Nearly 50,000 WEA members from around the country are getting their chance to vote on who should become the WEA's next Treasurer in the coming days.
The election is possible due to a change in the WEA's constitution, designed to help ensure that members are increasingly involved in our democracy and decision-making.
The Treasurer is one of the WEA's four national Officers, who are volunteers and are amongst the twelve Trustees of the charity. They also serve alongside members elected by each region on the Association Committee, which represents all WEA members between WEA Conferences, which are held every two years. Officers serve for a four year term, arranged so that there are elections for two of the four officer positions every two years.
The posts of President and Deputy President were up for nomination this year, but were not contested as only one candidate came forward for each. So incumbants Colin Barnes and Lynne Smith were duly elected to the post of President and Deputy President respectively.
Members will however be able to choose between Cliff Allum and J. David Freeman in a by-election for the Treasurer position in the first direct vote by all members in WEA history. In the past, only representatives of members could vote on Officer posts at Conference. The byelection is happening due to the resignation of the Treasurer elected at the 2009 Conference, so the winner of the election will serve until 2013 when a full Treasurer election for the subsequent four years will take place.
The election is open to everyone who was a WEA member on the 28th April this year - six months prior to WEA Conference where the winner will be announced. Voting will take place between now and 2 September; eligible members with email have already received their chance to vote, while those without email should receive their ballot form in the post by 22 July.