College Council (CC) voted to create a Special Elections Committee to serve as the Elections Supervisory Committee for the special presidential election and to propose new bylaws for the election committee going forward.
Violations of the campaign bylaws by Meghana Vunnamadala ’16 and Emily Dzieciatko ’15 motivated the creation of the committee in the wake of the annulment of last month’s presidential election. The committee will be made up of a total of 10 members, including two members of each class that are randomly selected from a pool of interested students and two outgoing members of CC that are randomly selected from the Class Representatives. The outgoing CC representatives will be non-voting members whose responsibility is to assist the committee in scripting bylaws. The committee will select one of its other eight members to be the Chair, who will be non-voting except in the case of a tie.
Former co-presidents Emily Dzieciatko ’15 and Erica Moszkowski ’15 authored the resolution to create the new committee.
“The Elections Supervisory Committee as it stands should not be overseeing the next election,” Moszkowski told the council on Wednesday.
The resolution states that the annulment “has brought to light a variety of concerns from the Student Body and Council members about the procedure by which elections are run and violations of campaigning rules are adjudicated.”
The names of members of the new committee will be selected at noon today. Self-nominations for presidential tickets for the special election are due on Friday and an elections package will be distributed via email that evening. Self-nominations for any vacancies due to CC members running for the presidency will be accepted until Sunday, when additional campaign packages will be distributed if necessary. The CC/Record debate will take place on Monday, and polls will run from 4 p.m. on Wednesday, March 18 to 8 p.m. on Friday, March 20.
Once polls close for the special election, the new committee will collect ideas from the community about how the election process could be improved. Given that feedback, the committee will begin drafting a new structure and procedures for the Elections Supervisory Committee that will oversee all future elections. It will eventually submit the new bylaws it writes for approval by CC.
Among concerns about the Elections Supervisory Committee raised at the meeting was a question about the best way to run the election poll through BigPulse, the system that CC currently uses. According to Dzieciatko, BigPulse helps keeps the proceedings and results “as transparent as possible” but is time-consuming to learn how to use, especially for a semi-annual election. As of Tuesday, Dzieciatko said that the council is “still trying to figure out which third party would be best suited to run BigPulse” for the elections.