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Office of the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters


for the



IN RE: HOFFA-HALL 2016,                      )           Protest Decision 2016 ESD 325

                                                                        )           Issued: November 3, 2016

            Protestor.                                           )           OES Case No. P-408-110216-AT      



Hoffa-Hall 2016 filed a pre-election protest pursuant to Article XIII, Section 2(b) of the Rules for the 2015-2016 IBT International Union Delegate and Officer Election (“Rules”).  The protest alleged prohibited ballot collection on behalf of Teamsters United.


            Election Supervisor representative Jeffrey Ellison investigated this protest.


Findings of Fact and Analysis


Article IV, Section 12 of the Rules declares that “[n]o person or entity may encourage or require an IBT member to mark his/her ballot in the presence of another person or to give his/her ballot to any person or entity for marking or mailing.”


A photo accompanying the protest depicted a hand holding three ballot return envelopes, fanned out like a hand of playing cards.  The caption attached to the photo read: “Zuckerman 3, Hoffa 0.” 


The photo appeared on the Facebook page of Eric Holstein, a member of Local Union 639.  The Facebook post was “liked” by Fred Zuckerman, candidate for IBT General President on the Teamsters United slate.  Both Holstein’s post and Zuckerman’s “like” were removed from their respective Facebook pages promptly after the protest was acknowledged by OES.


The protest asserts that all three ballots should be voided.


Holstein told our investigator that he took the photo and that the hand appearing in the photo was his.  He stated that all three ballot return envelopes that appeared in the photo were sealed.  He stated further that one of the ballot return envelopes in the photo was his, one was the ballot of his domestic partner, who is also a Teamster member, and the final was the ballot of a co-worker. 


Holstein stated that his domestic partner was present when the photo was taken; she asked him to mail her ballot.  Holstein further stated that the co-worker whose ballot also was in the photo had asked him to mail it for him.[1]


The domestic partner corroborated Holstein’s evidence in every respect concerning her ballot.  Moreover, TITAN records corroborate that the two share the same address.  Under these circumstances, we decline to construe Article IV, Section 12 so rigidly to prohibit a person from accepting for mailing the ballot of another member of the same household.


The circumstances with respect to the co-worker’s ballot are similar to those presented in Teamsters United, 2016 ESD 155 (March 29, 2016), where a member asked another to mail his ballot for him, and the other agreed.  In that case, we voided the ballot of the member, writing the following:


The Rules’ prohibition on ballot collection is strong, and sound policy considerations support it.  Here, Mineros accepted Colorado’s sealed ballot return envelope for mailing by Mineros.  The Rules declare, inter alia, that “[n]o person may encourage … an IBT member … to give his/her ballot to any person … for … mailing.”  Because we construe the ballot interference prohibition liberally we find that acceptance by Mineros of Colorado’s ballot violates the Rules because his willingness to accept the envelope “encourage[d]” Colorado to give it to him.  


In summary, the ballot of Holstein will not be voided under Article IV, Section 12 because the evidence shows that Holstein himself held the ballot that was displayed in the photo.  Further, the ballot of Holstein’s domestic partner will not be voided under the cited Rules provision because she and Holstein share living quarters and the policy considerations that support the prohibition against ballot collection are not implicated in such a circumstance.  Finally, the ballot of the co-worker who gave his ballot to Holstein will be voided pursuant to Article IV, Section 12 and the Teamsters United decision just cited.  The co-worker does not forfeit his right to vote, however.  He may request, receive, and vote a duplicate ballot, which will be counted if received by November 14, 2016 and the member is otherwise eligible to cast a ballot.  We order no further relief.


Any interested party not satisfied with this determination may request a hearing before the Election Appeals Master within two (2) working days of receipt of this decision.  The parties are reminded that, absent extraordinary circumstances, no party may rely upon evidence that was not presented to the Office of the Election Supervisor in any such appeal.  Requests for a hearing shall be made in writing, shall specify the basis for the appeal, and shall be served upon:


Kathleen A. Roberts

Election Appeals Master


620 Eighth Avenue, 34th floor

New York, NY 10018


Copies of the request for hearing must be served upon the parties, as well as upon the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, 1050 17th Street, N.W., Suite 375, Washington, D.C. 20036, all within the time prescribed above.  A copy of the protest must accompany the request for hearing.


                                                                        Richard W. Mark

                                                                        Election Supervisor

cc:        Kathleen A. Roberts

            2016 ESD 325



Bradley T. Raymond, General Counsel

International Brotherhood of Teamsters

25 Louisiana Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20001


David J. Hoffa

1701 K Street NW, Ste 350

Washington DC 20036


Ken Paff

Teamsters for a Democratic Union

P.O. Box 10128

Detroit, MI 48210-0128


Barbara Harvey

1394 E. Jefferson Avenue

Detroit, MI 48207


Teamsters United

315 Flatbush Avenue, #501

Brooklyn, NY 11217


Louie Nikolaidis

350 West 31st Street, Suite 40

New York, NY 10001


Julian Gonzalez

350 West 31st Street, Suite 40

New York, NY 10001


David O’Brien Suetholz

515 Park Avenue

Louisville, KY 45202


Fred Zuckerman

P.O. Box 9493

Louisville, KY 40209


Eric Holstein


Teamsters Local Union 639

3100 Ames Place NE

Washington, DC 20018


Paul Dever

1050 17th St NW, Suite 375

Washington, DC 20036


Jeffrey Ellison

214 S. Main Street, Suite 212

Ann Arbor, MI 48104

[1] We have only Holstein’s evidence with respect to the co-worker’s ballot.  Efforts to reach the co-worker were unsuccessful, and he did not return our representative’s phone message.