Association News
APA's Election Guidelines Emphasize Dignity, Courtesy, and Fairness
Psychiatric News
Volume 45 Number 21 page 18-18

With the 2011 election under way, APA members should familiarize themselves with APA's election guidelines (see APA Election Guidelines for Candidates and Supporters) posted on APA's Web site. The guidelines, applicable to candidates and supporters, were established when APA began having contested elections and have been updated periodically to address major concerns. The main aim of the guidelines is to encourage fair and open campaigning by candidates and supporters on a level playing field.

While there is no limit to the number of campaign messages that may be sent by e-mail, the most common infraction of the guidelines is e-mail campaign messages sent without the required "APA Campaigning" at the start of the subject line. In response to member requests, all campaign e-mails must start with "APA Campaigning" at the beginning of the subject line. While candidates can create their own distribution lists for campaign purposes, the only APA-supported list serve that may be used for campaigning is Member-to-Member. Candidates have access to member e-mail addresses in the Membership Directory and Component Directory, but lists of member addresses are not provided by APA.

With regard to the use of social networking for campaign purposes, the Elections Committee is not permitting the use of Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and similar interactive media for campaigning by candidates or their supporters this year. The committee is continuing to evaluate the use of social-networking sites for future election campaigns and welcomes suggestions from the membership.

Personal attacks against candidates and third-party endorsements are not permitted under any circumstances. Members should report any campaign violations to the Elections Committee.

To obtain more information on campaigning, report an election violation, or submit suggestions for improving the election process, send an e-mail to election@psych.org or visit the election section of the APA Web site at <http://psych.org/Resources/Governance/Elections.aspx>.blacksquare

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