Elections Board ready for this year’s campaign

Brittney Knox

Members of the elections board are appointed each fall, and this year, the board made changes to the Student Government Association campaign process for this year’s elections, such as the rules prohibiting chalking and stickers.

“The elections board for the 2010-2011 academic year is comprised of five students, one voting faculty member and three supporting staff members,” said Amelia Haas, elections board member and president of the Academic Honors Council. “Four of these students are appointed by the Vice Provost, one is selected by the SGA President, and one is the current president of the Academic Honor Council.

Other student members on the board this year are graduate student representatives Lauren Ward and L.J. Moore, sophomore Dashia Wilson and SGA representative Jimmy Screven.

Stephen Borrelli is a faculty member in the political science department and is a voting representative. Julie Elmore is a representative from the student and campus life committee. Kelli Knox-Hall and Carl Bacon are co-conveners of the board. All three are staff members that do not cast votes in elections board decisions.

“Our main challenge was also coordinating the SGA constitutional referendum vote and then updating our manual and deadlines based on the outcome of that election,” Kelli Knox-Hall, co-convener of the board said.

She said each year is different and exciting because you have a new group of candidates and their campaign managers to work with.

“I enjoy meeting the new students and seeing their enthusiasm for the elections process,” she said.

While some may only think that this is the only time of year the elections board is busy, they also play a role in other campus elections as well.

“The most important role of the elections board is to make sure that campus elections are conducted in a fair, honest and open manner for all who are involved,” Knox-Hall said. “Our responsibility is to the student body, so that they can trust the elections process, whether it is for SGA, RHA or Homecoming Queen.”

Borrelli, associate professor in the political science department, said he was asked by Mark Nelson, vice president for Student Affairs, to serve about three years ago.

“Although my research and teaching does not focus primarily on campaigns and elections, I have been able to use some of my expertise gained from observing national and state elections in discussions about how to handle student elections,” he said.

He said the elections board wants to continue reminding candidates to turn in the financial disclosure information every week, whether or not any money is spent.

“We want to get up-to-date financial information out to the voting public as quickly as possible, and candidates need to help us do that by meeting the deadlines for turning in their information on time,” he said.

Haas said the board works to protect the integrity of our campus-wide elections and, by extension, the integrity of our popularly elected student government positions.