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2016 Proxy Ballot Update – Where to Get Your Ballot if You Haven’t Received it Yet

The ABA’s Annual Membership Meeting is coming up and with it, the deadline to return the proxy ballot containing the by-laws change that would expand the ABA Area to include Hawai’i.

Due to an error at our mailing house, many ABA members will have received two ballots. The first will typically have an incorrect primary member name on the outer envelope, though the secondary member name is usually correct, if it is a household membership. The second ballot should be entirely correctly addressed, and have notes on the envelope and the enclosed letter identifying it as a second mailing.

Note that regardless of how the envelope(s) was or were addressed, the proxy ballots are the generic, and you may use any ballot you have received.

Though we love to hear from our members, please consider NOT calling the office about this issue, unless you have a question not covered here. We’ve understandably been flooded with calls from folks confused by the first mailing with incorrect primary member names.

If, for whatever reason, you have not received a ballot, we encourage you to print the PDF file, and mail that to us. Votes will be counted as long as they are received on or before October 28, 2016.


We are encouraged by the response to the by-law change in discussions on social media and on The ABA Blog, and we hope that this enthusiasm translates into a strong member response in ballots received.

Once again, if you have not yet received your ballot by mail, please print the PDF file, and mail that to us.

For more information on the ballot, or our Membership Meeting at the headquarters in Delaware City, Delaware, please check out the Annual Meeting 2016 website.

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Nate Swick

Nate Swick

Editor, Social Media Manager at American Birding Association
Nate Swick is the editor of the American Birding Association Blog, social media manager for the ABA, and the host of the American Birding Podcast. He lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with his wife, Danielle, and two young children. He is the author of Birding for the Curious and The ABA Field Guide to Birds of the Carolinas.
Nate Swick

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  • Mike Fialkovich

    I’m wondering why the ballot was not available as an online voting form.

    • While we would absolutely love for that to be an option, the unfortunate truth is that the sort of online voting we would need is prohibitively expensive and complicated for us to offer right now.

      • Mike Fialkovich

        Understood, thanks.

      • jmorlan

        What’s so prohibitively expensive about accepting a filled out PDF by email?

        • Joe–

          There’s nothing expensive about accepting a mailed in PDF. The question is whether it’s a legal vote. Our Bylaws didn’t envision that as an option and so are mute on that point. If you want to email a PDF, we’ll certainly keep track of it, but I can’t guarantee that it will officially count. If you want to be sure, you have to spend the time and money to mail it. I’m sorry about that. This is one of many issues we’re trying to work through in brining our Bylaws up to date.

  • jmorlan

    Filled out the online PDF. What email address should I use to send it? Thanks.

      • anon

        wait – so if we use this electronic pdf, it is ok to email the vote in?
        If true, this is great and probably worth spreading the word about.

        Color me lazy, but the need to find a stamp and use the postal system is a big barrier to voting – if I can vote electronically, by email then I’m definitely getting my ballot in.

        • Dear anon–

          The short answer is that we can’t accept emailed ballots this time out. We would love to have fully electronic voting but it’s a surprisingly complicated proposition with so many jurisdictions involved.

          So we invite you to take a stroll down memory lane and enjoy the analog experience of paper ballots. 😉

          We are working on getting a more up to date system. Trust me when I say that no one would like it more than those of us here in the ABA offices.

          • jmorlan

            I would much prefer that ABA take the time to get a reasonable electronic voting system in place before pushing this significant bylaw change out to the membership. Why the big rush?

    • Joe–

      Sorry if Nate’s answer was confusing. You still need to mail in the signed PDF to PO Box 744, Delaware City, DE 19706. But if you have any questions, you can certainly email Liz at [email protected] or me at [email protected]

      As I say in my comment below to anon, we very much want to update our voting procedures. It’s just that it’s more complicated and expensive than it might seem.

  • Wim van Dam

    I did not receive a ballot. Just curious, how common is this?

    • Sorry to hear this, Wim. You were on both of the mailing lists that were pulled, so it is puzzling that neither mailing has reached you yet. Many CA members got the second, corrected mailing on or around Oct 6.

      I assume you are getting Birding and Birder’s Guide magazines with no trouble?

      As to how common your experience is, it’s hard to say with certainty, but our experience on the phones suggests it’s quite rare. We’ve received many dozens of “I got a ballot with the wrong name on the address” calls and just one or two “I haven’t gotten any ballot” calls.

      • Wim van Dam

        Thanks for the reply. Just yesterday I received the 2nd ballot, so I’m all good in the end. (I never got the first one though.)

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