Can there be such a thing as a “pilot” union election?

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I was speaking at last summer’s NEA Representative Assembly.

I’m trying to vote in the Illinois Education Association’s Retired election, It’s for delegates to the IEA Representative election. The state meeting is taking place in the Spring.

For only the second time since I became active in the union, I won’t be running. I explained my reasons here.

But I’m still a member. And I want to vote. And while voting has already started and ends the first week in December, I haven’t been able to cast a ballot.

In the past, IEA Retired voting has been done by mail. I suspect this keeps the number of voters down. Around 2,000 members vote in an organization that claims 12,000 members. As in any election, low turnout keeps the insiders in and the connected connected.

I’m not saying there is a conspiracy. But you don’t have to be paranoid to know that somebody may be chasing you.

For years we asked why the voting can’t be done online. We were told by IEA general counsel Mitch Roth that it would violate labor law. The law didn’t change, yet we are voting online this year.

To vote, I was told I would receive voting information in the mail. Nothing has come.

I have heard the same about these voting problems from other members.

I wrote the IEA and they told me to call the number of the company contracted to run the online election. I did. A recorded message told me to leave a message. I did. Twice. Nobody has returned my call.

I have now requested a paper ballot hoping I will get it and send it back in time.

Will other retirees be so determined to vote? I have some doubts.

Emails from various IEA leaders and staff have told me this a pilot election and a work in progress.

Can that be legal? Can you have a pilot election that actually results in people winning and losing?

Maybe some people want the online voting to fail so that they can go back to snail mail.

It keeps the insiders in and the connected connected.

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