Online voting in union elections

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More and more companies are opting for online voting for their union elections. Online voting is particularly useful in companies with a geographically dispersed workforce. And, in the context of the pandemic, it allows us to comply with the recommendation to limit interpersonal contacts and travel without undermining workers' rights.

Are online voting in union elections legal?

The use of online voting in election processes for workers' representatives is not new. Already in 2015, the Social Court of Madrid ruled in favor of telematic voting. The ruling, dated September 21, clarifies that the use of this technology is lawful as long as the security of the vote and the anonymity of the voters are guaranteed.

Article 69.1 of the Workers' Statute establishes that voting must be personal, direct, free and secret. And online voting systems make it possible to comply with these requirements, as well as with other organizational aspects contained in Royal Decree 1844 of 1994.

What guarantees are required?

Union elections can be very controversial. That is why it is important to have a provider that provides all the guarantees, thus avoiding unwanted challenges. At the very least, two important aspects must be taken care of: duly guaranteeing the identity of voters and ensuring data integrity. The first aspect refers to the electronic identification process, which in Europe is regulated by the Electronic Identification Regulation (REU 910/2014) and its Technical Security Specifications (REU 1502/2015). The second points to the issuance of voting certificates admissible at trial as documentary evidence in the event of a challenge.

If you are looking for an online voting service for union elections in your company, make sure that your provider meets these two requirements.

What other technical aspects are important?

Another important aspect when implementing telematic voting in our organization is the protection of personal data. The company, through the polling station, must provide the online voting service provider with the labor census. To do this, it is important to sign an Access Agreement under the terms established by the General Data Protection Regulation of the European Union (GDPR) and the Organic Law 3/2018 on the Protection of Personal Data and Guarantee of Digital Rights.

On the other hand, the system we use must take maximum care of the pillars of information security: confidentiality, integrity and availability. There are certifications such as the National Security Scheme, which will help us to identify those suppliers for whom security is a priority.

Differences between in-person and telematic voting

Union elections are complex processes. If we are going to give the option of telematic voting the technology we choose will play an important role but it will not be the only aspect to take into account. In an online vote the roles of the polling station and the interveners can be altered. Since, for example, the counting is done automatically. In addition, voters will probably exercise their right from home, far from the office.

It is therefore important that, when choosing a supplier, we consider the type of support service they will offer: Will we have a direct telephone number that voters can call to resolve doubts and incidents? Will they provide support to the polling station and voting officers in carrying out their tasks? How long will it take to know the results? Will they provide us with a valid record to present at the public registry office?

At Kuorum we have been organizing secure online voting for more than five years. If you need support with the organization of your online union elections, contact us without obligation.

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