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Office of the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters

November 13, 1998




C. Sam Theodus

November 13, 1998

Page 1


C. Sam Theodus

202 James Circle

Avon Lake, OH  44012


Canadian Members Issues First Slate

c/o Rob Fletcher

71 Buchan Road

London, ON  N5V 4H6                            CANADA

Fax: (519) 455-4668


Hoffa Unity Slate

c/o Patrick J. Szymanski, Esq.

Baptiste & Wilder

1150 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 500

Washington, DC  20036

Fax: (202) 223-9677


Louis Lacroix Team Canada Slate

c/o Ron Douglas

Teamsters Canada

#204-1867 West Broadway

Vancouver, BC  V6J 4W1              CANADA

Fax: (604) 736-3518

Ed J. Mireles

1208 S. Kings Court

Anaheim, CA  92801

Fax: (714) 978-0576

attn. Sherry Sanzaro


Tom Leedham “Rank and File Power” Slate

c/o Arthur Z. Schwartz, Esq.

Kennedy, Schwartz & Cure, P.C.

113 University Place

New York, NY  10003

Fax: (212) 358-0207


John Metz Slate

c/o George O. Suggs, Esq.

Wilburn & Suggs

1015 Locust, Suite 818

St. Louis, MO  63101

Fax: (314) 231-0491


Aaron Belk

6502 Poplar Corner

Walls, MS  38680

Fax: (601) 781-5434

C. Sam Theodus

November 13, 1998

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George W. Cashman

15 Willow Street

Woburn, MA  01801

Fax: (617) 241-7512

Kenneth L. Hollowell

15336 Robson Road

Detroit, MI  48216

Fax: (313) 961-9863

C. Sam Theodus

November 13, 1998

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Robert H. Spearman

D-13 121 Bybee Drive

McMinnville, TN  37110

Fax: (931) 473-1946

C. Sam Theodus

November 13, 1998

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C. Sam Theodus

November 13, 1998

Page 1


Re: Election Office Case No. PR-389-EO-EOH

C. Sam Theodus

November 13, 1998

Page 1





C. Sam Theodus, a candidate for International vice president at-large, 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”) against Election Officer Michael G. Cherkasky.  The protester alleges that the facts revealed in a November 6, 1998 memorandum sent by the Election Officer to all candidates regarding a typographical error in the Teamsters Canada ballot, reveals inexcusable errors on the part of the Election Officer and “should cause your office to reconsider what has and has not taken place and start over and do it right.”


The protest was investigated by Deputy Election Officer Benetta M. Mansfield.


Late on Thursday, November 5, 1998, a typographical error was discovered on the Teamsters Canada ballot and brought to the attention of the Election Officer.  The error appears in the English-language voting instructions.  In the line concerning voting for the position of regional vice president, the instructions read “Vote for no more than . . . five (2) Regional Vice Presidents.”  The French-language instructions are correct.


C. Sam Theodus

November 13, 1998

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On November 6, 1998, the Election Officer arranged to have a postcard printed and then mailed by first class mail on Monday, November 9, 1998 to all members who received ballots in Teamsters Canada advising them of the error and telling them to contact the Election Office at 1-800-565-VOTE to receive a new ballot if they voted improperly.[1]  November 9 was the earliest date after notice of the problem by which a post card could be printed and addressed for mailing.  Also on November 6, the boiler room operators were provided with a script to be used to provide information about the typographical error to Teamsters Canada members who call in.  In addition, the Election Officer directed that a copy of the information contained in the postcard be inserted into any ballot remailed to a Canadian member.


On November 6, 1998, the Election Officer sent a memorandum to all candidates and slates advising them of the error and detailing the above actions taken. 


On November 10, 1998, the Election Officer asked the IBT to send a TITAN message to all Canadian local unions advising them of the error and requesting that each local union immediately post the TITAN message at the local union offices or hall. 


