Election bylaw changes proposed

    The 2002-03 A.S. Council debated nine proposed amendments to the A.S. elections bylaws at their final meeting on April 30. The council voted to refer the amendments to a newly created Ad Hoc Task Force on Electoral Revision.

    The proposed amendments included revising the bylaws to require a two-thirds majority vote of the A.S. Elections Committee to disqualify a candidate or slate, rather than the currently mandated simple majority.

    Other amendments clarified the definitions of such terms as “”classroom campaigning”” and “”campaign,”” made the misleading of voters a violation of election bylaws, and required that candidates or slates be notified of bylaws violations.

    The charter for the task force was approved by consent as an item of immediate consideration early in the meeting.

    Debate on the proposed amendments to the elections bylaws focused on whether the current council could make an unbiased decision following the disqualification of the Students First! slate from this year’s elections.

    Nick Lieberknecht, the 2002-03 Muir College Council chair, made a motion to send the proposed amendments to the task force for consideration

    “”If you look at the pattern of where people are voting, you see a pretty close correlation to how the elections turned out. Maybe that’s not a good way of voting,”” Lieberknecht said during the meeting.

    Amy Uyeshima, the 2002-03 Revelle College senior senator, cited the outcry from students following the last election as reason for the council to amend the bylaws.

    “”This is our chance to do something,”” Uyeshima said. “”Listen to what the students want.””

    As time for debate expired, 2002-03 A.S. President Jenn Brown moved to suspend the meeting bylaws to allow debate to proceed for another three hours. The motion was approved.

    About 10 minutes later, a councilmember pointed out that current A.S. bylaws state that motions regarding extended debate time are only allowed for items of immediate consideration and not for items of old business. Since the proposed amendments were classified as old business, Brown declared the meeting out of order and recommended an immediate vote.

    The motion to refer all proposed amendments to the Ad Hoc Task Force was approved by the council with nine votes in favor, eight votes against and one abstention.

    Kirsten Bowen, 2002-03 Earl Warren College sophomore senator, and Jeremy Cogan, 2002-03 Muir sophomore senator, co-sponsored the proposed amendment that would have increased the percentage of votes needed in the elections committee to disqualify a candidate or slate.

    “”The Senate can make rational decisions right now,”” Cogan said. “”I am confident that the [task force] will be able to handle these issues.””

    The remaining eight proposed amendments and the charter for the task force were submitted by Jeff Le, 2002-03 Thurgood Marshall College sophomore senator.

    During debate on the election bylaw amendments, Le expressed surprise and appreciation that the council approved the creation of the task force. He also encouraged the council to trust itself to vote without bias.

    Bowen and Cogan originally submitted their amendment for consideration by the council during the third week of winter quarter.

    The item was referred to the internal committee and was then held an extra week so that the amendment could be reconsidered alongside the task force charter and other amendments proposed by Le.

    The Ad Hoc Task Force on Electoral Revision will be made up of one representative from each college, two A.S. representatives and four members at-large.

    The task force is charged by the council to “”research, evaluate and reform the ASUCSD Election Bylaws … in order to improve the electoral process,”” according to its charter.

    Upon completion of these objectives, the task force will dissolve.

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