Spring 2014 Elections: Rules and Information
Welcome to the SBA's Spring 2014 Election! These Campaign Rules are designed to ensure a smooth and vibrant election. All candidates must abide by these Rules and act in an ethical manner during the campaign and election periods. Additional provisions governing the electoral process are enumerated in Article VII of the SBA Constitution and Article II of the SBA Bylaws. These Rules outline the campaign and election process, and all candidates must carefully review these provisions before campaigning.
Following the Rules and procedures below will help ensure that all participants in SBA elections conduct themselves in a respectful manner and that the elections remain fair and unbiased.
Should you have any questions regarding elections procedures, campaigning, the SBA, or anything else, please contact the Elections Committee at email@example.com. We strongly encourage you to contact the Elections Committee with questions before any issues arise, as violating Elections rules may result in the termination of your candidacy.
The first round of elections will be held Wednesday, March 5 from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. If necessary, a runoff election will be held Friday, March 7 from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Delegates are selected by a plurality vote. All elections take place through electronic balloting accessible to GULC students at www.law.georgetown.edu/SBAElections/.
Please review these campaign rules closely before engaging in any activities designed to promote any candidate.
Email Confirmation: All candidates will receive complete instructions and campaign rules in a confirmation email by Sunday, March 2 by 10:00 p.m. Receipt of the email is confirmation that a student is officially registered as a candidate.
Timing: Candidates may begin campaigning on Monday, March 3 at 9:00 a.m. Candidates must clean up all election materials within 48 hours of the close of their respective elections.
Spending Limits: Each Delegate candidate shall be limited to $50.00 USD in campaign expenditures for Spring 2014 Elections. Each Executive Board candidate shall be limited to $75.00 USD in campaign expenditures for Spring 2014 Elections. If multiple candidates choose to run as a "ticket," each ticket shall be limited to $50.00 USD per ticket candidate in campaign expenditures. These amounts are inclusive of goods, services, or gifts in-kind, and also include any campaign social events held on or off campus. If a run-off campaign is required, each runoff candidate may spend an additional $25.00 USD in promoting his or her candidacy in the runoff election.
Candidates must submit any and all receipts and financial records related to campaigning by filling out the Campaign Expense Report form and returning it via email to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, April 5th, 5:00 p.m.
Content/Method of Campaign Messages: Students may campaign in (but are not limited to) the following ways:
· Fliers/Quarter sheets
Internet: If students wish to use the internet to help with their campaign they are free to, provided none of their campaign materials have anything relating to the school on them. More specifically, the school's name and/or logo may not appear anywhere on the website or in the message. The purpose of not using the name or logo of the university is to avoid any appearance of official University endorsement of any candidate. As you use social media, please use your discretion about whether your action runs afoul of that purpose.
The following guidelines should be helpful as you proceed. If any candidate has questions about social media conduct (for themselves or usage by another candidate) please reach out to the Elections Committee and we will respond immediately. Advertisements may not attack another candidate personally nor contain any inappropriate material (photographs or vulgarity), but otherwise there are no restrictions on content.
Email: Students may collect email addresses from friends and classmates, but they may not use any school-distributed email list for electioneering. All candidate emails must include an opt-out statement, which instructs the recipients to email the sender if they wish to stop receiving emails. Candidates must honor any such opt-out requests; spamming is strictly prohibited and the Elections Committee will take seriously any violations of this email policy.
Facebook: The usage of Section-specific Facebook pages, even if such page has "GULC" or any iteration thereof in the title is allowed. (Since Facebook posts are open, the page does not suggest an official endorsement, but is a venue for communication.) You may also set up "Events" for your candidacy on your personal Facebook account. Do NOT post to the official GULC Facebook page, but stick to your Section's page.
Twitter: You may use your personal Twitter accounts, or accounts of any organizations that have formally endorsed you, to tweet. However, you may NOT tweet to the official GULC Twitter account, nor may you tweet "Georgetown Law" or any iteration thereof in regards to your candidacy.
OrgSync: You may NOT send messages in your personal capacity through OrgSync to the entire GULC campus regarding your candidacy. In the event that an organization has formally endorsed you, the leader of the organization (even if it is the candidate) may send an email to that specific organization sharing their endorsement and encouraging members to vote accordingly.
Campaign Telephone Calls: Students may collect their classmates' phone numbers, or use previously collected phone numbers, only, to make campaign phone calls.
In-class Announcements: Students are also free to make announcements in class, but only with the professor's permission. Anything written on chalkboards is subject to be erased at the discretion of the professor.
Social Events: Candidates may hold social events on or off campus to promote their campaigns, subject to the campaign budget policies outlined above. If candidates hold social events on campus, the Elections Committee will hold candidates responsible for clean-up immediately following their events. Candidates may not reserve a room on campus for campaign events.
Fliers: If students make fliers to post around the school, the Office of Student Life must approve every flier they post prior to posting. Each advertisement regardless of form must contain the words "SBA ELECTIONS" followed by the date. Contact info must be on each flier.
Candidates may not use the word "Georgetown" on any campaign fliers. Each advertisement must abide by all OSL guidelines. When campaigning in Gewirz Residence Hall, each candidate must also abide by the Department of Residence Life guidelines. This includes no door-to-door solicitations of Gewirz residents.
No Computer Voting Stations Allowed: During the hours of voting, candidates may not set up any type of computer station dedicated to voting. This includes setting up personal computers, as well as commandeering public computer terminals for the purposes of procuring votes.
COMPLAINTS & RECOUNTS
Any contestant may demand a recount of their position within 24 hours of certification. The Elections Committee handles all recounts. The results of the elections are suspended until a recount has taken place. Any contestant may request a meeting with the election chair within 48 hours of the election if the candidate has a problem with how the election was conducted. All complaints must be submitted in writing to the Elections Committee by emailing email@example.com. Any member of the Georgetown community may file a complaint during elections. The Elections Committee retains sole authority to resolve disputes concerning any campaign violations prior to certification of the election results. If candidates wish to register a complaint for any reason prior to certification, candidates must submit their complaint in writing to the Elections Committee. The Elections Committee will respond to complaints at its discretion, with responses including the following (listed in order of severity):
1. Warning letter;
2. Suspension of candidate's campaign privileges;
3. Removal of candidate from ballot.
These remedial actions are within the sole discretion of the Elections Committee and may not be appealed to the SBA Judiciary Committee until the Elections Committee has rendered a final decision. A candidate may immediately appeal any sanction to the SBA Judiciary Committee.
Unless the Judiciary Committee issues a stay of the Elections Committee's decision, the candidate may not campaign pending the Judiciary Committee's review of the appeal. If the Elections Committee receives written notice of a complaint regarding the election following the certification of election results, the Elections Committee shall immediately refer the matter to the Judiciary Committee. The Judiciary Committee shall, within 48 hours, gather all evidence regarding the complaint, give fair hearing to persons requesting an audience, and issue a written majority vote opinion. The Judiciary Committee may either uphold the result of the election as certified by the Elections Committee or require that a new election be held immediately. Candidates may only contest their respective election results.
The Elections Committee and the Judiciary Committee are guided by a single overarching theme when administering these Rules and the SBA elections: "The elections of voting Delegates and Officers shall be fair, open, and unbiased and shall be held to the highest ethical standards of democratic electoral conduct for participants, election officials, and monitors." SBA Constitution, Art. VII, § 1.
Best of luck – happy campaigning!
SBA Elections Committee
Nicole Smith, 3L (Committee Co-Chair)
Alex Bergjans, 3L (Committee Co-Chair)
Jessica Montello, 3L
Allyson Poulos, 3L
Whitney Turk, 3L