I hope you are enjoying the lovely, if cool, weather. This is a quick reminder that the Arlington Democratic County Board & School Board nominating caucuses are this week. These caucuses will almost certainly determine who will be our next school and county board members in November, so they are important although very few people are expected to vote.
You have three opportunities to vote:
Tonight, Tuesday, May 9th, 7 – 9 pm at Key Elementary School,
Thursday, May 11th, 7 – 9 pm at Drew Model School, and
Saturday, May 13th, 11 am – 7 pm at Washington-Lee High School.
The caucuses are really “firehouse primaries” — you come, you sign a pledge*, you vote, and you go home. It should only take a few minutes because few people are expected to vote.
This caucus uses “instant run-off voting”, so you will be offered the chance to rank the candidates in order of preference. The 1st preferences votes will be counted: If someone has over 50%, s/he wins. If not, the candidate with the fewest 1st preference votes is eliminated and his/her votes are reallocated to the candidates marked as 2nd preference. This is repeated until someone secures over 50% of valid votes. This means that your 2nd and later preference votes will only be counted if your first choice has been eliminated; you cannot hurt your first choice by ranking all the candidates.
Check out this 2-minute video by the Arlington Young Dems explaining how simple the caucus procedure is. Thanks, AYD!
The County Board candidates are: Peter Fallon, Erik Gutshall, Kim Klingler, and Vivek Patil
The School Board candidates are: James Lander, Maura McMahon, and Monique O’Grady
The Arlington Democrats have shared profiles of all seven candidates on their website.
I hope you will make it out to vote. As a County Board member, and former School Board member, I know how much impact these boards’ work has on our lives. These are also the races in which your vote has the greatest potential to impact the outcome. It is not unusual for someone to win these elections by fewer than 10 votes.
* The pledge you will be asked to sign says: “I certify that I am a resident of and registered to vote in Arlington County, Virginia; I am a Democrat; I believe in the principles of the Democratic Party; and I do not intend to support, endorse or assist any candidate who is opposed to a Democratic nominee or endorsee in the ensuing election.”