It is almost time to cast your vote in this year's PASS BoD Elections. Things have changed considerably since the first PASS BoD election that I participated in. That was in 2001. I hadn't even been to a Summit or even a chpater meeting yet. I had registered for the PASS Summit 2001 (which was postponed to Jan 2002 btw). Back then, the elections were held at the summit and on paper, but there was no summit that year. If you wanted to vote, you needed to print out a ballot and fax it in. I think that I was 1 of about 37 people who did this. How did I make my decision? I reviewed the material that was provided -essentially a bio and a picture. I also knew one of the names because I had just watched a video with this gentle giant (Wayne Snyder) telling me all about SQL Server. I knew one other name because the person was on the committee that I was serving on. So I knew a little more about 2 candidates than the others (I think there were 6) and I liked my interaction with these two people - so that meant I had to only make 1 decision for tmy third choice. I do not recall who I voted for, but with only 37 votes, it may have influenced the outcome.
Today, the process is much more involved and is more accessible. PASS tries to have elections before the Summit now and voting is electronic. There are forums where you can ask questions and read the responses of candidates. Denny Cherry held a podcast with the candidates. If there is an issue that you want to know where a candidate comes down on, use the forums or even #passvotes on twitter to ask a question.
Do youthink that you already know how a candidate will respond? Be sure and ask that question. Don't assume that the person holds the same view that you do just because you have read their blog or follow them on twitter. I know that the forums influenced my choices for last year's election. Keep an open mind, research, ask questions in the forums, and then make an informed decision and vote.