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KELO TV/Argus Leader: Amendment K

October 27, 2010, 6:00 PM by Don Jorgensen

KELO TV/Argus Leader: Amendment K
When you go to the polls next week for the 2010 election, one of the ballot measures you'll be voting on is Amendment K.  If passed, among other things, it would guarantee a right to vote by secret ballot to include union votes.

According to our KELO TV/Argus Leader poll this ballot measure could go either way.

Those in favor of constitutional Amendment K say all elections should include secret ballots, including votes within a union.

According to our KELO TV/Argus Leader poll, 53 percent would vote in favor of Amendment K, 23 percent would not while 24 percent are undecided. 

"I think it shows South Dakota voters care about secret ballots, I think they are starting to understand that Amendment K extends that secret ballot to union elections something they feel is fair and should be a worker's right.  If they are going to have to work for a union contract, they should be able to make decisions without awareness by the boss or the union of how they voted," President of the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce David Owen said.

But opponents to Amendment K say the measure is about deception. 

"This has nothing to do with secret ballots.  It has nothing to do with making it easier for workers to organize or collectively bargain.  All this is trying to do is to suppress wages in South Dakota and keep them low," South Dakota Federation of Labor President Mark Anderson said.

Anderson says if Amendment K passes, there'll be lawsuits filed against the state costing hundreds of thousands of dollars to defend. 

"It's unfortunate that the Chamber of Commerce has decided to, rather than be up front about the legal costs of this and paying for it themselves, they've decided to stick that on taxpayers of South Dakota," Anderson said.

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