Make campaign season longer
Published: Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 00:03
Already, there’s been some controversy regarding ASOSU elections. Technically, those wishing to run are not allowed to begin the campaigning process until April 1. Thus far, Representative Nick Rosoff has been caught breaking this rule twice.
We’re not here to defend Rosoff. We’re merely saying Rosoff’s actions are the result of a broken system. ASOSU elections rules need to change and allow for a longer campaign period.
As outlined in the 2013 Election Packet provided by ASOSU, general elections are held in the first week of April. This means that candidates only have two weeks to campaign and get their names out there. This is a near impossible task, and one that has probably contributed to perpetually low voter turnout.
For a candidate to be competitive, it is necessary for him or her to put together a team, find a running mate, write a platform, develop campaign material and have them printed. This is a lot of work, and candidates do most of it on the sly before the official date to start campaigning.
It is absurd to pretend that other candidates aren’t already doing those things — and we know from several sources that campaigns have been picking campaign managers, creating strategy and plotting their next move. And this is why the rules of the game need to change.
Candidates should be allowed the month before the official campaign season to organize their campaigns. Instead of forcing candidates to go underground to do it, giving them an extra month would allow them to build stronger campaigns, garner more interest and reach out to more students than the current system allows for.
We can understand not allowing campaign signs to go up until April 1 and not having formal events between the candidates, like debates, but they should be allowed to gather supporters and build a team beforehand. They already are, and a quick change to the rules would make it so candidates aren’t punished for trying to reach out to other students about their planned runs for office.
This extra time might build buzz around the elections, and get more people involved in student government and more concerned about the issues that affect them. Right now there is too much apathy about student government and the grand theater that a democratic election provides might help some of those students get excited about it — or at least know that it exists.
Just because the other candidates aren’t getting caught doesn’t make the rules right. And while Rosoff shouldn’t be promising people jobs if he is elected or flouting the rules as they currently exist, the rules need to change. Changing them would level the playing field, giving candidates a larger window to operate in.
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