22 March 2011

USCF Members Beware, Be Aware!

Last October, the U.S. Chess Federation (USCF) announced a major change in the voting procedures that apply to its members.

Effective with the 2011 Executive Board election, voting members will have to be registered in order to be eligible to vote. Only registered eligible voting members will be sent a ballot. • Register as a USCF Voting Member and USCF Affairs: Register to Vote

I registered without problem at that time, but many members didn't see the announcement or put it off. The most recent initial instructions say,

There are fewer than two weeks to register as a USCF voting member in time to cast a ballot for the 2011 Executive Board Election. As of today only just under 7% of eligible USCF members have registered. • Voting Registration Deadline Closing in

Linked from that page is the main registration page, USCF Voting Member Registration. It advises,

You will need to enter your USCF ID and either your PIN or your birthdate in order to confirm your identity. Your PIN is a five digit number and can be found on the back cover of Chess Life or the TLA Newsletter.

If you're like me you have dozens of userids and passwords (I have over 150) for different online services, and have trouble keeping track of them. Since I live overseas, nothing is printed on the back cover of CL, but is instead on the mailing envelope, which gets thrown out immediately. Fortunately, I noted my USCF ID and PIN back in 2000, and have referred to them whenever necessary since then. I don't remember ever giving the USCF my birthdate, but it works as well. There are undoubtedly a certain number of USCF members whose birthdate is incorrect on the USCF file and they have no choice but to use the PIN. Once you've entered your identity on the same Voting Member Registration page, you click 'Fetch Current Voting Member Status'. It registers you if you're not already registered.

To see your registration status, go to Member Services Area and click 'Look Up a Member'. You can use the same tool to look up someone else's Voting Member Status. I looked up the status of the current U.S. Champion, Gata Kamsky, and verified that he is a 'Registered Voting Member'. Good going, Gata! The editor of Chess Life is also registered, but the editor of Chess Life Online is not. Neither is her equally well known brother. I guess some people just like to wait until the absolute last moment!

No comments: