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Allow electronic voting in trade union executive ballots

The idea

Allow all trade union members who wish the ability to vote for members of their executive bodies by means of an electronic vote. Currently all votes must be postal.

 

The blocking legislation

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Employment/TradeUnions/Tradeunionsintheworkplace/DG_179274

Balloting trade union members

When it comes to determining the method of selecting individuals to to fill the most senior positions in trade unions, the law requires a postal election to be held.

With few exceptions, there must be elections by ballot for the following senior positions in a trade union:

  • member of the executive
  • other positions where the person holding the position is automatically a member of the executive
  • president
  • general secretary

If you go to the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidated) Act 1992 at:

http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts1992/ukpga_19920052_en_1

and scroll down to chapter 51 paragraph 4 you will read:

4)So far as is reasonably practicable, every person who is entitled to vote at the election must—

(a)have sent to him by post, at his home address or another address which he has requested the trade union in writing to treat as his postal address, a voting paper which either lists the candidates at the election or is accompanied by a separate list of those candidates; and

(b)be given a convenient opportunity to vote by post

Why does this matter?

The idea is important because its impractical, costly and not time effective to send postal ballots to members of unions who would rather correspond, engage and vote with their union via electronic methods.

It seems incongruous that we can vote for some union positions electronically eg comittees (who have no exec powers) but not others.

It will reduce the costs for unions which will mean they can devote more funds towards providing services for their members.

Its efficient and effective.

Its not location specific.

It doesn't involve creating lots of unused paper and is therefore kind to the environment.

It has the potential to engage more voters than traditional voting methods, so it will therefore increase democracy.

Technology hsa progressed sufficiently to ensure that security is not a risk.

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