Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Saturday, February 23, 2019

Single BOE member will oversee spring SG elections, accept write-in candidates

The new Student Government Board of Elections Chair Douglas Bell reinstated write-in candidates on March 26 to allow other students not on the ballot to run in the spring election. The BOE decision came after the Undergraduate Senate passed a directive asking him to add write-ins into the election policy.

Bell was the only BOE member confirmed by the Senate, and the five associate member positions will remain vacant until after the elections, according to Bell.

Bell has unilateral power as the only BOE member, but this was “the least worst case scenario,” he said. The other options were to allow the Elections Trusteeship Council to run the election or nominate BOE members in the middle of campaigns, which would harm the BOE’s efficiency, according to Bell.

The Elections Trusteeship Council members Senate Speaker Alex Iannacio, President Emily Yu and Judicial Board Chair James DeLucia had a conflict of interest as current SG members, which could have affected the impartiality of the elections, Bell said.

Potential write-in candidates have to meet with the BOE chair and fill out the appropriate forms at least 48 hours before the election ballot is posted, Bell said.

The Senate passed the directive because the former BOE cut write-ins from the election policy book without informing the Senate of this change, according to SG Speaker Alex Iannacio. For this reason, the Senate did not add write-ins back into the policy book that the Senate approved on Feb. 24.

Elections Trusteeship Council Disbands, BOE Chair Takes over Elections

The Senate approved Douglas Bell as the new BOE chair on March 24, which disbanded the Elections Trusteeship Council. The Elections Trusteeship Council was created to oversee the spring elections after the former BOE was dissolved, the Eagle previously reported.

Senator-at-Large for the Class of 2016 Kevin Levy didn’t approve of how the Senate dissolved the BOE. Levy proposed a referendum on March 24 that would add the BOE to SG’s constitution, rather than the Senate’s bylaws, to make sure it remains a permanent body.

The referendum was pulled from the floor because no referendum may be introduced this close to an election, according to the Senate’s bylaws. Levy, the only sponsor of the measure, plans to reintroduce it in the fall.

Eagle Staff Writer Chloe Johnson contributed to this report.

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