This year’s Joint Elections Committee has provided students with a comedy of errors unlike any other in recent memory. First came the saga surrounding the removal of several Student Association candidates from the ballot for rules violations. Then came the election-night drama of waiting until 6 a.m. for the results. Now, in what is sure to be just another act in this ridiculous farce, the president-elect became the president-unelect, and the race for executive vice president has seen some ballot changes. It seems each recount produces new “final” results – votes are added and subtracted, and students question the validity of the elections. It is time to do away with the JEC in its present form.
The incredible number or write-in votes prolonged the vote-tallying. But instead of taking its time to do the job right, the JEC rushed the counting and kept students waiting in J Street until 6 a.m. Thursday morning to hear the results. Alexis Rice was declared the SA’s new president. But a day later, the JEC announced it had miscounted. Oops. Now, Rice and presidential candidate Phil Meisner must face off in a runoff election. In addition, the results for SA executive vice president also were wrong.
The JEC should have known paper ballots would dominate the election; that was the JEC’s own doing. It was the JEC that kicked Meisner and EVP candidate Cat Sadler off the ballot, prompting them to stage a massive write-in campaign. The JEC should have used common sense amid the write-in confusion – it should have taken a full day to accurately count the votes. That approach would not have robbed students of sleep and the election of its credibility.
The JEC has a tough job. No one particularly likes the committee because its job requires it to act as hall monitor for the elections. But when the JEC manages an election as badly as it has this year, the reasons for continuing to support a JEC on this campus become moot.
Why should students come out once more and vote if the results could be negated yet again through a repeat performance of incredible mismanagement, a lack of thinking and pure incompetence?
The JEC has failed miserably. It is time to devise a completely new way to supervise and certify elections. The JEC’s incompetence has ruined the elections it worked so hard to regulate and has made the elections process even more of a laughing stock.