In late 2009, SERB published its rules regarding the use of mail ballots in public employer labor elections.  The rules were effective in early 2010.  Accompanying the rules was a procedural summary describing how SERB intended to implement its mail ballot rule.  Mail ballots were a new procedure for SERB at the time, but one that had been used before by the NLRB in the private sector.

Part of the procedure SERB has followed since the rule became effective involved sending a "mail ballot kit" to eligible voters in an election.  The kit contained the ballot and a means to return it to SERB.  The kit was mailed at least three days before the polling period began.  The polling period could run for a number of days.

Now that SERB has conducted some mail ballot elections pursuant to its procedures, it has announced a change to its procedure.  Specifically, effective February 1, 2011, ballots mailed back to SERB before the polling period begins will be valid and counted.  Those returned after the polling period ends will not be valid and not counted.  The new procedure is already posted on SERB’s website, with the modification being shown in paragraph 7.