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The Associated Press November 3, 2010, 8:18AM ET

SC voters OK right to secret ballot in union votes

South Carolina voters on Tuesday approved four constitutional amendments, among them provisions saying residents should have a constitutional right to hunt and fish and to vote with a secret ballot in union elections.

Two other approved questions set out rules for the state's reserve funds.

Legislators who added the hunting and fishing measure had argued the amendment was needed in case gun control supporters eventually try to restrict the sports.

The secret ballot measure asked voters to determine if a secret ballot is a fundamental individual right in deciding whether workers are represented by a labor union. The measure was an attempt to pre-empt stalled federal "card check" legislation that would make it easier for workers to unionize through a signature drive.

Voters also approved two constitutional amendments setting out rules for the state's reserve funds. One ballot question approved Tuesday would increase the amount of money that state government must maintain in its general reserve fund from 3 percent to 5 percent of the previous fiscal year's revenue.

Another approved proposal requires the first priority of the state's capital reserve fund be to replenish that rainy day fund instead of offsetting midyear budget cuts at state agencies.

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