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April 03, 2014

Committee taking care to ensure fair elections

Source: RA Reporter
rod sherman
Caption: Rod Sherman consults a 3-inch-thick binder of election materials that help ensure the NYSUT Constitution and election procedures are followed. Photo by Andrew Watson.

As longtime chair of the NYSUT Elections Committee, Rod Sherman has extensive experience with ensuring democracy prevails.

"The challenge for us this time is we've never had this many contested races in our history," he said. "We've always been careful, and this year we've redoubled our efforts. Candidates need to know they've been heard and delegates need to know they are fully engaged in a fair election process. It is a healthy process that every union needs to be prepared for."

Ballots for Saturday's voting will contain bar codes that will be scanned by the American Arbitration Association. If there is a question about whether a particular box has been checked, the Elections Committee will view an electronic image of the boxes with no candidate names attached, providing for decisions "without bias," Sherman said. NYSUT staff also assist with the process.

Candidates are permitted to have an observer in the room while votes are counted. Certified results will be announced at Sunday's general session.

Sherman said candidates and staff have been "incredibly respectful, understanding and accommodating about observing the rules. Fair elections help ensure for all of us that come Monday, NYSUT is still the strongest public employee union in the country."