Internet Voting Called Unfair, Not Observable, and Not Transparent

While states prepare to risk military and overseas votes on Internet, email and FAX, the National Association of Manufacturers calls it unsafe for union elections.  Their concern is union members being intimidated in remote, unobserved locations. They are  correct.  Intimidation or the selling of votes is just one of the risks of Internet voting.  <read>

Recently the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) published a request for information regarding industry solutions for procuring and implementing “secure electronic voting services for both remote and on-site elections.” The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) is concerned with the Board’s intention to pursue the use of electronic systems to allow union representation elections to take place off-site and outside the supervision of the NLRB. The NAM firmly believes the current practice of NLRB-supervised elections that take place on employees’ worksites protects the integrity of the union election process and safeguards employees from intimidation and coercion from third parties…

Voting methods that utilize web-based technologies and telephone-based balloting do not allow the necessary levels of observability and transparency that exist within the current election process. Currently, union organizers are entitled to receive employees’ personal contact information from employers for the purposes of union organizing efforts. Introducingmethods of remote-access elections combined with this access to information exposes workers
to potential unwanted intimidation and harassment…

Such changes to the election process would be a drastic deviation from current practice
and run counter to the principles of fairness and balance inherent in our labor laws. We strongly
urge the Board to maintain the integrity of the current NLRB-supervised union representation
process and refrain from introducing new technologies that remove the necessary protections
currently afforded to employees.


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