Banks bill protects secret vote

The Senate Committee on Pensions and Labor has approved a proposal authored by State Sen. Jim Banks (R-Columbia City) to protect Hoosiers' right to vote by secret ballot.

Senate Joint Resolution 2 (SJR 2) would amend the Constitution of the State of Indiana to permanently protect the right to use secret ballots in elections, including union authorization elections.

The committee passed the resolution 7 to 3, moving the measure to the full Senate for further consideration.

"The most pressing need for SJR 2 is the move by a radical fringe of the labor movement to undermine secret-ballot union elections in hopes of coercing workers to join unions," Banks said. "But workers aren't the only group who would gain constitutional protection from this proposal. My resolution protects the fundamental right of all Hoosiers to vote by secret ballot so that their vote isn't subject to coercion and intimidation."

If SJR 2 passes in the Senate, it will move to the House of Representatives for additional review.

To amend Indiana's constitution, a resolution must pass both the Senate and House of Representatives in two sessions separated by an election and then be approved by a statewide voter referendum.

Banks said four states currently have similar constitutional amendments: Arizona, South Carolina, South Dakota and Utah.