The Peoria (Illinois) Federation of Teachers had its officer elections last week, but some teachers are crying foul. Reportedly re-elected by a mere three votes, the incumbent is being accused of having used union dues to pay for campaign mailings, and it appears that some building representatives did not give out campaign literature for both presidential candidates.
Multiple teachers have also complained about the lack of secret voting. One of them (view her full comments here) wrote:
Most of the voters tried to locate places where they’d have some privacy, but few succeeded. Some teachers decided to wrap the ballot in the palm of their hands. Some were sitting shoulder to shoulder.
Another echoed her story:
When I entered the AFT to cast my vote for our Union representatives, I could not believe what I had witnessed. First, I did not sign in, because there was no sign-in sheet. Not only did I find this uncomfortable, but alarming. Because no picture ID was required,I could have returned, only to vote again. When it was time to cast my vote, I had to look around for fear someone would notice what box I marked X. This was due to lack of privacy.
According to WHOI in Illinois: “An attorney with the American Federation of Teachers, a union with which the complaint was filed, says not using secret ballots is a violation of federal law.” It’s a somewhat ironic trespass on the part of the Peoria local (allegedly), since its parent union is currently cheerleading legislative attempts to take away secret ballots in similar situations.