The new Students’ Association Constitution being voted on is considered by many to be a much-needed update to an outdated document. Although much debate exists about how the new constitution was rushed to completion, this is unimportant to me.

Unfortunately, I cannot say the same about the way the new constitution is being voted into place. Whether it is a result of the rush to completion or a simple oversight in procedure, the vote results are questionable for a number of reasons.

My biggest problem with the vote stems from how the committee decided to ensure each student would cast only one vote ? by requiring students to associate themselves with their vote. Each ballot requires the voter to do four things ? to vote either yes or no on the new constitution, write their name, their student ID and their university e-mail address.

Next, I have a problem with the collection of the ballots. Not only does the person running the vote have to look at each ballot to ensure the voter has included their name, student ID and e-mail address, but the person at the table also has generally been an All-Campus Judiciary Council member, cabinet member or a member of the Constitution Committee ? all people who mostly advocate a yes vote.

In addition to this, when I walked into CLARC, the ballot box was placed behind the voting table. Initially, I thought that ballots had to be given to the person at the table to be dropped into the ballot box.

It appeared that many people felt that way. For the time that I was at the table looking at the proposed constitution, at least 15 people voted and not one of them dropped their ballot into the box.

Lastly, there was no designated voting area in CLARC. A number of students filled out their ballot on the voting table in plain view of everyone. This problem was also existent in all other voting locations I have seen so far, although I admittedly haven’t been to all of them.

So what is my problem with this vote system? It’s that some students could possibly feel pressured to vote yes when they haven’t even looked at the new constitution or would otherwise vote no. With each ballot filled out in view of someone openly advocating the new constitution and presented to that person, it is easy to see that some people could be swayed.

I like the new constitution. Unfortunately, there are a number of problems with the way the votes are being handled. Not only does it potentially violate any expected privacy surrounding the student’s vote, but it also possibly coerces some students to vote yes.

Kim can be reached at