The following is the Elections Policies and Procedures to be used in the 2016 ASUWT General Election, and future elections until a new EPP is disseminated. It is the responsibility of candidates and their affiliates and ballot measure advocates and their affiliates, to comply with this document. Failure to comply may result in penalties assessed in accordance with these policies. The provisions of this document apply both on-campus and off-campus. This EPP is adopted pursuant to the ASUWT EAC Bylaws, and such Bylaws supersede in the case of any discrepancy.
Section I: Definitions and Dates
- Except as otherwise provided in this document, the following terms and their variant forms mean the following when used in this document:
i. “Affiliate” means any individual or group, when such individual or group acts in concert or cooperation with, or at the request or suggestion of, a candidate, a candidate’s agents, a candidate’s other affiliates, a ballot measure advocate, a ballot measure advocate’s agents, or a ballot measure advocate’s other affiliates. Campaign volunteers are an example of affiliates.
ii. “Ballot measure advocate” means a person who advocates for or against the passage of a ballot measure and agrees to comply with this EPP.
iii. “Board” means the ASUWT Board of Directors.
iv. “Candidate” means any person who has filed for candidacy in accordance with Section III of this EPP, and applies to such person retroactively.
v. “EAC” means the Election Administration Committee created by the ASUWT Constitution.
vi. “EPP” means this Elections Policies and Procedures document.
vii. “HUB” means the University Y Room 107.
- The following dates and deadlines apply where explicitly referenced in this document in addition to the dates reference above in the General Elections Calendar:
i. Certification Deadline: April 22, 2016 at 5:00 p.m.
ii. Endorsement Filing Deadline: April 29, 2016 at 5:00 p.m.
iii. Publication Filing Deadline: April 29, 2016 at 5:00 p.m.
Section II: Fair Campaign Statement
The Fair Campaign Statement is a non-binding set of ideals designed to promote goodwill among campaigners. The First Amendment prevents the ASUWT from restricting the content of candidates’ campaign messages; however, the ASUWT encourages all campaigners to follow the Fair Campaign Statement. Although the Fair Campaign Statement is non-binding, the EAC of the ASUWT will consider complaints that allege violations of the Fair Campaign Statement.
- I will conduct my campaign, discuss the issues, and present the record with sincerity
7 and candor.
- I will not appeal to, and will condemn appeals to prejudices based on race, creed, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, veteran status, or disability.
- I will uphold the right of every qualified voter to free and equal participation in the election process. I will not take part in, and will condemn those practices that tend to corrupt or undermine the system of free election or prevent the expression of the voters. This includes any manipulation of electronic technology that undermines voters’ free and equal participation.
- I will promptly and publicly repudiate the support of any individual or group, which resorts, on behalf of my candidacy or in opposition thereof, to methods in violation of the letter and spirit of this Statement.
- I will not participate in, and I will condemn, personal vilification, defamation, and other attacks on any opposing candidate, ticket, party, or ballot measure advocate.
- I will not use or authorize, and I will condemn, materials relating to my campaign which falsify, misrepresent, or distort the facts, including, but not limited to, malicious or unfounded accusations tending to create or exploit doubts as to the morality or motivations of any candidate, ticket, party, or ballot measure advocate.
- I will not use a position in a Registered Student Organization (RSO) in which I am involved to unfairly seek votes, endorsements, or affiliates.
- I will respect the privacy of the voting process, and will not in any way interfere with the neutrality of balloting when another individual is voting.
- I will refrain from any misuse of the ASUWT Constitution and ASUWT Bylaws to gain political advantage for myself or any other candidate.
- I will not exploit or cause the intoxication of any individual to gain political advantage.
- I will insist that my affiliates adhere to the Fair Campaign Statement when campaigning on my behalf.
Section III: Candidacy
- To file, the candidate must submit the following to the “HUB” by the Candidacy Filing Deadline:
a. An official filing form, provided by the EAC and signed by the candidate without amendment. The form provided must contain the following essential elements:
i. An indication that the candidate intend to seek election to a specific office.
ii. A declaration that the candidate believes the candidate to be eligible for election to the indicated office in accordance with the ASUWT Bylaws, and believes this eligibility will be maintained throughout the election cycle.
iii. For any candidate wishing to associate with a ticket, an indication of such desire and identification of the ticket name or brand.
iv. Optionally, the name of an Association member who will serve as campaign manager for the candidate.
v. An agreement to comply with this EPP and pay any penalties duly assessed to the candidate under the provisions of this EPP.
b. A completed preliminary financial disclosure form.
c. A copy of the candidate’s current Spring Quarter class schedule.
d. A copy of the candidate’s most recent unofficial transcript, with the candidate’s cumulative grade point average (GPA) and major indicated.
