Resolution #78A-21-03

Safe, Secure, and Private Elections for National Officers

CWA is a diverse, progressive, and forward-thinking Union dedicated to secure, free, and fair elections at all levels. CWA members are involved in emerging technologies and are no strangers to technological advances. Technology has now evolved to the point that elections of National Officers can be conducted in a safe, secure, and private manner while allowing for the efficiencies that the new technology brings. However, due to the Department of Labor’s definition of “secret ballot”, there has been much reluctance on the part of CWA and many other Unions that have a secret ballot requirement for National Officer elections to utilize this technology.

Local Delegates to the CWA Conventions in the last two National Elections have had to endure hours of standing in line (Detroit 2015 and Las Vegas 2019), waiting until the next day to finish the process of electing officers (Las Vegas 2019) and voting multiple ballots all in order to ensure “secrecy”. That is precisely why this Convention has decided to remove the “secret ballot” provision in the CWA Constitution.

In this digital age, everything from doctor visits, filing income tax returns, banking, renewing automobile registrations, ratification of contracts, as well as other important and private business are all conducted safely, securely, privately, and efficiently through electronic means. CWA National Officer elections should also be conducted in a manner that is safe, secure, and private but is also efficient. Holding the National Officer elections electronically allows the delegates to use their computers, tablets, or cell phones in private to cast their ballots. Casting a ballot would take only minutes, instead of waiting in long lines. The results of the election would be available in minutes, instead of hours of manual counting of the ballots, late at night, after the voting had taken place. Most importantly, a private vote would still be ensured. Voting systems have been developed where the voting vendor is the only entity that has knowledge of a voter’s pin number or voter identification number, and more recently, voting systems have been developed where, once a vote is cast, there is no possible means to match a voter with a vote. Either voting system is preferable to what CWA Delegates have had to endure in the past.

Therefore, this Committee recommends that CWA conduct CWA National Officer elections electronically. The Delegates to this Convention have removed the “secret ballot” requirement for National Officer elections from the CWA Constitution. This resolution implements that constitutional amendment by establishing the specific manner in which the National Officer elections shall be conducted.

RESOLVED: That CWA enter the digital age of electronic elections and conduct its National Officer elections electronically.