The latest race for a seat on SAG-AFTRA’s national board has been decided by the narrowest possible margin: In Colorado, Nancy Flanagan has defeated longtime incumbent Sheila Ivy Traister by a single vote, 71-70.
Traister has served on the national board since 2012, and her defeat is a setback for the union’s ruling Unite for Strength party, which had backed her. Flanagan, an independent who didn’t have the official backing of either of the union’s factions – UFS or MembershipFirst – said in her campaign statement that she “would be a fresh voice” in the board room.
Only 143 of the Colorado local’s 600 eligible members cast ballots, meaning that 457 members didn’t vote.
This is the second narrowly decided national board race this cycle that shows that every vote really does count. Last week, Henry Ian Cusick was elected to the SAG-AFTRA national board representing Hawaii, defeating incumbent Scott Rogers by only five votes, 142-138. Cusick was endorsed by Mathew Modine and his MembershipFirst slate, while Rogers was backed by Fran Drescher’s Unite for Strength. In that election, which had the highest turnout so far (33.4%), 684 eligible members didn’t cast ballots.
Ten of the union’s 25 locals around the country are still voting including those in Los Angeles, where 14 national board seats are being contested, and New York, where nine national board seats are up for grabs. The L.A. and New York races – and the election of national president and secretary-treasurer – won’t be decided until September 2.
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