2. Candidate transcripts submitted under this Section are prohibited from being released to the public.
3. The EAC, in cooperation with the Student Leadership Specialist (ASUWT Advisor), shall verify the eligibility of candidates. If eligible, each candidate shall be certified by the EAC no later than the Certification Deadline.
4. At the time of the certification, the EAC Chair shall sign the list of all eligible candidates and the office each is seeking, and shall immediately post this list on the ASUWT website.
5. All candidates and their campaign manager must attend the mandatory candidates meeting and duly scheduled EAC candidate forums.
6. No candidate may file for more than one office in any one election, nor may any candidate simultaneously serve as a campaign manager for another candidate.
7. Additional space must be provided on the ballot for each office in which any voter may write-in a name not printed on the ballot. If a write-in candidate prevails in the election, the candidate has until the Write-In Filing Deadline to retroactively file for candidacy in the manner described by this Section. Upon filing, the write-in candidate becomes subject to this EPP as though a candidate filing normally. The EAC shall proceed to verify the write-in candidate’s eligibility. Write-in candidates who fail to file for candidacy or are determined to be ineligible are disqualified from prevailing in the election.
Section IV: Tickets
- A “ticket” consists of individuals that share marketing materials, strategies, branding, or funds; or identify together on the candidacy filing form. A ticket is presumed to exist when two or more candidates, or their affiliates:
a. Act in concert or cooperation for the purpose of campaigning; or
b. Identify with a common or substantially common word, term, name, symbol, or device, or any combination thereof; or
c. Are voluntarily and clearly identified together in any single and discreet campaigning communication.
2. Candidates may choose to associate on up to one ticket, but are not required to.
3. Unless otherwise provided in specific provisions of this EPP, candidates choosing to associate on a ticket will be treated as though a candidate not associated with a ticket for the purposes of this EPP.
4. Tickets consist only of candidates and candidates’ affiliates, and do not include ballot measure advocates or ballot measure advocates’ affiliates.
Section V: Endorsements
- “Endorsement” means an action or statement by an individual or group that publicly supports a candidate or ballot measure, including signing an official endorsement form.
- Candidates and ballot measure advocates must not seek endorsements prior to the Campaign Start Date.
- Candidates and ballot measure advocates must not imply endorsement by a person or group without the consent of that person or group. In any complaint alleging a violation of this subsection, it is assumed that consent did not exist, unless an official endorsement form was filed.
- Endorsements by Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) must include either the signatures of at least three of the current officers registered with the Center for Student Involvement at UWY Room 107 at the time the document is submitted. The EAC shall encourage at least one representative from every RSO considering an endorsement to attend the mandatory candidates meeting.
- No endorsement may be listed in ASUWT publications unless it has been officially filed with the EAC in the form prescribed by the EAC.
- No ASUWT employee, volunteer, appointee, entity, or committee may make endorsements in official capacity; and no ASUWT equipment or supplies, including employment time or office hours, phones, office machines, office space, and email accounts, may be used for campaign purposes, except as authorized by the EAC. Any candidate or ballot measure advocate receiving an endorsement from an ASUWT employee, volunteer, or appointee in personal capacity must, when campaigning with such endorsement, clearly state that such endorsement is in the individual’s personal capacity only.
- All endorsements that appear in the official Voter’s Guide must be received by EAC by the Publication Filing Deadline. The Voter’s Guide must provide space for no more than five endorsements per candidate or ballot measure, as determined by the EAC. Those endorsements selected by the candidate, or randomly chosen by the EAC if no selections are made, will be printed, and will be printed in alphabetical order unless otherwise directed by the candidate or ballot measure advocate. All endorsements will be listed on the ASUWT Elections website.
- Proposed statements in favor of and against ballot measures, no more than 150 words in length, may be emailed to the EAC Chair before the Publication Filing Deadline, together with an agreement by the submitter to comply with this EPP when acting as a ballot measure advocate. The EAC shall choose no more than two statements in favor of and two statements against each ballot measure, which will be printed in the Voter’s Guide.
Section VI: Campaigning
- Campaigning must not begin before the Campaign Start Date.
- Campaigning includes, but is not limited to, the following activities, when such activities are undertaken by a candidate, a candidate’s affiliates, a ballot measure advocate, or a ballot measure advocate’s affiliates:
a. Distributing flyers or other printed materials to promote or degrade a ballot measure, ticket or candidate.
b. Addressing crowds to promote or degrade a ballot measure, ticket or candidate.
c. Promoting or degrading a ballot measure, ticket, or candidate with the intent ofobtaining an endorsement.
d. Placing signs, sandwich boards, and/or lawn signs with the intent to promote or degrade a ballot measure, ticket, or candidate.
e. Use of electronic media to publicly promote or degrade a ballot measure, ticket, or candidate.
f. Any other public activity intended to promote or degrade a ballot measure, ticket, or candidate.
