GSB senators prepare for upcoming elections

Wendy Weiskircher

With its annual elections looming on the horizon, the Government of the Student Body tonight will hear the first reading of a bill to adopt the revised election code.

The election commission, headed by Commissioner Michel Pogge, off campus, has reviewed and revised the election code for this spring’s elections. While nothing substantial has been changed, the code was altered slightly to account for an electronic voting system, which has yet to be introduced.

In November, GSB senators voted in favor of a bill that proposed abandoning paper ballots in favor of an electronic voting system. While students would still have to go to polling locations on campus to register their vote, the polling would be done electronically.

“We put in three ways for polling to take place,” Pogge said. “Paper ballots, off-line Internet and total online Internet.”

Due to a late start and obstacles in developing the system, electronic voting may not be ready for this year’s elections, so paper ballots still may be in order for the 2000 elections. The election commission has been working with members of the ISU Computation Center to develop a secure electronic system.

“We want to make sure we have a secure system that everyone is comfortable with,” Pogge said. “It’s not looking like the system will be ready for this year.”

After senate review of the electronic system, polling may be expanded to the Internet, allowing students to cast their votes from the comfort of their dorm rooms.

Steph Hansen, member of the election committee, said she doesn’t know if the electronic system will be ready in time.

“That’s the plan to try and get the electronic ballots. I don’t know if it’s going to get off the ground or not, but that’s our goal,” said Hansen, sophomore in animal science.

In addition, the guidelines for off-campus campaigning have been changed. In the past, campaigning was limited to university property, Pogge said.

“They had problems with people in the past, but we think people can be adults,” Pogge said. “Now, if they are approved by the election commission, candidates can campaign off campus.”

According to the proposed election code, students interested in running for office must submit a petition by noon on Feb. 11 in order to be placed on the ballot.

In addition, candidates must attend at least one candidate seminar. Seminars will be held Jan. 25 at noon, Jan. 26 at 6 p.m. and Jan. 27 at 11 a.m. Members of the election commission and Student Organizations Office will be on hand to answer questions.

The Government of the Student Body will meet Wednesday night in the Campanile Room of the Memorial Union. The following will be discussed:

Seating Bills:

* A bill to seat Carla Rogis as a College of Agriculture senator. By Friedrichsen and Wisher.

Old Business:

* A resolution to adopt the annual report of Student Body Contracts and Agreements.

New Business:

* A bill to adopt the election code for the Spring 2000 GSB elections. By Olson and Wisher.

* Three bills to modify the first, second and 18th chapter of the GSB by-laws to maintain consistency. By Olson and Wisher.

* A funding bill to allocate $865 from the senate discretionary account to purchase additional random access memory (RAM) for GSB office computers. By Olson and Wisher.

* A bill to adopt criteria to evaluate organizations applying for GSB funding during regular and fall specials allocations. By Doorenbos, Nimmer and others.

* A bill to decrease the amount of petition signatures required to earn a place on the GSB general election ballot for the offices of president and vice president from 2,000 to 1,500. By Skutnik, Wisher and others.