The NLRB has issued an RFI (Request for Information) to identify firms who can provide the means for employees at businesses across the country to "vote" electronically on whether they want union representation. The idea would be that, sitting in the comfort of their own home . . . or the union hall, employees can use a computer, telephone or some other electronic means to register their choice on election day. This method of voting, so the argument goes, avoids the "intimidation" employees may feel when voting in a voting booth by secret ballot at their place of employment. Not only that, it would save the NLRB money by avoiding the need to send field agents to the companies where elections are scheduled. No ballot, no voting booth, no assurance of privacy, and no protection from someone looking over the employee’s shoulder, or worse, as she votes. And electronic voting can be ordered administratively by the agency in the dead of night rather than through legislation undertaken in the light of day.
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