Transparency and Security in Union Elections

Security and transparency are of the utmost importance within labor unions. A report from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy shows that the topic of full disclosure and transparency within unions is not a new one, and has been near the forefront of discussions surrounding labor organizations since the 1950’s. New laws would require “full accounting” to union members and general transparency to the public as a whole, and these laws and standards continue today.

In addition to legal requirements, there is an expectation from your members to keep them informed about important matters within the union. A major piece of union business is electing leaders, and the transparency needed for this is understandably high. When running an election, you need to show your members that you have a process in place that is reviewable and auditable. This provides the peace of mind that in the event of a very close or contested result, you can perform a recount or definitively show the exact number of ballots cast for each candidate.

A second aspect of transparency that can add to member trust is utilizing a third-party to oversee the election. When an election is handled internally (especially if it is handled by those who are elected themselves), there is always a risk of someone accusing impropriety. Whether truthful or not, even just an accusation or question can damage the trust your membership has in how your directors are elected and how the union is run.

A final piece of the puzzle to consider as a union is security in the election. No matter how the vote is held (online, onsite, mailed ballots, etc.), your member data should be secured at the highest levels possible. This can be difficult if you are handling things yourself or are not working with an experienced vendor. A key certification to look for when you are researching election solutions: is the election provider SOC II compliant? What this means is that they have met stringent, bank-level security and control measures to ensure that data is kept safe at every possible step of the way. Want to learn more about the specifics of SOC II? Click here to read a recent blog post on what it means to be compliant.

With the right security and transparent measures in place, you can be sure that your union’s election is up to the highest standards and meets every expectation of your members. Want more information about your specific election needs? Don’t hesitate to contact us!