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ANA election results should guide transition
July 26, 2007

A new chapter will open for the American Numismatic Association when it meets in convention in Milwaukee, Wis., the week of Aug. 5. A lameduck board has at least one critically important issue before it, which is review of the new bylaws proposals.

Will the old board act on them just days before the new board is sworn in on Aug. 11, or will it defer the issue? Suspicions that bylaw reform was simply code for disenfranchising the ANA electorate helped fuel the voting that swept out all incumbent governors and swept in seven new ones, six of which are basically pledged to overturn any action taken in the waning days of the old board that they disagree with.

There are all the makings of confrontation. Will it happen? It depends on how the two sides will act between now and Aug. 11.

I hope some good will can be drawn upon to make the transition period one of bridging differences rather than trying to make the divide deeper. We will see.

I have already heard some mutterings about what the vote totals mean. Some think it significant that only 7,171 ANA members out of 31,263 bothered to vote. The conclusion that one is then asked to make from this is that the anti-incumbent slate has less than a ringing endorsement. I would not draw that conclusion.

In my time as a member, which is almost 30 years now, I don't remember a result that was considered a heavy voter participation rate. Perhaps someone will analyze the historical data and see what has happened the past 116 years.

The election result looks to me to be pretty unambiguous. Unless members want to see a continuation of strife and tumult, I hope the outcome will guide the actions on both sides so that amity can be restored.

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About the Author
David C. Harper has been a coin collector since 1963. He joined the Krause Publications editorial staff in 1978 and is currently editor of Numismatic News, Bank Note Reporter and World Coin News. He also edits two books annually, North American Coins & Prices and Coin Digest. He is the author of the Class of '63 column that runs each week in Numismatic News. His first bylined numismatic article appeared in the June 1971 issue of Coins Magazine and his various Krause Publications assignments included a stint as editor of the magazine 1980-1983. Harper received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1977. He had a double major of journalism and economics.

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