Senate upholds use of secret ballots
The Student Association Senate defeated a bill which would have ended the practice of secret voting during Tuesday’s meeting. The bill, which required a two-thirds majority to pass, received 13 votes in favor, nine opposed and three abstentions.
The bill, sponsored by Sen. Asher Corson (U-CCAS), proposed to “bring accountability and transparency to Senate voting procedures” by having senators write their votes on ballots pre-printed with their names. The public could see the ballots immediately after Senate meetings.
Several senators arguing in favor of the bill said it would increase the Senate’s accountability to the student body.
“All of us ran on campaign promises to reform the Senate, and this is our first big chance to do that,” Sen. Ben Traverse (U-CCAS) said.
Senators opposing the bill said publicizing votes would only serve to divide the Senate, create personal grudges and increase the complexity of logistics.
“It might give us a little good PR, but it will cause a lot of internal strife,” Sen. J.P. Blackford (G-SEAS) said. “(Using secret ballots) people can vote their conscience and not have to worry about what other people think.”