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BALLOT COUNT DELAYED IN VIEW OF COVID-19 PANDEMIC

2019 No. 12- March 19, 2020 (pdf)

2019 Contract Update #12

BALLOT COUNT DELAYED IN VIEW

OF COVID-19 PANDEMIC

**VOTING OPPORTUNITY EXTENDED**

Out of an abundence of caution, and in order to comply with local and federal health recommendations, the National Executive Board has made the decision to modify the election ratification procedures that were originally distributed in Contract Update #11 on February 10, 2020.  The ballot verification and count was previously scheduled to occur on March 23, 2020.  In view of the coronavirus pandemic and recommended preventative measures, it is not practical to conduct the ballot count at this time.

      In order to provide a safe environment with appropriate social distancing, we will utilize less people, in a more expansive area, to conduct the verification and count.  These safety measures mean that it will take significantly longer to conduct the verification and ballot count.

      As previously reported, the balloting period shall extend for at least 30 days after the mailing of ballots.  The ballots will be col-lected from the P.O. Office Box, verified, and counted beginning at 9:00 a.m. on the day chosen to begin the count.  The Union has retained the American Arbitration Association to certify the ballot count. 

     The ballot verification and counting is now set to begin on Monday, March 30, 2020, one week later than previously announced, and it is expected to take the duration of the entire week or longer to finalize and certify.

     The primary reason for this delay in completing the ballot count, even after it is started, is that the verification and count of ballots will be performed by fewer people, operating out of separate locations, but connecting with each other using telephone and internet connections, including video and/or camera connections.  This change is dictated by the need for social distancing. 

      In the event that federal or local government health officials invoke additional restrictions or quarentines such as a lockdown or shelter in place order, the NEB could be forced to delay the count further as appropriate.  All ballots received from eligible members during the extended voting period will be counted.

     All Local Unions may still send observers to be present at the collection, verification, opening, and counting of the ballots.  However, said observations will only be made available by video feed to the National Office.   

     Thank you for your understanding and continued support.

 


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