Refusing to certify a passed referendum is not an option

The members of the Student Election Commission have violated their own procedures and bylaws in stating that they refuse to certify the results of the MTD referendum question. By making a statement of non-certification, the members of the SEC are attempting to influence the Board of Trustees’ decision, which puts them in a precarious position as overseers of fair elections on campus.

The members of the Student Election Commission have violated their own procedures and bylaws in stating that they refuse to certify the results of the MTD referendum question.

By making a statement of non-certification, the members of the SEC are attempting to influence the Board of Trustees’ decision, which puts them in a precarious position as overseers of fair elections on campus.

The Spring 2009 Election Packet, available on the SEC Web site, gave the SEC the opportunity to reject the question before the vote pursuant to Section F(II)E.

Once the question was put on the ballot, however, section F(II)F states “All referenda will require a simple majority of those voting to pass.”

Most importantly, section F(II)G specifically states that the SEC’s actions in this case are not allowed.

That procedure reads, “*The SEC shall hold no responsibility in regard to referendum other than the administration of the vote.*”

The SEC’s own rules, as outlined above, make clear that refusing to certify a passed referendum is not an option. In fact, the SEC’s bylaws only use the word “certify” once in their entirety. Section V2B2a of the SEC bylaws state “The SEC may refuse to certify a winner for an egregious rule violation” and make no mention of “unforeseen confusion with the question,” which is listed in the official results.

Regardless of whether the quesiton was clear, the SEC is taking a position on the issue, presumably because Chairman Wilson did not like the change in service as made clear in his explanation to the DI.

This is a threat to fair elections on campus.

The SEC’s rules bar it from uncertifying referenda, but interestingly, bylaws Section II1(7)A explain how SEC memberships can be uncertified.

Greg Scott

graduate student in chemistry