Student Election Review Committee (SERC)
The Elections Commission
The Elections Commission is an independent group that oversees the undergraduate Student Government Elections process. The Commission is responsible for holding and monitoring elections for Student Government positions, Student Body Referendums, and other student organizations requesting the supervision of the Election Commission.
The Commission is responsible for oversight: publicizing the elections, creating candidates’ election packets, coordinating all meetings regarding the election’s process, and managing all designated polling sites. In addition, the Commission investigates all alleged election code violations and irregularities. The election’s calendar is determined by the Student Government Constitution.
- Students running for sophomore class positions must have 28 earned credits by September 1.
- Sophomores running for junior class positions must have 56 earned credits by September 1.
- Juniors running for senior positions must have 84 credits earned by September 1.
- All candidates must have an overall GPA of 2.70 or better in order to hold office.
- Candidates for President and Vice President must have an overall GPA of 2.70 or better by the start of the 2021 fall semester in order to hold office.
- Candidates for Student Government Association President and Vice President must run on a ticket together.
- The positions of Mister and Miss University of Maryland Eastern Shore must represent the Senior Class.
- Candidates may not be on academic or disciplinary probation.
- Each undergraduate candidate must be registered for at least twelve (12) university credits. (registered means carry and maintain).
THE COMPOSITION AND DUTIES OF THE ELECTION COMMISSION
- The Election Commission shall consist of 5 members: 3 faculty/staff members
and 2 students.
- The chairperson shall be appointed by the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs.
- The chairperson shall vote only in case of a tie.
- The student members shall be the sitting senior class president, and an SGA presidential appointee.
- No student running for an office (SGA president, SGA vice president, class presidents,
vice presidents, or Mr./Ms. UMES) shall serve on the Elections Review Commission during the election.
- No member of the Election Commission or any election official shall campaign for any
candidate during any such election that he/she helps conduct.
- Faculty/staff members shall be appointed by the Executive Director of Student Experience or their designee.
The responsibility and authority of the Elections Commission shall be to:
- Conduct and supervise the election of officers for the Student Government Association, Campus Activities Board and the Mister and Miss University of Maryland Eastern Shore Competition;
- Control all activities related to the election;
- Establish rules for election publicity;
- Make known the qualifications for candidacy as well as duties pertaining to the office which the candidate is seeking;
- Establish deadlines for filing and the submission for applications and related materials by candidates;
- Publicize the date, time and place(s) of voting;
- Secure a list of persons eligible to vote;
- Verify the academic qualifications of candidates;
- Monitor the voting process and certify the election results;
- Make known all information concerning the election of the SGA officers at a formal Student Body meeting;
- Ensure that campaign regulations are adhered to and enforce appropriate disciplinary sanctions, including disqualification if violations occur, and
- Patrol campaign areas to enforce the Election Regulations.
METHODS AND PROCEDURES FOE CAMPAIGNING FOR CANDIDATES/SUPPORTERS
- Campaigns are limited to the University of Maryland Eastern Shore campus.
- Examples of the campaign materials must be submitted to the election committee BEFORE it can be displayed. Non-interactive websites are permitted as part of the campaign.
- Facebook Groups and Events are permitted as part of the campaign. However, the wall MUST BE DISABLED so that people cannot leave comments. No more event invitations can be sent after elections have begun.
- Twitter is allowed during campaigning week, but CANNOT be used during the election.
- Digital platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat are permitted
- During the day of voting, NO NEW campaign materials can be posted online OR on the campus. Candidates and their friends CANNOT place Facebook statuses or tweets that ask students to vote for them. They can only say “Don’t forget to vote in the SGA election Tuesday, April 27th at 8 am to 8 pm.” If you are in doubt whether something is allowed, ask the elections committee before you do it. It’s better to be safe than to find yourself disqualified.
- Where possible, candidates should disable comments on any social media post, group or event.
- Campaign events that promote a candidate are permitted both inside and outside the Student Services Center and other campus locations, with prior approval from the Office of Student Engagement.
