Associated Students Legislative Council talked about changes and amendments to its elections code Wednesday night, but ended up taking no action.
Council members devoted much of the meeting to discussing a bill by Off-Campus Rep. Lindsay Saito, which would decrease the number of campaign signs during A.S. elections — allowing only one sign to each political party per grass lawn and one advertisement per candidate per grass plot. Saito, who is also a member of A.S. Elections Committee, ended up withdrawing the bill. She said there were several items committee and council members wished to revise, and she would present the bill and its revisions at the next council meeting. Saito’s bill also proposed changes to the eligibility requirements for A.S. candidates, and it would eliminate a clause in the Election Codes governing ballot recounts.
The A.S. legal code currently allows two signs per candidate per grass plot, and two posters per political party per lawn. Lance Tackett, Student Lobby and Committee on Committee chair, said a decrease in the number of signs would be more aesthetically pleasing and practical for the campus. The clutter of signage makes it difficult to care for the lawns, he said.
“The grounds people hate us [during spring elections],” Tackett said.
But Off-Campus Rep. Adam Graff suggested further limiting the number of signs allowed. He said one sign per party and per candidate throughout campus — and not just per lawn — would be the best approach. He said UCSB students do not like the litter generated by so many posters around campus, and the litter may leave potential students with a negative perception of the campus. Limiting signs more severely than Saito’s bill suggests would also benefit student candidates who do not have the financial resources to make multiple signs, Graff said.
Several council members voiced their disapproval of an amendment that would cancel the possibility of a recount after an election. Saito said the original intent in the legal code applies to handwritten ballots — A.S. now conducts its elections electronically. But after further discussion by council members, Saito said her revision of the bill next week will leave the ability of a recount unchanged.
Saito’s bill also proposed changes to a candidate’s eligibility requirements. Instead of requiring candidates to finish at least 60 academic units while in residence at UCSB before they run for office, her bill allows students to use units earned at other colleges toward their 60 unit total.
“We wanted to allow [Education Abroad Program] students that come back a chance at running for office as well as transfer students,” Saito said. “You don’t necessarily have to have leadership experience at UCSB to be a leader.”