Allow Write-In Candidates for the Upcoming Student Government, Inc. Election

Allow Write-In Candidates for the Upcoming Student Government, Inc. Election

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Benjamin Dover started this petition to Student Government, Inc.

I am seeking election as a write-in candidate for Student Government, Inc. President because there is nothing unconstitutional according to the Student Government, Inc. Constitution; it does not prohibit write-in candidates from running in the Spring or Fall Elections for any position. Furthermore, Student Government, Inc. has no separate election code document that disallows write-in candidates from running in the Spring or Fall Elections for any position. Although some might not realize it, write-in candidates for student government are not uncommon as I found many schools where write-in candidates are given permission to run. At Clemson University, George Mason University, University of South Carolina, Stephen F. Austin State University, Iowa State University, the University of Alabama, the University of Chicago, and many other schools, write-in candidates are allowed to run in student government elections. Student Government, Inc. informed that write-in candidates are not supported on the eBallot voting site, but I did some research and found out that this was only partially true; this is only true when the ballot type is selected as voting rather nomination. According to eBallot, a “voting ballot is different to a nomination ballot in that the choices to the questions are presented in the ballot so that the voters can make their preferred selection.” I see no reason why a nomination ballot cannot be chosen for the election, especially since a “nomination ballot is often used for candidate-based elections and may consist of some pre-determined choices, but it may also allow your voters to select their choice of candidates from the list of voters or write-in a candidate of their choice.” If eBallot themselves recommend a nomination ballot for “candidate-based elections,” I think it would be reasonable for Student Government, Inc. to choose one for the upcoming election since it would allow those seeking election as write-in candidates as a chance. I think it is also reasonable because there is nothing in the Student Government, Inc. Constitution that states write-in candidates cannot run in the Spring or Fall Elections; Student Government, Inc. also lacks a separate election code document that disallows write-in candidates from running in the Spring or Fall Elections for any position.

Write-in candidates in any election are important because they are a form of choosing representation. Voters should be able to choose an individual they believe would better represent students if the official candidates on the ballot are undesirable for the voters. I firmly believe that taking away the write-in option by implementing a voting ballot rather than a nomination ballot would be unjust for all students at St. John’s University as some want a non-status-quo leader to represent them. Moreover, the write-in option would allow the voice of every student at St. John’s University to be heard, especially those who have disappointed by the recent Student Government, Inc. administrations. Personally, I was disappointed by the cheating allegations from 2019 because I felt that more could have been done for the losing ticket. The only reason I am running in this election is because I know there is discontent among voters, and they feel I would do a better job as the Student Government, Inc. President than those who will be officially running. I fully acknowledge that I am meme candidate, but I mean well in my Student Government, Inc. Presidential run since I have always done everything I can for the students at St. John’s University. During the spring semester of 2020, I advocated for students to have the ability to choose the pass/fail option and for there to be more Student Government, Inc. transparency. Last year, I also advocated for St. John’s University to not raise tuition for the upcoming academic semesters. Now, I am advocating for the seniors to have an in-person graduation ceremony in May. I am a real student at the end of the day who experiences the same struggles at the school as those who follow me. I will continue to use to my page to better the experience for every student at St. John’s University as I will always have the best interests of the students in mind.

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