Is there any absentee voting procedure available for the election?

Date: March 2017


Dear Deans,

Since the CGSU has now given their notice of intent to file for an election, I am extremely concerned about the way in which the election will be held, that is, at physical ballot stations on campus. I am currently in absentia, conducting my research, and therefore will not be able to vote at one of these stations. CGSU’s refusal to look into the online voting option is not only an obvious attempt to make participation in the election more difficult, so that only those with strong involvement in the unionization efforts are likely to vote, but it also expressly disenfranchises students like me who will not be on campus at the time of the election. Is there any absentee voting procedure available for the election?


In Absentia Graduate Student 


Dear In Absentia Graduate Student,

Thanks for your question. At the Union-Management Committee meeting this week, we brought up the idea of absentee voting, strongly encouraging that provisions be made for absentee voters to have the opportunity to cast a ballot in the union representation election. Union and Management representatives discussed this option with the American Arbitration Association (AAA) which will oversee the election process, and AAA confirmed they can accommodate absentee ballots.

While the University (Management) endorses the use of absentee ballots, at the phone call with the AAA on Thursday afternoon the Union indicated it has not decided whether it will agree to the use of absentee ballots or not. We hope they will agree to give every eligible voter an opportunity to vote.

When we provide election logistics information to all eligible voters within the next week or so, we hope that we will be able to include instructions for absentee ballots.

Thank you for raising this issue. Good luck with your research.

Warm regards,


Barbara A. Knuth
Senior Vice Provost and Dean of the Graduate School