3. Campaigning does not include:
a. The act of wearing personal campaign apparel, such as t-shirts, buttons, or pins; or
b. The private organization, planning, and development of a campaign, including the recruitment of affiliates, planning of strategies, and production of campaign materials.
4. No candidate, candidate’s affiliate, ballot measure advocate, or ballot measure advocate’s affiliate may, in the course of campaigning:
a. Campaign in the ASUWT Offices or on bulletin boards, office space, etc. maintained by the ASUWT;
b. Campaign at any event or meeting that is conducted, funded, or sponsored by the ASUWT, excepting election forums;
c. Collect donations for ASUWT, unless such donations are collected with the approval of the EAC at which funds will benefit a scholarship on campus;
d. Violate the Facility Services Policy or any UW IT policies, including the improper posting of campaign signage;
e. Post lawn signs or sandwich boards on the University campus before the Open Campaign Start Date; fail to remove such signs by the designated Removal Deadline; or post a lawn sign exceeding 9 square feet;
f. Use electronic media to interfere with the neutrality of the ballot, such as by failing to cause links to the ballot to appear in a new browser window with the full width and height of the screen;
g. Remove or deface any lawfully placed political advertising without authorization;
h. Interfere with the academic instruction and mission of the University; including, campaigning in University buildings without the permission of the building supervisor, or campaigning in a classroom without the permission of the instructor; or
i. Violate any applicable law, whether federal, state, or local is a severe violation.
5. The EAC shall sponsor, at minimum, one candidate/ballot measure forum. The EAC may co-sponsor events and forums held by a Registered Student Organization (RSO), provided:
a. The RSO actively encourages attendance at the event;
b. The event has a broad base of appeal to the campus community;
c. The RSO commits to treat all candidates and ballot measures equally;
d. The RSO defers to the EAC with regard to the formatting of the event; and
e. The event complies with any other criteria which the EAC determines are necessary.
Section VII: Polls
- Polling will be conducted by online voting. The EAC shall host an online poll at a web address of their designation pursuant to ASUWT EAC Bylaws. Polls will be open from the Poll Open Date to the Poll Close Date.
- Elections for positions within ASUWT are conducted through a system of plurality, as provided in the ASUWT Bylaws. The candidate for a position who receives the most votes will be elected to that position. The ballot will also include a “tie-breaker” question.
- The EAC shall operate information booths, selecting locations based on the following factors:
a. Accessibility to large numbers of students; and
b. Location relative to other information booths.
4. The EAC shall establish polling places at the same locations as the information booths, provided that it has the resources to do so.
5. The online voting system and information booth operating hours and locations must be well-advertised by the EAC on-campus prior to and on the days of voting. At a minimum, well-advertised means at least two ads, at least quarter-page size, in a section of The Ledger other than the classified section, appearing on separate days within one week of the election.
6. In the event of a technical issue with the online voting system, the Board may postpone the election until such a time that the online voting system is operational, or may provide for voting by paper ballot.
7. No candidate, candidate’s affiliate, ballot measure advocate, or ballot measure advocate’s affiliate may:
a. Campaign within 100 feet of any EAC balloting area, including information booths and polling places, on any election day;
b . Provide or operate any voting station, computer, or other device with intent that such device be used to mark or submit ballots, accepting the personal ballot of the device provider or operator;
c. Intentionally deceive any voter in recording that voter’s vote by providing incorrect or misleading information or by providing faulty election equipment is a severe violation;
d. Intentionally view any voter’s marked ballot or make any mark on a voter’s ballot, unless authorized by that voter;
e. Tamper or alter any official election material or ballot without authorization is a severe violation;
f. Fail to properly submit a campaign platform for publication in The Ledger;
g. Make unauthorized additions or deletions to The Ledger or any other University of Washington Tacoma publication with the intent of promoting or degrading any candidate; or
h. Use any menace, force, threat or unlawful means to hinder or deter any voter from voting, or to obtain a vote for or against any candidate or ballot measure is a severe violation.
i. Directly or indirectly offer any bribe, reward, or anything of value to a voter in exchange for the voter not voting, or in exchange for the voter’s vote foror against any candidate or ballot measure is a severe violation.
