2017 Doyon Board Voter Turnout Lower than 2016
The 2017 board election took place at the Doyon, Limited annual meeting of shareholders on March 17. Quorum was met and five board members were elected! However, the final quorum number was 57.25 percent, more than 2 percentage points lower than the previous year’s final quorum count of 59.33 percent.
The voting period began on January 25, 2017, and concluded on March 14, unless shareholders voted at the annual meeting. Along with eight weeks to vote, shareholders were also incentivized with $21,000 in early bird and annual meeting prize drawings, two chances to win 25,000 Alaska Airlines miles and social media media giveaways.
So what does this mean and why should you care?
What is a quorum?
First, let’s understand the definition of quorum. For Doyon, a quorum means 50 percent plus one vote of eligible voting shares must be received by the appropriate deadline in order to hold the annual meeting of shareholders. For this past annual meeting, 14,415 shareholders were eligible to vote. This means Doyon needed a minimum of 7,209 shareholders to vote in order to hold the 2017 annual meeting.
What were the results from 2017?
After each annual meeting, Doyon analyzes the voting statistics without accessing particular voter information. We look at the information in aggregate form – taking note of the age and location of all voters. Analysis of the 2017 voting results show that shareholders age 50 and older are most likely to vote. Conversely, those between the ages of 18 – 39 are least likely to vote, particularly between the ages of 18 – 29.
In addition, shareholders residing in Interior villages voted at a higher rate than those living out the area. For example, Interior residents ages 18 – 29 voted at 62 percent. Comparatively, only 45 percent of those in the same age group living in the Fairbanks area voted. Of all 14,415 eligible voting shareholders, those living outside Alaska are least likely to vote; this is especially true for shareholders between the ages of 18 – 49. See below chart to view a summary of the 2017 voting results.
Why should you care?
To hold the annual meeting, Doyon must have a quorum (50 percent plus one vote). Planning for the meeting begins over a year in advance, with the selection of the venue. If a quorum is not met by the proxy deadline, Doyon will have to postpone the scheduled annual meeting until a new date can be set. Resetting the date will require another round of mailings and advertisements regarding the Doyon election and vote. Rescheduling would be very costly for the corporation.
In addition, if the annual meeting was not held, the board election could not take place. The election of the board of directors is the way Doyon’s shareholders choose who will lead the corporation. It is the directors chosen by shareholders that make major transactional decisions, such as investments, distribution amounts and selection of the president and chief executive officer. Doyon has nearly $850 million in total assets and 12.5 million acres of land. Doyon shareholders have a lot at stake – a lot to gain and a lot to lose.
Decreased voter turnout could also mean that there is a lack of interest in the corporation, making it difficult to operate and plan for the future.
What can you do?
There are several things Doyon’s shareholders can do to be involved with Doyon – and they’re easy! First and foremost, VOTE! There are several ways to submit proxies: by mail, fax, email, in person and online using the eProxy website. It’s also easy to encourage others to vote!
Next, shareholders can stay involved and updated by reading Doyon’s monthly e-newsletter, visiting the website, and following the company on social media. Doyon is on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter. Shareholders can also share their knowledge of Doyon with family members and encourage them to learn more. Doyon is always open to answering questions that any shareholder may have regarding the corporation. Questions can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or posted to Doyon’s Facebook page.
Shareholders should also keep their contact information current, including mailing address, phone numbers and email address. Shareholders are encouraged to opt in to receive Doyon’s monthly newsletter by email, rather than having a hard copy mailed to them.
Finally, shareholders with transferrable stock should complete or update their stock wills. Doing so will ensure their individual wishes are followed. Shareholders can do so by contacting the shareholder records department at 1-888-478-4755 or email@example.com.
In summary, while Doyon achieved quorum and held the annual election, the overall voting results were disappointing because voter turnout was lower than the previous year. Plus, younger shareholders (age 18 – 39) did not turn out to vote in high numbers even with the easy eProxy voting option. This is concerning because this age group makes up the largest population of Doyon’s shareholder base. Although younger people aren’t voting as often as older shareholders, that doesn’t mean this can’t change. Shareholders will have another opportunity to vote next year. In the meantime, please stay involved.