Procedures for Election of SEIU Local 26 Officers and Delegates

The Election Committee of SEIU Local 26 adopts the following election procedures to (a) conduct the election in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and Bylaws and applicable law, (b) establish safeguards to ensure a fair and  democratic election, (c) validate eligibility of candidates for office, (d) approve the form of the ballots, and (e) tabulate the results and certify the election. See Const. & Bylaws, Sec. 11.5.A(l).

The SEIU Local 26 election of officers and delegates will take place on Saturday, March 10, 2018, between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.  The election will be held in the conference room at Local 26 offices (826 18th Avenue NE, Minneapolis, MN  55413).

The voting will be in-person by secret ballot.   See Const. & Bylaws, Section l l .5.C(9). Absentee voting and mail ballots will not be permitted. No write-in or proxy voting shall be allowed. See Const. & Bylaws, Section l 1.5.C(8). The Executive Board will approve the manner of voting. The manner of voting will be widely published to the membership.  See Const. & Bylaws, Section ll.5.C(9).

Instructions on the ballot will clearly state the manner in which members should mark their ballots; for example, “Mark an X or checkmark in the box next to the name of the candidates of your choice. Do not put your name, initials, or any other identifying  information on the ballot.”

The ballot will also indicate the maximum number of votes allowed for each office; for example, “Commercial Cleaning Division Delegates to the Executive Board – vote for no more than seven.”

Each ballot will contain the officer candidates and the candidates for delegate of a particular Division or for Retiree delegate. The use of different colors  will assist in the counting of ballots.


The Election Committee will account for all ballots printed, and will ensure that the ballots are not distributed prior to the election. All used and unused ballots and other records pertaining to the election will be maintained for one (1) year following the election. See Const. & Bylaws, Section 11.5.C.  Election records include voter eligibility lists, sign-in registers, tally sheets, certification sheets, and any other documents or records used in the nominations and election process.

Candidate Eligibility

The Election Committee will ensure that all candidates on the ballot have been duly nominated and certified for candidacy in accordance with the requirements of   Section 11.5.B of the Constitution and Bylaws. If only one candidate is nominated for a  given office, that candidate shall be declared elected without further procedures. See Const. & Bylaws, Sec. 11.5.C(4).

Campaign Procedures

Every bona fide candidate for office shall have the right, once, within the thirty (30) days prior to an election in which he/she is a candidate, to inspect a list containing  the names and last known addresses of all members of the particular constituency of the office being sought.   See Const. & Bylaws, Section 11.5.C(5)

Candidates (including prospective candidates) for any office or supporter of a candidate may only solicit or accept financial support or any other direct or indirect support of any kind from members of the Service Employees International Union. See Const. & Bylaws, Section 1l .5.C(7).

The Local Union will comply with all reasonable requests of any candidate to distribute by mail or otherwise, at the candidate’s expense, campaign literature of the candidate. See Const. & Bylaws, Section 1l .5.C(8).

Voter Eligibility

A voter eligibility list will be prepared in advance of the election. All Regular Members in good standing of SEIU Local 26 shall be eligible to vote in the election, as defined in Sections 4.5(1), 5.8, and 17.6 of the Constitution & Bylaws. Such Regular Members in good standing are eligible to vote for officer candidates and for Executive Board delegate candidates for the Division to which they belong.

Retired members as defined in Section 4.5(2), 5.8, and 17.6 shall be eligible to vote for officer candidates as well as the Retiree delegate to the Executive Board. See Const. & Bylaws, Sec. 5.2(2); see also 29 C.F.R.  § 452.93.

Voter Registration

Voters must state their name to the election official seated at the registration table, and sign the voter register. A copy of a Voter Sign-In Register provided by the OLMS shall be used as a model. An ID or pay stub may also be used to provide proof of membership.  The election official will locate and mark members’ names off the voter  eligibility list as they sign in. The election official will also inquire as to which Division  each voter belongs. The election official will  issue to each voter the appropriate ballot corresponding to the member’s Division.

Challenged Ballots

The term “challenged ballot” refers to a ballot cast by a person whose eligibility to vote has been questioned by election officials, candidate observers, or members. A ballot can be challenged, for example, if a member’s name has been omitted from membership lists by error or a member’s payment of dues is in dispute.

A “double envelope” system will be used for challenged ballots. First, the voter will fill out a challenged ballot envelope, which will list on the outside of the envelope the following information: the voter’s name, the date, the voter’s Division, whether or not the voter is a Retired member, who challenged the voter, the reason for the challenge, and                              the election official’s name. Inside this envelope, the voter will place a blank “secret ballot” envelope containing his or her marked ballots.

The double envelopes containing the challenged ballots will be stored separately from the remaining ballots. The challenges will be addressed, and the challenged ballots     counted, only if an election is so close that the challenged ballots could make a difference in the outcome of the election. Election officials will preserve voter secrecy for any challenged ballots.

A set of guidelines for challenged ballots prepared by the will be consulted for informational purposes in handling any challenged ballots.

Election Officials

The members of the Election Committee shall serve as election officials to the extent they are available to do so. Members of the Election Committee may also designate any member (in good standing) to serve as an election official, except for candidates for office or candidate observers.

