I'm copying Terry Coan, chair of ARMA's Election
Management Committee on this note and he can respond
officially, but here is my understanding from last
Fall's election...

I cannot speak to the context of the governing rules
regarding campaigning. I suppose that, in the past,
some elections may have gotten a bit unruly and it was
felt necessary to impose a more level playing field.
As to freedom of speech, I'm not an attorney, so I
won't even go there. There are some very specific
policies about how ARMA elections are conducted. If
you are a member and would like to see these policies
changed, contact me or any other Board member with
your specific requirements and we can put your request
in the form of an agenda item for the Fall Board

Administrative Letter 200 (approved April 9, 1999)
governs ARMA's election process. (All Administrative
Letters are in the Member Resources section of the
ARMA website, under "Governance and Adminsitration".)
The AL specifically prohibits "campaigning" by
nominees / candidates for office. In addition, the AL
says, "Members, chapters or candidates cannot present
information that supports one candidate over another."

The AL does allow questions to be asked of all
candidates, provided that all candidates are given the
same opportunity to respond.

I'm not going to attempt to interpret any of the
discussions here as being campaigning. I would caution
folks that your responses to any candidate postings
should be directed to the candidate, even if posted in
this forum. I would further suggest that you always
CC: both of the current candidates so that they have
equal opportunities to respond.

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Let's also keep in mind that, while a substantial
number of RECMGMT-L List members are ARMA members, not
all List members belong to, or care about, ARMA. This
is an important means of communication not only about
ARMA, but about the profession as well, and we should
try to keep that in perspective.

The ARMA Member Forum on the ARMA website is the
preferred venue for communications about ARMA.
However, with barely more than 400 members, alternate
means of communication are essential, particularly for
those ARMA members who cannot access that website. But
let's try not to alienate folks who use RECMGMT-L for
information on the profession.

Patrick Cunningham, CRM

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