MSA passes special election handbook

Candidates can file March 22 and polls open April 16.
MSA senators vote on Resolution 57-45 in full senate on March 7, 2018.

The 2018 Missouri Students Association senate passed the special election handbook on Wednesday night in full senate.

MSA called for a special election through the passage of resolution 57-45. This came following the suspension of the previous presidential election after a candidate from each slate dropped out of the race.

The special election handbook stipulates that the deadline for slates to file is March 22, with campaigning beginning on March 26. Polls open April 16 and close April 18. The winner will be announced at Traditions Plaza that evening.

The biggest difference in the special election handbook and the handbook from the expelled election is the inclusion of a campaign expenditure limit of $2,000.

“I included the expenditure limit in an effort to move Mizzou student government elections to being more accessible to students who may not be able to keep up with large spending numbers,” Joseph Sell, Board of Elections Commissioners chair, said in an email. “In the future, I'd like to see the limit lowered to $1,000.”

In the last campaign, before the election was suspended, a slate raised $10,000.

“I have always been a fan of campaign finance regulations in terms of our elections,” senator Solomon Davis said. “We debated this the last time the handbook was passed, and some senators decided that they weren’t fans of the $2,000 limit, so they scrapped it.”

The proposal of an expenditure limit caused debate in senate and led to the proposal of several amendments.

Tim Davis, Campus and Community Relations Committee chair, advocated for the removal of the campaign expenditure limit when it was proposed in the last handbook. He proposed an amendment that would exclude things such as advertising from the campaign expenditure limit rule.

“We've had a problem with voter turnout and this [non]negotiable limit on spending is going to severely lower voter turnout especially when combined with the special election circumstances,” Tim Davis said in an email.

Although Davis’ amendment failed to pass in a vote of 7-11-3, the senate passed an amendment that forbids candidates from giving away free items at polling locations. Many senators felt these giveaways had an influence on votes.

“To me, that was an important addition,” Solomon Davis said. “It’s not about what you can give away to the students; it’s about your message.”

Edited by Skyler Rossi |

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