The first election official monitors the flow of voters into the polls, making sure that only 3-4 voters enter the registration area at any one time. Election official #1 also is responsible for monitoring the integrity of the ballot box, and for ensuring that no electioneering or other candidate activity is taking place near the polls.

The second election official, seated at the registration table, marks members’ names off the voter eligibility list, asks members to sign the voter register, checks voter identification and issues ballots.

The third election official makes sure that members mark their ballots only in the designated area, responds to observer questions and concerns, and monitors their activities. Election official #3 also handles any challenged ballot duties, periodically inspects the voting booths to collect and discard campaign literature, and direct members to drop their marked ballots into the ballot box and leave the polling area promptly.

Additional Election Committee members or their designees may fill any of the above-mentioned roles if more than one election official is needed to perform the listed tasks.

Candidate Observers

Any candidate shall have the right to have an observer present in all phases of the election.  See Const. & Bylaws, Section 11.5.C(2).  Candidates will furnish the election committee with a list of potential observers prior to March 9th , 2018.  No substitutes will be allowed.  The role of observers is to ensure a fair and democratic process on behalf of the candidates involved.  Observers may note any concerns about compliance with election procedures to election officials, and may challenge the eligibility of a voter if there are reasonable grounds to do so. Observers must not engage in campaign activities or engage in conversations with voters about candidates.   Observers must remain in the area(s) approved by the election officials.

A list of rules for observers recommended by the OLMS has been adopted. All candidate observers shall adhere to these rules, and shall be given a copy of said rules upon arriving at the polls.

Polling Place

The polling place will be a meeting room where the union ordinarily holds meetings.

No loitering by candidates, candidate representatives, or distribution of campaign literature will be allowed on the front “porch” or the 18th Avenue sidewalk from Central Avenue to Monroe Avenue, nor in the paved parking lot area of the union hall or in the building that houses the union hall.   There will be no photography, videography, or media personnel allowed in the polling place.

Election Equipment and Supplies

Adequate equipment and supplies will be on hand to conduct the election and tally the results. A list of recommended polling place equipment and supplies prepared by   OLMS will be used.  Every effort will be made to have the supplies listed therein available for the election.

Counting the Ballots

All doors into the polling place will be locked prior to counting the ballots.  The doors will remain locked until the tallying of all appropriate ballots is completed and the winners names are read aloud.  All judges and observers are required to sign in on a separate sign-in form titled, “Present During Ballot Tallying”.

The ballot box will not be unlocked until:

  1. All doors into the polling place are locked by a minimum of 2 judges and 2 observers;
  2. Everyone is signed in on the “Present During Ballot Tallying” sheet.
  3. Anyone refusing to abide with these procedures will be asked to leave.

Every vote on a valid ballot will be counted if the voter’s intent is clear no matter    what mark (“X,”  “filled-in box,”  “checkmark,” etc.) is used to indicate the voter’s choice.

The Election Committee will use the “call” method of counting ballots.  This method requires a three-person tally team consisting of a “caller” and two recorders. The caller reads the votes on each ballot aloud while the recorders independently mark the votes for each candidate on tally sheets and/or a white board.   Periodically, the two tally sheets are compared to ensure that the recorders agree and the vote totals for any candidate which do not match are recounted.  Additionally, alternating colors will be used to tally on the white board.  Some ballots may be partially spoiled due to voter error.  Only those portions of the ballot which are spoiled should be voided. For example, if a voter votes for too many candidates for a given office, only the vote(s) for that office should be voided. As a general rule, an entire ballot should not be voided unless it contains the voter’s name or other marks which identify the voter and violate the secrecy of the ballot.

Certification of the Results

The candidate receiving the highest number of votes of those voting for a particular officer position will be elected to that position. See Const. & Bylaws, Section 11.5.C(3).

In the case of Executive Board delegate positions for the Commercial Cleaning Division, the six candidates receiving the highest number of votes of those voting will be   elected as delegates. In the case of Executive Board delegate positions for the Security Division, the two candidates receiving the highest number of votes of those voting will be elected as delegates.   See Const. & Bylaws, Section 11.5.C(3).

In the case of the Executive Board delegate positions for each of the following: the Industrial & Allied Division, the In-House & Residential Division, and Retirees, the candidate receiving the highest number of votes of those voting for said position will be elected as a delegate.  See Const. & Bylaws, Section 11.5.C(3).

After the votes are counted and the winners determined, the election results must be certified. The Election Committee will prepare a ballot tally certification to be distributed to the membership. The model recommended by OLMS will be used in preparing the certification.

Installation of Officers and Delegates

Installation of newly elected officers and delegates shall take place at the next scheduled Executive Board meeting following the election. See Const. & Bylaws, Section 11.5.C.

2018 Election Committee Members:  Abdi Haybe, Chair Person/Security Division; Wendell Francis, In-House Division; Brett Halsey, Airport Workers Division; Eva Lopez, Retail Janitorial Division; Hector Sarabia, Janitorial Division; Kim Houle, Staff Advisor.

Did you like this? Share it:

Comments are closed.