Last Verified Date Leadership Q&A Discussion Forum
Subject: Change to criteria for membership certification: Last Verified Date
Dear DPCA Voting Members,
On August 30, the DPCA ExCom adopted a plan to add the Last Verified Date field of membership database records to the criteria for counting members to determine the votes allocated to representatives of Country Committees regarding DPCA matters.
Section 5.4(d) of the DA Charter reads: "The Executive Committee shall establish from time to time the methods and procedures to be used by the Country Committees to verify and certify membership for all purposes under this Charter, with the maximum accuracy reasonably possible for an association such as Democrats Abroad.”
In the past, this meant counting the number of membership records assigned to a Country Committee and excluding records based on now-familiar criteria such as missing an address and a local phone number. Beginning with the membership count to be conducted in January 2015, an additional condition for counting a membership record will be: a Last Verified Date of no more than four (4) years from the date of the relevant count/snapshot.
Specifically, for the next membership certification process, a member shall count toward the allocation of votes to a Country Committee in 2015 only if the member’s database record has a Last Verified Date later than January 31, 2011.
For the technical details of how the Last Verified Date field works, please see Shari's post of August 4 to the DPCA-Leadership listserv.
To summarize the plan adopted by the ExCom that leads to the membership certification process for 2015:
The timing of this announcement is intended to complement rather than distract from Voter Registration and GOTV activities. The ExCom hopes to allow Country Committee leaders to recognize the additional benefit of updating members’ contact information during the phone-banking and member outreach of this critical pre-election period. For example, phonebanking sheets based on the IT & GOTV teams' template can be used to reimport member data, thus updating the LVD as well. (Contact Gail Fagen for more details.)
The Last Verified Date (LVD) proposal was formally proposed and presented at the April 2013 DPCA Global Meeting in London. During the January 2014 certification process of membership counts, the International Secretary distributed LVD counts for each Country Committee. The LVD adoption plan was presented again at the March 2014 DPCA Global Meeting in Washington - Crystal City. Most recently, Shari posted guidelines for the LVD field on August 4 on the DPCA-Leadership listserv.
The LVD feature of our membership database places a focus on having accurate, verifiable data on reliable Democratic voters. This is the same focus that we have seen throughout the Democratic Party, from being a key to OFA’s success in 2008 through to the overwhelming adoption by the DNC, state parties, and individual candidates for this year’s campaigns.
There is an additional benefit that may increase membership counts in the long run. In the past, Country Admins and Country Committee officers have deleted suspect records of members who couldn’t be reached. There was no middle ground between certifying a valid member and removing a member permanently.
The LVD criterion lifts the assumption that Country Committee officers certify the status of all members, regardless of when they were last contacted. Thus, it allows Country Committee officers to retain any number of records for follow-up and eliminates the practice of a hasty “cull” of suspect records just before certification deadlines. The set of membership records with “old” LVD dates are now a resource that can be tapped when time is available, rather than a liability to be excised in January of each year.
While we remain focused on registering voters and helping elect Democrats on November 4th, the DPCA ExCom welcomes comments on this new policy.
Rick Graves of the IT Committee prepared a set of membership lists as if the count were held today, in the format used for the membership count including Last Verified Date information. Please send a message to email@example.com to request your Country Committee's list.
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