On average, actual 2010 congressional race winners would have received only 26.1%of the votes in 2010 House elections if they had been conducted under the proposedNMB election standard.Fewer than 2% of Members would have even mustered 40% or higher
. Only 6 of 435current Members of Congress would have received 40% or higher in their electioncampaigns under the proposed NMB election rules standard.
More than 1 in 10 Members would have received less than 20% of the vote in theirelections
. 48 of 435 current Members of Congress would have received under 20% -- 11%of the total Members in the House.
One Member’s Plight
To illustrate the consequences of this proposed NMB elections standard,
let’s take a look at what
would happen to Rep. John Mica (R-FL), the Chair of the House Transportation andInfrastructure Committee and the lead driver behind the insertion of the NMB electionsprovision into the larger FAA Reauthorization bill
. Rep. Mica received support from 69% of the voters in his district who cast a ballot in his successful 2010 re-election campaign, amountingto slightly over 185,000 actual votes tallied for him.However, if you add the over 83,000 voters who voted against Rep. Mica to 312,000 eligible voterswho did not participate, then Rep. Mica would only muster 32% of the overall total
falling farshort of the majority needed for election. Rep. Mica would lose handily
to the 68% of “voters” who
chose his opponent or were non-participating voters whose absence was counted as a vote for thealternative.
While this may seem a ridiculous model for conducting a congressional election, that’s
exactly the point.
If the NMB elections provision moves forward, union certification for airlineand railroad workers will rely on just such a standard. Non-voters in the election will be counted
as “no” votes and tallied the same as voters who actually voted “no.”
If such a standard is unfairand ridiculous for Members of Congress, it is unfair and ridiculous for all elections in ournation
.The only votes that should count in an election are ones that are cast. This is not ideology, this iscommon sense. Keeping airline and ra
ilroad elections fair isn’t inherently pro
-union. But workingto ensure
that unions can’t win elections is inherently unfair and un
What it Means and Why it’s Important
The National Mediation Board (NMB) adopted a rule change in 2010 to bring NMB elections in linewith the same democratic principles as we use in other American elections: only count the ballotsof those who vote
. Updating NMB’s elections standards received bi
-partisan support in the 111
Congress, with 13 House Republicans sending a letter of support to the NMB.