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Volume 69, Issue 94, Thursday, February 19, 2004


SGA Senate approves election budget

Senators' concerns with online vote security persist

By Geronimo Rodriguez
Senior Staff Writer

The Student Government Association Senate approved the Election Commission's budget proposal during its emergency meeting on Wednesday despite at least one senator's reluctance to allow students to vote online in this year's general election.

"I voted for it, but if I didn't, there will be more delays and the administration will take authority. It's too late to do anything else," Natural Sciences and Mathematics Sen. Mohamad Halawi said. "I hope the commission seeks the proper officials before the election."

Erol Dolen/The Daily Cougar
Student Government Association Chief Election Commissioner Jason Short, center, discusses the budget for this year's SGA election Wednesday as Assistant Election Commissioner Jackie Thomas, left, and Law Sen. Bobby Warren, right, listen.

This year's SGA election is scheduled for March 10 and 11, with the candidate filing deadline set for Monday.

Christopher Crane, a biochemistry junior who spoke during the open forum segment, said offering the online voting option could allow someone to sabotage the general election.

"The larger the party, the easier it is to get in the back door," said Crane, a wireless network administrator at the Law Center's information technology department. He said numerous problems can arise in such a project and said he hopes the election commissioners work with "people who know what they're doing."

Crane, a Student Voice Party member, also said he will run for one of the three Natural Sciences and Mathematics Senate seats.

In other business, the Senate passed a resolution to add a survey question to the ballot. Students will be asked how many days they'd like to go without class before final exams officially begin -- the period otherwise known as "dead week."

"I'm hoping to get some feedback from the students about how long they'd want this break to be," Hotel and Restaurant Management Sen. Abby Forgarty said.

Business Sen. Dannetta English said she plans to tell the Houston City Council about the need to improve the streets around campus during the council's regularly scheduled meeting at 9 a.m. Wednesday at City Hall.

The Senate will next meet at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the UC's Mediterranean Room.

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