- Requests to post campaign materials (example: posters) on University property MUST be submitted to the Office of Student Engagement, located on the 2nd Floor of the Student Services Center for approval and stamp.
- Materials posted in the residence halls and apartments MUST be approved and stamped by the Office of Residential Life as well as The Office of Student Engagement. If you wish to dorm-storm you must also get prior permission from the Office of Residence Life.
- The use of University e-mail for the posting of advertisements or notices will not be permitted.
- Fliers may be posted on approved bulletin boards. Fliers may be posted on residence hall room doors if permitted to do so. Fliers may not be posted on windows, elevators, wood surfaces, and walls.
- The posting of materials on trees, lampposts, or building exteriors is not permitted. Thumbtacks must be used in posting materials on bulletin boards. Candidates may not use staples when posting fliers on the bulletin boards. Campaign material that is deemed obscene, libelous, racist, sexist, in poor taste, or offensive to the diverse University community will not be permitted.
- Any infraction of the posting rules by a candidate or a party connected thereto may result in the disqualification of that candidate. All candidates found in violation of these rules will be subject to loss of future posting privileges, charges for any damage that may occur as a result of such postings, and charges may be filed under the University’s Student Code of Conduct.
METHONDS FOR REMOVING CAMPAIGN MATERIALS
- Candidates/supporters may not attempt to solicit votes or hold campaigning events after the election has begun. This means you cannot stand outside asking people to vote for you, have friends dorm-storm or pass–out flyers, etc. Please recall the above rules regarding Facebook, Twitter, posters, and flyers, as well. Facebook Groups and Events MUST have a DISABLED wall so people cannot leave comments. During the day of voting (April 27th), NO NEW campaign materials can be posted online OR on the campus (i.e. posters). Candidates and their friends CANNOT place Facebook statuses or tweets that ask students to vote for them. All infractions of these rules could cause your disqualification.
- Campaign materials are to be removed by the candidate/supporters within 24 hours of the conclusion of the election.
- When a candidate believes that campaign procedures may have been violated, a written compliant along with all necessary evidence must be emailed to the Elections Committee Chairpersons BEFORE the polls close. A complaint(s) must be signed by the candidate and a witness. The Elections Committee will not consider any complaints unless the person(s) appear before the Elections Committee.
- Any alleged campaign violation(s) or irregularity must be submitted, in writing, to the Elections Commission within twenty-four (24) hours of said violations(s).
- A complaint will be considered after the polls close only if reasonable cause can be shown for the late submission.
- The Elections Committee shall then review the complaint to see if it is valid and determine what action should be taken.
- The Election Commission will then hold hearings, when deemed necessary, within forty-eight (48) hours of receipt of the letter indicating the alleged violations(s) or irregularity, and the decision will be rendered within that same 48-hour period.
- The decision of the Elections Commission is final.
- A violation of any of the election rules by any candidate or a party connected thereto may be reason enough for disqualification.
- The disqualification of a candidate will be determined by the elections committee.
- In the event that a candidate is removed from the election process, the candidate with the next highest vote total will (a) assume the disqualified candidate’s position or (b) move up one position in the final vote.
- The decision of the Elections Commission is final.
- The Elections committee will check the ballots after the polls close. The Election Committee, Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Experience and the Advisor will be present during this process for compliance purposes.
- The candidate with the highest number of votes for each office shall be deemed the winner.
- The election results will be posted through an e-mail to all current students. This e-mail will be sent out as soon as the vote count has been verified.
- When there is a tie by two or more candidates for any vacancy, a run-off election will be held no later than (1) one week from the date of the original election.
Candidates should thoroughly review the SGA ELECTION RULES AND REGULATIONS, before the campaign and election takes place. If a candidate has a question regarding the election process it should directed to the Elections Chairperson(s) BEFORE the campaign begins. Any changes or modifications to the rules and regulations listed above will not be considered after the campaign begins. All questions should be submitted to the Election’s Committee in writing to the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org