Editorial

    This year’s election season has been marred by allegations and charges of foul play and unfair campaigning. With all of this going on, it is good to know that A.S. elections manager Robin Shelton has done a great job in applying the rules and issuing fair judgments for infractions based on the election bylaws. However, the Guardian would like to see the bylaws amended to outlaw the practice of saving space for posters before the campaign season begins.

    As far as this year’s infractions are concerned, Shelton has been fair in his punishments. For A.S. presidential candidate Bryan Barton, who broke bylaws by campaigning in class, not allowing him to campaign past Wednesday was a fitting punishment.

    It would have been extreme to disqualify him, but it also sent a clear message to current and future candidates that not following the bylaws is a punishable offense.

    We also agree with Shelton’s take on the grievance filed against the Students First! slate. In this case, by supplying KSDT with supplies to make posters that saved space for the Students First! slate, the slate was essentially campaigning before the elections began.

    For this, the punishment of not being able to have posters up after Wednesday is also fitting. It would not have been fair to disqualify an entire slate, nor would it have been fair to cut all campaigning that that slate could do.

    While this year’s rules were enforced faithfully, they do not address the problem that poster-saving presents. This practice is not only against the nature of the election bylaws, which seek to foster a competitive spirit, but can also hurt individual candidates not running on a slate. By coalition-building before elections begin to “”find candidates to fill slate positions,”” slates can make contacts with student organizations that could save space for the slates’ posters before the campaigning period commences.

    If an independent candidate approached a student organization to save space for him, or even post posters himself, that would easily — and correctly — be construed as campaigning before the election season got underway.

    Shelton and the rest of the elections committee have done a great job in enforcing this year’s bylaws, but the Guardian would like to see next year’s bylaws amended to address the problem of space-saving for campaign posters.

    This will only serve to improve the tone of next year’s elections, and give all candidates an equal shot at A.S. office.

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