This Code is established under the authority of Article XV of the Associated Students Constitution of California State University, Northridge.
The purpose of this Code shall be to define and outline the procedures governing the Associated Students Elections.
DATE OF EFFECTIVENESS:
This Code shall be effective when approved by a majority vote of the Associated Students Senate.
This Code may be amended by a 2/3 rds majority vote of the Associated Students Senate.
ASSOCIATED STUDENTS ELECTIONS
- General Elections
- General student body elections will be conducted once a year during the Spring semester in accordance with the A.S. Constitution. A general election will be held no less than six (6) academic weeks or more than ten (10) academic weeks prior to the end of each Spring semester.
- All A.S. elections will be conducted over a two-day consecutive period.
- The elected offices available will be those defined in Article V, Section 4.C. of the A.S. Constitution.
- Candidates and/or their respective campaign manager must attend a mandatory candidate orientation meeting. Failure to do so will result in the candidate being disqualified from running in the election.
- In the event that no ticket for President/Vice President receives a majority of the votes cast, the Chair of Elections, A.S. Coordinator for Information Technology, the University Advisor to Elections, and the A.S. Manager for Student Leadership and Productions will utilize Instant Run-Off (or similar) provisions of the electronic voting system to determine the winner.
- In the event that no senate candidate receives a plurality of the votes cast, the Chair of Elections, A.S. Coordinator for Information Technology, the University Advisor to Elections, and the A.S. Manager for Student Leadership and Productions will utilize Instant Run-Off (or similar) provisions of the electronic voting system to determine the winner.
- A.S. Elections will not include write-in candidates, or abstaining from votes.
- Special Elections
- Special elections shall be held for, but not limited to, the following: A) In the event that the results for an official election are declared null and void, a special election shall be held no sooner than two (2) regular school days and no later than two (2) weeks after the last day of voting was held. B) Upon the successful petitioning to recall any member of the Senate. C) Upon the successful petitioning of initiative legislation.
- The A.S. President, with the approval of the A.S. Senate, may call special elections.
- Special elections will be conducted in conformity with the general provisions of this Code, the A.S. Constitution, and the university.
- The Chair of Elections, in consultation with the A.S President and with the approval of the A.S. Senate, may direct the Elections Committee to establish and publicize particular election procedures for a special election.
- Recall and/or Initiative Elections
- Recall and/or initiative elections will be held in accordance with Article XI of the A.S. Constitution.
- Referenda are questions the A.S. poses to its electorate that, if passed, will result in a specific change or action occurring. These can include the assessment, amendment or repeal of an A.S. fee.
- Referenda may be placed on the ballot in an A.S. election by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the total voting membership of the A.S. Senate. Action by the A.S. Senate to place a referendum on the ballot must occur not less than twenty-eight (28) calendar days (four weeks) prior to a scheduled A.S. Election.
- Any members of the A.S. Senate may submit proposed referenda. They should come to the Senate through the Standing Committees whenever reasonable and feasible.
- Constitutional Amendment
- Constitutional amendments are questions the A.S. poses to its electorate that, if passed, will result in a specific addition, amendment or deletion of language to the A.S. Constitution. Constitutional amendments may not address the issue of an A.S. or University fee.
- Constitutional amendments may be placed on the ballot in an A.S. election by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the total voting membership of the A.S. Senate. Action by the A.S. Senate to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot must occur not less than twenty-eight (28) calendar days (four weeks) prior to a scheduled A.S. Election.
- Any member of the A.S. Senate may submit proposed constitutional amendments. These should come to the Senate through the Standing Committee process whenever reasonable and feasible.
- Survey Questions
- Survey questions are questions the A.S. poses to its electorate for informational purposes only.
- Survey questions may be placed on the ballot in an A.S. election by a simple majority vote of the total voting membership of the A.S. Senate. Action by the A.S. Senate to place a survey question on the ballot must occur not less than fourteen (14) calendar days (two weeks) prior to a scheduled A.S. Election.
- Any member of the A.S. Senate may submit proposed survey questions. These should come to the Senate through the Standing Committee process whenever reasonable and feasible.
GENERAL ELECTIONS – BASIC PROCEDURES
- Prior to each general election, the Chair of Elections, with the assistance of the Elections Committee, will:
- Establish timelines for applicants to make a formal declaration of candidacy and to file the online application form.
