Saturday, March 19, 2011

U.S. Chess Federation Hijinks - as per usual

After a long hard day working on various chess and other projects, housework, hiking to the supermarket and back lugging an extra heavy load because the Boy Scouts will be here on the 28th to collect food donations for local food shelters, and starting the clean-up of the front yard -- in short, a typical Saturday -- I'm in no condition for straining my brain tonight.  No heavy-duty lifting posts tonight for moi. 

I did get a laugh out of this at the U.S. Chess Federation website, that I read tonight:

There are fewer than two weeks to register as a USCF voting member in time to cast a ballot for the 2011 Executive Board Election. As of today only just under 7% of eligible USCF members have registered. Don't cut it close-make sure your voice is heard! Also feel free to pass the voting registration link, to other USCF members.

Yeah, right. Like the U.S. Chess Federation REALLY wants it members to vote in the upcoming Executive Board election. Frigging NOT.

I posted about this "registration" requirement some months ago and bitched about it then, and I'm bitching about it again now. What a crock of crap! This is a chess organization vote - not a national referendum. It seems, however, that at some point in the not too distant past, perhaps as a result of the fall-out from the law suit debacle instituted by Sam Sloan shortly after the 2007 Executive Board election (rumor has it Mr. Sloan is threatening another suit in connection with the upcoming Executive Board election), the powers that be decided that it was just too easy for the usual 20% or so of USCF members who used to vote in EB elections to continue to do so; and so the Executive Board got a rule-change pushed through that imposes a REGISTRATION requirement before a member can exercise his or her right to vote.

(1) Voting rights used to be exercised by filling out a ballot that came wrapped around the Chess Life magazine.  You took the ballot off the magazine, filled it out, signed it, taped it shut, and mailed it to the independent auditors.  The auditors counted the votes and voila, we eventually heard about who was elected by how many votes. 
(2) Voting rights are now only exercisable if one REGISTERS online, evidently; since I do not get the magazine I don't know if there are other avenues published in the magazine that describe a process for REGISTERING to exercise my right to vote other than doing so online (what if one does not have a computer, what does one do then?).  Did the Executive Board eliminate the paper ballots altogether?

This takes Voter ID requirements that some far-right wingnuts in certain political parties in the states are trying to push through in an attempt to prevent "certain people" from voting for "liberals" (Heaven Forbid!) one step further because if you don't get the magazine, and you don't read the USCF website, you won't know about this REGISTRATION requirement and if you don't REGISTER by the arbitrarily imposed deadline, you won't be able to vote. Pretty smart of certain Chess Nazis, I must say.

Of course, since practically no one gets the Chess Life Magazine anymore (because the annual membership fee is reduced if you give up the magazine, so that's what most members do in order to save some $$), and most USCF voting-eligible members do not use the USCF website as their main source of chess news, that they can get faster at other well known chess websites visits the USCF website, HARDLY ANY ELIGIBLE VOTERS SEEM TO KNOW ABOUT THIS REGISTRATION REQUIREMENT.

Just exactly what some chess politicians who control the USCF wanted. 
I usually stay away from chess politics because of the GAG ME factor being extremely high around chess politicians. I can't get within 100 yards of one without that gag reflex kicking in. Well, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration. Say, 50 yards. But I just had to write about this.  It's just too fricking ironic, the USCF website bemoaning the fact that only 7% of its eligible voting members have REGISTERED for the upcoming election, when the Executive Board went out of its way to make it more difficult for those same eligible members to exercise their right to vote!  A pox on all EB members. 

Now, darlings, I know I registered.  But I don't remember if I wrote down somewhere my log in and all that crap. Since I rarely visit the USCF website (I certainly do not visit to get up to date news of chess events, Heaven Forbid), I'll probably miss the voting date despite having registered.  Notice - the article says NOTHING about when (a date) a  REGISTERED member can actually vote!

I hear evil laughter in the background......

1 comment:

Robin said...

I would suggest voting for Mike Nietman, if one decides to vote. He is the President of the Wisconsin Chess Association. Thanks.

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