Labor’s Loss: Secret Ballot Protection Advances In Virginia

This week Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell struck a little heralded — but much needed — blow for privacy rights in the Old Dominion by signing two key bills: House Bill 1385, the “Secret Ballot Protection Act,” and House Bill 1931, the “KEEP Secure Act: Keep Employees Emails and Phones Secure Act.”

The “Secret Ballot Protection Act” will provide, according to legislation summary, that:

[I]n any procedure providing for the designation, selection, or authorization of a labor organization to represent employees, the right of an individual employee to vote by secret ballot is a fundamental right that shall be guaranteed from infringement.

A secret ballot is, of course, a cornerstone of the democratic process, and absolutely vital to ensuring elections free of intimidation and coercion — which explains why organized labor has so bitterly opposed secret ballot provisions, preferring insetad so-called “card check” laws whereby, as we put it in a previous OpenMarket post, “new unions can be formed with signatures from only a majority of a company’s employees on a card which union officials kindly bring right to your door.”