SA Note: Joint Elections Committee sets tentative dates for SA and MCGB elections

The student election oversight board set the last two days in February for contests in the Student Association, Program Board and Marvin Center Governing Board.

Elections are slated to run from 9 a.m. on Feb. 27 to 9 p.m. on Feb. 28. Runoff elections for the SA presidential race have been tentatively set for two weeks later on March 12 and 13, said junior Ben Balter, chair of the Joint Elections Committee.

Elections are typically held during the last week of February with runoff elections scheduled two weeks later. This year poses an obstacle for election dates due to a scheduling conflict between the Law School and GW’s other schools.

“At the advice of the (SA, PB and MCGB), the committee has selected a series of tentative dates for the election,” Balter said. “However, we are still waiting for the Senate to finalize discussion on several amendments to the JEC charter before a final date is selected.”

Other tentative dates have been set as well. The candidate registration period is currently scheduled to begin Feb. 1 and end Feb. 8, while campaign postering is tentatively set to begin at 7 a.m. on Feb. 20.

This year, elections are going to be different than in the past due to the addition of online voting and the abolishment of slates. Balter said making this tentative schedule allows the committee to get a head start in order to ensure a safe and successful election.

“The prospect of online voting and the removal of campaign rules from the charter places on us a unique responsibility, one that needs to be carefully, and thoughtfully evaluated,” Balter said.

SA Executive Vice President Brand Kroeger, a junior, said the addition of online voting is a step in the right direction for the SA.

“I am confident that the JEC will enforce this progress in an ethical way,” he said.

Although online voting has the potential for voter fraud or intimidation, Balter said he is confident that the elections will run smoothly. In the fall, the SA held an online election for a referendum to increase the student fee and election officials did not report any voting improprieties.

“At the end of the day, though, I’m not sure that voter fraud is going to be a cornerstone issue,” Balter said. “We’re all Colonials. We’re all part of a larger GW family that has a history of respecting one another. We’ve got to have confidence in one another. We’re looking forward to a friendly, fair election.”

The SA senate will meet on Tuesday for their first meeting of the spring semester to vote on the JEC charter, which the body did not vote on before the winter break.

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