SEA recommends counting "Active Abstentions" in building votes
SEA recommends counting “Active Abstentions” in building votes
When we ask members to vote each year on matters like school budgets and professional development plans, some members tell us that they don’t want to vote because they are not planning to be back to that building for the following school year.
In the past, SEA recommended that those members, and any others who don’t vote, should be treated as If they voted no for the purpose of determining whether the approval threshold was met.
But, following an almost unanimous vote of our Representative Assembly in December, SEA now recommends that members be offered three voting options: approve (or yes), disapprove (or no), and a new category: abstain. Ballots should include all three options.
These “active” abstentions, meaning the member actually selected the option to abstain, should not be counted as no votes, and instead should be subtracted from the number of total eligible voters when calculating what percentage has approved of a measure.
Members who do not turn in a ballot will still be counted as a “no” vote.
For example, if there are 100 eligible voters in a building, and there are 65 yes votes, 25 no votes, 4 active abstentions, and 6 non-voters, how would we calculate the yes percentage? Start by subtracting the active abstentions (4) from the total number of eligible voters (100), and then use that number (96) to calculate the percentage. 65 yes votes divided by 96 members who did not actively abstain. 65/96 = 68%.