Wednesday, May 11, 2016

UFT Elections, #MORE2016: How to Vote and Can Unity Steal the Vote?

The breaking news yesterday included the Sheri Lederman decision, the Success Academy cheating scandal, the interesting article on Chalkbeat about the UFT elections and a lot of other stuff  (I'm too backed up to even include the links but check my blogroll) but I was busy leafleting my old district with David Dobosz and we did a sort of walking tour through Williamsburg till us old guys - both in our 70s got tuckered out.

Apparently some people, as reported by Peter Zucker at South Bronx School, believe that the AAA is not to be trusted in the vote count. I've been an observer in the past 4 elections and since ballots are sent to homes and returned directly to AAA and are opened in front of us I have not seen how this vote can be manipulated. Don't get me wrong. AAA is hired by the UFT which makes the basic decisions on the process and even during the vote count they to the Unity Caucus people to ask for directions. We often have a group of observers and are able to be there when some of these things are discussed and even ask for certain data. I did find that last time when I had to leave at around 7PM and didn't have some info they promised to get it to me but never did so this time I will not leave until I have all the info.

One point about the charges that AAA may have also manipulated the 2014 contract vote. While the same process was followed then the major difference was that people voted in the schools and the chapter leader had to seal the package and mail it to the AAA. As you may have seen I published a list of at least 220 chapter leaders running with Unity and there are many other Unity CLs who are not running this time. Was it possible they could have tampered with the ballots before sending them to AAA? Hell yes that some rabid Unity people just might have - but enough to end up with a 75-25 split? I observed the count then too and the AAA followed the same process as in UFT elections so on their end I believe they are clean. But at the May 26 count we will be vigilant. (And if you are interested in coming by to check it out for yourself come on down and head over to the MORE party afterwards).

Meanwhile - James Eterno called me last night and talked about how even people he knows seem confused about the voting and we need to pay more attention to the process. People don't get the slate thing very clearly and are confused by the non-slate part of the ballot listing over a thousand candidates.

Relatively few people don't check off one of the slates. Those that don't forces the AAA to tear apart the booklets and run them through special machines and that delays the outcome by hours. And the total numbers have zero impact on the outcome - to the point where when we publish results we discount these votes altogether. But if going through the motions floats your boat have fun.

There is a reason for the idea of a slate -- MORE vets people for top level positions and also attracts people of like mind. So even if one doesn't "know" people the idea is to think "slate" because in the UFT one individual doesn't mean much -- and can't even have a prayer of getting elected without an organization behind them. It is a matter of trust. Splitting the ballot - which I used to do - is practically a meaningless act and is in essence throwing away your vote - if you know people and trust them and they are running for top positions in MORE to me it makes sense to trust their judgement in running with MORE in the first place.

But the process still confuses people.

From MORE:
We are receiving questions about the elections and lost ballots.
This flier attached is extremely useful and could be handed out at any election parties you may have or put in mailboxes.

The MORE Blog has some excellent "how to vote" instructions and links to great videos that are shared on our social media featuring many of our candidates.

How to Vote MORE-New Action Relay
From Eterno at the ICE blog:

Halabi got it from Lauren Cohen and Eterno got it from Halabi. Now I am tripling up by simply copying James' post on ICE.


This is the time when UFT members have their ballots at home and will either place them on a bottom of a pile of mail, throw them out or fill them out to vote in the UFT election.

Lots of votes are out there now that could possibly be won over. Please talk to everyone in school and get out the vote for MORE-NEW ACTION. In politics they call this the ground game.

I recommend using a staff list and having a personal conversation with every UFT member in your school and then tell your friends in other schools. If someone does not understand the voting process, MORE-NEW ACTION Elementary School Vice Presidential candidate Lauren Cohen put out this how to vote guide that Jonathan Halabi pilfered and now we are double pilfering.

Please spread the word in your schools in whatever way you are able to.



  1. Absurd that AAA would jeopardize their reputation to serve UFT. It would be their end. And why would UFT bother? They bury the opposition without chicanery. Why spoil a good thing?

    1. My feeling exactly. But if the opposition ever gets within striking range anything goes. The uft is a client of aaa and I observed how they get directions from the unity people. Last time I was bothered that envelopes were apparently being opened earlier and even day before. Maybe practice for future. In old days uft used honest ballot which turned out to be dishonest ballot when they helped another union steal a vote.

  2. Send all the ballots to Florida. They have plenty of experience tallying the vote.

    Abigail Shure


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