Yes, we on the elections committee chose to list write-in candidates on the ballot. This decision was made for a number of reasons, the strongest being that in the elections committee bylaws there are very specific rules that a write-in candidate must adhere to. Because all the write-in candidates who were listed on the ballot adhered to these guidelines, we felt that they had met the requirements and deserved to be listed on the ballot. Why are there guidelines to be a write-in candidate if they don’t deserve some of the same protections of regular candidates?
Additionally, some of the positions that candidates were running as write-ins for were unopposed. Would you like to be the person to tell those candidates that they cannot be elected to their Senate position now because they were included on the ballot? I think that the fact that they have shown any sort of initiative at all to participate in student government is admirable, considering that less than 10 percent of the student body is even willing to take three minutes to vote.
Additionally, the candidate orientation meeting IS REQUIRED. However, due to the fact that this is an election that takes place on a COLLEGE campus, there is some understanding built in so that those candidates who have to attend class may meet with the elections committee on their own time and have a mini-orientation. These candidates are all responsible for the same information as those who attended a candidate orientation, and are held to the same guidelines. Additionally, there was some confusion as to when elections (and therefore the candidate orientation meeting) were to be held, so the elections committee was willing to be understanding and flexible with those candidates who had valid excuses for missing the candidate orientation meeting.
Finally, if we are talking about disqualifying candidates, EVERY SINGLE candidate in this election who posted ANYTHING should be disqualified. There were so many posting violations that, if that was the only criteria for disqualification, there would not be a new ASPSU president, senate or SFC.
Student, ASPSU Elections Committee member
Editorial Board Response: We appreciate Ms. Robert’s response to our most recent editorial. However, we feel it is important to clarify some of her points and the position of the editorial board.
The Vanguard’s editorial called into question the elections committee’s choice to go against standard practice and list “write-in” candidates on the ballot with no distinction between those names and those of standard candidates. We do not feel that jeopardizes the “protections” afforded them.
In addition, Ms. Robert asserts that “there is some understanding built in so that those candidates who have to attend class may meet with the elections committee on their own time and have a mini-orientation.”
If this statement is referring to the election committee bylaws, their governing document, Article III, section 5.4 states, “Attendance at the Candidate Orientation Meeting is mandatory for all candidates.” There is no area in the bylaws that list an exception for any candidate.
Finally, Ms. Robert states that there was confusion over the timing of the orientation meeting. By the time applications were available, the date had been set and was listed on each application.