Elections 2014: High number of unopposed candidates could lead to write-in bylaw changes
Published: Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Updated: Wednesday, February 5, 2014 23:02
Members of the Executive Council debated changing the election bylaws concerning write-in candidates at their regular meeting Tuesday night.
Cosponsors Daryn Frischknecht, Student Advocate vice president, and Casey Saxton, Public Relations and Marketing director, proposed the changes.
Currently, the bylaws are vague when referring to write-in candidates. Legislature states those students won’t be sponsored by the elections committee and consequently won’t have their platform, photo or video on the USU/SA website, and their name won’t be on the primary or final election ballot.
The bill proposed would allow write-in candidates to have their name of the final ballot if they receive the top number of votes in the primary election or the second highest number of votes, or if their votes are 10 percent of the highest number of votes.
Kevin Meacham, Service VP, asked if the write-in candidate would be subject to the audit official candidates are required to fill out.
“They’re restricted to all the rules and regulations a regular candidate is,” Saxton said. “They’re just not featured in election advertising or on the ballot.”
Emily Esplin, Executive VP, was concerned about providing voters with information and promoting an informed voting decision.
In years past, platforms were provided alongside the names of candidates on the ballot. Esplin said it might be a possibility to have the write-in candidate pay the $20 fee official candidates pay and receive their platform on the ballot as well.
Esplin’s idea would prevent a scenario where a student wants to read the platform of a write-in candidate with his or her name on the ballot but doesn’t know where to go to receive the information.
“That’s the punishment for not filing, is that their platform is not included on our website,” Saxton said. “They’re going to have to inform the voters of their platforms in other ways.”