Colorado Supreme Court hears arguments on Secret Ballot Initiative challenge

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July 15, 2009

DENVER, Colorado: Yesterday, the Colorado Supreme Court began hearing arguments regarding a challenge to the Save Our Secret Ballot initiative by organized labor unions. Earlier this year, a state board approved a title for the initiative. The proposal reads: “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.” However, AFL-CIO argues that ballot language violates the "single subject rule," a constitutional requirement that amendments address only one topic so as not to confuse voters. Patrick Davis, a political consultant backing the measure, maintains that "This is short common sense language. We don't expect the court to give us much trouble.[1]

If the Supreme Court upholds the state board's decision and clear the title and language, Save Our Secret ballot supporters will be allowed to circulate a petition and gather signatures to move the initiative onto the November 2010 ballot.

This comes in the midst of Congress' discussion of the Employee Free Choice Act, which would remove that requirement from the law, instituting a method called "card check."This would allow union leaders to view signature cards filled out during elections. Davis and other proponents of the initiative maintain that it is necessary to preserve the "fundamental right of an individual to vote by secret ballot," and that any infringement upon that constitutes a violation of basic civil liberties.[2]

See also

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* Colorado 2010 ballot measures