Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Right to a Secret Ballot

The Hill reports that tech companies are becoming very active on the issue of "card-check," a union backed proposal likely to be pushed by Democrats in Congress that would deny workers the right to a secret ballot. Under the union proposal, unions could organize based on signatures on an open petition. Elections by secret ballot would no longer be required.

When thinking about this, I am reminded of the current controversy over selection of a Speaker of the House in Texas. The current speaker, Tom Craddick, is an imposing figure, and a number of legislators have told the press that they wish they could vote for speaker by secret ballot.

That brings to mind the question: if legislators fear retribution for voting the wrong way in an election, doesn't it stand to reason that workers might have similar concerns? The right to a secret ballot -- in political elections, and in union elections -- is an important one.

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