Students’ Association Senator and sophomore Ilana Kaplan-Shain filed an appeal Tuesday, contesting the All-Campus Judicial Council’s recent decision to void the elections. Her case, which reveals new evidence about the voting process, will be heard Friday afternoon and could validate the elections.
According to ACJC Chief Justice and senior Rachel Morrissey, this is the third appeal the ACJC has received — two appeals to the recent decision were already turned down.
“If the basic facts change, we have to consider all new information in its entirety,” Morrissey said. “The decision will not be changed unless the new evidence is strong.”
ACJC’s original decision dictated that not only do the elections need to be held again, but also the elections committee must provide an alternative method of voting to the online system.
“We’re hoping the decision will get overturned,” Class of 2005 Senator and elections committee member Thomas Hayes said. “But we’re still planning for if it is not.”
Hayes said the alternative method will be paper ballots on the second floor of Wilson Commons. The new elections will likely take place next Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, unless, of course, the decision is reversed. The campaign period for the new elections will be shorter than usual and will last four days instead of the usual six or seven days.Senior and SA President Lonny Mallach feels that poor voter turnout has affected the elections.
“Unfortunately we have low voter turnout in senate elections because students don’t perceive the senate as affecting their lives or exerting their influence over student life. I think that’s also why we don’t have many candidates,” he said. Hayes said that the election committee has discussed some ways of advertising the elections to improve the turnout.
“Some ideas we discussed were campus emails, getting RAs to inform their residents and putting letters in CPU boxes, but we haven’t decided on a strict course of action,” Hayes said.
Hayes feels that most senators wish to get back to the usual business of the senate and put this behind them. “To expect the candidates to campaign twice, the students to vote twice and the Election Committee to run an entire election all over again is unconscionable,” senior and election committee chair Steve Duszulak said. “Very few people have any idea the amount of time and work that goes into an election process from all sides.”
“I think calling for another election is excessive — it’s going to strain student government resources that could be better used elsewhere,” junior and senator Peter Ordal said.
ACJC is willing to answer students’ questions regarding the case.
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