Candidate Endorsement Process
Adopted by the Membership Assembly on 24 March 2019.
A candidate for public office may receive an endorsement from Capital District DSA through the following
- Candidates and/or their supporters can begin an endorsement process in any of the following ways:
- At least five members in good standing must sign an endorsement petition to the chapter leadership to initiate the endorsement process for a specific candidate.
- Alternately, the Electoral Committee can recommend a candidate based on their own research.
- Candidates who contact the chapter seeking endorsement will be referred to the Electoral Committee for initial vetting.
If method 1 or 2 is used, a representative of the Electoral Committee will reach out to the candidate to gauge their interest in seeking the Capital District DSA’s endorsement.
- If the candidate is interested in seeking Capital District DSA’s endorsement, the Electoral Committee will create a questionnaire with input from the chapter as a whole and send it to all candidates in the race. The candidate will be given a deadline by which they must return the questionnaire if they wish to continue seeking the chapter’s endorsement.
- Candidates who returned questionnaires on-time will be invited to a Capital District DSA General Meeting. Each candidate will be given an allotment of time at the General Meeting to:
- Deliver a statement to the general body; and
- Answer questions from members.
- After the candidate(s) have finished answering questions, the general body will deliberate. Non-members will be asked to leave the room during deliberations.
- After deliberations, the Electoral Committee will be responsible for collecting both pro-endorsement and anti-endorsement statements from chapter members within a week of candidate interviews and in-person deliberations. These statements are intended to represent the diverse thoughts of chapter members for the benefit of members who could not attend in-person deliberations. Statements must be 200-500 words and must be made publicly available to chapter members. Statements must be available for a week before voting begins. If members wish to submit non-written statements, the video or audio endorsements must be under 5 minutes long.
- Once member statements have been available for at least a week, the question of whether to endorse will be voted on at the branch level. Within two weeks of member statements being posted, members of branches that overlap with the relevant electoral district will vote on whether to endorse the candidate. A candidate must receive 66% of the vote at a branch meeting to be passed on to a general chapter vote. The ballot will include:
- Candidates who both returned questionnaires and attended the General Meeting to make a statement and answer questions and;
- An option to endorse no one.
- If the branch votes to endorse the candidate, within two weeks of the branch vote, all chapter members will cast their votes on who they wish to endorse and make a commitment of volunteer hours if they vote to endorse. Chapter-wide voting can take place at either several branch-level meetings or a special all-membership meeting. This decision should be made by the Executive Committee and should take into consideration the feasibility of scheduling several branch meetings within a short time frame. In order for a final chapter vote to take place, there must be a quorum of 20% of members in good standing as specified in the chapter bylaws. A candidate must receive at least 66% of the vote to be approved for endorsement. In addition, at least 20% of the general membership must vote for an endorsement to be considered valid.
- After voting has concluded, the ballots will be counted and the chapter’s decision announced to the general body.