AN ACT TO ESTABLISH THE 2015 BEC PRESIDENTIAL HANDBOOK
PURPOSE: To establish the BEC Presidential Election Handbook for the 2015 election.
WHEREAS, the BEC Handbook must be passed to allow proper election administration; AND
WHEREAS, this handbook will regulate all slates in the fall election; AND
WHEREAS, the BEC is required to write the handbook and have it approved before Senate.
THEREFORE, BE IT ENACTED BY THE MISSOURI STUDENTS ASSOCIATION SENATE that the BEC presidential Election Handbook be approved using the language included in the following document.
Table of Contents
How to Run for MSA President & Vice President……………………..2
Summary of Forms and Due Dates……………………………………..4
Obstruction of Election Process………………………………………….5
Residence Halls, Campus Dining Locations, & Student Unions……..6
Important Election Dates………………………………………………10
As is stated in Election Form 2 “Candidate Eligibility and Handbook Receipt,” it is the responsibility of the candidates and their campaign workers to read and understand the election laws put forth by the Board of Elections Commissioners. Candidates and their campaign workers must also abide by all rules stated in the University of Missouri M-Book. Ignorance of these laws cannot be used as a defense. If slates have any questions with regards to the legality of an action, it is the slate’s responsibility to contact the BEC and any other parties involved.
- The Board of Elections Commissioners must pass any amendments made prior to the official filing date through the MSA Senate. After the official filing date the Board of Elections Commissioners has the right to amend the BEC handbook at any time in the year if they obtain a unanimous approval from the President, Senate Speaker, and the Chief Justice of MSA.
How to Run for MSA President & Vice-President
Step 1: Review the important BEC Election Dates. (Note: that campaigning may not begin until the soft campaigning period on Monday, October 12, 2015 at 8 AM.)
Step 2: Gather 500 valid undergraduate signatures and collect them on Election Form 1 (available on the MSA website).
Step 3: File your nominating petitions at the BEC desk on Thursday, October 8 from 1-5 PM. Note that you may not file before OR after this date.
Step 4: Review important election documents after you have filed your nominating petitions. These include: the MSA Presidential Election Handbook, the MSA Rules and Bylaws (available on the MSA website), and the M-Book (available at: http://mizzoulife.missouri.edu/resources/m-book/).
Step 5: Attend the Election Advisory Session. Your slate must attend the advisory session hosted by the BEC. Failure to make this session will result in the inability to run in the election. This session should occur the morning following the official filling date. In the event that the decided time and date does not work for one or more of the parties, a new date and time shall be decided based on availability. During this session, the BEC will outline rules and regulations of the election as well as answer any questions regarding campaigning. In the event that no time works for every slate and the BEC, individual advisory sessions will be held with each slate within 14 days of the official filing date.
Step 6: File all appropriate BEC election forms during the campaign. Details are outlined further in this handbook.
Step 7: Vote! You may begin voting on Monday, November 9 at 5 PM.
Step 8: Attend the announcement ceremony at the close of the polls. Slates should have brief remarks prepared and ready to present at the ceremony if they win.
Step 9: Remember the basics! The election should be about engaging students and promoting student government. Student government representatives serve to further the cause of students and their interests. To this end, MSA President and Vice President help act as the voice for over 25,000 undergraduate students at Mizzou.
Step 10- Create a debrief event, must be within 2 weeks of the end of elections, and all slates are required to participate. The purpose is to get a true feeling of what went well/wrong while it is still fresh in people’s mind. This would be to help Senate and the incoming BEC Chairs figure out what they need to change in the future.
Official Filing Date
Any slate wishing to run in the election must submit their nominating petitions to the BEC for verification on October 8, 2015 between 1 PM and 5 PM (per MSA B ylaws). Slates may NOT submit their petitions before or after this date.
Election Advisory Session
All approved slates will attend the election advisory session during a time chosen by the BEC, which will include: each slate and their chosen representative(s), the BEC and their appropriate representative(s). Additional parties may be present upon the request of the BEC. This election advisory session will occur on October 9, 2015 at 5 PM. If this will not work, a session will be held within 14 days of nomination petition certification.
