On Thursday, February 11th, BTU sent all members an email at their work email addresses with an invitation to vote on whether or not they have confidence in the District’s plan for expanding in-person learning using a secure and anonymous voting process. This vote is happening because many members asked for it and the BTU Executive Board unanimously approved the motion for the resolution. If you did not receive your unique voting link, please email field rep Cindy Sjoquist at firstname.lastname@example.org so she can make sure you get to vote.
Since Thursday, thousands of BTU members have already voted and we are making great progress towards reaching our participation goals. However, we still need more members to vote before we reach the minimum threshold for the vote to be considered complete and release the results. Every day at 5:00 PM, the vote totals are updated on the password-protected members only section of the BTU website.
Email and Online Voting Concerns
We recognize the concern over using BCPSS email addresses. The choice to use BCPSS emails was not made lightly. However, the only way to ensure a timely vote to all members was using the BCPSS emails. Given the sense of urgency, efficiency was key. In addition, BCPSS emails are the only verified email addresses for each member and BTU has the right to use the school system’s email as the exclusive representative. This is in our Teacher Chapter and PSRP Chapter contracts.
We would like to explain a bit further about the Election Runner online voting program and the ways it keeps your data and vote safe. Let us begin by saying that your vote is entirely anonymous and secure.
The Voter ID and Voter Key assigned you can only be used once. If you attempt to use the Voter ID again you will receive a message that reads “You have already voted in this election.” Neither you, nor anyone else even with your key, can see how you voted.
After submitting your vote, a check mark appears next to your name. Only BTU staff Natalia Bacchus and Cindy Sjoquist have access to this information.
As the votes come in Natalia and Cindy can see only the overall voting participation totals, not how anyone voted.
This is now the third election BTU has run using the Election Runner Software and BCPSS emails. There has been absolutely NO indication that the votes were not entirely secure. Thank you for participating in this full membership vote.
As President Brown said in her email to membership last Wednesday, the Vote of No Confidence action is a way to get a pulse of the whole membership. So whether you support or oppose the Resolution for a Vote of No Confidence, we need to hear from you! That is why the voting threshold is set at two-thirds of all members, which is 4661 of 7062 members, and a majority of each chapter, which is 2840 of 5677 teachers and 694 of 1385 PSRPs.