University of Missouri

48-54: An Act to Revise MSA Election Bylaws

Purpose: To better facilitate reliable and transparent elections for the association by updating, improving upon, and removing inconsistencies between past election practices.


Whereas, the Missouri Students Association Senate recognizes the need for constant scrutiny of elections practices to ensure fair and open elections and transparent public service, and


Whereas, the 2008 MSA General Election was the first to utilize both the Voter’s and Candidate’s Bills of Rights, resulting in requests for clarification on several terms,


Whereas, a Division of Information Technology server crash prevented the election from occurring on November 10-12th and raised concerns over the lack of back-up voting systems,


Whereas, the Senate Operations Committee has been working in tandem with members of other Senate committees, the BEC, and Student Court, as well as past candidates, the executive, and other interested students over the past three months to address these and other concerns,


Whereas, the Committee realizes that limited immediate action is pertinent as a bulk of revision will be done for the new BEC Handbook,


Therefore, be it enacted by the Missouri Students Association Senate that the bylaws be revised as follows:


1. Cast a ballot free from interference in a private and secret mannera unless assistance is requested;

8. Vote by provisional ballotb 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 ballotc when permitted by MSA bylaws;


a: no individual outside of the BEC shall view a student’s vote

b: a ballot “arranged or established for the time being, pending permanent arrangement or establishment.” Webster’s New World Dictionary, 2nd. Ed.

c: “a ballot submitted (as by mail) in advance of an election by a voter who is unable to be present at the polls.” Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary


(1) All registered candidates in MSA elections have the following rights:

6. Shall retain all voter rights as a candidate. Obtain a written copy of grievances filed against his/her slate within twenty-four hours of the filing.

7. Shall retain all voter rights as a candidate.

5.08 ELECTION HANDBOOK – Each year the BEC shall create an election handbook containing the MSA procedures, including Chapter 5 of these bylaws, a list of fines, and other information the BEC deems pertinent. This handbook must be approved by the Senate Operations Committee and filed with the Clerk of the Senate at least 50 days prior to the MSA general election. Once approved, this handbook shall have the same power and force as these By-Laws. The BEC and all slates are mandated to follow its provisions. In addition, the BEC shall meet with the Senate Operations Committee at the meeting immediately following the final announcement of each election’s results (unless previous arrangements are made which are agreeable to both parties and maintain timeliness of review) to discuss the effects of recent handbook revisions and explore possible improvements for the next revision.


(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, or position as a member or volunteer of the BEC responsible for conducting the election.


Respectfully Submitted,


Amanda Shelton Jonathan Mays
Operations Chair MSA Senate Speaker