Letter Indicating Policy Concerns with Electronic Voting in Union Elections
Chairman Wilma B. Liebman
Members Peter C. Schaumber, Craig Becker, Brian Hayes, and Mark G. Pearce
National Labor Relations Board
1099 14th Street NW
Washington, DC 20570
Dear Chairman Liebman and Members Schaumber, Becker, Hayes, and Pearce:
I am writing on behalf of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce with respect to the National Labor Relations Board’s (Board’s) request for information (RFI) regarding the capacity, availability, methodology, and interest of industry sources for procuring and implementing secure electronic voting services both for remote and on-site election. 1
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce (Chamber) is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region. The vast majority of our members are employers as defined by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and are subject to the Board’s jurisdiction. Any changes to Board procedures related to voting in the various types of elections conducted by the Board are likely to have a significant impact upon our members and their employees.
I understand that the Board’s RFI does not seek comment on the policy issues related to electronic voting, but is instead an effort to solicit information from those in the business of providing electronic voting systems in other contexts. Nevertheless, the Board’s RFI touches on several very important policy questions, particularly in the case of remote electronic voting. Among these issues are:
- Whether remote voting can ever guarantee secrecy
- The challenges with ensuring a coercion-free environment
- The likelihood that voter participation will decrease
- The potential to erode employer free speech rights
- Whether the use of remote voting will decrease the ability of employers and labor organizations to enter into consent or stipulated elections
The purpose of this letter is not to discuss these policy issues in any detail, but instead to request that before the Board makes any decision to alter its election practices to permit electronic voting that it solicit and consider the views of all interested stakeholders, whether it be through notice and comment rulemaking, hearings, or some other appropriate mechanism.
Thank you very much for your consideration of this request. Please do not hesitate to contact me if the Chamber may be of assistance as you consider these important issues.
Randel K. Johnson
cc: Doug Wolf, Senior Contracting Officer
1 Solicitation Number RFI-NLRB-01.