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California Secret Ballot Amendment (2012)

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A California Deficit Prevention Amendment (11-0005) was not on the state's 2012 ballot. After having been approved for circulation as an initiated constitutional amendment, its supporters did not turn in the 807,615 signatures that were required for ballot qualification by the October 24, 2011 deadline.

A letter requesting a title and summary for the proposed initiative was signed by Alek Bohigian, and was received by the Attorney General of California's office on March 18, 2011.

Text of measure

See also: Ballot titles, summaries and fiscal statements for California's 2012 ballot propositions

Ballot title

Secret Ballot. Restrictions on Employees Seeking Labor Representation. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.

Official summary

Amends state Constitution to eliminate employees' option to designate union representation by proving majority support to their employer. Would require formal secret ballot election for any designation of labor representation. Restates existing Constitutional guarantee of vote by secret ballot in elections for public office and upon an initiative or referendum. Adds that secret ballot is a fundamental right.[1]

Summary of estimated fiscal impact

(This is a summary of the initiative's estimated "fiscal impact on state and local government" prepared by the California Legislative Analyst's Office and the Director of Finance.)

Potential increased costs on state and local governments. These costs are not known, but probably would not be significant.[1]


Tim Mooney, the national coordinator of "Save Our Secret Ballot," expressed the motivation for the ballot measure by saying, "We think intimidation of voters is wrong, whether it comes from your boss or a union boss. With a secret ballot, you’re the boss."[2]


Steve Smith, the communications director for the California State Labor Federation, said that the California proposal is about putting the issue in front of voters in order to divert union and Democratic resources that could otherwise be used in other campaigns: "The group has been pretty clear that this isn’t necessarily about changing the law. It’s about a media campaign to support an agenda against the Employee Free Choice Act. This is an attack on workers that we’re going to fight as hard as we can, and they know that."[2]

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  1. 1.0 1.1 Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Capitol Weekly, "Niello’s isn't the only initiative of concern for unions, Democrats," May 26, 2011