The San Francisco Democratic Party's endorsement has long been considered among the influential and sought-after in local politics. The process detailed below explains how the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee considers and conducts votes on endorsements before elections. Endorsed candidates and endorsed positions on ballot measure are then listed on the San Francisco Democratic Party's Official Slate Card, which is mailed to Democratic voters citywide.
In addition to the endorsement process detailed below, explore these other endorsement-related topics:
- S.F. Democratic Party Endorsements for November 2015
- Candidate Questionnaires for November 2015
- Archived Endorsements back to June 2010
Election Endorsement Process (November 2015)
Endorsements for Candidates
During the endorsement vote on candidates for single-seat offices, there will be a roll call vote in which each member is asked to name his or her first choice. Each member will be able to choose a candidate, abstain, or vote for "no endorsement." If one candidate or "no endorsement" wins a simple majority of the votes counted, then that candidate (or "no endorsement") wins. An abstention lowers the total vote count, and thus the number of votes needed for a simple majority. If no candidate (or "no endorsement") wins a simple majority, then the lowest vote-getter is eliminated from contention, and the process is repeated until one candidate (or "no endorsement") gets a simple majority. We will go through the same process for the second and third choice endorsements. If "no endorsement" wins the second place vote, then there will be no third choice vote.
During the endorsement vote on candidates for multiple-seat offices, there will be a roll call vote in which each member is asked to name his or her three choices. Here again, members may choose candidates, abstain, or vote for "no endorsement." All votes are then tallied, and the top three candidates (or "no endorsement") securing a simple majority of the votes counted wins. If fewer than three candidates are able to surpass the majority threshold, then the lowest vote-getter is eliminated from contention, and the process is repeated until the top three candidates (or "no endorsement") achieve a simple majority. Endorsements for multiple-seat offices are not ranked.
Endorsements for Ballot Measures
During the vote on measures, there will be a roll call vote in which each member will vote yes, no, "no endorsement," or abstain. If yes, no, or "no endorsement" wins a simple majority, then that is the endorsement decision. Again, an abstention lowers the total vote count, and thus the number of votes needed for a simple majority.
Votes by Acclamation
Where no opposition exists to an endorsement decision or other formal action, the matter may be decided by 'acclamation,' according to Roberts Rules of Order (which generally governs the conduct of DCCC meetings). In some cases, to expedite routine or uncontroversial decisions, the Chair may allow an item to be decided by acclamation while also allowing some members (whose numbers would not change the outcome) to request that the minutes reflect their individual dissenting votes or abstentions. In such cases, however, any member may request a roll call vote.
A Note on Personal Endorsements
A vote for a candidate or ballot measure by a DCCC member at the endorsement meeting is not a personal endorsement. Personal endorsements must be secured from members individually, and it is recommended that campaigns get such endorsements in writing.