Wayne Peppard and I recently co-authored a paper titled “Local Union Elections – Increasing Member Participation – Electronic Voting (e-voting), Hybrids and other Options” . We produced this paper as a copy-write free draft to fill what we see as a gap in the information available to unions with respect to e-voting, and increasing membership participation in elections and/or other important union votes. We were also motivated by the fact that has been an increasing number of request from local union officers, and members for information about e-voting, and other options for increasing membership participation in local union elections.
Although there is considerable information about e-voting and electoral reform available on the web, including white papers from Elections Canada and Elections BC, our research found much of it is dated, not that relevant to unions, and is quite frankly not that helpful when considering the Pros and Cons of the e-voting systems that are currently available and are in use by some unions.
While Wayne and I tend to favor the use of e-voting as one of the ways to enfranchise more local union members and increase participation in local union elections, we recognize that some locals may feel the cons outweigh the pros. For that reason, and because we believe that reversing the trend of declining participation is of critical importance to the movement, we have included a section dealing with other ways participation may be increased.
Copies of this paper are available for free download at www.mdumler.ca.e-voting paper_ Sept 24_2012