Section VIII: Campaign Finance
- Each candidate and ballot measure advocate must file an up-to-date and accurate statement of all campaign expenditures and gifts in kind on or before the date due. Candidates associated with a ticket may file joint financial disclosure forms for campaign expenditures and gifts in kind, but each candidate must personally sign the disclosure and be jointly and severally liable for the content.
- Gifts in kind are defined as a product or service provided by a sponsor in lieu of cash, not including cash contributions to a ballot measure advocate or candidate.
- Campaign expenditures are defined as goods paid for by candidates or candidate’s affiliates, including cash contributions to a ballot measure advocate or candidate by a sponsor.
- For ballot measure advocates, candidates associated with a ticket, and candidates not associated with a ticket, campaign expenditures and gifts in kind encompass the total amount expended in the course of campaigning by the ballot measure advocate, candidate or ticket and their affiliates. Campaigning consists of the activities enumerated in Section VI, except that the exceptions in subsection 3 of Section VI do not apply.
- Candidates may promote or degrade ballot measures as part of their campaign, but any expenditure for such purpose is a campaign expenditure of the candidate.
- Gifts in kind do not constitute a campaign expenditure as though purchased by a candidate or ballot measure advocate but must be accounted for by attaching receipts to the final financial disclosure form pursuant to such standards as the EAC may develop. However, the following do not constitute gifts in kind:
a. The value of services provided without compensation by any individual who volunteers on behalf of a candidate or ballot measure advocate.
b. Donations or discounts given equally to every candidate and ballot measure advocate.
c. Items used only passively in campaigning, such as chairs, tables, and canopies.
7. Candidates and ballot measure advocates must submit a preliminary financial disclosure form to the “HUB” by the Candidacy Filing Deadline, and a final financial disclosure form to the “HUB” by the Final Disclosure Deadline. Submitted forms will be maintained for 3 years.
8. No ballot measure advocate may have campaign expenditures in excess of $230.
9. No ballot measure advocate may have gifts in kind donated in excess of $230.
10. No candidate may have campaign expenditures in excess of the limits established by this subsection.
a. For candidates not associated with a ticket campaign expenditures may not exceed $350.
b. For candidates associated with a ticket campaign expenditures may not exceed the sum of $300.
11. No candidate may have gifts in kind donated in excess of the limits established by this subsection.
a. For candidates not associated with a ticket donated gifts in kind may not exceed $250.
b. For candidates associated with a ticket donated gifts in kind may not exceed $200.
Section IX: Violations
- It is at the discretion of the EAC to determine if a single offense that continues to occur constitutes multiple offenses.
- Violations are punished by a monetary fine or disqualification. Disqualification includes both disqualification from ballot placement and disqualification from prevailing in the election. No disqualification may extend beyond the election cycle with respect to which the violation occurred. In the case of ballot measures, the ballot measure itself may be disqualified from ballot placement and disqualified from passing as punishment for violations by a ballot measure advocate.
- Classification of Violations
a. Each violation deemed “minor” may have a penalty of a monetary fine not exceeding $50. In order to be minor the violation must have been unintentional and corrected within twenty-four hours of receiving written notice from the EAC, and the provision violated must have been violated less than two times.
b. Each violation deemed “major” may have a penalty of a monetary fine not less than $50. Major violations may also result in disqualification, at the discretion of the EAC.
c. Each violation of a provision marked as “severe” in this EPP may have a penalty of a monetary fine no less than $75 and default disqualification, unless the EAC determines that extenuating or mitigating circumstances reduce the actual severity of the violation.
4. If a prevailing candidate is disqualified from prevailing in the election, a new prevailing candidate will be selected by running IRV again and excluding the disqualified candidate.
5. If a putative candidate fails to file for candidacy or submit financial disclosure forms by the deadlines provided in this EPP, the EAC may disqualify that candidate.
6. Liability exists for even unintentional or unknowing violations, unless intent or knowledge is an essential element of the provision violated.
7. An attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit a violation constitutes a violation.
8. In all instances, the actions of a candidate’s affiliates constitutes action of the candidate and the actions of a ballot measure advocate’s affiliates constitutes action of the ballot measure advocate.
Section X: Complaints
- The filer of a complaint is designated the “complainant.”
- Complaints may allege a violation by one or more of: (1) the EAC, (2) an entity of the ASUWT, (3) any candidate or group of candidates, or (4) any ballot measure advocate. Complaints against tickets must name each candidate individually. The alleged violator isthe “respondent.”
- Complaints must be submitted in-writing with the EAC before the Complaint Deadline. Upon such confirmation, the complaint is considered filed, and the date and time of such will be recorded by the EAC. If the complaint is filed against the EAC, the EAC has the responsibility to immediately inform the Senate to investigate such complaint.
