Shall the Utah Constitution be amended to specify that elections currently required to be by secret ballot include elections under state or federal law for public office, on an initiative or referendum, or to designate or authorize employee or individual representation?
The right to a secret ballot is an essential and fundamental principle in our society. When the right to a secret ballot is removed, individual liberties and freedom decline.
This type of amendment has garnered national attention over many months. It originally passed out of the Utah legislature in March of 2009. Nationally, the “card check” or “majority sign-up” movement is being promoted by Obama, the Democrats and big labor. Card check is a method for American employees to organize into a labor union simply by signing a card, rather than by vote. Instead of holding a secret ballot election where employees can vote anonymously, card check would mean that the employees would unionize as soon as they reached 50%+1 of the employees signed the card. Opponents argue that signers could be coerced into signing through intimidation and pressure and that private ballots are a basic American right. A 2004 Zogby study showed that 78% of union members supported keeping the secret ballot system.
However, passing the “Employee Free Choice Act” (another name for card check), has been a key plank for the Obama administration. Not surprisingly, the effort has been actively supported by the AFL-CIO. Earlier this year, the national president, Richard Trumka, said “”I think we’ll get health care done and I think we’ll get labor law reform done before the year’s up.” Just a couple of days ago, he hinted that there might be a vote on this bill during the lame duck session.
By voting YES on this amendment to the Utah Constitution, Utah will maintain the right to a secret ballot. The Utah Taxpayers Association held a press conference yesterday where they announced their support for Amendment A, and the pledge they sent to every candidate in Utah. The pledge simply states:
By signing below, I declare my support for Constitutional Amendment A, SOS Ballot. My signature also authorizes the Utah Taxpayers Association to publicize my support FOR Constitutional Amendment A, on the November 2010 ballot.
On October 20th, the Taxpayer’s Association will announce which candidates have signed the pledge – and which have not. Expect to see a majority – a super-majority, even – of supporters.