ASUC Bill Aims To Scale Back Some Polling Locations

ASUC Senate to Consider Removal of Four On-Campus Voting Locations

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The ASUC Senate will consider a bill tonight aimed at changing the association's bylaws to permanently remove four on-campus polling locations and add another for ASUC elections.

The bill proposes the permanent elimination of the same four voting locations the ASUC Senate had removed for last year's spring ASUC elections. These locations include the Haas School of Business courtyard, the Boalt Hall School of Law courtyard, the Lower Campanile Plaza and the Valley Life Sciences Building Addition.

The bill also calls for an additional polling station at Kroeber Hall's east entrance.

Independent Senator Nadir Shams, one of the sponsors of the bill, said changing the bylaws to permanently remove extra polling places would be a good financial decision for the ASUC. The removals had saved the ASUC $2,916 in election costs last year.

"The ASUC budget is incredibly tight, and that money is definitely needed. The money will probably go to financing some reforms, such as security in the elections, especially online," Shams said.

Last year, the ASUC strongly promoted online voting as a way to increase participation in elections.

"We are trying to get a higher turnout. We are always so busy at Berkeley so online is obviously the easiest way to log in and vote," Shams said. "There is no reason to have twelve or thirteen thousand students voting when there are 30,000 students here that all have Internet access."

Despite online voting opportunities, some graduate students were concerned with the senate's decision to remove polling locations last year.

An earlier version of last year's bill proposed removing five locations, most of which had heavy graduate student traffic. Opposition by the Graduate Assembly resulted in a compromise to remove four polling locations in areas of campus that would not disproportionately affect graduate students.

Joshua Daniels, president of the Graduate Assembly, said changing the bylaws to accommodate last year's decision will uphold the compromise reached last February.

"It's my understanding that the proposal put forward by Independent Senator Dave Rhoads is the same compromise as was reached last year. They agreed to close down some polling stations but not all that they wanted to, and not all affecting grad students," he said.


Contact Anna Widdowson at [email protected]

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