ASWSU to hold special election

Senate will fill eight vacant positions in election next week



Election Board Chair Bradley Warren speaks about the upcoming ASWSU special election.

DAN DOUCET, Evergreen opinion editor

The ASWSU Election Board will be holding the first special election in recent memory next week to fill eight vacant senate seats.

Election Board Chair Bradley Warren presented his plans for the election at the weekly ASWSU Senate meeting. Since it is the first modern special election, the Election Board will be setting the precedent for future special elections. He said the constitution and bylaws don’t have any rules that specifically guide how to conduct it.

“From what I understand, there was one way back in the late ‘70s, but it didn’t count or something,” he said.

The ASWSU constitution states that a special election must be held when three or more seats become open simultaneously. Warren said that over the past month, eight positions opened up, including two this week.

Because the senate is already largely made up of senators who were appointed, Warren said having an election will give the student body a chance to decide on their leadership. He said the terms for the positions will be until the end of the semester.

“We are having an election to make sure student voices are represented,” he said.

The vacancies include two at-large seats, which represent all undergraduate students. Every student is allowed to vote for at-large senators. The Carson College of Business, the College of Education, the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Veterinary Medicine, the College of Pharmacy and the uncertified seats each have one vacancy. Only students certified into these colleges can run for and vote for these seats.

Students who want to run for a seat have to complete a declaration of candidacy packet, which they can find online, and turn it into the student involvement office by Monday, Warren said.

Students wanting to run will also have to gather 15 signatures from undergraduate students to show that they have support. Warren said that once students do this, they will be put on the ballot. The actual election starts next Friday at 12:01 a.m. and will last for 24 hours.

“We are trying to do this in the most timely and effective manner,” Warren said, “and we believe a one day election is the way to do that.”

Warren said that all of the available positions are paid stipends every two weeks. Sen. Savannah Rogers said the paycheck is about $130.

“It’s a stipend system based off of minimum wage for six hours a week,” she said.

The special election will cost about $2,000, which will come out of the Election Board’s main budget. Costs include the advertising and the ballot system. Warren said the online ballot program alone costs about $1,050.

“We will be doing a re-request to get the $2,000 back for the general election,” he said.

Annually, there are $1,000 allocated toward the special election in the Election Board budget, but since board members did not expect to have a special election, they already spent the money they were allocated on promotional products.

Warren urged senators to write rules for the bylaws that would govern special election procedure in the future. Because the election is coming around with very little notice, he said he is working hard to get the word out.

Also in the meeting, senators unanimously passed a bill that further outlines the public relations liaison position. Sen. James Dalton said there was not a term limit set for the position, and according to the new bill the job would end at spring commencement like the rest of the senate positions.

“This bill puts a term limit to the public relations liaison,” he said.