By Luke White
The 48th Legislature of the Student Government Association (SGA) passed a bill yesterday evening to alter the Election Code so that ties following run-off elections will be resolved with a coin-flip.
The bill’s author, Elections Board Chair and College junior Reuben Lack, admitted that the likelihood of having a tie in a University-wide election and then another tie in the ensuing run-off was extremely remote. Nevertheless, he argued that the bill was necessary because ties have occurred in smaller elections, such as one that took place last year at Emory University’s School of Law.
Lack asserted that it was preferable to determine the result of an election following a tie in the first run off, “instead of having a third or fourth election, which would undermine the credibility of the process,” or potentially force the Elections Board to make a decision with no concrete guidance for how to proceed.
The bill passed by a unanimous vote.
Another bill authored by Lack sought $700 from SGA to fund performance tuning for the online ballot system the University uses to conduct its elections.
Lack described how the student voting application often takes between one and two minutes to load an individualized ballot when there are many offices listed, and he expressed the Election Board’s concern that such a wait time might deter students from voting.
Lack also mentioned that the developer’s performance modifications would not guarantee an improvement in the function or speed of the application. However, he claimed there was a “good chance” the application’s performance would improve, and he noted that the Election Board’s staff contact also recommended the move.
SGA President and College junior Jon Darby proposed an amendment to the bill in order to ensure that the funds would be withdrawn from the SGA’s Fee Interest Account (FIC).
The FIC is used for long-term projects lasting three or more years, rather than from the SGA contingency account, which is meant for only that year’s spending.
The amendment was passed by a unanimous vote.
SGA voted to table the bill following the ratification of Darby’s amendment because the Finance Committee had not yet been given the opportunity to vote on the bill. Bills involving money allocation must go through the Finance Committee review before the Legislature votes on them.
The Finance Committee plans to review it during their meeting on Wednesday.
Next week, SGA will vote to determine whether or not to fund airport shuttles for the Wednesday preceding Thanksgiving in addition to the shuttle service already scheduled for that Tuesday.
Additionally, SGA will decide whether to provide supplemental funding for the HackATL event that will be held Nov. 7 through Nov. 9 on Emory’s campus. They will also vote to fund the Indian Cultural Exchange’s (ICE) upcoming Diwali event on Nov. 14.
– By Luke White, Contributing Writer
The Emory Wheel was founded in 1919 and is currently the only independent, student-run newspaper of Emory University. The Wheel publishes weekly on Wednesdays during the academic year, except during University holidays and scheduled publication intermissions.
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