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Volume 68, Issue 92, February 10, 2003


SGA elections approaching

Applications accepted today through Feb. 18

Cougar News Services

Application filing begins today for the 2003 Student Government Association elections, which will take place March 12 and 13.

"This gives applicants an eight-day window to get their paperwork in," Cullen Newsom, assistant SGA election commissioner said. Filing ends Feb. 18 at 5 p.m. and the SGA election commission said it would only accept applications returned to the SGA office.

With a new voting procedure approved by a Senate vote last week, the SGA is set for another electoral year, and without the ordeals of miscounting and election fraud.

Based on the computerized system used by the Staff Council in their elections last year, the new voting polls will take place on PCs set up at usual polling sites. The election commission is also considering using computer labs as voting centers.

The idea is to secure the polls against the possibility of fraudulent votes being entered or someone voting more than once. The system will be designed to identify each student by his or her college of major, and thus limit their voting privileges to the college. Moreover, the system will track a studentis login and voting to prevent multiple entries, the commission said.

On Feb. 24, two weeks before the elections begin, the SGA will hold a seminar to get candidates familiar with the process and what is expected of them. The time left between then and March 12 is for the candidates to campaign. 

The election commissionis proposal, ratified at a Feb. 5 Senate meeting, states that the SGA will serve nine polling sites, as follows: University Center, UC Satellite, PGH, Melcher Hall, Law Center, Cullen College of Engineering, Moody Towers, the Quadrangle and the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center.

The exact sites within the particular buildings have not been determined.

The results of the election will be officially tabulated March 14 from 9 to 10 a.m. The results will be certified at 3 p.m. and if necessary, a coin-toss will be administered in the case of a run-off. 

By March 15, all campaign material must be removed from the campus. 

If a run-off is indeed needed after the final results are announced, the election commission is requesting the exact same arrangement the primary election used. That includes doubling its budget, which would bring it to more than $7,000. This amount includes paying 24 to 48 poll workers $6 an hour for their services.

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