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FAQS: Endorsements and Approval Voting

Welcome to the San Francisco Young Democrats General Election Endorsement Meeting. Whether this is your first endorsement meeting or your 100th, it always helps to review the basics. Here is a one-pager describing today’s meeting.

 

Q: Which races are we voting on today?

A: In November 2015, the following offices are up for election:

  • Mayor of San Francisco

  • San Francisco District Attorney

  • San Francisco Treasurer

  • San Francisco County Board of Supervisors - District 3

  • San Francisco Community College Board (1 seat)

  • San Francisco City Attorney

  • San Francisco County Sheriff.

 

Q: Great, what do I need to do to be eligible to vote?

A: According to our bylaws (http://www.sfyd.org/bylaws), you are a member in good standing if:

  • You have paid your annual dues,

  • You have attended a meeting (or eligible event) in the last year, and

  • You attend the endorsement meeting.

 

Q: I don’t remember if I paid my dues. Can I pay them at tonight’s meeting?

A: Yes, you can pay your dues at tonight’s meeting.

 

Q: I don’t remember if I attended an eligible event within the last year. Can I still vote?

A: Our Membership team will check our records and we will help determine if you are eligible.

 

Q: I can’t make it. Can someone else vote in my stead?

A: SFYD Bylaws require physical attendance at the meeting.

 

Q: Ok, I’m attending the meeting. I’m really passionate about politics, but work has been really tough lately. I’m not familiar with the candidates. Will they be speaking at all?

A: Yes, some of the candidates will be speaking at the endorsement meeting. They will make brief statements. Depending on time, there may be a Q&A session with the candidates, though there is no guarantee.

 

Q: When are ballots due?

A: Ballots are due by 8:30pm the night of endorsements.

 

Q: Ok, I’ve forgotten now, what is this “approval voting” stuff?

A: Approval voting may be different from the voting you are used to (like when voting for President of the United States). Under approval voting, you are allowed as many votes as you like for each office. Each vote is your way of “approving” of the candidate. Candidates that pass our threshold (50% + 1 of the total number of ballots) may be endorsed (see below).

 

Q: So, if I can vote for more than one candidate, more than one candidate might get 50% + 1 votes. In that case, do they both get the endorsement?

A: It depends on the type of race.

 

Single Seat, Single Choice Race (e.g. Mayor)

If more than one candidate passes the endorsement threshold (50%+1), the Club will endorse whomever received more votes. If they receive the same number of votes, the Club will endorse them both.

 

Single Seat, Multiple Choice Race

Since these races allow for more than one choice on the ballot, the Club may issue preferential endorsements, i.e. we endorse Candidate X first, then Candidate Y, then Candidate Z.

 

If more than one candidate passes the endorsement threshold (50%+1), the Club will issue endorsements in the order of which candidates received the most votes. If there are more candidates than ballot choices, the Club will only endorse for the number of ballot choices, eliminating the candidates with the fewest votes. If candidates tie, they will both receive an (unranked) endorsement. If candidates tie for the final choice, then they will both be eliminated.



Multiple Seat, Multiple Choice Race

These races work the same as Single Seat, Multiple Choice races, except the Club will not rank the endorsed seats.

 

If more than one candidate passes the endorsement threshold (50%+1), the Club will endorse those candidates. If there are more candidates than seats, the Club will only endorse for the number of seats, eliminating the candidates with the fewest votes. If candidates tie, they will both receive an endorsement. If candidates tie for the final seat, then they will both be eliminated.

 

Q: Woah, that’s a lot. Is there a PowerPoint that might explain this better (perhaps with a throwback to a thorny election..)?

A: Umm, yes, of course - click here!

 

Q: Now, I look at all these candidates and there just isn’t anyone that really speaks to my issues. I don’t want to throw away my ballot - how can I make sure that my voice is heard?

A: We hear you. Vote “No Recommendation” and make sure to submit your ballot so it is counted. The Club can always decide to not make a recommendation for any (or all) of the races.

 

Q: What about ballot initiatives?

A: Stay tuned. We will be holding that endorsement meeting soon.


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