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Secret Ballot

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OPINION
March 10, 2007
Re "Why so threatened by a union card?" Current, March 4 This column reflects poorly on Jonathan Chait. The universal U.S. acceptance of the secret ballot about a century ago was a giant step forward in improving government, weakening political machines and freeing the voice of the common voter. If cards are the new indicator of free worker choice, then a company that is unionized should only need to get a majority of the workers to sign a card to oust the union. After all, talking to someone about signing a card is not coercion, but, as Chait puts it, just "canvassing."
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BUSINESS
May 24, 2013 | By Donie Vanitzian
Question: Our cooperative homeowners association has an election for two of seven board members next month. As members we all received ballots recently, which we are instructed can be voted by mail (appropriate envelopes for secret ballot were enclosed) or handed in at the annual meeting. I mailed my ballot, with a vote for a candidate who then announced that he is withdrawing his candidacy. In light of that, I would like to re-vote. The board says that it is probably illegal and not practical to pull my original ballot and give me a new one. Is this fair or correct?
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 15, 1995 | FRANK MANNING
Pierce College's legal counsel has ruled that a school advisory committee violated the state's open meeting law when it voted by secret ballot to recommend elimination of four industrial arts programs, college officials said Tuesday. The ruling invalidates the 7-4 vote taken earlier this month by the school's 13-member Planning Committee, said Richard Follett, a member of the committee and the Pierce College Council.
NEWS
June 26, 2012 | By Alexandra Le Tellier
With a 24/7 news cycle focused heavily on politics, you'd think election day would bring out a bonanza of voters. With the exception of the 2008 presidential election, though, every polling place I've frequented has been a sleepy affair. On June 5, the California primary, there were five workers, plus me and my dog,  in the room. Pathetic. In its annual Ideas Report , the Atlantic proposes a solution: To increase voter turnout, abolish the secret ballot , writes Sasha Issenberg, who argues for a return to the public process we saw during the United States' first century.
NEWS
February 11, 1987 | WILLIAM J. EATON, Times Staff Writer
The Soviet Union has conducted what appears to be its first secret-ballot, multiple-candidate election for a regional Communist Party post, according to media reports. Two major newspapers and the official news agency Tass reported Tuesday on the outcome of an election for first secretary of a party district in far-off Siberia. It's not normally the stuff that makes headlines in the Moscow press, but this election was different: It had two candidates, and the winner was chosen by secret ballot.
OPINION
January 2, 2005 | MICHAEL KINSLEY
For better or worse, 2004 was the year the American Way of Voting changed. What had been startling novelties in the 2000 election were confirmed as new traditions. Recounts and legal challenges don't shock us: We expect them. And other developments suddenly seemed commonplace after years of steady growth. In Washington state, where I vote, they mail you a ballot on request, no questions asked, and once you're on the list you get a mailed ballot in subsequent elections without even asking.
NEWS
January 18, 1988 | JOHN BALZAR
Both Democrats and Republicans vote in Iowa's caucuses Feb. 8. But the process for each party is so utterly different, you would hardly know you are in the same state. For Democrats, the atmosphere will be open and boisterous--like a prize fight or the closing hour on the floor of the stock exchange. Here you vote with your feet, walking to a corner of the room and standing in public in groups backing the candidate of your choice.
SPORTS
July 27, 1995 | MARK HEISLER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Acknowledging the strength of the NBA players' revolt against their union, the National Labor Relations Board ordered them to vote on decertification. The decision, announced Wednesday in New York, had been expected. The insurgents had big-name players out front, led by Michael Jordan and Patrick Ewing. More to the point, they say they submitted petitions signed by 200 players--more than 60% of those on rosters at the end of the season--renouncing the National Basketball Players Assn.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 10, 1988 | TOM BETHELL, Tom Bethell is a media fellow at the Hoover Institution
The Republican result in Iowa was unexpected, and therefore interesting. But conservatives with whom I have spoken are filled with foreboding about the result. It's not that they dislike former television evangelist Pat Robertson, or that they will not vote for him. But they can foresee the no-holds-barred, Bork-style onslaught that his candidacy will no doubt soon arouse. Newsweek can devote an article (this week) to the assistance given by black churches to the Rev.
