The Associated Students of Portland State University Judicial Review Board approved a motion on April 22 to amend the student government elections timeline, essentially restarting the elections process and reopening candidate registration.
Article IX of the ASPSU Constitution gives the J-Board the authority to oversee all ASPSU elections.
It also states that elections must be concluded by the end of the first full week of May. This year, elections must be concluded by May 9.
According to the approved motion, the timeline was amended in an effort to ensure that the student body has access to a ballot with a diverse pool of candidates.
“The purpose of the motion is to provide for a full democratic process and to ensure that each PSU voter has the opportunity to have their vote count by having access to a complete and accurate ballot,” the motion states.
When the J-Board came to its decision last Monday, open positions either had only one candidate running or there were more open positions than candidates. Former Multicultural Affairs Director Tony Funchess was the only presidential candidate on the ballot. Dr. Khalid Alballaa, had previously been a candidate but was deemed ineligible by the J-Board.
There are 16 Senate seats to be filled, but the election only had 9 ballot-registered candidates. The Student Fee Committee needs seven positions filled by vote and one appointed, but only had four ballot-registered candidates.
At an April 20 J-Board meeting, J-board member Kate Lindstrom said, “This motion looks like the clearest path to an election that will actually serve the students.” She added that she hopes the elections timeline change will be an opportunity to increase student involvement in student government.
In an email sent to the student body, PSU President Wim Wiewel said he supported the J-Board’s decision.
“I have been asked about my role as PSU president in the current student government election,” Wiewel said. “I’m a strong supporter of ASPSU leaders and respect their role as elected representatives of PSU students. Our student leaders have done a good job of handling a challenging situation, and I support their decision to reset the ASPSU election. That gives students an opportunity to have a choice among candidates and more time to inform themselves about the election and the candidates. I strongly encourage all students to get informed and vote.”
The orginal ballot has closed and the 625 votes originally cast have been annulled. Current candidates can opt to transfer to the new ballot and new students will be able to register.
As of 6 p.m. on April 27, two candidates had applied for president, two for vice president, 10 for Senator, and 10 for SFC.
These numbers are approximate and Coordinator of Student Government Relations Candace Avalos said she expects these numbers to change significantly by the April 28, 5 p.m. application deadline.
The new ballot will open on May 1 at 7 a.m. and close May 6 at 7 p.m.
April 28: Campaign packets due at 5pm; packets available at aspsu.pdx.edu
April 29: Candidate eligibility confirmed
April 30: Updated ballot confirmed, candidate meet-and-greet/orientation
May 1: Polls open
May 7-8: Any infractions addressed
May 9: Results announced
Visit aspsu.pdx for more information.