration?
One other thing that may help make the results a bit easier to interpret and which there wasn't space for in print: some pie charts. Below, you can see the results as compiled for each of the 4 areas that we specifically asked you about.
A caution. These results, as informative as they may be, don't tell it all. We got dozens of handwritten comments, with a few major themes emerging, as I mentioned in the column. And we have not attempted to do any kind of deeper analysis; e.g., how did people who voted yes on Hawaii vote on Bermuda?, or similar correlations.
So here are those pie charts. Take a look, read the column, and by all means, tell us what you think.