- Announce and publicize an open filing period of at least ten (10) business days (two calendar weeks).
- Prepare an electronic elections packet for potential candidates, to include: Official Candidate Application, A letter from the Chair of Elections, The general elections calendar, Candidate eligibility information, Permission form to check candidate’s academic eligibility Voluntary Clean Campaign Pledge, Statement of Financial Disclosure Form, Monetary Donation Disclosure Form, Press Release Agreement, Elections Candidate Agreement.
- Ensure that the packet is available via the website by the first day of filing.
- Election packets must be filed electronically according to the directions and timetables in the packet. Failure to file according to those directions, as determined by the electronic date and time verification, will result in the applicant being disqualified from running in the election.
- No applicant for A.S. office may file for more than one seat.
- Tickets: Applicants for A.S. President and Vice President will declare themselves as filing jointly for the respective positions, which will be known as a Ticket. The joint names of each Ticket will occupy one box on the final ballot.In the event of withdrawal or disqualification of either candidate on a Ticket, the remaining candidate shall have until the filing deadline to find a replacement and declare that replacement to the Chair of Elections in writing. Failure to do so before the deadline will result in automatic disqualification from the ballot. Disqualification or withdrawal of either candidate on a Ticket after the filing period through the close of voting on the last day of the election will result in disqualification of the Ticket from the ballot and holding office.
- Applicant eligibility will be determined by the Chair of Elections in consultation with the Office of Admissions and Records, the University Advisor to Elections, and the Elections Committee, pursuant to the A.S. Constitution, Article V Section I.A. It is the ultimate responsibility of the applicant to ensure that they are eligible to run for and hold office. The Chair of Elections will advise all applicants of their official determination of eligibility to run within one (1) calendar week of the close of filing. Students are considered applicants from time of filing until eligibility for candidacy has been verified. They are then candidates until the elections results have been accepted by the Senate. Should a candidate be determined ineligible to run due to academics, they may file an appeal by contacting the University Elections Advisor within 3 calendar days of being notified. All candidates must have paid AS fees as part of their tuition in order to be eligible for candidacy.
- All candidates and/or their campaign manager are required to attend a mandatory candidate orientation meeting. Failure to attend will result in the disqualification of the candidate from the ballot. The Chair of Elections will present candidates with an overview of the elections process including distribution of the following: 1) Current A.S. Code on Elections. 2) The A.S. Constitution. 3) Current A.S. minimum academic requirements for A.S. Personnel. 4) Copies of the current posting and distribution policies from the Matador Involvement Center (MIC). 5) Paper copies of the Statement of Financial Disclosure form. 6) Paper copies of the Monetary Donation Disclosure form. 7) Online voting information including rules on candidate statements and timelines on the results reveal.
- All candidates must attend 2 out of the 3 “mandatory” workshops (see the Elections Calendar).
- An applicant may begin campaigning once they have officially filed for the election.
- Campaigning includes but is not limited to: Online posts. Club, organization or classroom presentations. Printed or distributed materials, billboards or signs of any kind. Website and Social Media Presence.
- Any student determined to be ineligible, or who has been disqualified from running must cease campaigning upon notice from the Chair of Elections of ineligibility or disqualification.
- Any candidate or Ticket found campaigning prior to being officially recognized by filing for the A.S. elections by the Chair of Elections will be notified to cease campaigning or face being disqualified.
- All qualified candidates or Tickets who choose not to participate in the general election must notify the Chair of Elections in writing of their intent to withdraw.
CANDIDATE INFORMATION: WAYS TO RUN
- A candidate may run for A.S. Senate as an individual, unaffiliated with any slate. Such a candidate is an “Independent.”
- Slate names may not include “Independent” or “Independents”.
- Independent candidates are prohibited from appearing in any campaign literature with any other candidate or slate.
- Independent candidates have the option of declaring a campaign manager.
- Independent candidates will have the word “Independent” follow their name on the ballot.
- Candidates may decide to seek A.S. office as an affiliated group. Such groups are referred to as “Slates”. Tickets for President/Vice President are not considered slates, but may choose to run as part of a Slate.
- Each slate may designate one individual who will serve as the “Slate Manager.”
