Democracy for NYC (DFNYC) is committed to the ideals espoused by Democracy for America, the organization founded by Howard Dean, and the national network of local coalition groups dedicated to the same.
We work both locally and nationally to ensure that fiscally responsible and socially progressive candidates are elected at all levels of government. We develop innovative ways to advocate for the issues that matter to our members and support legislation which has a positive effect in our communities. We promote transparency and ethical practices in government. We engage people in the political process and give them the tools to organize, communicate, mobilize, and enact change on the local, state, and national level.
You can download our bylaws here.
DFNYC Endorsement Voting - Rules
Ballot: Click here.
2014 Eligibility: You are eligible to vote in our 2014 endorsements if you have been to at least two DFNYC events between Nov. 17th, 2011 and our most recent event, the August 12th 10 year celebration on West 17th Street. If you are not sure if you've been to two events, please vote. We will determine your eligibility later.
DFNYC Endorsement Voting - The Election Process
In elections before July 2012, we used paper ballots. We found this process to be difficult to organize and overly cumbersome for voters. After getting member feedback, we decided to switch to online voting, and maintain the principle of anonymity by having DFAers in other states count the ballots. Here is the step-by-step process for how we conduct elections.
1. DFNYC leaders create a ballot in our Survey Monkey account, the "Survey Monkey Ballot Account". This is a completely separate account from our account where we sometimes have candidates entering their questionnaire responses.
2. DFNYC Leaders design the ballot. There is discussion among DFNYC leadership about what races to put on the ballot, what candidates should be listed in each race, the ability to have write-in candidates, and the threshold for endorsement. Final decisions are made after asking DFNYC members for their feedback in our newsletter as to races that should be included for endorsement voting, endorsement threshold, and other factors.
3. Several DFNYC leaders "test" the ballot by entering a vote that would not count. After this testing, we make any necessary changes. After the testing, we delete all the test ballots.
4. When the ballot is finalized, DFNYC Leaders give the username and password to the Survey Monkey Ballot Account to our out-of-state vote counters. One of them promptly changes the password, so that DFNYC leaders will not have access to the account during the voting period, and gives the password to the other vote counter.
5. The announcement that voting is open goes out in a DFNYC email newsletter. We also promote it on Facebook and Twitter. Members of the leadership also make good faith efforts to promote individually to active members.
6. Determination of Eligibility & Anonymous Voting:
At the end of the voting period, the vote counters download all of the ballots (survey responses) to a spreadsheet and give us just the voter identity information (only those spreadsheet columns) so that we can determine eligibility. In other words, the vote counters delete all the columns with the actual votes, and just give us the columns with the identity info such as name and contact info, similar to the envelop that holds an absentee ballot in NY election law.
7. We check event sign-in sheets and then tell the vote counters what voters are not eligible. The vote counters delete those rows (Ballots and voter info) from the spreadsheet. Each of the two vote counters will have the raw file and each will make the deletions independently from each other.
In some elections, DFNYC leadership may request - about 24-48 hours before the end of voting, a preliminary list of people who have voted so that we can begin checking eligibility and do GOTV for eligible members that have not voted.
8. The day after voting ends, the vote counters separately calculate the number of votes for each candidate.
9. The vote counters compare numbers and must each figure out how to get to the correct total for each race. Then they inform DFNYC leadership.
10. Then the vote counters go into the Survey Monkey Ballot Account and deleted all of the ballots (survey responses). When that is completed, they give control of the account (password) back to DFNYC leadership. A review of Survey Monkey policy indicates that it is not possible to retrieve deleted survey responses.