BUSINESS
March 3, 2001 | JAMES F. SMITH, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A union campaign for recognition at a factory in northern Mexico was overwhelmingly defeated Friday after the government allowed the vote to be conducted through an open shop-floor count, despite a pledge to the United States last year to promote the use of secret ballots in labor disputes. Just four out of 501 workers voting at Duro de Rio Bravo, a subsidiary of Kentucky-based Duro Bag Manufacturing Corp.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 1, 2011 | By Patrick McGreevy, Los Angeles Times
Reporting from Sacramento -- State lawmakers acted Thursday to make it easier for California farmworkers to unionize. The legislation would give farmworkers the option of unionizing without the usual petition, followed by a secret-ballot election. Instead they could submit cards signed by a majority of workers to state labor officials. The measure was approved on a 24-14 party-line vote by the state Senate and sent to the Assembly on Cesar Chavez Day, the state holiday recognizing the co-founder of the United Farm Workers.
NATIONAL
November 18, 2010 | By Richard Simon and Lisa Mascaro, Los Angeles Times and Tribune Washington Bureau
Outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday overcame divisions within her dispirited Democratic caucus to remain her party's leader, even after a member of the rank and file who lost his reelection bid called her "the face of our defeat" in this month's GOP blowout. Pelosi won the minority leader's job on a 150-43 secret-ballot vote that laid bare deep divisions within her caucus over whether the San Francisco liberal was the right person to try to lead Democrats back to power in 2012.
SPORTS
October 30, 2010 | By Grahame L. Jones
One month from Tuesday, on Dec. 2, the devils will gather around a possibly pentagon-shaped table in Zurich, Switzerland, checking their pitchforks at the door and tucking their pointed tails beneath their chairs. With winter fast approaching, there might be a fire blazing in the hearth. That would be appropriate, warmth and devils going hand in hand, as it were. Of course, things have been a little too hot lately for the devils. Each new suggestion of corruption and each new accusation of collusion, bribery and devil-knows-what has raised the temperature at soccer's global headquarters by several uncomfortable degrees.
OPINION
May 4, 2010
We don't often agree with Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, but he had it exactly right when he chastised supporters of an anti-gay rights ballot initiative for trying to keep their identities secret. "The 1st Amendment does not protect you from criticism or even nasty phone calls when you exercise your political rights to legislate or to take part in the legislative process," Scalia told a lawyer for a group that unsuccessfully sought to overturn the state of Washington's domestic partnership law. Scalia's colorful comments during oral arguments last week focused on a key distinction between signing a petition to put an issue to the voters and casting a secret ballot.
OPINION
August 16, 2009
Re "Budd Schulberg's heroism," Opinion, Aug. 12 Thank heaven Budd Schulberg was just about the last of the big-time turncoats to have informed on friends and colleagues, as every time one of them dies an apologist like John Meroney makes excuses for the anti-communist witch hunts. Meroney tries to justify Schulberg's actions by writing he did not believe that membership in the party should be a secret. Believe it or not, Communist Party membership was legal then, as it is now; to insist, as Schulberg apparently did, that political affiliation and the secret ballot do not extend beyond the rolls of the Republican or Democratic parties is an affront to the principles on which this nation was founded.
OPINION
March 29, 2009
Congress fought back against the Depression and unemployment in the 1930s with the National Labor Relations Act, protecting employees who wanted to organize unions but who feared management retaliation. The pendulum swung away from labor in 1947 when Congress passed the Taft-Hartley Act over President Truman's veto.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 9, 2002 | KEVIN THOMAS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Babak Payami's delightful "Secret Ballot" is another fine Iranian film centering on a character determined to carry out a task against all odds that reveals much about present-day Iran within the confines of government censorship. What's more, Payami, inspired by a short made by renowned director Mohsen Makhmalbaf, manages to make social commentary amid much humor. Indeed, "Secret Ballot" might be described as a serious comedy and is a work of effectively minimalist style.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 11, 2002 | From Times Staff Reports
Administrators at Antelope Valley Hospital must recognize the card-style ballots submitted by registered nurses who are considering union representation, according to a decision issued this week by an administrative law judge. In May, a majority of nurses at the 350-bed hospital submitted cards indicating that they wished to be represented by the California Nurses Assn., CNA spokeswoman Beth Kean said.
NATIONAL
June 27, 2007 | Joel Havemann, Times Staff Writer
Senate Republicans on Tuesday blocked organized labor's top legislative priority this year -- a bill designed to make it easier for unions to organize workers at nonunion workplaces. No issue splits the parties more starkly than those involving organized labor, and this vote was no exception: Democrats and two independents stood behind labor, and among the Republicans, only Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania broke ranks.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 19, 2007 | Robert Salladay, Times Staff Writer
More than three decades after the state's landmark Agricultural Labor Relations Act, a bill in the Legislature could dramatically alter how farm labor unions secure contracts in California. The newly introduced legislation could curtail the use of secret ballots when farmworkers vote on union representation.
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