At Tuesday morning’s Internal Affairs Committee meeting, members began investigating the reason for what many in Student Government believe was a low voter turnout in this year’s presidential and senatorial elections.
Internal Affairs Chairman Jason Taylor called for the meeting last week after he said he saw inconsistencies in the way the Election Rules Commission was running the election process.
According to Taylor, his committee will look specifically at three aspects of the campaign season.
The first will be the outdoor polling stations the ERC was supposed to have set up around campus Feb. 27 and Feb. 28.
However, complications arose the morning of Feb. 27 that forced the ERC to shut down the tables that day.
Taylor said the whole setup was a “disaster,” and his committee will investigate the situation and attempt to find the cause of the problem.
The second item is the ERC’s marketing of the election to the student body.
Taylor said he is working with SG’s Department of Marketing and Public Affairs to determine whether the appropriate steps were taken in advertising the election.
The third aspect deals with communication as a whole.
The committee plans to compare last year’s elections with this year’s to get a better understanding of how things might be better communicated among different departments.
Taylor said a contributing factor to the problems in this election may have been ERC’s confirmation so late in the fall semester. In addition, Taylor said the ERC didn’t hire someone to handle marketing until two weeks before the polls opened. The committee also said it will look at the rules to determine if they played any role in high voter apathy.
Supervisor of Elections Devin Lee and other ERC staff members were not present at the meeting.
Supreme Court could see impeachment
The SG Supreme Court held an emergency meeting last week to meet with presidential candidate Jessica Asuncion and running mate Tony Caldwell, who put in a request for a formal hearing to contest the election results.
The Supreme Court posted an informal ruling on the SG Web site Saturday that said it would deny the request for a hearing by the Asuncion/Caldwell ticket.
However, according to SG Statutes, the Supreme Court has only 72 hours to issue an official opinion. As of Tuesday night, that opinion was not published.
According to Lee, this could be an impeachable offense for the ranking judge – Chief Justice Kevin Williams – but more than likely it won’t be. Lee also said this isn’t the first time something like this has happened.
Although the new Phyllis P. Marshall Center is already underway, senators still haven’t reached a consensus on how to word the section of their statutes that outlines the structure of the Marshall Center’s Board of Directors.
The bill was brought before the 15 senators present at the meeting Tuesday night for the fourth time, and it was tabled for the second time – once for adjustments by the author and once because it couldn’t be voted on.
The bill would reword all of the descriptions of positions and titles of those involved with the Board.