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Office of the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters

              November 19, 1996





Hoffa 96 Campaign

November 19, 1996

Page 1



James P. Hoffa

Hoffa 96 Campaign

1959 E. Jefferson

Detroit, MI  48207

Fax (313) 568-4921


Roy A. Finley, Secretary-Treasurer

Teamsters Local Union 362

1200A 58th Avenue, S.E.

Calgary, Alberta  T2H 2C9

Fax (403) 255-9616

Patrick J. Szymanski

Baptiste & Wilder, P.C.

1150 Connecticut Avenue, N.W.,

  Suite 500

Washington, DC  20036

Fax (202) 223-9677

Hoffa 96 Campaign

November 19, 1996

Page 1



Re:  Election Office Case No. P-1233-LU362-CAN




The Hoffa campaign filed a pre-election protest pursuant to Article XIV, Section 2(b) of the Rules for the 1995-1996 IBT International Union Delegate and Officer Election (Rules) concerning members in Local Union 362 not receiving ballots in their mail ballot packages.


Regional Coordinators Gwen Randall and Peter V. Marks investigated this protest.


Local Union 362 represents IBT members in the Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta areas of Canada.  The roster used for the International officer election mailing indicates that 3,944 members were sent ballot packages.


Hoffa 96 Campaign

November 19, 1996

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The Election Office first learned that certain members in Local Union 362 had not received ballots in their ballot packages on Tuesday morning, November 12, when Regional Coordinator Randall contacted the Election Office to report on a phone call she had received from Roy Finley, secretary-treasurer of Local 362.  Mr. Finley reported that the president of the local union, Richard Eichel, had not received a ballot in his ballot package and that approximately 15 other members had called the local union office reporting the same occurance.  Ms. Randall requested that Mr. Finley provide her with the names, social insurance numbers and telephone numbers of any individuals who contacted the local union to state that they had not received a ballot in their election mailing.  Ms. Randall also informed Mr. Finley that individuals should call the Election Office tollfree number in order to request a ballot.


At approximately 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 12, the Election Officer received a voice- mail message from Tom Pazzi, Hoffa campaign manager, reporting the incomplete ballot packages in Local Union 362.  The Election Officer immediately assigned Regional Coordinator Marks to communicate with Ms. Randall, Mr. Finley and Mr. Pazzi to investigate the matter.


This protest was received on November 13, 1996, after the investigation was underway.


On Wednesday, November 13, Mr. Finley visited several of the larger shops in Local Union 362s jurisdiction.  He spoke to additional individuals who reported not receiving ballots in their mailing.  He also posted a page from the Teamster magazine which prominently displays the Election Officers toll-free number to call for a ballot if one has not been received.


Mr. Finley then transmitted a letter to Ms. Randall listing 26 members at various locations in the Calgary area who had received their Election Envelope without a ballot inside.  Election Office representatives contacted several of the members on Mr. Finleys list who confirmed that they had not received their ballots.


Since learning of this problem on November 12, either Ms. Randall or Mr. Marks were in contact with Mr. Finley on a daily basis through Friday, November 15 to monitor this situation.  As of Friday afternoon, Mr. Finley estimated that approximately 40 members in the Calgary area had received packages without ballots in them.


This is consistent with the Election Offices investigation.  In addition to the 26 names provided by Mr. Finley, as of Monday, November 18 at 12:00 p.m., the Election Office received 12 additional calls from members of Local Union 362 for a total of 38 members who received ballot packages without ballots in them.  By Monday, November 18, each of these members were sent ballots from Election Officers remail operation in Toronto.


Data Business Forms, Ltd. is the printer/mailhouse selected to print and process the mailing of ballots for the election.  As part of the Election Officers protocol, Election Office  representatives were present during the stuffing of ballot packages and checked on a periodic and random basis the stuffing of envelopes by pulling out ballot packages and examining their contents to ensure that the process was operating properly.


Hoffa 96 Campaign

November 19, 1996

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Since the ballot mailing operation is an observable event, all candidates were notified of their right to have observers present.  During the ballot stuffing process, John Doerkson, a member of Local Union 362 and a crendentialed representative of James P. Hoffa, was present at the mailhouse and observed, at various times, the processing of mail ballot packages.


Despite the random checks during the ballot stuffing process, it does appear that certain ballot packages processed for Local Union 362 did not contain a ballot.  Based upon the Election Offices investigation to date, however, it appears that this occurred in a very small percentage of cases in Local Union 362 (38 out of the 3,944 mailed, or less than 1%).


