Norm at Ednotes writes that he will be an observer at the vote count today.
The count is just a formality, since the UFT leadership has never lost an election and has worked very hard over the past few years to ensure they never lose one in the future.
That's why they gave the retirees additional votes (they're a reliable Unity voting bloc) and that's why they made a deal with the former opposition party, New Action, to join in their coalition (a vote for New Action is actually a vote for Unity, as Norm notes.)
All of that said, I can tell you this about how the election played out in my school.
In past years, very few people even knew there was an election, even fewer people ever discussed the parties running in that election, and even fewer people than that ever disclosed that they had voted against Randi/Mulgrew.
This year has been quite different.
People were talking about the election, expressing dismay at the inability of the UFT to protect them from the ravages of the education reform movement/Bloomberg/NYCDOE, and asking just who and what these MORE people were about.
People who in the past would make excuses for Randi and her sell-outs criticized Mulgrew and his leadership for failing to take on Bloomberg/NYCDOE and said they were open to voting MORE.
People who in the past shrugged with cynicism about voting said this time they sent their ballots in early in order to vote MORE.
Teachers at my school have learned the full truth about Danielson over the past week as the DOE sent its talent coach to explain the process and when they heard that the UFT was pushing Danieslon hard and heavy as the bestest thing in education since chalk, some said "I'm glad I voted against these people."
I am not expecting MORE to beat Unity/New Action, nor even come close to beating them.
The functionaries running the UFT have been in power since the beginning of the union and they have remained in power by knowing how to turn out their own hacks and cronies and make sure as few people who aren't their hacks and cronies vote in the election as possible.
That said, I do see hope for the future in this election season.
Many teachers at my school are fed up with the way the UFT leadership are representing them.
Many teachers at my school know they have been sold out by the UFT leadership in the evaluation negotiations.
Many teachers at my school know that the people running the UFT talk out of both sides of their mouths, issuing jive to teachers to make it sound like they're doing something to protect them while taking actions (or not taking actions) that clearly show they are doing nothing to protect them.
The UFT leadership, an arrogant bunch who are used to jiving and shucking and bullying and blustering their way through the membership, perhaps think they can continue business as usual after their re-election.
But with APPR and Danielson and Common Core tests and all the other ravages of education reform about to be used as bludgeons against teachers, they should understand that they cannot continue business as usual after their re-election.
The ground is fertile for some real change and the UFT leadership, by ignoring the concerns of the membership, by selling them out time and time again, by failing to protect teachers from the systemic bullying by the state and the city, are sowing the seeds of their demise.
Those seeds may never grow - as I said earlier, the UFT leadership has been in power for a long, long time and while they may not know how to protect teachers, they surely know how to maintain power.
But given the extraordinary changes teachers are about to experience over the next few years with Danielson (which the UFT pushed), growth models for Student Learning Objectives (which Mulgrew himself praised) and APPR (which the UFT agreed to), those seeds just may be nurtured into something the UFT leadership didn't forsee coming.