This measures the percentage of total members who voted in the last Board of Directors election.
Our target is for 1% of our membership to vote.
To encourage voting, we communicated through email and on mec.ca, sent election materials to more than 870,000 members, and were active on social media. We promoted a "your vote, your cause" campaign, which we hoped would achieve the dual objectives of engaging more MEC members in our elections as well as supporting three causes that align with MEC's values.
Despite this work, total votes cast were down from last year: 0.55% of members (21,515) voted in 2013, compared to 0.84% (30,673) in 2012. We're disappointed with these results, and will work hard to raise awareness of the 2014 elections to increase voter turnout.
Since we have a democratically elected board, voting is important. Declining percentages of voters are risky for the Co-op, as we need a balanced Board that is able to fully represent our diverse membership. Yet member engagement includes much more than voter participation. Members and employees are able to contact our Board and influence our business through other channels, including surveys, participation on granting committees, and direct contact with decision makers. Learn more about member input here.
Moving forward, we'll continue to work to increase voter participation. However, while democratic engagement is a hallmark of being a co-operative, some members choose to engage by purchasing products or attending events, and it isn't realistic to expect that all of our members will want to vote. Our commitments for 2013 and beyond are twofold: