Friday, May 16, 2014
It’s not too late to mount a write-in campaign for committeeperson! The Democratic Party infrastructure is in a sorry state with many committeeperson slots going unfilled.
Thanks to Jon Geeting we have an interactive map which shows exactly where the vacancies occur. Great job, Jon! Please see the map
on his blog at Keystone Politics and also posted on the New Philadelphia Democratic Progressive Caucus (PDPC)website.
I have found both in the workshops NOW/CLUW conducted in2013/2014 and in the committeeperson workshops NOW conducted a decade ago, that often people become interested in running for committeeperson, but learn about the process too late and miss the deadline for filing petitions.
However failing to get on the ballot does not necessarily preclude winning a race in these low turn-out elections. It is difficult (although not impossible) to win a write-in campaign against a candidate who is on the ballot. However, it is very easy to win a write-in campaign when there is an open slot for committeeperson.
A write-in campaign is a more viable option than I once realized. (For years, I had been under the impression that 10 signatures were required.) I checked with Commissioner Singer’s office and found to my surprise that assuming a write-in candidate is the only candidate for an open slot, only one signature is necessary to win!
In other words, if Candidate A for committeeperson gets 100 votes and Candidate B for committeeperson gets one write-in vote, then both are elected-- assuming that there is no other write-in candidate with a higher vote total.
Commissioner Singer has also posted detailed instructions for write-in votes here
There are also write in options for Democratic State Committee although there are far fewer possibilities as there only about 50 slots as opposed to about 3400 for Democratic committeeperson (2 slots per division).
State committee slots are allotted by senatorial district. A list of candidates is posted here
Scroll down to page 93 for the list of Philadelphia candidates for Democratic State Committee. They are listed by senatorial district and the number of slots is noted. In the first district it says "Vote for not more than 8." Nine candidates are listed, so this district would not be an easy one for a write in-candidate to win. There are a few senatorial districts with more slots available than there are candidates and thus opportunities for a write-in candidate.
There is more interest in committeeperson elections this year than I can ever remember with excellent coverage by Emily Guendelsberger and Jon Geeting. See
Feibush vs. the machine
30th Ward Reformer Fight: Are New Philadelphians Finally Flexing Their Political Muscle?
I don't think I would vote for some of these newcomers (e.g. Ori Feibush), but in a city in which less than 10% of the voters turned out in the 2013 primary election, this energy and interest in grassroots political involvement is to be applauded.