Election Commission Does Not Need To Police Platforms

Mark Adomanis’s recent Dartboard (“Why Stop at Posters? Dec. 3) unfairly chastises the Election Commission for regulating candidate postering instead of candidate promises. In the process, he engages in distasteful name-calling that attempts and fails to hide Adomanis’s lack of critical thought about the topic of his piece.

It is simply not the place of the Election Commission to be the “truth police.” The Election Commission can not and will not verify the claims of candidates—particularly claims regarding actions the candidates intend to take in the future. I have no doubt that if the Election Commission tried to regulate candidate claims, Adomanis would instead vilify it for taking the role of “ultimate arbiter of truth.” I contend that it is the role of the media and voters to analyze and weigh the claims and promises of the candidates. If the candidates’ far-fetched or unlikely claims are not being publicly debunked to Adomanis’s satisfaction, he ought look no further for blame than his own organization, The Crimson.

It is the role of the Election Commission to ensure that the campaign and voting processes run smoothly and fairly. For all that Adomanis scoffs at postering regulations, I have no doubt that without them candidates would quickly cover every inch of every bulletin board with campaign posters, thus not leaving room for posters for other events for upwards of a week. The College would react to this by banning Undergraduate Council election-related posters altogether, which would be detrimental to the election process.

Furthermore, I take offense at Adomanis’s idle name-calling. The Election Commission is charged by the Undergraduate Council with running smooth and fair elections. To call it “self-important” for creating and enforcing regulations unfairly belittles an organization that is simply doing exactly what the Undergraduate Council created it to do. Its members work long hours for—and this particularly applies to its chair and its non-Undergraduate Council members—little thanks and even less recognition. They ought be praised for their efforts instead of condemned for not overstepping their authority.

JASON LURIE ’05

Dec. 5, 2004

The writer is an Election Commissioner and a member of the Undergraduate Council, representing Cabot House.