- A slate must declare a formal name, which will be used throughout the duration of the campaign. a. Slate names must be approved by the Chair of Elections and with
consultation from both Election Advisors. Slate names must be filed as part of the Slate’s official application to run. Slate applications must include the names of each person to be considered part of the Slate, the formal name of the Slate, and listing an optional Slate Manager. Candidates who fail to file a Slate Statement by the close of filing will not be permitted to campaign as a slate or appear on any literature or the actual ballot as a slate. Slate names may not include “Independent” or “Independents”.
- Candidates running as part of a formal Slate will have their slate name follow their name on the ballot.
- All candidates, as well as campaign/slate managers, are advised and encouraged to consult with the Chair of Elections and Elections Committee throughout the general elections process.
CAMPAIGNING AND PUBLICITY
- General Policies
- All student activities related to elections must be in accordance with both the A.S. Elections Code and all university policies and procedures.
- The Elections Committee will distribute the MIC statement of current policies and procedures to all candidates at a mandatory candidates meeting. It is the responsibility of the candidate to be knowledgeable of what can and cannot be done during the election period. Any questions should be posed to the Chair of Elections or Elections Committee advisors.
- All campaign materials are subject to review and approval by the Chair of Elections and the MIC.
- No publicity may be intentionally distributed or displayed inside campus buildings, except within classrooms or club meeting rooms during candidate presentations. Publicity includes, but is not limited to: t-shirts, flyers, brochures, stickers, or buttons. Publicity includes, but is not limited to: t-shirts, flyers, brochures, stickers, or buttons.
- Candidates may make classroom presentations with permission from the class instructor or club president. No campaign materials or publicity may be intentionally left or displayed in the room after the presentation. It is the responsibility of the candidates/slate to ensure none is.
- A “no-campaigning” zone exists 40 feet from every outside polling station and the Associated Students office. Candidate/Slate information flyers as well as clothing publicizing any candidate/slate are included.
- Posting and Distribution
- All posting and distribution of materials, billboards and other materials will be done in accordance with current university guidelines and policies. Failure to follow posting and distribution rules may result in
- All candidates for A.S. President and Vice President, and only those candidates, will be required to participate in a debate to be administered by the Elections Committee. Time, place and format for the debate will be determined by the Chair of Elections. The Chair of Elections shall moderate the debate and be present throughout it. The format of the debate shall be determined by the Chair of Elections in consultation with the Elections Committee. The Committee may consult with the candidates in determining the format if they choose. No representatives shall be allowed to speak on a candidate’s behalf.
- Voting in A.S. Elections is limited to current members of the A.S. corporation as designated in the A.S. Constitution, Article III, Section A.
- Any student who is a member of Associated Students and has more than one major in different academic Colleges is allowed one vote in each of the respective College Senate races.
- Membership in the CSUN Associated Students is determined upon presentation of proof of enrollment for the current semester.
- Prior to each general election, the Elections Committee will prepare and publicize (subject to approval by the A.S. Senate) a statement of policies and procedures regarding the use of a third-party provider for online voting.
- The statement will include the method of preparation for official ballots, the security of ballots before and after general elections, and the method for counting ballots including the determination of the outcome of a run-off election through Instant Run-Off voting procedures.
- The A.S. Senate will have the authority to approve the online, third-party provider for elections based on consultation with the Chair of Elections and A.S. Manager for Student Leadership and Productions.
- If for any reason the online voting system ceases to work during the general election, voting may be terminated at the discretion of the Chair of Elections after consultation with the Elections Committee and both Election Advisors. A new online election date would then be scheduled within two (2) calendar weeks of the first election. All results from the first election would be null and void.
- Elections results may be obtained by the Chair of Elections following the close of voting. The Chair of Elections, A.S. Coordinator for Information Technology, the University Advisor to Elections, and the A.S. Manager for Student Leadership and Productions may be in the room while the computer results are being pulled.
- Election results shall be announced by the Chair of Elections at the Elections Reveal event held directly after the close of the official election period.
- Unofficial election results will be posted as available:
- Outside the A.S. Student Leadership Office
- Online at www.csun.edu/as
- Electronically via email to the Daily Sundial.
- Each Spring semester candidates from the USU Election may also be placed on the A.S. Elections ballot.
- The University Student Union is responsible for notifying the Chair of Elections a list of USU candidates for the ballot within twenty-eight (28) calendar days (four weeks) prior to the date of election.
- A majority (50% +1) of the votes cast for the A.S. President/Vice President, or any referenda, recall, special or initiative legislation, or constitutional amendment are required to win the election.
