3.22.1 Preparation for Ballot Tabulation
If the election has been run at multiple polling sites or times, the Division agent does not begin the ballot tabulation until all ballot boxes have arrived. The agent has all parties inspect the tape covering the ballot box to ensure that the seals are not broken. After inspection, the agent opens the ballot boxes and separates the challenged ballot envelopes from the other ballots. Any resolved challenges will be opened and intermingled with the other ballots.
At the counting of the ballots, each party will be permitted one observer. Spectators may, however, be permitted to observe the procedure from a reasonable distance, out of the immediate area. Pictures may be allowed by the press or the parties at this time.
The ballots are arranged in blocks of 50 ballots each and numbered sequentially. The Division agent recounts the ballots in the block to ensure that there are 50. After a block is counted, the ballots will be turned over, examined by the agent, and called for one of the choices on the ballot, or called "blank" or "void." As the call is made, the agent will lay the ballot on the count table face up and allow sufficient time for the observers to see how it is marked. If there is no protest, the count continues.
In an election consisting of two questions, such as the Globe ballot election for professional employees (See Section 2.4), the self-determination question will be counted first. Ballots with two questions will be separated from those with a single question. If the Division simultaneously conducts an election for two separate bargaining units, the ballots for each unit are different colors. The agent will sort the ballots by color, with the ballots face down, and then count them.
Only the Division agent will be responsible for calling the ballot. The agent determines the intent of the voter and calls out the voter's choice. One designated observer from each party is permitted to observe the count and protest any call of the Division agent. If an observer believes that the intent of the voter has been incorrectly interpreted, the observer may protest. The back of the ballot will be "stamped" or marked with the following information: 1) the name of the party protesting the ballot; 2) the reason for the protest; 3) the choice for which the ballot was called; 4) the choice for which the protesting party wants the ballot called; and 5) the number of the block of ballots from which the ballot came. The protested ballot will then be set aside and the agent makes the tally sheet with the choice called by the agent and a notation that the ballot is protested.
After the tabulation process has been completed, the chief representative of each of the parties signs the Official Tally of Ballots. The Division agent retains the original and provides a copy to each party. A party's representative may decline to sign the Official Tally of Ballots and will be informed that the failure to sign does not waive any rights to raise objections. To be certified as the exclusive bargaining representative, an employee organization must receive a majority of the valid votes cast in an election. If the results of the election are determinative and not affected by challenged or protested ballots, the ballots will be sealed in an envelope containing the case name and number, the date of the election, and the tally. If challenges and protests are sufficient to affect the outcome of the election, these ballots will be segregated and placed in a sealed envelope along with all copies of the eligibility list used at the election.