- All complaints must be made in legible writing on forms adopted by the EAC. Any such form must include:
a. The identity of the complainant and respondents.
b. A citation to the specific rule alleged to be violated.
c. The alleged facts which constitute a violation of the cited rule, including the date, time, and place of the alleged violation, if applicable.
d. Contact information for any known witnesses of the facts alleged.
e. The complainant’s signature.
f. Optionally, written or photographic evidence appended to the form or given by URL.
5. Complaints which fail to comply with the procedures of this Section may be dismissed by the EAC at the time of the complaint’s hearing, even if such dismissal is not requested by either party.
6. Complaints naming affiliates of a candidate, group of candidates, or ballot measure advocate may be submitted, but must be amended to name specific candidates or ballot measure advocates before being considered officially filed. The EAC may make such amendments with consent of the complainant.
Section XI: Complaint Procedure
- The EAC will submit a warning via email to any candidate that commits an Election Code violation that can be easily corrected by the candidate within twenty-four (24) hours. (i.e. posting issues that simply require the candidate to repost material in the proper place, use the correct tape, remove signs as mandated by the EAC, and so on.)
- In the event that a Candidate commits what is deemed to be a serious violation or repeated violations, the Election Administrator may enact sanctions.
- In any instance where sanctions are placed on the candidate the EAC must notify the Candidate and Senate Chair via Email.
- The EAC Chair shall represent ASUWT and shall present the case against alleged violators to the Senate.
- The Senate will act on each appeal within forty eight (48) hours to ensure each violation is resolved in a timely manner at an open hearing.
- In the event that the EAC does or doesn’t enact sanctions on an individual Candidate, the Candidate in question or the petitioner has the right to appeal to the Senate.
- The candidate will be responsible to contact the Senate Chair via email who will then provide the candidate with any documentation that they will be required to complete as part of the appeals process.
- At the following Senate Meeting, the Candidate shall be given time to speak as well as provide any documentation or evidence related to the case in question. The ASUWT representative (EAC) and the alleged violator (candidate in question) will both be provided equal time to speak in front of the Senate
- The Senate will decide a course of action.
- Ignorance of the rules shall not be considered a valid defense. Candidates shall be responsible for any violations that occur on behalf of his or her candidacy.
Section XII: Withdrawal From Candidacy
- In order to withdraw from candidacy, candidates must submit a written and signed statement in-person by the withdrawal deadline.
- Candidates who withdraw must be taken off the online ballot, and have their names posted visibly at EAC information booths and polling places with an indication that they have withdrawn from the election.
Section XIII: Special Elections
- The ASUWT Constitution provides for various mechanisms by which a special election may be ordered. This Section applies with respect to such elections when ordered.
- Voting for special elections lasts three days. Voting will begin at 12:01 a.m. of day one, and end at 11:59 p.m. of day three.
- Special elections must be well-advertised. At a minimum, this requires at least two all-campus emails and two ads in The Ledger outside of the classified section.
- In general, the EAC has authority to establish the appearance and structure of special election ballots, and to prescribe the manner of voting.
- The EAC must operate a minimum of two information booths, staffed for a minimum of four hours per day, on campus for each day of voting in the special election.
- The EAC must hold a minimum of one public forum at least one week in advance of the first day of voting. 7. Special elections are regulated by the ASUWT EAC Bylaws and EPP, to the extent that its provisions are applicable in the context of the special election.
Section XIV: Duties of the Election Administration Committee
The general administration, canvassing, and certification of each election is vested in the EAC. The EAC shall discharge these duties fairly and impartially, without attempt to benefit or harm any candidate or ballot measure.
The EAC shall keep all cast ballots, election results, and voter counts secured and secret until such time that the results of the election are certified, and shall require all poll workers to do the same.
The EAC shall certify and publicly announce the outcome of each election no later than two hours after final tabulation.
The EAC shall develop the ballot, but shall not place any question or content on the ballot that compromises the neutrality of the ballot or tends to give systematic benefit to any candidate or ballot question.
The EAC shall provide each potential candidate and ballot measure advocate with a Candidate’s Packet, containing the following:
a. A complete calendar of elections, including mandatory meetings and deadlines;
b. The University of Washington Facility Services Policy;
c. The planned location of EAC information booths;
d. A copy of the official candidacy filing form;
e. A copy of the official preliminary and final financial disclosure forms;
f. An explanation of University IT policies on e-mail use; and
g. An explanation of state and federal phone solicitation policies.
6. The EAC may issue candidates or ballot measure advocates orders to cease and desist in any action which gives rise to a violation of this EPP, and failure to comply with such orders may be used as evidence of intent in any subsequent complaint under this EPP.