U.S. Department of Labor
Office of Labor-Management Standards
Division of Enforcement
Washington, DC 20210
(202) 693-0143 Fax: (202) 693-1343
July 26, 2011
This Statement of Reasons is in response to the complaint that you filed with the United
States Department of Labor on May 16, 2011, alleging that violations of Title IV of the
Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 (LMRDA), 29 U.S.C. §§ 481484,
occurred in connection with the election of officers for Local 512 of the American
Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO, (APWU) completed on March 6, 2011.
The Department conducted an investigation of your allegations. As a result of the
investigation, the Department has concluded that there was no violation of the Act.
You alleged that the Local failed to adequately secure voted ballots prior to the tally.
More specifically, you challenge the Local’s decision to pick up the returned ballots
from the return post office box in Annapolis Junction, Maryland, and move them to
Centreville, Maryland, for storage until the ballot tally on March 6, 2011. Section 401(c)
of the Act provides, among other things, that “adequate safeguards to insure a fair
election shall be provided.” The Department’s investigation confirmed that two
members of the Election Board responsible for the conduct of the election picked up the
tub of returned ballots on March 3, 2011, at the Annapolis Junction post office. The two
board members sealed the tub with packing tape, signed their names over the tape, and
stamped it with the Annapolis Junction date stamp. One of the two board members
then transported the sealed tub to the Centreville post office where it was stored in the
post office vault until the ballot tally on March 6, 2011. Article 11, Section 14 of the
Local’s bylaws requires that ballots be picked up from the post office on March 3 and
counted by March 7, or the first business day thereafter in either instance.
The investigation found no evidence that the actions taken were inadequate to
safeguard the fairness of the election. The investigation found that the only persons
with access to the vault were the Centreville Postmaster and Assistant Postmaster, as
well as one of the two Election Board members who transported the tub. Moreover, the
investigation found that when the tub was readied for the tally it was in the same
condition as when the two Election Board members had sealed it. The investigation
also included a review of the ballots. The review found no indication of ballot
substitution; the paper, printing, and color of the ballots were consistent; found no
unusual markings on the ballots or the envelopes; found no indication that the ballots
were all marked using the same pen; and found no indentations on the ballots that
would indicate they were marked in stacks. There was no evidence of ballot fraud or
tampering. There was no violation of the LMRDA.
You also allege that members were denied the right to vote because your ballot and the
ballot of another member were not included among the returned ballots and, thus, not
counted in the tally. Section 401(e) of the Act provides that every member in good
standing is entitled to one vote and that those votes be counted. The investigation
confirmed that neither your ballot, nor the ballot of another member whose name you
provided to the Department, were included in the tally. The investigation revealed no
evidence that the ballots were not included in the tally as a result of the Local’s actions.
The investigation confirmed that you and the other member in question were both sent
ballots. There is no evidence that timely returned ballots were omitted from the return
ballot collection on March 3 or the tally on March 6. There was no violation of the Act.
For the reasons set forth above, the Department has concluded that there was no
violation of Title IV of the LMRDA, and I have closed the file in this matter.
Chief, Division of Enforcement
Cliff Guffey, President
American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO
1300 L Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20005
Ron Borsella, President
American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO, Local 512
P.O. Box 701
Cockeysville, Maryland 21030
Beverly Dankowitz, Acting Associate Solicitor
Civil Rights and Labor-Management Division