Following the announcement of new polling dates for the Arts and Science Federation of Associations elections, a special council meeting was called March 1 to ratify the change and discuss outstanding concerns.
Elections have now been officially reset for March 5, 6 and 7. These dates conflict with article 136 of ASFA’s bylaws which state that polling dates are not supposed to overlap with Concordia Student Union elections.
Due to extenuating circumstances, the executive had chosen to proceed anyway, leading to a number of concerns being raised at the special meeting.
Presidential candidate and councillor Charlie Brenchley questioned the executive about the establishment of polling stations in the Communications and Journalism building at Loyola. In the past it was expected that there be one and Brenchley commented on the feasibility of setting up a station there.
Deputy Electoral Officer, Anthony Garoufalis, responded by asking, “Where is the CJ building?”
ASFA President Alex Gordon explained that although it was recommended by the 2010 – 2011 CEO Nick Cuillerier, it was “too late at this moment in time to set up a station there.”
VP Finance Laura Gomez reported that ASFA’s election was $2,000 over budget due to the unforeseen postponement of polling.
Gordon explained that people who worked polling days still have to be paid, despite the ballots being voided. “That’s a bigger price tag that we’re looking at,” he said.
There were also members who expressed reservations about candidates running in both ASFA and CSU elections. ASFA candidates aren’t allowed to campaign during polling, which now overlaps with CSU campaign period, putting some hopefuls at a disadvantage compared to others.
Candidates such as Brenchley, who is vying for a CSU council position, will have more exposure than those who are prevented from campaigning for ASFA during polling.
Gordon stated that there was no reliable way to track whether candidates were talking about ASFA elections while campaigning for the CSU or not, but he agreed some restrictions should be put in place.
“We can’t control CSU but we can control what ASFA candidates do,” he said.
Brenchley motioned to restrict all candidates running in both elections to limit their campaigning to only putting up posters for the duration of polling.
VP internal Schubert Laforest offered an amendment to the motion that all candidates’ posters would be displayed at each of the
polling stations in order to provide equal opportunity
The motion passed, ratifying the new election dates and stating that candidates running for CSU as well as ASFA are limited to postering during polling, could not promote their campaigns until after and that all ASFA posters will be displayed at polling stations.