#passvotes Why I voted for Allen Kinsel–three times….

I’m a little late with this endorsement, in part because I debated whether or not that I should admit that I’m a serial voter.  In case you haven’t heard, PASS is holding it’s elections for the Board of Directors again; ballots went out on Wednesday, September 25 to “all members in good standing as of June 2013”.  Apparently, I’m a member thrice over, since I received three ballots at three different email addresses.

This has happened in every PASS election that I can remember, and I’ve always taken the moral high ground before, casting one vote and ignoring the other two; however, this time is different.  It’s different because Allen Kinsel’s on the ballot.

Lots of people have lots of good things to say about Allen, so I won’t rehash those; however, the thing that swayed me to vote for him (multiple times) was the following bullet point from his platform page:

    • Making an additional IT investment to bring PASS’s membership roster up-to-date. Updating the roster will allow PASS to have better knowledge of our worldwide membership and to provide members with better benefits.

Allen wants to update the database, and clean it up.  As a database professional, data integrity appeals to me; it’s a little sad that my professional organization has dirty data, and is relying on that dirty data to make key business decisions (like generating ballots).   So this time, I decided to leverage all of my electoral power and cast all of my votes for Allen because I believe he’s going to try and do something to prevent this from happening in the future.

I know; it seems wrong for me to cast three votes, but I figure I’m not the only one with multiple ballots.  Maybe some other members of the organization don’t have the same moral hesitation about “pulling the lever” at every opportunity.  Perhaps some devious prankster has registered 500 email addresses, and is slowly stealing the election away.  All I know is that this should change, and Allen’s the only candidate which has mentioned this as a priority.


September 28, 2013 · stuart · 5 Comments
Tags:  · Posted in: PASS, SQLServerPedia Syndication, The Social Web

5 Responses

  1. Rick Heiges - September 28, 2013


    I voted for Allen 3 times as well, but in three different elections. Yes, I received 3 Ballots too because I have three email addresses that I have used with PASS over the years. Although you casted 3 votes for Allen, the rules of the election were not setup to really allow that. In fact, last year, I voted only for 2 candidates because I felt like casting a vote for a third candidate may influence the chances of my first two choices from winning.

    I agree that Allen is the best candidate and I have endorsed him. All of the candidates are well qualified and are passionate about community. And all of them deserve the fairest election possible.

    You make a good point about the database needing some clean-up. I posted in the Elections Forum a question that has yet to be answered that may help in the clean-up process.

    I would look at it like you chose to cast three ballots. Clearly that is not the intent of the election. Thank you for bringing this issue out for more attention and I hope that it will be fixed by next year.

    Parting thought: Would you want to win an election against other well qualified candidates in this manner? I know that I would not.

  2. Tim Radney - September 28, 2013

    Way to make a point and kudos for pointed out that you did. It will be interesting to see the response to this. I would be willing to bet many get multiple emails from PASS as well from using multiple email addresses over the years. Double edge sword though with that type of cleanup. If you purge a bunch of records from your list, which ones are most valid to keep and what does that do to your # of members?

  3. Andy Warren - September 28, 2013

    Kowabunga! I only cast one vote because I do like playing fair, but I take your point and wish I had written that post. It’s been quietly talked about for years. We put a ton of effort into revising the election process to make sure we didn’t have a handful of people deciding the election, but our mandate for that stopped short of fixing membership. It could absolutely be used to tip an election – in truth maybe it has in the past and how would we know?

    Tim, I’d argue that the price of removing the wrong address is less costly than a compromised election. But I think it’s easier than that – we start by asking people to click a link if it is an ‘extra’ address and let our members do the first take at cleaning the list. Longer term I think associating members to a cell phone may be a far most realistic plan, but we’re still going to need to deal with email addresses.

    Finally, it’s not just the election. Without one account = one member we’re never going to have the kind of CRM that let’s us truly engage our members.

    I’m curious to see how PASS responds – will they try to find your votes? Disqualify the ones they can find? Ignore it and hope for the best? Not a pleasant problem. Let’s hope we don’t have it next year.

  4. Rob Farley - September 28, 2013

    (Not speaking as a board member, just a data guy)

    The link to vote would presumably be done on a per-person basis, not a per-email basis. That way, the link could be sent to every email address that a person has, to avoid the risk of them missing the email.

    It doesn’t stop fake accounts – but that’s another matter.

  5. A Tainted PASS Elections - SQL Server - SQL Server - Toad World - October 2, 2013

    […] Saturday, Sept 28, Stuart Ainsworth (Blog | @codegumbo) published a blog post in which he admitted voting three separate times for Allen Kinsel (Blog | @AllenKinsel). His ability to do so was due to a well known issue where a […]

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