- All other offices will be decided by a plurality vote.
- In the event of a tie in any race, the Instant Run-Off procedure will be used to determine a winner.
- The Chair of Elections will submit a summary of the unofficial election results at the first A.S. Senate meeting, along with a summary report from the University Advisor to Elections. When the A.S. Senate has accepted these two reports, the elections results will then be considered “official”.
- The Elections Committee, with the approval of the A.S. Senate, will annually prepare procedures for the establishment, security and publicizing of Voter Stations, as well as whether voting compatible devices will be made available.
- Dates, times and locations of Voting Stations, including any hours when voting compatible devices will be available, will be part of the recommended procedures.
- Voting Station information must be included in the general elections calendar each spring.
- To assist in increasing voter turnout, the Chair of Elections shall manage a competition in which clubs/organizations can win a monetary prize.
- The amount of this prize will vary each year in accordance with the Elections Budget allocated in the Annual Allocation Process.
- Prior to each general election, the Chair of Elections, with the assistance of the Elections Committee, will: Establish timelines for applicant clubs and organizations to file an online application form. Announce and publicize an open filling period of at least ten (10) business days (two calendar weeks).
- Clubs and Organizations shall be deemed eligible for the competition if: They are a university-recognized organization. Have an account in good standing with A.S. Accounting.
- A section with the eligible Clubs will be placed on the ballot after all election candidates to give voters the opportunity to vote for a club or organization.
- Voters can only vote for one organization per ballot.
- The top three clubs who receive the most votes shall be declared the winners
- The prizes shall be distributed in a proportion of 3:2:1 to 1st:2nd:3rd places; respectively. Funds will be disbursed to the Club’s Account under the name of the winner.
- Campaigning/Distribution of Materials for Club/Organization Competition:
- All posting and distribution of materials, billboards and other materials will be done in accordance with current university guidelines and policies. Failure to follow posting and distribution rules may result in disqualification.
- All relevant guidelines and regulations regarding campaigning and publicity as specified for candidates apply for clubs and organizations registered as part of the club competition.
- No campaigning or distribution of materials may occur within 40 feet of any polling station or the Associated Students office.
GENERAL ELECTION FINANCES
- The Chair of Elections, in consultation with the Elections Committee, will explain the purpose and proper use of the Statement of Financial Disclosure form to all candidates, including the possibility of disqualification for not completing the forms as required.
- In accordance with the laws of the State of California and the polices of the university, campaign funding may not come from any university department, contracting auxiliary, or from Associated Students funds.
- To give the A.S. corporation and its student members a general accounting of campaign finances, each candidate, ticket, and slate will submit a Statement of Financial Disclosure relating to their campaign expenses. This statement shall be filed at the A.S. Student Leadership Office no later than 4:00 pm on the Friday following the last day of voting.
- Failure to do so may result in a recommendation to the Senate that the independent candidate/slate/ticket be declared ineligible to hold office.
- Candidates must submit the Financial Disclosure form, regardless of whether or not money was spent on their campaigns.
- The Statement of Financial Disclosure form must be accompanied by original dated receipts and invoices that account for each campaign cost.
- It must disclose all food and beverage items given to campaign workers or to potential voters.
- The cost of clothing/apparel, materials, printing/duplicating, prizes, literature, decorations, giveaways, and other associated fees are all required disclosures.
- Individual candidate(s)/slate/ticket websites are subject to financial disclosure, including all set-up, maintenance and associated fees.
- Monetary donations may be solicited by any student, club/organization, or community member/group.
- Monetary donations may not exceed: A) Individual $50. B) Club/Organization/Community Group $100
- A Monetary Donation Disclosure Form outlining the name(s) of the student(s), club/organization(s), or community member(s)/group(s) and the amount they wish to contribute to the Independent Candidate, Ticket, or Slate of their choice must be submitted along with this sheet. Candidates must submit the Monetary Donation Disclosure form, regardless of whether or not money was spent on their campaigns.
- All monetary donations contribute to the maximum campaign expenditure guidelines listed below.
- The fair market value of any donation may not exceed the per donation limits listed above.
- The maximum campaign expenditures are as follows:
- President/Vice President Ticket $500
- Slate (Absolute Maximum. Excluding President and Vice President’s campaign expenditures.) $1000
- Independent candidates $500
- Final approval of the Statement of Financial Disclosure for each individual candidate/slate/ticket shall lie with the Elections Committee. Any forgery of the receipts or information provided on or with the form may result in a recommendation to the Senate that the candidate/slate/ticket be declared ineligible to hold office.
