See update notes at the bottom of the article.
When it was announced that Bernie Sanders was endorsing Keith Ellison for Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, I knew I had to do something. It was evident I (we) hadn’t done enough during the primaries for Bernie, so I decided to take on a huge project. As it turns out, the Democratic National Committee does not publish a full list of their voting members, nor their contact information. In fact, the circumstances surrounding the election were hazy a few weeks ago — who, exactly, was eligible to vote? How did voting happen? When would it occur? I started to piece together what I learned from various articles on the election (they were few and far between prior to this week). I learned that state democratic committees had officers who had the power to vote in this election. I learned that state chairs and vice chairs were eligible. I learned DNC committeemen/committeewomen were eligible. I learned that the eligible voting population was made up of about 445 individuals. Beyond that? It was unclear.
With that information, I started putting together a spreadsheet that included the names of state chairs, vice chairs, secretaries*, treasurers*, and committeemen and – women. The process was slow. I spent hours visiting each state committee’s website, hunting down their officials page (which was different from their staff and elected officials) and deciphering their contact information. I copied what I could into my spreadsheet, often revisiting a state’s page after I learned some trick from another state’s website. As it turns out, although these committees all feed into the larger DNC, there’s no streamlining. You can’t expect each site to look the same, let alone hold the same information. While some sites (the more progressive ones, I noted) provided spreadsheets with voting members’ (and other committee members’) names, titles, phone, email, and mailing addresses, others would not even provide the name of the chairperson. So, not only was the DNC obscuring their membership, but so were state committees, thus excluding “the People” from the democratic process of, you know, the Democratic Party.
I still hadn’t hit the 445 mark by the time I felt I’d done all I could this afternoon, but it was something. I checked the news one more time to see if they might have leads on who else I might include in my list. As it turns out, Andrew Prokop had posted one week ago today an article describing the process and, lo and behold, strong agreement that there was a whole lot of lack of transparency going on and no official voting roster to be found. He also had created a list similar to mine. I’ve looked over it — his list is more complete and does not erroneously include secretaries and treasurers, but he has not (yet) provided contact information. Therefore, I’ve decided to publish what I have.
Using Prokop’s list moving forward, I hope to add what I currently have missing with the inclusion of what contact information there is to be found. In the meantime, if you would like voting committee members from your state to support Keith Ellison (or one of the other candidates), I hope you’ll find the appropriate members on my list and get in touch.
The Voting DNC Members list can be found here, in Google Sheets.
*I have since learned that secretaries and treasurers are not voting members, but I’ve kept them on my list for the sake of completeness.
Update 12/1/2016: Highlighted position-confirmed voting members to include chairs, vice chairs, and DNC members. Cross-checked several supposed voting members on my list with Prokop’s list. Found discrepancies. My list is only as up-to-date as the state’s websites, and I’m guessing their sites are less up-to-date than the list Prokop put together from the DNC.