With a Spring Quarter election approaching, Associated Students Legislative Council approved three bills at its meeting Wednesday night that adjust the rules governing the voting period, campaign signs and candidate requirements.
Members of Leg Council amended a bill by Off-Campus Rep. Lindsay Saito that revises the A.S. Election Code that will govern this Spring Quarter’s election. In its final form, the bill requires a candidate running for an executive position to attend UCSB for only one quarter in the academic year immediately preceding that of the election, and it limits the number of campaign signs to one sign per candidate and one advertisement per party throughout all of campus.
In addition, the council took on the responsibilities of the A.S. Elections Committee, which has not been able to meet quorum because of member shortages, and extended the A.S. election’s voting period by one day – allotting undergraduates a total of four days to cast their ballots. A.S. Director Don Daves-Rougeaux said the student government’s by-laws allow Leg Council to assume the responsibilities of any entity with the organization if it is unable to meet the quorum.
“Essentially, anything put forth by the Election Committee is a motion and Leg Council ultimately has to vote on it,” he said.
In discussions about campaign signs, Off-Campus Rep. Adam Graff, who made the amendment limiting election advertisements, said problems enforcing the previous signage rules – which allowed two signs per candidate per grass plot, and two posters per political party per lawn – became “absolutely ridiculous” last year.
“Had the previous rules been enforced, we would have had less of a problem last year,” he said. “Unfortunately the language was interpreted for something other than what was intended. By changing the language, we removed the ability to interpret that language. If it is violated, it will be blatantly obvious.”
In discussion about lengthening the A.S. election voting period, some council members said they did not think students need that much time to cast their ballots.
“I think five days is entirely too long – four days is reasonable, and three days is, I think, enough already,” Rep.-At-Large Danielle Lesure said.
Lesure said the student government is not responsible for getting undergraduates to vote on time.
“If you’re really passionate about the issue, they’re going to vote regardless of the deadline,” she said.
Other Leg Council members, however, said the longer voting block could be a positive change.
“I don’t see the harm in this,” University-Owned Housing Rep. Felix Hu said. “I would have liked more time in the last election to look over the issues.”
The original motion calling for extending the time frame for voting asked for a five-day period for undergraduates to choose candidates and approve ballot measures, but council members voted it down.
In other business, Leg Council approved a bill to move up the meeting time for next year’s assembly from 6 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesdays to accommodate a time conflict with the Resident Assistant assembly period.
The group also passed two bills that clarify the roles of Leg Council representatives sitting on other boards and committees with the organization.