Wednesday September 12, 2012 update:

VICTORY!  Thanks to the efforts of BTUVotes, school captains, allies, and most importantly, BTU members themselves, the BTU membership successfully voted to accept the by-law change adopting absentee balloting for all future BTU elections.

Join the movement by signing up here! 

BTUVotes is a grassroots initiative of BTU members from across the city that initially organized to institute mail-in balloting for our future elections.  Nearly 90% of BTU members did NOT vote in the last election cycle.  This is a fundamental problem that required a straightforward solution--to strengthen our union by establishing equitable access to voting and sending a clear message:  all BTU members voices count!

During the June 2012 membership meeting, despite a clear majority of supporters, the by-law amendment to institute mail-in balloting failed to achieve the 2/3 majority required for a bylaw change by 5 votes.


As a result of the groundswell of support and continued organization of active BTUVotes members and allies, a modified by-law change that institutes absentee balloting in addition to in-person voting procedures, was successfully passed, by 3 votes, during the September 2012 membership meeting.

                                  What's next?  Stay tuned... 

Boston Elections

How did the BTU conduct voting prior to our initiative?

  • In Boston: Voting is held every 2 years on the first Wednesday of June from 9am - 6pm at the BTU Hall in Dorchester.

AFT Affiliate Elections

How do other AFT affiliates conduct voting?
  • In New York: Union members mail in ballots.
  • In Lowell: Union members mail in ballots.
  • In LA: Building reps decide on hours over a span of a few days.  They advertise those hours to all teachers and teachers find a time that works for them.  Reps oversee voting and ensure that ballots are placed in secure ballot boxes.
  • In Hartford: Building reps set up elections in sites with 10 or more teachers, paraprofessional and nurses. In sites with fewer than 10, elections are held at the Union office or an absentee ballot can be mailed in.
  • In Washington, DC: Building reps set up voting on site and post a notice of times 5 days prior to the election.
  • In Chicago: Building reps set up voting, which takes place in the school’s main office during one school day.