Election of Union Officers

Department of Labor Rules For Election of Union Officers

Title IV of the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959, as amended [PDF], sets forth rules that every union must follow when conducting elections of local officers and elections of delegates to state conventions where officers will be elected.

DOL Resources for Local Election Committees

The U.S. Department of Labor has published several guides to help local election committees comply with the rules when supervising local elections:

This publication contains a step-by-step guide for conducting an election of local officers using a polling place or mailed ballots. It lists the requirements of the law, gives suggestion on compliance, and describes common mistakes that local election officials make. 

This publication lists all the steps for conducting a local election in chronological order. 

This publication provides recommendations to ensure that when ballots are mailed, local election officials are using the most up to date mailing list.

APWU Resources for Candidates and Election Committee Members

This two-page form satisfies the DOL requirement that candidates certify they have not been found guilty of a felony that would prohibit them from holding a union office. The form is also used for candidates to certify their acceptance of nomination and allow thier names to appear on a local ballot, and to affirm that they are in compliance with the APWU National Constitution and Bylaws. 

This presentation describes all DOL election rules as well as the requirements of the APWU National Constitution and Bylaws. It also provides tips on conducting local elections. (This document is used for training during APWU “webinars.”)

Statement Concerning Postal Union Political Literature on Union Bulletin Boards

Under federal law, it is illegal to use union property to campaign for union office. This prohibition applies to using union bulletin boards, copy machines, and all other union property for campaign purposes, and it is strictly enforced by the U.S. Department of Labor.

The APWU national Secretary-Treasurers’ office advises local election committees to not permit campaign literature to be posted on union bulletin boards. Union bulletin boards are where members who cannot attend meetings get the “word” about their union and what their representatives are doing. Since campaign literature cannot be censored, locals risk having offensive or divisive campaign material posted on their bulletin boards. Union bulletin boards should be for official union business, not as places for candidates to disparage one another.

However, if a local union decides to allow posting of political literature on its bulletin boards, it must make them available to all candidates on an equal basis. This means that all candidates for the office must be informed of the availability of the bulletin boards for campaign purposes and given a fair and equal opportunity to have their literature posted.

Sample Union and Employer Funds Prohibition Letter

Sample Union and Employer Funds Prohibition Letter [PDF]

This letter explains the details of Section 401(g) of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 including restrictions of the use of union and employer funds for any type of campaign purpose. Local election chairpersons should download this letter for distribution to candidates for all the “Do’s and Don’ts” of campaigning – especially in the workplace. 

News: Election of Union Officers

APWU Web News Article 93-2007

Final, Unofficial Election Results

10/06/2007 - Ballots for the APWU election of national officers have been counted by the American Arbitration Association, under the supervision of the APWU Election Committee. Final, unofficial results are posted. 

Official results will be posted as soon as they are certified by the Election Committee, and will be published in the November/December edition of The American Postal Worker

APWU Web News Article 92-2007

Unofficial Election Results Posted

10/06/2007 - Ballots for the APWU election of national officers are being counted by the American Arbitration Association, under the supervision of the APWU Election Committee. Preliminary, unofficial results are posted and will be updated frequently. 

Official results will be posted as soon as they are certified by the Election Committee, and will be published in the November/December edition of The American Postal Worker. 

APWU Web News Article 91-2007

Ballot Count Begins

10/05/2007 - The APWU national officers’ election ballot count began Oct. 5. Secretary-Treasurer Terry Stapleton has announced that approximately 77,127 ballots have been received. Unofficial results will be posted on the union's Web site,, as soon as they become available.

APWU Web News Article 88-2007

APWU Officers’ Election Ends Oct. 5

09/26/2007 - Time is running short for members who have yet to vote in the APWU National Officers election. Ballots were mailed Sept. 12-15, and must be returned to and received in the designated post office box by 2 p.m. (Eastern Time), Oct. 5. 

A small number of APWU members have reported that their completed ballots were returned to them. If you have already voted and your ballot is sent back to you, please draw an “X” through your return address and bar code, and mail the ballot again. 

APWU Web News Article 82-2007

Several Local and State Elections Set for Nov. 6

All-Craft Conference Attendees Urged to Vote by Absentee Ballot

09/05/2007 - Many APWU members who plan to be in attendance at the APWU All-Craft Conference in Las Vegas Nov. 5-8 should also make plans to vote ahead of time in elections taking place back home.

Several statewide and local elections are scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 6. Conference participants are urged to make arrangements — and soon — to vote by absentee ballot or, if permissible to vote early.

APWU Web News Article 71-2007

Candidates Certified for Election Of Chicago Region Clerk NBA

07/27/2007 - Secretary-Treasurer Terry Stapleton has certified six union members as candidates for the position of Clerk Craft National Business Agent (A) for the Chicago region. The nominating process was extended because of the untimely death of Percy Harrison Jr., who passed away on June 18. Brother Harrison had filed the necessary petitions for candidacy and was unopposed.

APWU Web News Article 33-2007

APWU Web Site 'De-Links' Locals During Union Election Period

05/02/2007 - The APWU national election period has begun, and in approximately five months, on Oct. 5, the counting of ballots will commence. 

The rules for the election of APWU national officers, as prepared by the 2007 APWU National Election Committee, appeared in the March/April issue of The American Postal Worker, with an update in the May/June edition. Other rules governing the conduct of union elections are promulgated by the Department of Labor. 

APWU Web News Article 24-2007

National Election Committee Amends Rules

03/26/2007 - The APWU National Election Committee has amended a rule governing the 2007 election of officers that was published in the March/April issue of The American Postal Worker.

The rule, which originally prohibited automatic national convention delegates from becoming candidates for Director of the APWU Retirees Department and Regional Retiree National Convention Delegate, will now allow automatic delegates to run for Director of the APWU Retirees Department. Automatic national convention delegates will continue to be ineligible to run for Regional Retiree National Convention Delegate.