Wednesday, May 4, 2022

#UFTElections2022 - Unity Caucus Voter Suppression? Let me count the ways, Is it Time to Fire the AAA?



The ultimate vote suppressors are the Unity chapter leaders and the district reps who encourage them who are telling their principals or security to not allow us in to stuff mail boxes. Some have physically blocked people or threatened to pull our lit when we leave. There's one district where this has happened more often and the district rep is actually on the election committee. But we'll deal with those stories another time after the full complaint has been written up. Here a few picture of our protest at one such school. 


I went in to leaflet a school in Rockaway on April 27 and had a nice conversation with the secretary. She is close to retirement and I told her about MulgrewCare which she knew nothing about. I asked if she voted in the UFT election. She never got a ballot. Neither did her daughter she said. She asked how she could get a replacement and I told her the only way at this point was to go to 120 Broadway. This is 12 days before ballots are due. I'm pretty sure she would have voted UFC. Maybe  her daughter too. As I report below, in 2016 she would have been allowed to call AAA. Not this time. Maybe the expectation of a closer election led to the union leadership issuing "instructions" to the AAA. I must say, this is the first time I'm beginning to suspect collusion. And I'm not alone. If we win, would be pay AAA millions of dollars to run the election again, especially with electronic voting? The AAA has a dog in the race.

Wednesday, May the 4th Be With You

I've written about Unity Caucus voter suppression before:

UFT/Unity Election2022 Scams: Voter Suppression di... 

But I get increasingly agitated as stories come in.

We begin with the premise that lower vote totals favor Unity and while they mouth the words people should vote there are a bunch if suppression tactics.
The major one was refusing electronic voting - imagine if we had it. You don't get your ballot? Simple - go on line and vote. In fact we could have save loads of money in paper ballots. But I would have argued for a dual system. With electronic voting people could vote right up to the Monday morning deadline. 

Did I say Monday morning deadline? More on that later.

Stories keep rolling in about UFT members who did not get their ballots. The deadline to ask for a replacement was artificially restricted to the last day of the spring break. So UFC people who were going around their schools to ask if people received their ballots lost over a week. 

Think of it. Ballots sent out April 8 and last day of school before spring break was April 8 and expect a few days to get them. The last day of school before the break was Thursday April 14. 

I smell something fishy because we had never faced such restrictions before. We asked for an extension and they gave us one day. Monday April 25 5PM. We know of cases where people called an on one picked up. When they reached someone aftter 5 they were told too bad. You can come down and get a ballot in person but only on April 28 and 29th. 

There are even some suspicions that if a Unity person didn't get a ballot a behind the scene arrangment will be made. Stories are floating around but I can't say if they are true.

I can remember election years where people had weeks to get a replacement. The argument from Unity is that AAA said they couldn't guarantee the replecement would reach people in time if after April 25. But so what? If not in time it still gives them a shot.

James Eterno has written about suppression on the ICE/UFT blog:

How did the UFT do in the past on this issue? In 2016 a member could call for a ballot up to one week before the ballots were going to be counted. This is what we wrote in 2016 at election time on May 17 when ballots were due on May 25 to be counted May 26:

Tomorrow is the last day to call AAA at 1 800 529-5218 to get a duplicate ballot.

The UFT gave you up until one week before the election deadline in 2016 to request a ballot if you didn't get one but this year they need two weeks. That makes no sense as we have already shown the Postal service numbers.

There is only one possible explanation for the UFT making the deadline two weeks before ballots are counted to call for a ballot: Voter Suppression. 

In my view, the UFT feels a low turnout helps Unity Caucus, which is their major (really only) concern.

How many people did not get a ballot? We have no way of knowing.

Then there is the due date and time the ballot must be received by. Monday May 9 at 9 AM? Are they kidding? The morning of the day after a weekend? Shouldb't it be at the very least midnight so Monday mail delivery counts? And should it have been on a Monday at all? Imagine you mail it out tomorrow- Thursday -- almost no chance of it getting there. 

There are people who have not yet voted and if they don't do so today or tomorrow they have little chance of getting there on time.

I will demand a count of late ballots as a member of the election committee. I'd bet ballots will be coming in for days. Postmark should count.

The actual voting times when you think of school days where people work to get out the vote over the election period, assuming mail send out on April 8 should be received by April 12 was in reality a total of 3 working days before the vacation and zero time for replacements by mail. 

UFC people have been beating the bushes in their schools since spring break. For those who didn't get a ballot, too late. Some misplaced the ballot? Ask for a replacement? Too late. But there are people who still had the ballot as late as yesterday - let's face it - UFT elections are not primary on the minds of most people.

I'm not going to claim that these suppression tactics are enough to lose UFC the election. But they will affect the vote totals. And that is important. Even if we lose, there is a big difference if Mulgrew gets 80% of 60%. 

I'll get into my range of expected numbers later or tomorrow.

Check out Halabi's latest:

If Mulgrew wins…

9 comments:

  1. How long do you think it will take to tally the votes next week?

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  2. At the rate they've been going recently I would think days but Carl Cambria claims they will finish on the 10th.

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  3. When are the results going to be announced? I’m assuming it will be a meeting of sorts.

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    1. We will try to get info out as each division is counted -- they do one at a time - I'm going to ask for high school first as that is a bellweather. If we lose the election is a bomb for us. If we win by a hair -- that is status quo - the usual election. If we win big - over 55%- that is a sign. Usually 5k HS vote. If it goes to 7K or above that is good for UFC. The key area is retiree vote. Usual is 23-24K. Expect a bigger share for UFC than usual. How much bigger considering the past was 15%? That'ts a key,. But if there are a lot more retiree votes -- say 27-30K? That's probably a biggee for UFC. The thing is Unity probably knows these numbers already while we don't. Come of silence from them.

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    2. If Mulgrew wins, I will bet a million dollars that our sellout contract will appear in a matter of weeks.

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    3. Not if he wins by a small margin. He's gone. Less than two years and wants to spand more time with family.

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  4. Who is the unity successor to Mulgrew?

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    1. My guess based on recent observations and done analysis with the braintrust is elementary vp Karen Alford. It the largest division with 36k people. Others think hs veep Janella Hinds. See whom they put up to rep uft at various events.

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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