Friday, May 20, 2016

Does the UFT/Unity Know if You Voted? Hell Yes!

A chapter leader asked me why we can't find out who voted in the UFT elections the other day at the Delegate Assembly and I said we can't and he said why not since the names are on the back of the envelopes received and they must have their bar codes scanned.
My afternoon delight

And I hit myself in the head - of course - the AAA, which is hired by the UFT/Unity Caucus reports all that info to the union and of course they can track the voters and their schools -- and that is an immense advantage since they can identify pockets of opposition support and support for them. In fact they can check those 222 Unity CLs' schools to see what per centage voted and also the MORE schools. They can get district profiles to check on how well their district reps are promoting Unity.

MORE gets none of this info and I believe it is time to demand the same access as Unity gets. Now we know they will claim they don't get it or use it and then will say it is a privacy issue. No one is going to publish the names of who voted. In fact I don't care to know their names - what I would like to see is a school by school, division by divisions break down and that info should be published in the NY Teacher -- that might just spur people to vote in the future. But then again does Unity really want a massive turnout, which could very well go against them.

I think it would be a good check for people in MORE to see if the work they did in the election in their own schools actually bore fruit - and if it didn't figure out why.

We're also getting reports of missing ballots - people who even after contacting AAA do not get a ballot. Or wrong ballots sent to some people - like one of our key high school people got a middle school ballot instead -- interesting - he called AAA and got a corrected ballot. But I am wondering if some schools were not moved from a winnable category to a less winnable one.

Ok. So while I don't buy some of the conspiracy theories out there I never put anything past Unity, especially if things ever get close. Like if MORE were to ever get 40% of the vote in each of the 3 teaching divisions - elem, ms, and hs -- watch what would happen.

On another front, I was contacted by college teacher who has first year teachers in her class - one of them wasn't voting because the size of the booklet and number of candidates threw her.

I believe the candidates running should be limited to officers and exec board and the 800 AFT/NYSUT people should not appear on the ballot at all. Based on caucus votes there should be proportional rep and after the election each caucus chooses its share of delegates. This will never happen of course as long as Unity is in control..

My thinking is that at some point, the opposition must consider some legal action on a number of grounds.

Today and Monday are the last days to extract votes. I have a few hundred leaflets left and today I aim to hit a few Unity strongholds just to have some fun. Then I will sit in my garden and smoke that Cuban stogie Angel Gonzalez gave me the other day.


Anonymous said...

It's not clear from your explanation that anyone would be able to track how specific schools voted. If the ballots are secret, then that shouldn't be possible. It might be possible to track how many people voted within a school, but not who they voted for. Perhaps I'm wrong, but I don't see it based on what you said. After all, if actual votes could be tracked, that would undermine the secret ballot. SOme schools only have a few members. If all of them voted for one or the other slate, then their ballot is no longer secret.

As far as your last suggestion, namely to reduce the voting choices to just the slate, or just slate and officers and exec board, that might be do-able provided you dropped the proportional part of your plan. You may disagree, but it is a legitimate position that all delegates be part of a single voting bloc at the convention. If we go to AFT convention divided ideologically, the argument goes, then we diminish our clout. (I'm not arguing that position, I'm just mouthing it) My point is that you are advocating two changes (and two separate issues) not one.

Unknown said...

The real question that you should be asking is how many uft members do not receive ballots event after requesting ones from the AAA? The answer might surprise you.

Unknown said...

The real question that you should be asking is how many uft members do not receive ballots event after requesting ones from the AAA? The answer might surprise you.

Jonathan said...

"it is a legitimate position that all delegates be part of a single voting bloc at the convention" - I think in terms of the presidential selection process (Democrats and Republicans) - most of the world recognizes "winner take all" as inherently unfair.

Think of the AFT - a hot issue - maybe using test scores as part of a teacher's rating. Unity is in favor (multiple measures) - but perhaps only 65% of the votes go Unity, and the UFT is divided 65 - 35. Under winner take all, 750 votes at the AFT convention go for rating teachers on test scores, and the rest of the country likely doesn't matter at all. Proportional? 500 for using tests, 250 against, and a real national discussion can take place.

What some refer to as clout appears to be the ability to stifle real discussion. That's not a good thing.

Dr_Dru said...

I don't think Norm, nor I want to find out who people voted for, just want to see how many voted from each district and school. We already break down the vote among divisions, so it is possible. My DR let on that the DRs can see the results, so why not everyone. I will ask the DR at our next meeting what the results for our District are. This information does not jeopardize anyone's voting privacy.

ed notes online said...

Jonathan pretty much answers the issue of proportional rep but I will go further in a follow-up post.
As to the secret ballot question - they cannot know how anyone voted - just whether they voted. The outer envelope is scanned, opened, inner secret ballot removed and outer separated. Inner secret ballots are stacked and opened separately, ballots removed and stacked for the counting machines. The scanned names of those who voted are in some data base which also lists their schools or functional chapter.

Anonymous said...

There is no question Unity makes use of this info and can get a profile of how their people are doing in getting out their vote -- bet they used this info from last time this year -- and I suspect their vote will increase based on targeting their schools.

ed notes online said...

We were wondering why they ran a less aggressive campaign this year and I bet they had that up their sleeves.