Election committee ready to set rules

The Joint Elections Committee is geared up to establish rules and enforcement procedures for the upcoming Student Association, Marvin Center Governing Board and Program Board elections.

Committee members said they are honing in on campaign-related issues that were problematic in previous years.

Revisions to the rules and JEC office hours will be discussed at the group’s first meeting Friday. JEC members also will meet with Mount Vernon representatives to brainstorm ways residents of the all-female campus can participate in the March elections.

Kevin Burkett, a returning SA-appointed JEC member, said committee members have informally discussed ways to allow Mount Vernon residents to vote, but the feasibility of a voting booth is in question. The Internet or e-mail may be used instead of a voting booth.

“We haven’t come to a consensus as a body,” said Kim McCaughey, a returning JEC member appointed by PB. “I know we’re going to look at (voting at Mount Vernon).”

McCaughey said JEC also will try to ensure students vote only for SA senators in their school. Last year students voted for senators from other schools, which violates voting rules.

She said she would like to see election rules more widely disseminated through an “election rules for dummies” handbook.

Burkett said he does not anticipate any significant changes in election rules but said he hopes the perception of the JEC will improve this year.

“There will not be a lot of changes, just a tweaking of the rules,” he said. “We’re looking to be a kinder, gentler JEC.”

“In general, (the rules) are pretty consistent year to year,” McCaughey said.

Burkett said last year’s JEC strictly enforced the distribution of campaign materials, but this year the oversight committee will try to increase efficiency for distributing candidate information.

“We’re going to try and look at making it easier to get (candidates’) promotional materials out,” Burkett said.

But the first calls for action are to elect a chair and vice chair and fill a vacant JEC position. The SA, PB and MCGB each appoint three members to the JEC, but the resignation of MCGB appointee Melissa Bernath has left a vacancy on the nine-member student group.

MCGB Chair Mike Petron said he has thought about a replacement but plans to raise the issue at the MCGB meeting Friday.

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