In preparing for this mail ballot election, the Election Officer recognizes that for a variety of reasons some small fraction of members who are eligible to receive a ballot may not get one in the initial mailing.  Because of this, the Election Office operates a toll-free telephone number for members to call if they have not received their ballot.  A reminder to call the toll-free number if a member does not receive a ballot is contained in the Notice of Election published in English, French and Spanish in the October and November/December issues of The Teamster magazine (and sent to Canadian members), as well as in English and French in the fall edition of Teamsters Canada.  The Notice is also posted on the bulletin boards at every work site.  In addition, after the problem was identified, Mr. Finley posted the additional notice featuring the toll-free number on bulletin boards at major work sites in the Calgary area, as well as notifying business agents as to the telephone number and procedure to be followed.


The toll-free number is part of the Election Offices operation of a boilerroom, staffed by the Election Officers computer consultant and a staff of over 30 individuals.  Their tasks involve answering the toll-free number, open from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. EST, receiving new addresses from members and requests for new or duplicate ballots, and logging these calls.  As part of this investigation, the Election Officer has reviewed records from the incoming phone calls to the 800 number to determine if there was any widespread problem with respect to ballots not being enclosed in envelopes.  As of noon on Monday, November 18, out of more than 3,043 phone calls logged to date, a total of 95 members (including the 38 in Local

Union 362) had reported not receiving a complete ballot package, i.e., without a ballot, return envelope or secret ballot envelope.  The other incomplete ballot package calls were spread through 29 local unions with less than four such instances in any given local union except for Local Union 31, where there were 21 such calls logged.  Ballot packages were sent out to 7,545 members of Local Union 31.


Based on this investigation, the Election Officer is satisfied that any member of Local Union 362 who received a ballot package without a ballot enclosed has had ample notice of the process to be followed to receive a ballot and that those who have been identified, either through calling the 800 number or having initially reported this problem to the local union, are being provided with a ballot so that they will be able to vote in the election.  The evidence thus far demonstrates that the absence of ballots or otherwise incomplete ballot packages is a minor problem that can be fully remedied through the established procedures of the Election Office.

Hoffa 96 Campaign

November 19, 1996

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In the printing and processing of more than 1.4 million ballots for more than 560 local unions, it is inevitable that isolated problems may arise.  The Election Officer, guided by the Rules, the Supplemental Rules for the Conduct of the 1996 IBT International Officer Mail Ballot Election (Count Rules), and uniform administrative procedures, will ensure that such problems are addressed promptly and effectively.


The protester also implies that this problem arose because Local Union 362 is identified as strongly supporting Mr. Hoffa.  The protester states that this is:


[t]he second major problem involving a Canadian Local known to strongly support Mr. Hoffa.  The Election Officer inexplicably failed to print enough ballots for Local 31 in the original printing runand had to print an additional 4500 ballots.  Mr. Garnett (sic) Zimmerman, the principal officer of Local 31, is a candidate for regional vice president (Canada) on the Hoffa Slate.   


With respect to the printing of ballots for Local Union 31, at the time the mailing was initially being prepared, it was recognized that the original number of ballots ordered to be printed had been in error.  Had the original order been placed using our original estimated ballot needs, approximately 8,000 ballots would have been printed for the local.  Instead, the original order was mistakenly placed for only 3,340 ballots.  This necessitated the additional printing of ballots.  This was all done prior to the mailing of the ballots and did not result in any delay in mailing the ballots or any other deviation from the election procedure.  Contrary to the assertion in the protest, the need to print additional ballots did not constitute a major problem.


The protester has failed to present any evidence that the manner of handling the ballot printing or mailing in Local Unions 31 and 362 are due to bias by the Election Officer or her staff.  To the contrary, having reviewed the entire process, the Election Officer has determined that the staff and vendors have proceeded with their tasks in accordance with a set of uniform instructions and have not deviated from those based upon the perceived political support for particular candidates within certain local unions.


Candidates do not, however, have to rely on the statements of the Election Officer as to the fairness of the process.  The Rules provide for candidate observers to be present throughout all phases of this election process--including the printing, stuffing, mailing, collecting, sorting and counting of ballots--and see for themselves the evenhanded treatment that all candidates receive.


Accordingly, the protest is DENIED.


Hoffa 96 Campaign

November 19, 1996

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Any interested party not satisfied with this determination may request a hearing before the Election Appeals Master within one day of receipt of this letter.  The parties are reminded that, absent extraordinary circumstances, no party may rely upon evidence that was not presented to the Office of the Election Officer in any such appeal.  Requests for a hearing shall be made in writing and shall be served on:


Kenneth Conboy, Esq.

Latham & Watkins

885 Third Avenue, Suite 1000

New York, NY 10022

Fax (212) 751-4864


Copies of the request for hearing must be served on the parties listed above as well as upon the Election Officer, 400 N. Capitol Street, Suite 855, Washington, DC 20001, Facsimile

(202) 624-3525.  A copy of the protest must accompany the request for a hearing.






Barbara Zack Quindel

Election Officer



cc:               Kenneth Conboy, Election Appeals Master

Nathaniel K. Charny, Ron Carey Campaign

Leroy Ellis, Jr., Stand Up for Teamsters Slate