Q&A: StuGov election commissioner discusses goals


Iowa State Daily

A “Vote Here” sign waves in the wind at the Ascension Lutheran Church where Ames residents cast their ballot for the 2016 election. 

Alex Connor

Bradlee Fair wanted to get re-involved in Student Government, to do so, she applied for a position she felt needed changing: the election commission. 

Fair, junior in aerospace engineering, hopes to be more proactive in her enforcement of the election and also find ways to better encourage students to vote. 

To learn more about the commission, the Daily held a Q&A with Fair on her responsibilities. 

Do you mind telling me about the election commission?

Very broadly, the election commission is set up to oversee all Student Government elections. We’re here to help students who want to run, maybe don’t know how. But also to see that the election campaigns are being run fairly and following the rules. And then, encouraging students to be active participants — whether they are on a campaign or just voting. 

What are some of your responsibilities as the election commissioner?

I’m a non-voting member so when it comes to the election code and basically the election rules, in general, I just facilitate the discussion for the commission to decide on those rules. When we hit the actual election, it will be my job to address concerns of the campaigns and oversee all the rules and consequences to follow. Then, my favorite part will be announcing the winner. 

What made you want to apply for the position?

In part, I really wanted to just be in Student Government again. Another part was that I saw how the elections were ran last year; I wasn’t particularly pleased with it. I’d like to see a more positive energy brought back to the campaigns and really represent Student Government well at maybe not such a hostile level. [I’d really like] to showcase what Student Government can do and to get more people involved. 

What are your goals this year to increase turnout and make it a more positive thing? What are your initiatives planned?

For starters, we’re going to have actual polling locations this year. Granted, it will just be a computer set up, but students can right off the bat get into their email and then voting for it… We’ll be at the Memorial Union, the library and possibly a couple other locations really encouraging them. It only takes them five minutes, but the change could be drastic. 

We’re going to sit down with the campaign slates this year and remind them of our Principles of Community and basically say they can choose to run it how they want to run it, but they still need to understand they are representing Student Government and should really put out the best version of themselves. 

A lot of the issues [with the election] last year regarded enforcement when it came to the campaigns — do you have anything to prevent that?

Part of the issues with the enforcement last year was that the laws that say what to do were super vague. Everything was up to the discretion of the commission. This year we’ve gone over the election code and we’ve just basically taken all of that out. Now, when there is a violation there is a step one, step two and a step three.  

How many people do you have on the election commission right now? 

Currently, we have three voting members of 12 available seats. So, there are nine openings. 

What does it look like to serve on the commission? Expectations?

The election commission meets every other Monday from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. There is no Student Government experience needed, actually it is better if you come in with a clean slate. Basically, all we ask is that you actively want to make a change in the election and you want to be involved and give your input. It’s not a super intense position.  

For those interested in the election commission, email Fair at [email protected].