Rank Choice Voting is off to a rocky start in NYC. 135,000 test ballots mixed in with the results.
This is from the Board of Elections Twitter:
There is no truth to the rumor that the UFT and American Arbitration Association were involved in the counting. BOE released the results and then watched as the campaigns noticed there were more votes released today than on election night but the absentee ballots have not even been looked at. BOE then admitted their mistake and they will attempt to fix it. This system does need to be investigated and changed. The UFT's system of elections is even worse.
The UFT hires a company called the American Arbitration Association to count votes. The AAA tabulates ballots in UFT general elections and this year they were used for all of the chapter elections. The UFT releases the results of these elections when they damn well please. There is no transparency in the process for school-based chapter elections. Candidates have no access to the actual ballots if they exist at all and have to just trust the results are honest.
The delay at Aviation High School in releasing the chapter leader election results caused a mini-chapter rebellion last week. The election that was postponed was finally held last Thursday, June 25 and AAA told one of the candidates, our friend from both Jamaica HS and Middle College Ibeth Mejia, that the ballots were already counted when she called on Friday morning looking for the results. AAA said she needed to ask the UFT for the results.
Ibeth got in touch with election queen Yasmin Colon and Borough Rep Amy Arundell. The UFT's position was that they had to "certify" the results. What the hell does that mean? They sat on the results for hours. Then, ten people from Aviation emailed UFT officials demanding the numbers and within an hour they were released. Other schools waited for two days to hear what happened in their chapter elections as did Aviation in their delegate election. This is ridiculous. When the UFT knows, the candidates should know.
Before 2016, opposition people went to UFT vote counts and as the votes were counted by the AAA, AAA told both the Unity people (Michael Mulgrew and Randi Weingarten's political party) and the opposition representatives the numbers as soon as each division was tabulated. Nobody questioned it. Since 2016, AAA now gives the results to the Unity-UFT folks and they hold them for as long as they like. It used to take less than a day to have over 95% of the votes counted and now it takes days. It took almost a week for them to announce the Retired Teachers Chapter election numbers. This has got to stop. When they know anything, we should know at the same time as should our members.
In the end, Ibeth Mejia won the chapter leader election at Aviation with 55% of the vote! She takes office on Wednesday but she is already working hard on behalf of her members. Ibeth is the first ever woman chapter leader at Aviation HS. Congratulations!
Along with her friend Luli Rodriguez, they welcomed me and made me feel at home when I landed at Middle College in 2014 as an ATR. They helped turn what was an often depressing time as an ATR into one where I eventually landed a provisional and finally a regular position. Ibeth, Luli, and our friend Virginia ran my successful campaign for delegate at MCHS in 2015 when I was still basically an ATR and had no guarantee I would return to serve out the term. Ibeth was also a strong supporter back at Jamaica High School. Luli was also elected this year as a delegate at Heritage High School. Congratulations!