1. #1
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    Default Voting compromise

    I was wondering if any one might have had the unfortunate experience of having one of the members compromise a voting process. Our Local is currently in the process of voting whether or not to give up our negotiated C.O.L.A. as we are to receive per our contract in an attempt to save some of our Brother's/Sisters from being laid-off. We had our first vote (open for 2 weeks before closing) which came back as a tie, thereby nullifying the vote. After another motion to re-vote, we just finished an additional 2-week period for another vote. Unfortunately a couple of days ago, one of our members decided to break the seal on one of the ballot boxes to "change their vote", and now has compromised this process and the entire lot of votes (which closed this morning) have had to be thrown out. Now we are re-doing the voting period againWe have never experienced this type of issue in our Local's history before, and are discussing possibly some form of action to be taken against this Member, but what & how much? Any of you ever experienced this? What did you do? R.R.O. only vaguely addresses this in regards to punishment. Some have jokingly expressed "breaking the knee caps", "flogging" and other means. Besides the possible severe verbal reprimand that will likely happen, any ideas? Our Admin & Board of Directors have been awaiting the results, and now have to wait again, as are all the rest of us. Frustrating...............

    Thank you for your comments in advance........
    Greg Loveall, FF/PM
    Columbia River Fire & Rescue
    IAFF-L3215

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    I for one have never heard of a voting process like this. Any and all of votes we took were at Union Meetings. If someone wanted it to be a silent vote, then paper ballots were circulated among the members. Numbers were counted right there on the spot (2 tellers) and recorded in the minutes. Don't know what to tell you for your situation. Do you have a disciplinary process for such an action? If not then I dont think you could hammer him, unless if done by "special action" by the president.

    If you continue to use this 2-week long process (I will withhold my opinion of it) I certainly think you should enact 3 things:
    1. Once your vote is in the box, thats it. Tough **** if you want it changed.
    2. A steel box with a pad lock.
    3. A disciplinary procedure for those who mess with the votes or the process.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Anytime we do a ballot like this, a union officer goes by each station and gets a vote from each man. Names are crossed off on a roster as each vote is obtained. If someone is off-duty, they are requested to make arrangements to cast the vote. Until every vote is obtained, it's not opened.

    They then take the ballot box with them. The box is always in the possession of a union officer and is never left somewhere where it can be tampered with. When it's sealed, it's sealed with all union officers present, and the same is true when it's opened and the votes tabulated.

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    FWDBuff: thanks for your input. Let me add that our first vote was via our Local's webpage and voting electronically. After its close, only 2/3's of the members had voted with the results in a tie. It was motioned at a special meeting that we vote on the "Sideletter Agreement" again, only this time by paper ballot, thereby allowing all those members a "better chance" to vote. (I didn't really understand this reasoning, but after those concerned by this motion commented it passed). As the second vote was by paper ballot and some of our folks were on vacation, we utilized the "ballot box". This time we are allowing only 5 days, and the box is padlocked instead of sealed.
    As we have never had anything like this before, we have nothing in our By-Laws addressing this issue...its new ground for us. The member has issued a written apology to the entire Local, but many are still wanting more to be done. Expulsion from the local is in many ways too harsh for this, but the question is...what's appropriate??? Hence the general inquiry.
    Last edited by fyrmed; 09-14-2009 at 07:04 PM. Reason: spelling
    Greg Loveall, FF/PM
    Columbia River Fire & Rescue
    IAFF-L3215

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    On one hand, I agree with the members of your union that want his head to roll. On the other, you have nothing in your bylaws about tampering with ballot votes, so I dont think you could hammer him without some repercussion. Accept his apology and go on with business, which should include adopting measure to prevent this again!
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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