University of Missouri

48-1: An Act to Establish a Voter’s and Candidate’s Bill of Rights

WHEREAS, all students at the University of Missouri should have the opportunity to participate in a safe, fair, and open election, and

WHEREAS, On April 14, 2008, it was proposed to the MSA Board of Elections Commissioners and Student Court Chief Justice that a voter’s and candidate’s bill of rights be established in the model of the Missouri Voter’s Bill of Rights, and

WHEREAS, such Bills of Rights will help clarify and standardize expectations on behalf of MU student voters, candidates, and the BEC, and

WHEREAS, the Missouri Voter’s Bill of Rights states:

As a registered Missouri voter, you have the right to:
1. Cast your ballot free from interference in a private and secret manner unless assistance is requested;
2. View written instructions on how to obtain and cast a ballot;
3. Ask for and receive further instructions from election judges concerning the manner of voting;
4. View a sample ballot in the polling place before voting;
5. Cast a vote if you are in line before the polls are closed at 7:00 PM (closing time at the polls);
6. Ask for assistance from an election judge or person of your choice if you have any physical disability which hinders your ability to independently vote your ballot; cast your ballot on an accessible voting system (i.e. equipped with an audio ballot); or request curbside voting or a more accessible polling location if needed;
7. Receive another ballot if your ballot is accidentally spoiled or you make an error;
8. Vote by provisional ballot if your name is not on the precinct register and the election judges or election authority cannot determine your registration status;
9. Vote by absentee ballot when permitted by law;
10. Verify that the choices you made on the screen match the attached voter verifiable paper audit trail if you vote on a “touch screen” system; and
11. File a grievance with the Secretary of State’s office if your rights under the Help America Vote Act, Title III, have been violated.

THEREFORE, Be it enacted by the Missouri Students Association Senate that Chapter 5 of the MSA bylaws are amended:

5.01 VOTER’S RIGHTS
(1) All undergraduate students at the University of Missouri-Columbia have the following voting rights:
1. Cast a ballot free from interference in a private and secret manner unless assistance is requested;
2. View written instructions on how to obtain and cast a ballot;
3. Ask for and receive further instructions from election judges concerning the manner of voting;
4. View a sample ballot at the polling place before voting;
5. Cast a vote if a request for a paper ballot has been made before 6:00 PM (closing time at the polls);
6. Ask for assistance from an election judge if the voter has any physical disability which hinders ability to independently vote your ballot; cast a ballot on an accessible voting system;
7. Receive another ballot if the voter’s ballot is accidentally spoiled by elections officials or technology over which they preside;
8. Vote by provisional ballot if the voter’s name is not on the Department of Information Technology voter list and the election judges or election authority cannot determine your registration status;
9. Vote by absentee ballot when permitted by MSA bylaws;
10. File a grievance with the Board of Elections Commissioners or Student Court if any of the above rights have been violated.

5.02    CANDIDATE’S RIGHTS
(1) All registered candidates in MSA elections have the following rights:
1. Advertize/Promote in a respectful manner his/her platforms and qualifications free from interference by other candidates or individuals.
2. Receive written campaign rules and regulations from election officials.
3. Obtain additional information concerning rules and regulations from election officials in a timely manner.
4. Challenge the outcome of an election and request an official recount of votes if he or she lost by less than one percent.
5. File grievances against other candidates, individuals, or the BEC with the BEC or Student Court to guarantee these rights.
6. Shall retain all voter rights as a candidate.

5.03 TIME OF THE MSA GENERAL ELECTION
5.04 TIME OF THE MSA SENATOR ELECTIONS

5.25 POLLING PROCEDURE
(A) POLLING LOCATIONS
(B) ABSENTEE VOTING ELIGIBILITY AND PROCEDURES—Students who will not be able to go to their polling place on Election Day may vote absentee beginning two weeks prior to an election.
(1) Absentee voters must provide one of the following reasons for voting absentee: absence on Election Day due to a school-related activity, incapacity or confinement due to illness or physical disability (including a person who is primarily responsible for the physical care of a person who is incapacitated or confined due to illness or disability), or religious belief or practice.
(2) Voters may request absentee ballots from the BEC in person or by e-mail or regular mail. Interested students should provide full name, pawprint, academic college, and reason for request (of those listed above).Relatives within the first degree (parents and children) may complete an absentee ballot application, in person, on behalf of the voter who wishes to vote absentee.
(3) Mail-in absentee ballot requests and votes must be received by the BEC no later than 5:00 p.m. on the day prior to any election.
(C) POLL WATCHERS

Respectfully Submitted,

Amanda Shelton
MSA Senate Parliamentarian

Jonathan Mays
MSA Senate Speaker