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ASUU Elections Registrar Ensures Clearer Rules

%28Photo+by+Cole+Tan%29
Cole Tan
(Photo by Cole Tan)

(Photo by Cole Tan)
(Photo by Cole Tan)

 
In light of problems during past ASUU elections, Ali Sadler is working to create a new vision for future elections at the U.
Sadler, the new ASUU elections registrar, said it’s all about being clear and making sure everyone knows the rules. Her goal is to prevent the scandals and allegations that marred the elections this last spring from occurring again.
Sadler herself was a candidate in last year’s election, running for student body president in the Grow Party. From a candidate’s perspective, she said there were several opportunities for change that she believes would have made it easier for herself and those running against her to have a more fair and clear process.
While the election problems were not new here at the U, considering that parties in past years have faced similar allegations, Sadler decided to make some changes to how the process is run.
“The way that elections rules have been set up in the past is that it’s leaving it open to interpretation, which leads to problems,” Sadler said. “It’s hard to say ‘did they break the rules’ or ‘were they just reading it differently?’”
Campaigning is a long and tiring process, she said, that wears down everyone involved. Sadler said the stressful, tiresome and “crazy” nature of elections could possibly be the cause of the events that unfolded last year.
Certain parties were accused of recruiting students before the eligibility timeframe, as well as facing several grievances for infractions against the election rules. This ultimately led to a hearing, disqualification and overturning by the ASUU Supreme Court, primarily against Team Unite. Sadler pointed to this as a necessary area for improvement. She said she is focused on alleviating the confusion and chaos that was seen last year.
Sadler has been on the job as elections registrar since April, but even in that short period of time she has initiated changes already put into effect. Her largest priority is to make the elections accessible to all students and to make sure that all students understand the rules and process before elections even start.
Having moved on since the election, Sadler is focused on creating a positive culture among candidates. Unlike years past, Sadler now offers a monthly meeting where candidates can come and learn about rules and have a “safe place” to ask any and all questions they may have.
Even if questions seem suspicious or candidates worry that questions may raise the eyebrows of the elections committee, Sadler said these meetings are the place to ask them, emphasizing that she is more accessible and able to answer questions now than she will be in the spring.
“I’m trying to be a lot more proactive in addressing issues before they come up,” she said.
Part of this comes from a change in the Redbook, the U’s student constitution written and amended by members of ASUU, that now allows for the elections registrar to begin work in the summer, rather than only being a fall and spring semester job. In April, Sadler worked with the previous year’s elections registrar as well as the outgoing attorney general to pass new changes that are going into effect this year.
The amendments include earlier recruitment, which has already begun for the next election; the threshold for having a primary election went from three parties to four; and no parties get dissolved following a primary, allowing individual candidates to retain their party moving into a general election.
Sadler also has another individual working with her to help make the process smoother. Katrina Swaringen, deputy elections registrar, is working alongside Sadler to see that the new changes are being implemented and followed. She will also be the main contact working with candidates that wish to run independently of a ticket in the election, whereas Sadler will be working with parties and ticket campaigns to help them through the process.
“My phase right now is getting students engaged,” Sadler said. “That takes a lot of different forms: social media, marketing, presentations, tabling, and then I’m still planning for spring, thinking about what campaigns will look like.”
Justin Spangler, the current ASUU president, said Sadler and her efforts to bring change to future elections are a step forward for student government. A candidate involved in last year’s elections, Spangler also said he understands the importance of these rule changes.
“[Sadler] is just fantastic. She’s jumping on the ball early,” he said. “She’s trying to squash out the problems and make sure that everyone is as knowledgeable about the elections process as soon as possible.”
Both Spangler and Sadler said they are hoping to get more students involved in ASUU student government by creating more transparency and opportunities.
“Student government can do a lot and it can do so much for students that believe that,” Sadler said. “My goal is to make that possible and to help students in the elections process and make a process that is fair for them.”
For candidates interested in running for student government, the next election meeting will be Oct. 1 at 3 p.m. in the Union, room 319.
[email protected]
@shaun19smith

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