FAQ for Candidates
UTLA GENERAL ELECTIONS 2020 FAQ FOR CANDIDATES
- I would like to run for office, where can I get a Declaration of Candidacy form?
Election forms are printed in the Elections issue of the UT paper and you may declare online at utlaelections.org There are three different versions of the Declaration Form online, so the form is streamlined and designed for each group. There is a declaration form for City-wide officers, Area Directors, and Special Category Directors. Go to https://utlaelections.org/candidates/declaration-of-candidacy-forms/.
- What do I need to do in order to become a candidate?
Candidates running individually need to submit a Candidate Declaration form online at https://utlaelections.org/candidates/declaration-of-candidacy-forms/. Candidates running as a group or slate who are pooling their resources must also have one representative submit the Political Committee Registration Form at https://utlaelections.org/candidates/political-committee-registration-form/ including them on the list of candidates working together. The form is available at https://utlaelections.org/candidates/.
- What is the Political Committee registration form? Do I have to fill this out?
If you are working together with other candidates as a slate or Political Committee and pooling resources, then one representative should submit this form on behalf of all the candidates represented. Once registered at https://utlaelections.org/candidates/political-committee-registration-form/, the Political Committee can submit a Financial Disclosure form for the group at https://utlaelections.org/candidates/financial-disclosure-report-form/. However, the individuals on the slate must submit a Financial Disclosure Form for funds raised as an individual. If no funds were raised, then they must still submit the form but indicate zero dollars.
If a candidate has a Political Committee working on their behalf for only that candidate, a form must be submitted listing the individuals taking on responsibilities as treasurer, secretary and others working on behalf of the candidate. Submit this form identifying the members of the Committee.
- Why do Candidates have to file the Financial Disclosure Form and keep track of the contributions they receive and the money they spend?
It is required by labor law and the UTLA Election Manual that Candidates must not use union funds in their election campaign. By extension candidates cannot accept contributions from the state and national affiliates (NEA, AFT, CTA and CFT). They cannot accept money from their employer or any individual or organization that could benefit financially or otherwise if the candidate is elected.
The UTLA Election Manual requires that candidates submit their financial disclosure form at https://utlaelections.org/candidates/financial-disclosure-report-form/, or they will not be permitted to take office until it is completed.
- If candidates are pooling resources as a slate, one person from the group must register all the candidates in the slate using the Political Committee form.
- If you are registered as a Political Committee you may submit one Financial Disclosure Form, however each individual must submit a form and can report zero if they did not individually fund raise.
- If an individual does fund raising and then puts that money into the slate fund, the candidate must still fill out the form but can note that it was contributed to the slate/political committee in the expenses section. Contributions of $50. or more must be itemized and the name of the donor and the amount must be noted.
- Review the Election Manual page 12, H and K.
- I am running as a candidate but did not incur any expenses, do I need to fill out a Financial Disclosure Report?
Yes, you must fill out a Financial Disclosure Report. You would report zero income and zero expenses.
- Why does it seem like the campaigning is starting earlier and what advantage is there for declaring earlier?
The general timeline for the election is similar to other election cycles, adjusting for the school calendar, holidays, etc. See https://utlaelections.org/information/election-timeline/.
However, some changes were necessary as a result of the Janus Decision. Candidates will not be able to purchase Member Lists as they have in the past.
In order to provide opportunities for candidates to connect with their constituency, several changes were made in the Election Manual. One of those changes, allows candidates to declare as soon as the United Teacher newspaper (UT) publishes the Manual and the forms. They were published in the August 16, 2019 edition. After it is determined that the candidate is qualified to run, they will receive the Chapter Chair and Area Director Contact Information so they will be able to ask if they may schedule a visit at a site and/or ask the Chapter Chair to distribute literature. A chapter chair may ask a candidate if they have officially declared with the Elections Committee. This can be confirmed by emailing Tara Thomas at email@example.com. Chapter Chairs may allow potential candidates who have not yet declared to speak to site members at their discretion.
- When I submit my Declaration of Candidacy form how will I know it has been received?
A notice will appear on your screen right after you press the submit button, and an email will be sent to the email you provide on the application confirming both the declaration and office you indicated on your application.
- Who is eligible to run for office?
Any person who has been an active UTLA member in good standing for at least twenty-four months (2 years). Special Category Directors must meet the requirements in the Appendix of the Election Manual and Elementary and Secondary Vice Presidents must qualify through their credential and assignment.
Directors for Health and Human Services, Early Childhood Education Special Education must be serving in positions that require the corresponding credential or license. Directors for Adult Education and Substitute Teachers must be serving in the corresponding position. The Bilingual Director must hold the BCLAD or equivalent bilingual certification. See the Appendix to the Election Manual for more details.