Summary of Forms and Due Dates
Election Form 1— Nominating Petition
Election Form 2— Candidate Eligibility and Handbook Receipt
Election Form 3— Campaign Manager Choice
Election Form 4— Acknowledgement of Sponsorships & Expenditures
Election Form 5— Report of Campaign Material
Election Form 6— Posting of Campaign Materials
Election Form 7— Polling Location Request
Above are the election forms that slates must file. Election Form 1 only needs to be turned in once during the filing time on October 8. Election form 2 and 3 must be filed at the end of the Election Advisory Session. Election Forms 4 through 6 must be filed each week; however, you only need to report new materials (if you have reported something in a previous week, you do not need to report it again). Email verification from building managers may be used to supplement Form 6. Election Form 7 will contain instructions in the description. A copy of each form will be provided with this handbook. Election Form 7 will contain instructions in the description. A copy of each form will be provided with this handbook. Election Forms 4 through 6 also need to be turned in on the Monday prior to the beginning of the election by 5:00PM. Future copies of the Election Forms are the responsibility of the candidate.
All forms that require weekly submission can be faxed it to the BEC email by 5 PM Friday, as long as the hard copy is turned in to the BEC Desk by the following Monday at 5 PM. will be due on Fridays by 5PM at the BEC desk in the Center for Student Involvement (must be on Friday, not before). A member of the BEC MUST be present to receive paperwork. Therefore, submission must occur during regular BEC office hours (to be published online and at the BEC desk).
To campaign will be defined as: to work in an organized and active way towards a particular goal. Slates must follow all MSA Bylaws, Election Handbook guidelines, as well as M-Book guidelines. All relevant civil statutes also bind slates. Soft Campaigning will be defined as: Slates may launch social media sites, send emails, Facebook messages, tweets, post flyers, posters, etc., but in no way have in-person contact. Soft Campaigning, not including soliciting for nomination petition signatures by slates, may ONLY begin on the Monday of the Soft Campaign week (October 12, 2015 at 8 AM). Hard Campaigning will be defined as: Slates may go speak at organizations, Greek Chapters, table and pass out handbills, (in-person contact now allowed.) Hard Campaigning will begin October 19, 2015 at 8 AM.
Polling locations include all campus DoIT computer labs as well as candidate-registered (and BEC-approved) polling locations between 5 PM Monday and 5 PM Wednesday during election week.
Slates may create up to 5 polling locations on approval of Election Form 7. Due to the nature of securing polling locations, slates may begin making arrangements on October 12. Election Form 7 can be approved anytime from the start of the soft campaigning period to the start of the election, October 12-November 9. The BEC retains the right to refuse a slate’s specific areas. Upon approval of a polling location, the BEC will issue credentials that must be displayed at each approved polling location for the duration of the location’s operation.
The BEC will NOT be approving polling locations inside of buildings, with the exception of the BEC polling location in the Student Center. This is to allow students to go about their normal every day activities as much as possible without interruption from slates approaching them to vote. This is not to discourage voting altogether, but to minimize student’s avoidance of facilities and buildings they would use if there were no polling locations. Students have less of an ability to not be approached by campaigners in enclosed spaces.
Obstruction of the Election Process
Obstruction of the election process shall be defined as: inhibiting the free participation of students in the election process. For example, influencing a student’s decision while they are voting (harassment) would be considered obstruction. If a candidate is found to commit obstruction, they will immediately be expelled from the campaign.
Form 5 must be updated and submitted weekly; see “Summary of Forms and Due Dates” for further information. A slate may post material at their discretion, but that material must be registered with the BEC in Form 5 the following week. If a slate commits an infraction (as outlined later in this handbook) in materials that have been posted prior to registration with the BEC, this will be treated as a campaign violation.
- Websites: may become public the beginning of the Soft Campaign period (October 21). A slate’s website(s) must be registered with the BEC. Information on a slate’s website(s) is subject to MSA Bylaws, Election Handbook guidelines, and M-Book policy.
- Social Networking Sites: a candidate’s personal social networking profile (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) will NOT be considered campaign material in the respect that it must be registered. However, if a candidate’s profile contains libel against another candidate or slate it is subject to campaign regulations.
Similarly, a candidate’s blog is not considered to be campaign material UNLESS the blog’s specific purpose is campaigning. However, if a blog contains libel against another candidate or slate it is subject to campaign regulations.
A candidate is directly responsible for items that are primarily for campaigning and that the candidate has editing control of. These would include, but not be limited to, Facebook groups created by the candidate, a “fan” Facebook application created by the slate or candidate, etc. Items of this type WILL BE considered campaign materials and must be registered. These types of materials cannot be posted prior to the slate’s submission of nomination petition.
Candidates will not be held responsible for items posted by other parties, as defined as those who are not candidates nor campaign workers.
