Democratic elections, with secret ballots, are at the heart of the democratic process. In theory, they legitimize both the elected leaders and the policies they advocate on behalf of the membership or populace. But rarely, in any country or organization, is the election process that simple or straightforward.
Election procedures are established so that all parties involved are aware of the rules and to ensure fairness, with all candidates required to play by the same rules. Some rules for labor union elections are required by federal law.