The Path to Public Service at SEAS
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Last week a crewman got left off the Council election ballot in Winthrop House, and fourteen crew members were granted an exclusive right to absentee ballots. In six other House elections there was a discrepancy between the number of ballots cast and the number of names checked off, and in two of these cases the discrepancy was sufficient to require a revote. This looseness in following election rules and procedure points up a need for more careful conduct of Council elections.
But though the delayed Winthrop election showed that ballots can be counted accurately when care is taken, the whole system of Council nominations and elections has become absurdly complicated. In class elections less than half of the candidates picked by the nominating committees chose to run. For the House elections there were nomination meetings in every House, but only one of these managed to achieve a quorum, and that by means of a beer party. In all but one of the other Houses unchallenged minorities in insufficiently publicized meetings took charge of nominations.
An election procedure eliminating committees, House "Council meetings," "alternate methods," etc., and substituting a simple provision of self-nomination by petition would eliminate much of this confusion. Only the service positions of the Council should be elective. But no matter who is being elected, the Council and its Constitutional Revision Committee should try and make a clean job of it.
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