INAPPROPRIATE ELECTION CONDUCT
- The Chair of Elections and the Elections Committee shall have general authority over the conduct of the elections for this corporation.
- If any candidate or student observes a candidate, slate, ticket, or campaign team member violating the elections code or university policies and procedures that govern student conduct, they are permitted to report the offense formally (in writing). These codes and policies include, but are not limited to: California State University, Northridge Student Conduct Code
- Matador Involvement Center’s General Policy on Distribution of Literature
- Matador Involvement Center’s Policy on Posting of Literature
- The Associated Students Elections Codes
- Formal complaints will be accepted beginning with the date a candidate files for office through 4:00 pm on the Friday following the last day of voting.
- Formal complaints must be:
- Submitted via the Complaint Form to the A.S. Student Leadership Office or to then Chair of Elections.
- Individuals filing complaints shall include their name, contact information, and the code/constitution, as well as the specific amendment or section number that is believed to have been violated.
- The Chair of Elections, Elections Committee and Advisors will make every effort to resolve any and all complaints or disputes informally. Candidates who run for office are expected to comply with all efforts to resolve complaints informally whenever possible.
- Failing to reach an informal resolution, the Elections Committee will have the ability to resolve the complaint by any of the following procedures:
- The Elections Committee may decide to hold a formal hearing within twenty-four (24) hours of receiving any formal complaint.
- The Elections Committee may also decide to dismiss complaints without a formal hearing or to hold a formal hearing at any time up until or at their next regularly scheduled committee meeting.
- If the complaint is against the Chair of Elections, that complaint should be filed directly with the A.S. Judicial Court.
- The Chair of Elections will notify the Elections Committee, Advisors and candidates involved (or campaign/Slate managers involved) of the date and time of the formal hearing.
- Both parties involved in the complaint may present pictures, eye witness accounts, or written statements at the hearing. 10 copies of all paper materials must be brought to the hearing, as an on-site copy service is not available.
- Any and all evidence must be brought to the hearing to be considered during committee deliberations. The Chair of Elections will Chair the hearing and make sure that order ensues. If a candidate and/or slate fails to maintain order during a hearing, the Elections Committee has the right to cancel the hearing, or to decide the complaint without the evidence that candidate/slate would have provided.
- The candidate/slate making the complaint will have the opportunity to present their complaint and evidence first (along with all their witness statements).
- Following the presentation of evidence from both sides, the Elections Committee will have the opportunity to ask questions and gather information from any persons present.
- Complainants will not use the elections hearing as an opportunity to question or challenge one another. The hearing is an opportunity for the Elections Committee to gather information on issues pertaining to the complaint in question only.
- The Elections Committee may vote at any time to close the hearing and move into closed session for deliberations.
- The Elections Committee has the right to impose any or all of the following sanctions against an individual candidate, slate or ticket who is found to have violated the A.S. Elections Code, university policies or procedures concerning student behavior: Require an individual/candidate/slate/ticket/campaign volunteers to refrain from any/all types of campaigning for a period of at least one hour, not to exceed a period of two weeks, prior to or during the course of an election (including during the hours of voting). Recommend to the AS Senate that a candidate/slate/ticket be disqualified from assuming office. Recommend to the A.S. Senate that the Presidential and/or specific Senatorial elections be declared null and void. A special election would then be held according to the procedure outlined in Article X of the A.S. Constitution.
- The Senate will not take action on the recommendations of the Elections Committee if the recommendation has been appealed to the A.S. Judicial Court (pursuant to the guidelines outlined in the Code on the A.S. Judicial Court) . If the decision is not appealed to the A.S. Judicial Court within two (2) business days, the recommendation will go directly to the A.S. Senate for appropriate action. If the decision is upheld by the A.S. Judicial Court, the Senate will hear the Elections Committee recommendation(s) at their next regularly scheduled business meeting.
The General Elections Code shall, in the execution of its responsibilities, uphold the policies of the:
- The United States Constitution
- The State of California
- California State University, Northridge
- Associated Students
The parliamentary authority for the Associated Students General Elections shall be the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised.
This Code shall supersede all Codes on the A.S. General Elections passed prior to February 2, 2015.