GSB election commissioner faces impeachment

Michaela Sickmann

An emergency meeting for Government of Student Body was called Sunday, in which Senators Dakota Hoben and Sean Morrissey raised concern that Election Commissioner Nicholas Davis had violated a bylaw. At a meeting this coming Sunday, GSB will consider his impeachment.

The bylaw under review states that the election commissioner needs to submit the apportionment bill to the speaker no less than three senate meetings prior to the end of fall semester.

“We initiated this process because it is required in our by-laws that two senators be the initiators of this process,” Hoben said. “There is absolutely nothing personal in the initiation of this impeachment.”

The apportionment bill is a bill that lets senate know how many seats of senate need to assign for each area. The Office of the Registrar gives the election commissioner data for all of the colleges’ enrollment and student residences, which he uses to calculate how many students are in each area so that senate can then represent each area according to its population.

Davis received a series of e-mails from GSB President Luke Roling at the beginning of October and throughout November, reminding him to complete the apportionment bill, according to e-mails obtained by the Iowa State Daily from Halley Stille, speaker of the senate.

Davis sent an incomplete apportionment bill Nov. 9, which contained some mathematical errors.

After Roling notified Davis of the errors, he responded explaining that he planned to finish this bill during Thanksgiving Break.

“He mentioned he’d be working out apportionment over Thanksgiving break, which is technically after the deadline,” Stille said. “However, at that point we figured, you know, he’s working on it, obviously he has part of it done.”

After break was over, Stille never saw anything more from him.

“Obviously this is a violation of the bylaws,” Stille said.

Stille emphasized the fact that the impeachment was due to Davis violating the bylaws and isn’t a personal issue.

“The senate is just following the rules,” Davis said. “However, this whole thing could have been avoided had there been better communication between both parties.”

Davis commented that he had some extenuating circumstances among other things he needed to deal with, which caused the bylaw violations he is accused of. He refused to say exactly what the personal issues were because of the upcoming trial, but said they will most likely be brought up at the impeachment trial Sunday.

At the meeting Sunday, Davis had a chance to discuss and question evidence, but he wasn’t present.

“I had a prior commitment scheduled and the meeting was not required for me,” Davis said.

He is attending the upcoming meeting where he will be able to talk with the senate and defend his actions.

The meeting last Sunday was called in order for the Rules Committee to decide if there was merit to the concern. They voted 4-0-1 that there was concern and recommended that senate should hold an impeachment trial.

This was then put on the bill and the senate voted 23-0-0 to hold an impeachment trial for Davis.

“As senators it would be a disservice to this government body and the students we represent if we as senators did not do our job,” Hoben said.

If Nicholas Davis does become impeached, Roling will be responsible for finding a new candidate for the position. With elections coming up soon, the senate has decided to have a hearing at 1 p.m. Sunday so that if Davis is impeached, Roling will have more time to find someone to fill the position.

“We do have a great election commission and they are great to work with, it was just in this specific case that someone has violated the bylaws,” Stille said. “So hopefully elections will continue as planned and hopefully there won’t be any hiccups.”