Section Elections Guide

Each year, all SAA Sections hold an election for new steering committee members. Here we have compiled a timeline with clear steps for preparing and running a successful election: 


Prepare Call for Candidates
Review your steering committee roster and standing rules (available on your section microsite) to determine how many elected positions should be listed on your ballot this year. 

Brainstorm with your steering committee about the coming year. What activities or initiatives will the steering committee pursue in the next year, and what skills or expertise might help to accomplish those goals? Then, develop a list of strong individuals that you all would like to run in the election and assign steering committee members to contact those individuals about volunteering. (This is an especially important step if your steering committee has struggled to gather candidates for past elections!)

If you are planning to put forward revisions to your section's standing rules, please review Section IV. of the SAA Governance Manual.


Issue Call for Candidates. 
By early May, you should issue a call on your section's discussion list (and social media, if applicable) for nominees/volunteers for your election ballot. Consider including the following information in your call: 

  • Available positions (and brief descriptions);
  • Upcoming steering committee initiatives/activites;
  • Time commitment per week/month (Attending the Annual Meeting is not required.); and/or
  • Testimonials from current/recent steering committee members.

For an example, see this Call for Candidates from the Business Archives Section!


Prepare Candidate Statements. 
Ask candidates to prepare candidate statement information, due by the end of May. Candidate statements should include:

  • Candidate Name
  • Job Title and Institution
  • Headshot (high resolution)*
  • Bio and Candidate Statement (1-2 paragraphs)

Once you have gathered this information, create a "News Item" on your section microsite to post all of the candidate statements. (See the Group Microsite Manual for information on posting and editing on your microsite.) Make sure to include a list of available positions, the term dates, and indicate which candidates are running for which positions. See this template. 

*Including a headshot on the candidate information page is optional. Each section steering committee should decide if they would like to include this in their election. High resolution images are recommended to ensure the image uploads to the website clearly.


Ballot Information Due.
Submit the following information to

  • List of open positions;
  • List of candidates (full names and position they are running for); 
  • Link to candidate statements "News Item" on your section microsite. 


Staff Prepare Ballots. 
SAA staff will prepare your section's ballot with Survey Monkey and send a preview ballot for you to review/check. Once we have determined the ballot is ready, we will be ready for….


Ballots Open.
SAA staff facilitates online elections. Eligible members are sent unique links to the ballots via Survey Monkey. Ballots remain open for three weeks and close July 17.


Election Results Available. 
Within a week of the ballot closing, staff notifies group leaders of the results. Interpretation of results, notifications, and reporting is the responsibility of the group leaders.

Once you have reviewed the results and contacted the candidates, email with the necessary updates for your section roster. SAA staff will make those changes as soon as possible following the 2023 Joint Annual Meeting so that new steering committee members have access to the discussion list, etc. 



If you have any questions about your section's election process, please email your Council liaison or contact