The workers balloted for a strike.

Does thhis sentence mean The workers —

  1. balloted to decide on whether to go on a strike or not,

  2. balloted and the result was to go on a strike (approved of a strike) — ?

  • 2
    If balloted is a verb (I'd use voted), then for a strike means #2. Balloted on striking might mean #1. Dec 28, 2023 at 23:54

1 Answer 1


This is a misuse of the word "ballot", which means "to organize a secret vote". The workers didn't organise the vote. Instead "The union balloted the workers on a strike". This doesn't imply that they approved the strike. (option 1)

If you use the verb "voted" you get "The workers voted for a strike", which means that they did approve the strike (your option 2). The example with the misuse of "balloted" is unclear. It might be understood as an error for (1) or an error for (2). Further context would likely help clarify what the intent of the speaker was.

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