As election fever hit campus this week, students turned out to vote their favorite candidates into office. But what many of them didn’t do is answer the two referenda on the ballot. Why? They weren’t given the questions.
The Joint Elections Committee – the standard-bearers of procedural nitpicking and microscopic observation of all election-related details – did very little to make students aware that two questions needed their attention. The JEC, with its myriad rules, regulations and fines, was caught flat-footed on the ballot questions.
Granted this year’s referenda were not the most provocative. They addressed minor details in the Student Association’s constitution and bylaws. But inconsistent administration of ballot questions belittles the process of student elections – the integrity of which the JEC is formed to uphold.
What makes this even more bothersome is that JEC members constantly were hovering around the polls. Yet in some instances, even the members themselves did not tell voters about the ballots. So JEC folks can fine candidates for not knowing the minutia of campaign rules, but they themselves fail to administer the referenda.
The JEC even paid poll watchers to sit next to the polls, but if the JEC members failed to do their jobs, why should the poll watchers be expected to do so? Many poll watchers followed their bosses’ lead and failed to tell people about the ballots. Thank goodness elections come around only once a year, as does the JEC and its paltry imitation of the Federal Elections Commission.