New ASFA electoral officer gets tough

This year, the Arts and Science Federation of Associations’ council elections will be subject to tough new regulations drafted by newly-appointed Chief Electoral Officer Colby Briggs.
Candidates will now be forced to disclose all expenditures, affiliations and endorsements to Briggs, who says he intends to keep a firm hand on this year’s proceedings in hopes of ensuring the Feb. 18 elections remain as clean and transparent as possible.

The new measures drafted by Briggs force candidates to declare any affiliation they may have with other candidates. For example, if one candidate wishes to endorse another, they must first notify Briggs and his deputy, Diana Soler. Additionally, he says the $50 campaigning limit will be rigidly enforced. Among other measures, printing costs will be closely scrutinized.
Briggs said it will also be important for candidates to inform him of any counselling or help they may receive from outside organizations.

“As a hypothetical, a student could be involved with the CSU, FEUQ, McGill, other schools, the Concordia Ski and Snowboard club, it could be anything,” he said. “This way I’ll know it.”
Candidates who accept outside help without informing him risk being disqualified from the ASFA elections. Even more, Briggs said he will attempt to have candidates who fail to disclose information banned from running in student elections of any sort at Concordia.
Penalties for lesser infractions consist of candidates being forced to suspend their campaigns or having votes taken away. Briggs said the idea is that stiff penalties will serve as a deterrent to any wrongdoing. “The idea with these penalties is that they’re pretty severe. We’re taking a page out of the book of the government of China here,” he said with a laugh.
Briggs said the new measures were inspired in part by last year’s disputed CSU elections, as well as by suspicions that an unspecified student group might attempt to influence this year’s elections.

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