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Colorado Save Our Secret Ballot (2010)

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The Colorado Save Our Secret Ballot was an initiated constitutional amendment that aimed to protect the right to secret ballots in federal, state, and union representation elections. Its supporters hoped to qualify it for the November 2, 2010 ballot in Colorado, however after being reviewed by the Legislative Council Staff the title expired.

The same initiative was filed in Arizona, Arkansas, Missouri, Nevada, and Utah. Currently, legislation, also known as the Employee Free Choice Act, is pending before the United States Congress that would remove that requirement from federal law.

Text of measure

The proposal read:

“The right of individuals to vote by secret ballot is fundamental. Where state or federal law requires or permits elections or designations or authorizations of employee representation, the right of individuals to vote by secret ballot shall be guaranteed.”[1]

Ballot title

Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution concerning the right to vote by secret ballot regarding employee representation, and, in connection therewith, guaranteeing the fundamental right of individuals to vote by secret ballot where state or federal law requires or permits elections or designations or authorizations of employee representation?[2]

Title challenge

The state board approved the title for the initiative but unions announced that they were challenging the title. Opening briefs were presented to the Colorado Supreme Court on July 14, 2009. AFL-CIO, one of the unions challenging the initiative's language, argues that the ballot language violates the singles subject rule, a constitutional requirement that amendments address only one topic so as not to confuse voters.[1]

Court ruling

On October 13, 2009 the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that the three measures, Initiatives 22-24, did not violate the state's "single-subject rule."[2] In reaction to the news, Mark Grueskin, legal representative of AFL-CIO lobbyist Philip Hayes, who filed the challenge, said that the court fairly addressed their challenge. However, Grueskin added,"We still think people will be confused by these measures: They purport to create exceptions to federal law and guarantee certain rights that will have to be litigated in the future."[3]

Path to the ballot

See also: Colorado signature requirements

In order to qualify the proposed measure for the 2010 ballot a minimum of 76,047 valid signatures were required. The signature filing deadline for the 2010 ballot in Colorado for initiated constitutional amendments was August 2, 2010.[4]

See also

Related measures


External links