Candidates for Area Director must be assigned to a site/or sites within that Area. Exception: Candidates in a UTLA appointed position that serve the whole district, qualify based on the Area where they were assigned before their appointment.
- How do voters vote electronically?
Voters will receive a paper ballot that includes a unique PIN number and instructions for voting electronically. All voters automatically have that option. There is no need to sign up to vote electronically using a coupon. This is the same process that was used during the last election cycle. Many voters took advantage of this option during the last election and they reported that it was a very easy process. The timeline for voting electronically and voting using the paper ballot is exactly the same. All paper ballots and the electronic ballots must be received before 8:00 am on February 28, 2020. If there are questions or concerns about how to vote electronically once the ballots have been received, please contact us.
- When will the UTLA General Elections be held and when will the elected candidate take office?- What is their term of office?
Candidate names will be posted on the website in November. Candidate flyers will be posted in December and their statements and photos will be printed in the Special Election Edition of the United Teacher (UT) and also published on the website. Ballots will be mailed out on February 3, 2020. Election ballots will be counted on February 28, 2020. Officers and Board of Director members serve a three-year term beginning on July 1, 2020.
- I will not be able to come and observe on the day the ballots are counted, can I send a representative?
Candidates must submit the Vote Count Observer Form no later than 5:00 pm the day before the ballots will be counted. For the first round of this election cycle the deadline will be 5:00 pm, February 27, 2020. The form can be found at utlaelections.org.
- Will a ballot be mailed to my home address or school site?
Election ballots are only mailed to the member’s home address for the Citywide Office Elections. They will not be sent to your school site.
Important If you have moved, you need to be aware that the postal service is not allowed to forward ballots. Please update your address ASAP so you will receive your ballot on time. Go to https://www.utla.net/members/update-your-information.
- Where should I return the election ballot? Can I drop it off at UTLA?
The election ballot should be returned to the Election Services Company address provided on the return envelope. No. If you return the election ballot to UTLA, your vote will not be counted.
- Which positions are being elected? Who gets to vote for which ones?
All UTLA members should receive ballots for contested elections for the Citywide Offices. All members vote for President, NEA Vice President, AFT Vice President, UTLA Elementary and Secondary Vice President, UTLA Treasurer, and UTLA Secretary.
UTLA Area Board of Directors are voted on by members in a particular UTLA Area (i.e. – If you work in the Harbor Area, you will vote for the Harbor Area Board of Director candidates). If you work at more than one site. you need to submit the Itinerant Assignment Declaration form in order to be able to vote for Area Directors. For the Special Category Directors, only members of the special category will have those candidates on their ballot.
Officers and Board of Director members serve a three-year term beginning on July 1, 2020.
- If UTLA is now a completely merged Local, why do we still have the AFT and NEA Vice President offices and NEA and AFT Area Directors?
UTLA continues to have agreements with NEA, AFT, CTA, and CFT. We are required to maintain these governance structures. The officers and directors serve as liaisons between UTLA and our state and national affiliates and we receive support from our state and national affiliates.
- I am a candidate but cannot attend the Candidates’ Orientation Meeting where they draw ballot order positioning, can someone draw on my behalf?
Yes, an Elections Committee Member can draw on your behalf. However, you should notify the UTLA Elections Committee that you will not be in attendance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- I am a candidate and would like to purchase a Member Constituents list with members’ names, addresses, and phone numbers. How does that work?
UTLA is no longer giving out Member Constituents lists. Because of the Janus decision UTLA must protect members’ contact information. Candidates who complete the agreement of use form will receive a contact list after their eligibility is confirmed . The list will include the chapter chairs’ name, email and school address and phone number. Candidates will be emailed the appropriate list free of charge. In the past candidates paid for lists. UTLA has established a 3rd party company that candidates may use at their own expense to send out flyers to their constituents.
- What is the last date to withdraw my candidacy without having my name on the ballot?
You can withdraw your name at any time by sending a brief letter to Tara Thomas at UTLA stating that you want to withdraw, indicating the race. Make sure that you sign and date the letter. In order to withdraw without having your name on the ballot, and not using space in the UT Special Election Edition, you should submit your letter to Tara Thomas at UTLA by January 13, 2020 which is the deadline to submit statements and photos for the UT.
- Can candidates submit statements with a photo of the candidate and someone else?
Candidates who submit their statement and photo on time will be in the Special Election Edition of the United Teacher. Only the candidate may be in the photo. A candidate may submit a statement, and not a photo, or a photo, without a statement.
- What are the requirements for a candidate flyer?
