Fearing the Warren Commission and broken knee caps

Bookie extraordinaire for the UA, “Ignatius,” will take bets on anything from the Stock Market to Razorback games. Last week, he took numbers on the ASG elections.

Ignatius paid out triple for president and vice-president winners, but he demanded a four-fold return on picks that came in last and an even return on middle-of-the-road candidates.

With a lucky pick for secretary, I’m still $80 in the hole, and with runoff election being held today and tomorrow, I have a vested interested in who will be our next treasurer and, most importantly, vice president. The biggest worry, however, isn’t that I might have my knee caps broken upon failure of payment but my odds are getting bad as the ASG elections committee seems determined to undermine a fair democratic process as well my chances of coming out even in the God-forsaken race.

The committee, which oversees the elections of all ASG-related positions, has shown an impressive amount of weaseling during this relatively calm election. Only three elections complaints – possible violations of election rules – have been filed this year with relatively little repercussions for the candidates, as long as you ignore the example of Vice Presidential Candidate Jessica Fay.

The complaint against Fay, however, was not so kind. Upon hearing the complaint, about a violation on rules about mass unsolicited e-mails, the elections committee originally wanted to fine Fay 200 votes. They later cooled down enough to figure 46 votes would be sufficient.

The eight-headed demigod judged without mercy and took away democratically promised votes. Before an appeal by Fay was made to the ASG Judicial Board, she didn’t even have representation when the committee slashed her votes. How can they do that?

If the actions of Senator Kristi Hunter during an ASG meeting earlier this month are any indication, the elections committee acted more out of ignorance than intentional malice. An elections committee member, Hunter had tried to nominate someone for the chair of the senate, despite her being on the committee designed to regulate elections. For her, it was some silly rule.

The elections committee is also made up of active members of the senate, which should immediately make the senators all suspect to politics and the ravages of power, if not ignorance.

Do I know this for sure?


And no one besides the elections committee would know because the elections committee has never bothered to take minutes for the meetings. They’ve also never had a single tutorial in judicial practices or in ethics, unlike the ASGJ, who is not only completely separate from the senate, but is also required to have at least a minute understanding of the appropriate judicial process.

Aside from the apparent lack of organization or understanding with the elections committee there is also that little issue of denying students the right to choose their representatives by taking away votes. It’s been argued by several people associated with ASG that taking away votes is the only thing that has any real “teeth” when reprimanding candidates who violate election rules and ethics.

The other popular option is to fine the candidates large bundles of money, but those who want the “teeth” to bite down hard on campaign violators say the fine is useless when someone has a big Razorbank or parents with expensive wallets. Even then, they say, who will enforce the fine? Not even the campus police are up to that task.

These player-haters of democracy have a point, but so do I. In a campus election where only 22 percent of the students voted, it’s not wise to essentially tell students their vote doesn’t matter. Election control does need more “teeth,” but preventing a democratic voting process in any way must not happen.

Until ASG can figure out this little mess, it should not be up to an unknowledgeable, untrained and undocumented committee of ASG senators taking its secretive cue from the Warren Commission, to decide the fate of candidates and votes on campus. The judging of candidates should be left to judges, i.e. ASGJ.

The elections committee is threatening my chances of breaking even on the elections, and, like a threatened skunk, I’m beginning to make a stink. I don’t want to lose money first and foremost. But I also don’t want my democratic right to have “minor exceptions,” and I especially don’t want these exceptions to be regulated by a committee who doesn’t answer to anybody and evidently wouldn’t know how to do it even if they did.

[Original piece available here.]


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