Those of you who have been writing to inquire about the outcome of our poll regarding readers' reactions to the renewal of American Institute of CPAs chairman Barry Melancon's contract can stop hitting the send button.

But before I disclose the stripped-down results, let me state for the record that this is the last bit of editorial space that we plan to devote to the matter.
It is gratifying to know that so many of you pay close attention to what we do here and we appreciate it when our readers take the time to contact us to let us know their thoughts on the subjects we cover.

Some of our readers felt they were owed a further explanation after we said we would not publish the results of the poll after we found that many (as in a few hundred) duplicate ballots were cast. Some even went so far as to confess that they themselves had indeed cast two votes in an effort to "test" our system. (Please note: The system works!)

As I said before, our completely unscientific poll is intended to gauge our readers' opinions on matters pertaining to the profession. It is not supposed to be taken as anything more, and it is certainly not intended to be evidence in support of any one's conspiracy theories, or fodder for any intra-professional battles. You probably all know this, but after reading some of the e-mails we received, we thought a reminder might be useful.

Thanks to the efforts of our Web team, who scrutinized the results and took out every last duplicate vote, we have the pared-down results. Among those who responded to the poll -- which asked whether people were happy or unhappy with Barry Melancon as AICPA President and CEO thru 2010 -- 83 were happy, 80 were unhappy and 13 had no reaction. For those of you who haven't already calculated it mentally, it's roughly 47 percent happy, 46 percent unhappy and 7 percent indifferent.

I got a few inquiries wanting to know which way the extra votes were cast. Having no desire to encourage any one hoping to use the poll outcome as some sort of ammunition, we initially refrained from disclosing any such information. As it turns out, there were far more duplicates than the nearly 400 first reported. And sadly, there were duplicate votes cast for all three choices -- even the people who had no opinion had no opinion more than once. So, there’s no point in pointing fingers.

Those of you who called for us to reveal where the duplicate votes came from will have to go with your requests unfulfilled. We are not in the business of accusing any one of things we cannot prove. As all of you know, an IP address does not prove who pushed the button.

Now, let’s put this behind us and get back to work. After all, it is tax season.

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