Bills didn’t have a vote at the NFLPA election

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Plenty of rumors and reports have emanated from Hawaii in the 24 hours or so since NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith was re-elected.  One that’s entirely accurate is that the Bills didn’t have a vote in the process, because they didn’t have a voting rep present at the meetings.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, center Eric Wood attended on behalf of the Bills players.  However, the voting rep as determined by the players for 2014-15 is Kyle Williams, and the alternates are Corey Graham, Fred Jackson, and Kyle Orton.  It’s unknown why none of them were present.

The absence of a Bills voting representative meant that only 31 votes were in the total pool, making 16 and not 17 votes a majority sufficient to win the job.

Plenty of other rumors have been circulating regarding the original outcome of the first ballot, which had DeMaurice Smith finishing with fewer than 32 total votes.  One version that has gained some traction had lawyer James Acho as finishing second, with nine votes.  The NFLPA currently won’t comment on the specifics of the ballot that preceded Smith’s 32-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0 win, but it’s clear based on everything we’ve heard about the process that Acho, who didn’t even make his presentation in person, did not get nine votes.

Currently, the NFLPA is considering disclosing the outcome of the initial ballot in the interests of transparency.  Whatever the precise figures, the entire process took less than 15 minutes.  At a time when many were bracing for a protracted process with multiple ballots and what many believed would be the replacement of DeMaurice Smith, the one-ballot win was a surprise, whatever the precise number of votes Smith received.