Letter from CEO: Elections Integrity

March 12, 2013, 11:34 a.m. (ET)


The USAT Board of Directors Elections are drawing to an close, ending on Thursday, March 14, 2013. This update is written to address the issue of Elections Integrity. I have been contacted by several persons around the country about making changes to the Election procedure to allow for them to either change their ballots, allow them to revote or to recognize ballots that are invalid because of the way they were signed. 

Integrity is one of the Tenets of Taekwondo, as we all know as practitioners of Taekwondo. As the Interim CEO of USA Taekwondo it is my job to protect the integrity of the Elections. All USA Taekwondo members have a right to expect nothing less of me. I understand that those seeking election to the USAT Board of Directors are very concerned that all of the votes cast by their constituents will count in this election. However, in cases where there are irregularities in the ballots that have been cast, there can be no changes allowed. That means that some ballots will be invalidated and will not count in this election. This happens in all elections, including our USA Presidential and other National elections. Any request made to the USA Taekwondo Office and its staff to change the ballots or allow re-votes in cases where voter errors were made will not be allowed. This decision has been affirmed by the USOC Audit Committee.

The USOC Audit Committee is receiving the voter ballots, vetting the ballots, tallying the ballot results and will also announce the results shortly following the close of the elections. The USAT Staff and Office are not a part of that process.

I understand the frustration in finding out that votes cast may be deemed invalid. Some voters with whom I have spoken have even threatened to not renew their USAT Club Memberships in the future if changes are not made so that their ballots will be recognized as valid, even though there were mistakes made that cause those ballots to be deemed invalid. That is a choice that they will have to make for their students and for their Dojangs. This election is very important, but its importance does not supersede the importance of maintaining the integrity of the Election Process. The majority of our USA Taekwondo voters have complied with the voting requirements and will have their votes counted and validated. To dishonor them by allowing less than full integrity in the voting process would be a miscarriage of justice in this election.

By communicating directly with our USA Taekwondo membership this way, I hope to clarify what is going on with the current BOD Elections, and to seek your understanding. I truly believe in transparency and will seek to provide openness and candor whenever the situation dictates such communications. As Interim CEO of our organization, I owe you that much, and you may continue to expect open communications from me in the future.

Bruce Harris