Right to secret ballot in union elections could become Nevada ballot initiative

Nevadans could be facing a ballot initiative that would guarantee the right to a secret ballot in union elections.

The initiative will be filed tonight or tomorrow with the Secretary of State said Tibi Ellis, a Republican candidate for Assembly and state leader for the initiative.

Ellis said the language of the Nevada version will be similar to language promoted by a group pushing the issue in other states.

The group, called Save Our Secret Ballot, posted the language on its Web site: www.sosballot.org.

"The right of individuals to vote by secret ballot is fundamental. Where state or federal law requires elections for public office or public votes on initiatives or referenda, or designations or authorizations of employee representation, the right of individuals to vote by secret ballot shall be guaranteed."

The effort is in response to the proposed Employee Free Choice Act, a bill supported by organized labor that would allow labor unions to conduct so-called card check elections without an employer’s approval.

Organized labor groups say it would reduce employer interference in union organizing. Business groups say it undermines workers’ rights by denying them a secret ballot.

Ellis says it would take about 90,000 signatures to get the initiative on the ballot as a possible constitutional amendment in Nevada.

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