Election Commission Holds Successful Elections
The Student Government Association’s Election Commission conducted a successful election process for the upcoming 90th administration.
The commission, which was led by Chief Election Commissioner and graduate student, Jessica Siemer, is comprised of an Election Commissioner from each campus and an Atlanta campus Vice Chair for Marketing and a Vice Chair for Logistics. A full list of commission members is available on the Election Commission tab. Once selected, the commission brainstormed and ultimately chose ElevateState as the slogan and theme for the upcoming candidate recruitment and elections. The idea behind the slogan was rooted in the commission’s desire to create an atmosphere for students and potential candidates to do their best to progress as members of the Georgia State University community. The slogan was used throughout all promotional efforts for the elections.
Over 60 students applied for a position on the election ballot. A record number of 5 students qualified for the University-wide presidential candidate position.
In an effort to be as transparent as possible with the student body, the Election Commission teamed with The Signal and Panther Report News to advertise the elections and to hosts the executive candidate debates. Many students attended the executive candidate debates on March 12. The debates were moderated by members of The Signal and received great reviews from students.
Ultimately, from March 26 – 28, over 2,500 students cast their votes for the election candidates. Nearly 500 of these votes came from the Perimeter campuses. The vote count for the regular voting exceeded last year’s count by over 1,000. Full election results are posted at https://sga.gsu.edu/get-involved/elections/election-results/.
Four candidates qualified for the runoff elections which were held on April 4. Jazmin Mejia and Anthony Jones were placed on the runoff election ballot for University-wide president, while Jesse Calixte and Hamza Rahman were placed on the runoff ballot for the Atlanta campus executive vice president. 877 students voted in the runoff elections. Jazmin Mejia won the election for University-wide president, while Hamza Rahman won the election for Atlanta executive vice president.
While the elections did receive good reviews from students and candidates, there were some concerns about how the Election Commission processed official election complaints.
As per the Election Commission’s election guidelines, all election complaints must be submitted via an online complaint form within 24 hours of the close of elections. This year, the elections finalized on Monday, April 8. Complaints are publicly available on https://sga.gsu.edu/get-involved/elections/election-complaints/ within 24 hours of an Election Commission hearing.
During an Election Commission hearing, the commission and the respective SGA campus advisor examines all aspects of the complaint to the best of their ability by conducting an investigation and interviewing the accused, the accuser and any related parties if necessary.
If the commission upholds a complaint, a sanction will be issued. Sanctions vary based on the severity of the violation and the number of sanctions a candidate has already received during the current election process.
All candidates have a right to appeal the Election Commission’s sanctions. Appeals are made to the Student Judicial Board. Until the Student Judicial Board has either upheld or overturned an Election Commission sanction that would disqualify the candidate, the candidate must remain on the ballot.
Once the Student Judicial Board makes a decision on an appeal, that decision cannot be appealed.
The Election Commission is currently working on finalizing the details for the Student Government’s inauguration. In addition to planning the inauguration, the commission is also gathering feedback for next year’s Election Commission. They hope that next year’s elections will be even more successful than this year’s.
Visit sga.gsu.edu for more information on the Election Commission and the Student Government Association. Individuals can also contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 404-413-1600.