The paper flyers you submit for mailing to chapter chairs must be flat, no larger than 8 ½ x11”.It may be on colored paper, printed on both sides, and printed with colors. You must provide the required number of flyers. The bond weight of the paper and other limitations will be on the flyer detailing the paper flyer requirements.
For both digital and paper flyers, candidates may submit a “group” or slate flyer instead of a flyer only referencing the individual candidate. The flyer may endorse other candidates. Both the electronic and paper flyers are due December 2, 2019, 5:00 pm. The paper flyers will be mailed out by December 20, 2019.
The flyer submitted for the website that will be posted on utlaelections.org website must be the equivalent of one side of a flyer, and it must be a jpg or pdf.
- May candidates, or a candidate slate, use rooms in the UTLA building?
Yes. Rooms will be assigned to candidates, or slates, if they are available after UTLA business is scheduled first. Only rooms on the 8th and 9th floors can be used. If more than one candidate, or slate requests a room, the candidate making the earliest request will be honored.
- I am a Substitute, or Itinerant member, who works at different school sites. Is there a form I need to fill out in order to indicate the UTLA Area I work in the most so I can run for an Area Director position?
Yes, the form is called the Itinerant Assignment Declaration Form and it on the website and in the UT Newspaper. The deadline to submit your Itinerant Assignment Declaration is November 7, 2019 5:00 pm if you are a candidate. It can be submitted electronically from this website at https://utlaelections.org/candidates/itinerant-assignments-declaration-form/.
Voters should also submit their form ASAP to be assured they are able to vote for Area Directors in the UTLA Area where they work.
- Do I have to submit the form if I am a Substitute, or Itinerant member, who works at different school sites and I just want to vote for the Area Directors representing the Area where I work the most?
Yes, the form is called the Itinerant Assignment Declaration Form and it on the website and in the UT Newspaper. The form is the same for candidates and members. It can be submitted electronically from this website. Voters should submit their form ASAP to be assured they are able to vote for Area Directors during the first round of elections.
- Will there be forums with the City-wide candidates?
No. We will record a Q and A with city-wide candidates. You may submit questions you would like citywide candidates to answer in the Q and A session. This event will not be open to the public but will be recorded and posted on the website. Send questions via our Contact page.
- What are the guidelines for Chapter Chairs, especially those supporting particular candidates and/or slates?
A communication will be going out to all UTLA Chapter Chairs outlining their rights and responsibilities and will also be available on the Elections Webpage utlaelections.org. Chapter Chairs can endorse candidates and slates if they wish. They cannot use UTLA resources, like the UTLA school roster, to do so. Chapter Chairs have the right to approve or deny permission to candidates to campaign at your school- based on reasonable grounds: Altered scheduled for testing that day, etc. Also, Chapter Chairs need to give candidates a reasonable and equal opportunity to communicate with members. For example, if the Chapter Chair puts flyers for one candidate in mailboxes, she/he should do the same for all candidates- or put them on the counter in the office or put flyers on the UTLA bulletin board.
- If I don’t receive a ballot, or receive the wrong ballot, who should I contact? Is there a deadline to request a ballot replacement?
You may email email@example.com and request a replacement ballot. The deadline to request a replacement ballot is February 14, 2020.
- Where and when will members be able to see the Citywide Office Candidate Videos?
The candidate videos will be put on the utlaelections.org website in late January. Members will be able to watch all the candidates for Citywide Office. The videos will be grouped by each election (President, NEA VP, AFT VP, etc.). In addition, a Q and A session with the city-wide candidates will be available.
- If I have a question or concern about the conduct of the UTLA Elections, how do I contact the UTLA Elections Committee?
You may contact the UTLA Elections Committee via our Contact page. Once your email is reviewed, the UTLA Elections Committee spokesperson will get back to you in a timely manner.
- What do NEA and AFT stand for?
NEA is the National Education Association and AFT is the American Federation of Teachers. They are the two national teachers’ unions. We are also under the two state affiliates the California Teachers Association (CTA) which is the state affiliate of NEA and the California Federation of Teachers (CFT) which is the state affiliate of AFT. You can find out more at nea.org, cta.org, aft.org and cft.org.
- I am a cash, dues paying member, will I receive a ballot?
Yes, you will receive a ballot if your dues are current and were paid one month prior to the mailing of the ballots.
- I was previously out on leave, but I want to run for office. Can I make up those missing dues payments? Who do I contact?
You would need to contact the Membership Department. If you were on paid leave and dues were deducted there would not be a problem. If you were on unpaid leave, you would have to pay dues for the period of time you were out and not paying dues in order to qualify as a candidate.