Single District Voting

This issue stirs more passion in many than in me, but being neutral to a change does not equate to support.

Had it been my choice to make, based on the information I currently have, I would have voted against the resolution enabling this change.

Unclear objectives, no success criteria, and no review criteria imply that the resolution simply wasn't sufficiently mature to merit a positive vote.

A leading justification provided was a low participation rate in elections, however this rule change only guaranteed that the next two board members were elected with the lowest total vote tallies in recent PEC history. District participation would have had to exceed 70% just to tie prior totals. The regional or district level concerns that are going unaddressed, thus justifying this change, don't appear documented and should have been the starting point of discussion if they had been the reasons for the change.

So the at-large system seems to remain the more appropriate means to select Directors as each director certainly affects the Cooperative as a whole and so each member should have opportunity to weigh in on any such choice and to vote more often than every 3 years. I will miss being able to vote each year and having at least some level of influence in the Cooperative's direction. Presumably I might have learned more about the reasoning and justification as an active board member and I like to consider myself open to a change of opinion, but my current stance remains to favor a return to the prior norm. The PEC is now very unusual as I understand it to be the only (!!) cooperative in TX without at-large voting as the final selection step.

That said, I would not commit to rescinding this change until I felt I had all the information available on the topic in hand. It is my inclination, but I would not wish to prejudge when I know there is still more to be learned.

An interesting aside:

A legitimate voting mechanism concern went unaddressed in this change though it received public mention - that plurality voting can lead to surprising and unpopular results. When there are 3 or more candidates running, voter splits can actually lead to a least favored candidate overall being selected. This is a deficiency in traditional voting systems that is long past being addressed, given the technological tools we now have in hand.

If you have the patience for such things, Wikipedia offers detailed comparative information on voting systems:


You will note that plurality voting earns a large number of red boxes, but it is simple and our tradition, and those are the only reasons it remains most common.

As a commentary on tradition, I suggest that you listen to the song Weasel Stomping Day.