ACLU Supports Biased Elections for Unions


ACRU Staff


January 15, 2009

The ACLU has signed on as an official supporter of the Employee Free Choice Act for union elections. The truth is, this Act would destroy free choice in such elections, making them biased in favor of the unions. This is an obvious violation of American freedoms when one considers how and why the secret ballot was adopted here in the first place.

Some facts for this article, but not the legal conclusions, come from an article on the website of the Atlanta Examiner on 11 January, 2009. It concerns organizational support for the Employee (so-called) Free Choice Act, currently before Congress and strongly supported by the incoming Obama Administration.

The ACLU is on record in support of this Act. This Act would eliminate the secret ballot elections by employees in place of certifying unions based on the number of union cards signed in the open by employees.

None of the articles this writer has seen in the mainstream media have bothered to discuss the history of the secret ballot in America, as part of the analysis of this proposed Act.

At the beginning of the American experiment in government, the government had nothing to do with the nomination of candidates or the preparation of ballots. The political parties themselves printed the ballots, naming their own candidates but not the opponents. Party officials handed out those ballots. The intention of each voter was revealed both by which ballot the voter accepted, and the paper, color and size of the ballot when it was put in the box.

From early on, some observers of American politics expressed concern that this method of voting was defective because it opened up voters to condemnation or abuse, as other people observed how they voted. It was better than the prior method where voters declared their votes verbally and in public. But that was required at the beginning because about two-thirds of the voters were illiterate.

Then, a possible solution arose in Australia. Called the Australian ballot, it involved the state printing the ballots with all the candidates’ names on them. That single ballot was cast privately, so no observers had a way of telling how each voter had voted.

The first American jurisdiction to adopt the secret ballot was Louisville, KY in 1888. It made such obvious sense that within two decades the Australian ballot became the standard method of voting in American elections.

Consider this history and the history that union membership has been declining swiftly in all private sector employment areas. The real reason for the Employee Free Choice (?) Act becomes clear. Its purpose is to abolish the secrecy of the ballot so that union organizers can put pressure on employees who don’t vote for the union. It will assist the unions by biasing elections in their favor, because unions are losing too many of the secret and free elections as they are.

If the ACLU was genuinely interested in protecting the “liberties” of the American people, they would certainly not be seeking to destroy a basic American freedom to cast a private ballot.

Joining the ACLU in seeking to pollute the results of union elections, are the following organizations, among others: ACORN, American Friends Service Committee, the American Library Association, Americans for Democratic Action, Black Leadership Forum, Center for American Progress, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Human Rights Campaign, assorted Grey Panthers organizations, assorted Progressives, including the Progressive Jewish Alliance, People for the American Way, the Sierra Club, the United Nations Association of the National Capital Area (what business is this of UN supporters?), United University Professors. A fairly complete list of these supporters appears in the Examiner article, below.

The phrase “round up the usual suspects” comes to mind. These are all leftist organizations. Some seek to cheat for preferred results in American elections. The first one, ACORN, has a long and colorful record of convictions of its people for election fraud. In short, the supporters of this Act want anything but free choice by voters in any kind of election. Now, while it would be impossible to get this through for general elections, supporters think they can slam through this change in union elections.

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