Rail Passengers Council Elections
January 28, 2020
Voting Is Underway, And We're Answering Your Questions Here
Questions & Answers On 2020 Rail Passengers Council Elections
We kicked off the 2020 Rail Passengers Council elections 12 days ago, sending out electronic ballots by email to those with active email addresses, and a handful of paper ballots to those for whom we do not have an email address. Meanwhile, we've been fielding questions here in the D.C. office, and we thought we'd share the answers to the common questions below.
Q. I’m living in Montana. I didn’t get a notice to vote, even though I’m a member in good standing. Why?
A. Voting is officially underway for the Rail Passengers Council of Representatives, but ONLY in the states in which there are contested elections. If there are no contested seats in your state, there is no election in your state. The states with elections are COLORADO, KENTUCKY, MARYLAND and PENNSYLVANIA. If you don’t live in one of those states, you have no election to vote in.
Q. I live in one of the four contested states, but I never got a ballot in the mail. Why?
A. If you have a current and valid email address on file with us, you would have been sent an email with all the information you need to cast your electronic ballot, rather than a paper ballot. This includes a link to the state election page for your state. That page has links to the candidate statements filed by those running for the open seats, as well as a link to an electronic ballot. If you don't have an email from us or can't find it, here are some things to check:
1. Be sure to check your spam filter or spam folder to be sure you’re permitting us to send you messages. Also, if at any point this year you clicked an UNSUBSCRIBE message from our emails, the system REMOVED your email from our files. It is illegal for us to put you back after you have taken that step. You must “opt-in” to receive electronic messages from us again. This is to protect you from scammers and spammers, so we can't decide on our own to put you back on the list.
2. Did you change your email address in the past year or so, and if you did, did you update your records with us? If you didn’t, we don’t have that email address and your ballot email went to your old address. You can update it by logging in to the Members Only part of our website at www.railpassengers.org and clicking on “Log On" in the upper-right-hand corner.
3. If you still have not received your email, please send an email to [email protected] with the subject line “Council Ballot Needed.”
Q. I don’t use email so I don’t have an email address on file with you. Shouldn’t I have received a paper ballot?
A. Yes, you should have received a paper ballot in regular postal mail, plus Candidate Information Statements from each of the candidates running in your state. They were mailed 32 days before the election deadline.
Q. I should have gotten a paper ballot, but I didn’t. What happened and what should I do?
A. If you have not given us a current, valid mailing address, then it’s possible that your ballot was delivered to your old address, or has been returned as “undeliverable” from the U.S. Post Office. If you filed a forwarding order with the Postal Service, recognize that not all pieces of mail are successfully forwarded and, in any case, forwarding orders expire after a few months. If you live in Colorado, Kentucky, Maryland or Pennsylvania, and you do NOT have an email address on file with us, please call Kim Williams here in the DC office at 202-408-8362 and double-check with her the address we have on file for you. Kim will help make arrangements with you to have your vote counted.
Q. I recently expired but want to vote. Can I do that?
A. No. You must have a current, valid Rail Passengers Association member number to vote, and your membership must be up to date so that you are a member in good standing.
Q. I know and like everyone who is running. Can I vote for all of the candidates on the ballot?
A. No. If you vote for more candidates than there are slots, your vote will not count.
Q. When does the election end?
A. Electronic voting will close on February 22. We will count ALL paper ballots received in the office with postmarks on or before February 22. Ballots received with postmarks after that date will not be counted.
"The National Association of Railroad Passengers has done yeoman work over the years and in fact if it weren’t for NARP, I'd be surprised if Amtrak were still in possession of as a large a network as they have. So they've done good work, they're very good on the factual case."
Robert Gallamore, Director of Transportation Center at Northwestern University and former Federal Railroad Administration official, Director of Transportation Center at Northwestern University
November 17, 2005, on The Leonard Lopate Show (with guest host Chris Bannon), WNYC New York.