AAJA National Officer Elections

Every year, AAJA holds membership-wide elections for national officers. The elections are staggered to ensure continuity on the Board of Directors. In odd years, the positions eligible for elections are Senior Vice President, Vice President of Journalism Programs and Vice President of Communications. In even years, the positions eligible for elections are President, Vice President of Civic Engagement and Vice President of Finance.

The national officers are members of the AAJA Board of Directors. In addition to the six national officers, the Board of Directors is composed of five elected board members who are members of the AAJA Advisory Board: 2 board members representing small chapters (less than 50 full members) and/or medium chapters (50-99 full members), 1 board member representing a large chapter (100 or more full members), and 2 members elected at-large by and from the Advisory Board. These five members’ terms are also staggered to ensure continuity on the Board of Directors. 

AAJA’s elections will be rooted in the following core principles: dedication to AAJA’s mission, transparency, respect, empathy, open and constructive debate, and the pursuit of organizational and financial stability of AAJA as a nonprofit. 

AAJA 2021 Elections

Each year, the timeline for national officer elections is determined by the Election Officer and the Executive Director. AAJA’s national officer elections run for six weeks and take place in conjunction with the summer convention. The Board of Directors, in conjunction with the Executive Director, shall establish the procedure and the time frame for elections, per AAJA’s bylaws.  

The 2021 election for 2022-2023 officers schedule is as follows: 

    • Friday July 16 – Nomination period starts, 10 a.m. ET
    • Monday, July 26 – Nomination period ends, 8 p.m. ET
    • Wednesday, August 6 – Announcement of candidates & voting begins
    • Sunday, August 14 – Candidate forum hosted by AAJA HQ, watch the recording here
    • Wednesday, August 25 – Voter eligibility deadline (must activate or renew membership by this date), 8 p.m. ET
    • Sunday, August 29 – Accept ballots until/voting ends, 8 p.m. ET
    • Tuesday, September 7 – Results announced. Please see the new slate of officers here.

Open Positions

The nomination period is currently CLOSED for officers who serve for the 2022-2023 termCandidates for national office can be nominated by any full member in good standing. Candidates must also be full members in good standing. All candidates must agree to and abide by the AAJA Code of Conduct.

Voting Eligibility and Process

The voting period is now CLOSED. 

Each Professional, Gold Professional, Platinum Professional, Lifetime, Retired, and Student member in good standing is entitled to cast one vote. Once ballots are cast, they cannot be changed. Only ballots originating from the principal office, with the sanction of the vice president of communications or the Election Officer, shall be considered bona-fide. Absentee ballots must be received by AAJA at least two weeks prior to the election date. An absentee ballot is considered cast when received by the principal office.

AAJA HQ will distribute information on the voting method. Members will also receive timely communications about election deadlines at the email address associated with their membership. 

***The most common cause for members “not receiving” AAJA emails is that the email address associated with their membership is not current. Members are urged to check their email addresses associated with their AAJA account so that they can receive AAJA communications.***

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AAJA National Officers Election Guide

For more information on the elections process, please review our AAJA National Officers Election Guide, which incorporates updated practices and standards governing AAJA’s elections. This guide was approved by non-candidate members of the Board of Directors in July of 2021.

This guide will serve as an addendum to AAJA’s bylaws, which govern AAJA’s elections. Portions of this guide are drawn directly from the bylaws. For matters not addressed in this guide, please consult AAJA’s bylaws. This guide was produced in July 2021, and will be reviewed every year prior to the beginning of AAJA national officer elections. This guide codifies longstanding practices and standards of AAJA elections in order to ensure continuity, fairness, transparency, and a shared understanding of expectations and standards. 

If you have additional questions regarding elections, please contact vpcivicengagement@aaja.org.