It’s easy to be an armchair quarterback. Watch the others do the job, then swoop in after the fact and tear apart every facet of the work being done. It is also easy to interpret information to support one’s own agenda.
The Breakfast Club recently released a long, point by point armchair quarterback version of the recent elections. And I’m accused of having too much time on MY hands…
Within their lengthy diatribe, they attempt to discredit the current election challenges through their interpretation of the standing rules and regs of our election procedures. Some of these comments sound as if they have merit. Others give the impression of the “were desperate to take over the board and this is our last chance to do so” variety.
Oddly enough (or maybe not), their long post of violations doesn’t include the violation by their own members with regards to (as they call it) The Email Heard ‘Round the World. Many of the problems noted by the Club stem from this particular violation. If their member hadn’t campaigned for their slate of candidates over the district email system, we might not be at this point. Whether or not Carter was a candidate or not, whether he knew of the rules or not, his email in support of Club contenders violated our rules.
Now, their long list of other violations reads like a police blotter. All of them come from section nine of the standing rules. All of them can be interpreted in several ways. Obviously, since their candidates did not win outright, they choose to interpret them in such a way as to cause shame towards your SDEA leadership and the election committee. Rather than dive through every rule and show its true meaning, I’ll hit a few highlights of importance.
SR 9.1.E.3 (Procedures) Candidates will receive confirmation from the SDEA office that their Declaration form has been received either by email, US mail, or a written receipt when hand delivered.
When I submitted my own documents for reelection, I made sure BEFORE I arrived at SDEA that I had all of my paperwork in order, that I had dotted my Is and crossed my Ts. That’s my responsibility as a candidate. Should Ms. Marble have received a receipt? Yes. Did she verify that she had all of her documents in order? It doesn’t seem that way, or this wouldn’t be an issue. Looks to me like blame should be on both parties, not just SDEA. Perhaps the Club should have worked with their candidates more closely to ensure they were ready to run. What you don’t know: After this had all been discovered, Ms. Marble was given the chance to come down and submit her documents to the election committee AFTER THE FACT. That’s right – the committee noted the error and made attempts to correct their error. Ms. Marble chose not to accept that offer, and was instead turned into a write-in candidate. End of story.
SR 9.1.I (Vote Requirement) All vote requirements shall be established in accordance with CTA guidelines. Unless otherwise specified, all elections shall be decided by majority vote. Write-in votes are valid and must be counted.
And they were. Ms. Marble received several write-in votes, the majority of which were counted. End of story.
SR 9.1.J.4.b (Counting of Ballots) Blank and/or illegal ballots for each office/position shall be set aside. Examples include the following: Voter’s intent unclear;
As the item states, “Examples include the following….” Not “Illegal ballots are LIMITED TO…,” or “Ballots w/o the bubble colored in will still be counted.” The election committee determined that the ballots w/o a proper vote (the circle colored in on the scantron sheet) were invalid and were set aside. Hmmmm…if a student taking a test on a scantron wrote the letter of the answer on the scantron rather than coloring it in, I’d mark it wrong because he didn’t follow directions. The voters didn’t follow instructions – their ballots were not counted. End of story.
SR 9.1.I.1 (Vote Requirement) A majority vote means more than half of the legal votes cast.
This is the one that really made me angry, especially after the snarky, rude, and condescending speech by Shane Parmely at rep council. She spoke to election co-chair Karen Ellsworth as if she were admonishing a first-grader about their homework. Her tone of voice was so vile that groans and cries of “That’s enough” could be heard during here outburst. Here’s the real story –
According to the election committee, the teller sheets for the board elections stated a victory would be comprised of 50% + 1 of the legal votes cast. If memory serves, there were 97 votes cast for this particular board seat (mine!). 10 were disqualified, leaving 87 legal votes. Ms. Marble received 44 of those votes. Math time:
Problem 1: 87 / 2 = 43.5.
Problem 2: 50% + 1 of 87 = 44.5
Problem 3: Math teachers are supposed to know that when one rounds a number, you round up at 5-9. Since there can’t be 1/2 a vote (unless you’re only half a person!) we round that number up to 45.
Problem 4: 44 < 45.
Therefore, Ms. Marble did not win by the required majority as stated on the teller reporting sheet. Hence, the run-off election is valid.
I will say that yes, there is differing information on the SDEA website regarding the majority rule. The election committee chose to follow the information printed on the OFFICIAL ELECTION DOCUMENTS. End of story.
Is there more? Of course. There will always be problems during elections where two groups of unlike-minded people are running for coveted seats on governing boards. Before you believe everything you read, do your OWN due diligence (like I do) to ensure you’re getting the whole story. Don’t be a lemming.
I’m Dennis Schamp and I approve this message. These are the opinions of me, myself, and I. I do not represent any other person, group, or breakfast pastry. Especially waffles. They’re leaving a bad taste in my mouth these days.