1763 Boone v. Local Union 933
Case No: 1763
The election committee members do not have discretion to decide who is eligible to run for office. The election committee must apply the rules governing eligibility found in the UAW Constitution and the established interpretation of those rules by the International Union. In accordance with an Official Interpretation of Article 6, §19, of the UAW Constitution, retired members are ineligible to run for offices which carry the responsibility for handling grievances or bargaining. As in this local, presidents ordinarily get involved with matters of collective bargaining, contract administration, or grievance handling. A vote by a majority of election committee members would not have been sufficient to confer eligibility on a candidate who was otherwise ineligible under the Official Interpretation.
The purpose of election rules is to ensure that the election results reflect the will of the majority of voters. To overturn the results of an election based on technical violations raised by individual protesters would, in fact, undermine the membership’s decision making process. Our presumption of validity is designed to protect the membership’s democratic choice expressed at the ballot box from challenges based on insubstantial grounds. Therefore, even where errors are firmly established, we will not upset election results unless the protester can establish that violations occurred to such an extent that the results of the election can no longer be trusted as an accurate reflection of the membership’s choice. Many of Boone’s complaints do not describe violations of election rules. The election committee acknowledged that some candidates overstepped the boundaries in their posting of campaign materials near the voting area. In general, complaints about campaign materials should be addressed to the election committee so that they can be dealt with immediately. In order to provide a reason for upsetting the results of an election, a protester would need to establish a violation that cast doubt on the legitimacy of the reported election results, such as threats of violence or active employer interference. That evidence is not present in this record.