The boiler room has volunteered information about the typographical error to all Canadian members who have called since November 6, 1998.  As of the date of this decision, only one member has contacted either the boiler room or the Election Office concerning the English-language instructions for regional vice presidents on the Teamsters Canada ballot.


The Election Officer regrets any typographical error in the ballot.  Once aware of the error, the Election Officer took immediate and extraordinary actions to advise each affected IBT  member in Canada.  The remedial action was fashioned to convey the information to every Canadian member personally.  The Election Officer has notified every Canadian member who received a ballot of the error, and of their right to request a new ballot.  The Election Officer has confirmed that the corrective postcard has been received. There is no indication that the error has confused the Canadian voters.


Mr. Theodus also complains that his name appears as Sam Theodus on the Teamsters Canada ballot instead of C. Sam Theodus.  Although Mr. Theodus ran as Sam Theodus in 1996, he requested that the Election Officer have his name listed as C. Sam Theodus in the International Officer Rerun Election.  The Election Officer made that correction on all of the ballots mailed in the United States.  The correction was made on the Canadian ballot proof but

C. Sam Theodus

November 13, 1998

Page 1


is not corrected on the printed ballot which was mailed to the members.[2]  Count Coordinator Dennis M. Sarsany telephoned Mr. Theodus just as the ballots were mailed to advise him of this error.  Mr. Theodus advised Mr. Sarsany that this was not a problem and that the Canadian members recognized him as Sam Theodus anyway.  Mr. Theodus now states, however, “I considered this a minor error and did not protest that issue however the second printing error can lead a prudent person to wonder if in fact these ballots were proof read by your office before printing.”


The Election Officer finds that the typographical errors in the Teamsters Canada ballot do not interfere with the right of Teamster Canada members to have a fair, honest, open and informed election.  The Rules at Article V, Section 4(c) state, in pertinent part:


Ballots shall state the offices open for election and the number of candidates to be elected for each office, and shall instruct the voter to vote for no more than that number of International Officer candidates.


While the written number is incorrect, the number of regional vice presidents in the parentheses is correct and the French-language instruction (on the same page as the English-language instructions) is correct.  Moreover, the Notice of Election posted at all work sites states that two regional vice presidents are to be elected from Teamsters Canada.  The same number was identified in the Notice of Election which appeared in the July/August issue and Special Election Edition of The Teamster magazine.  The number of regional vice presidents to be elected in Canada is the same as in the initial election in 1996.  Thus, information has been disseminated to the electorate, through multiple channels, repeating and confirming that Teamsters Canada is to elect only two regional vice-presidents.  The number of positions at stake has been made clear through all of these prior communications.


As to the failure to change the protester’s name to C. Sam Theodus, he previously told the Election Office that this was not a problem.


Based on the content of the error and the actions undertaken to advise the Teamster Canada members, the Election Officer has determined that these errors do not violate the Rules or require further remedial action.


Accordingly, this protest is DENIED.


Any interested party not satisfied with this determination may request a hearing before the Election Appeals Master within one (1) 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:




C. Sam Theodus

November 13, 1998

Page 1


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, 444 North Capitol Street, NW, Suite 445, Washington, DC  20001, Facsimile (202) 624-3525.  A copy of the protest must accompany the request for a hearing.






Michael G. Cherkasky

Election Officer


cc:              Kenneth Conboy, Election Appeals Master

[1] The text of the postcard reads as follows:




from Election Officer Michael G. Cherkasky


There is an error in the English instructions on the Teamsters Canada ballot.  The instructions should read:


Vote for no more than one (1) General President, one (1)

General Secretary-Treasurer, five (5) At-Large Vice Presidents,

two (2) Regional Vice Presidents, and three (3) International



If you have voted for more than two (2) candidates for Regional Vice President, call (800) 565-VOTE immediately to request a new ballot.

Avis aux Francophones Canadiens: Toutes les instructions pour voter en langue française sont correct.  Seulement les instructions en anglais contienent une erreur.

[2] The Election Officer also believes that the “five” was corrected to “two” on the Canadian ballot proof, but that the change did not appear on the final printed ballot.