- Campaign Videos: include but are not limited to: videos posted in Google Video, YouTube, etc. Campaign videos may not be posted on these sites prior to the slate’s submission of nomination petitions. Campaign videos must be registered with the BEC as with all campaign materials. Campaign videos containing slander, libel, or profanity will be subject to the same penalties as other campaign materials.
- Mailers and Flyers: each slate will be allowed to distribute campaign materials in Residence Hall mailboxes provided they adhere to Residential Life policy. In addition to receiving BEC approval, approval must also come from Kathy Murray through the Center for Student Involvement as well as approval from the Residential Academic Programs (RAP) Office. All materials submitted to Residential Life must clearly identify the individual or group responsible for their creation and distribution.
Slates may speak to Greek chapters if invited by the chapters or at open-forum type events, like dinner speaking, only during the Hard Campaigning period; see “Campaigning” for further information. Slates (including their campaign staff) may not go door-to-door within a Greek chapter house to solicit votes (including the use of laptops for mobile polling locations).
Residence Halls, Campus Dining, & Student Unions
Campaigning within Residence Halls shall be subject to Residential Life guidelines. Residential Halls are defined as: any owned or leased property of the Department of Residential Life. Individuals in Residence Halls have the right to place anything within reasonable limits on the doors (unless specific Residential Life policies have further restrictions). Thus, if a slate’s supporters choose to place a poster supporting the campaign on their doors or in their window, they may do so.
Campus Dining Services do not allow any form of campaigning in CDS locations.
Campaigning will be permitted within the Student Unions as long as it does not violate any of the rules of the Unions or other election laws, including campaigning in MSA space. If a student approaches the BEC with a complaint relating to Obstruction of Election Process (harassment), the BEC will investigate and prosecute accordingly.
If there are any questions regarding any Residential, CDS, or Student Union policies, contact these respective entities.
It is the slate’s responsibility to contact the building managers on campus to get permission to place posters/banners on or in buildings. This permission must be documented on the Posting of Campaign Materials form (Form 6) and submitted to the BEC prior to posting. Upon BEC approval campaign materials may be posted. The BEC will respond within 24 hours of approval/disapproval (slates may not post materials until approved).
Slates MAY NOT post any campaign materials in any University of Missouri library.
In addition to flyers, “chalking” the chalk/dry erase boards as well as mass flyer distribution in a classroom is NOT permitted.
As per the M-Book, as long as the slate is only posting on designated bulletin boards, they do not have to fill out Form 6. If they wish to post anywhere else in a building, they must get the permission of the building manager. The guidelines laid out in the M-Book still govern the placement of campaign material in open spaces.
MSA Offices, Equipment and Resources
Offices, equipment, etc. of the Missouri Students Association are for official use and MAY NOT be used for campaigning. The definition of the Missouri Students Association offices will be: the Center for Student Involvement on the second floor of the Student Center. Any campaigning inside Center for Student Involvement is forbidden.
People may not wear any campaign oriented clothing/ buttons etc. to any official Senate and weekly committee meetings or any other event where they are serving as a Senator or other elected MSA official.
Auxiliaries’ services may be used for campaigning purposes under normal business practices. In NO WAY may any MSA auxiliary show support for or endorse any candidate or slate. If any person associated with an MSA auxiliary wishes to support or endorse a candidate/slate they MAY NOT explicitly mention the fact that they are associated with a particular MSA auxiliary when doing so. This rule is confined to the leadership of these organizations. Determination of endorsement of a candidate will be left to the discretion of the BEC and will include using auxiliary offices, list serves, etc. The one exception to this rule is news and editorial boards: shows and newspapers may extend invitations to slates to appear on their shows or in their publication as long as the same courtesy is extended to all slates.
Debates and Events
One official debate, which will be hosted by MSA/BEC and RHA, will be during the campaign period. Attendance for this debate is MANDATORY. A second debate, which will be hosted by The Maneater and Four Front, will be scheduled at their discretion. Although this debate is not mandatory, slate attendance is highly suggested. Additional BEC sponsored events may be planned at the discretion of the BEC. Attendance by a slate at any other BEC event is optional.
External mass emails are not allowed. The BEC defines a mass email as: an email that delivers essentially the same note to more than one recipient. This does not include internal emails among campaign staff, nor does it include the solicitation of campaign workers via email, however the email may not include solicitation for votes; see “Solicitation of Campaign Workers Via Mass Email.” Multiple emails are considered a “mass email” if they deliver essentially the same note to more than one person. This list is not comprehensive and additional restrictions may be added by the BEC. In addition, candidates CANNOT create list serve programs for campaigning, no matter how many people are on the list serve. If a mass email is sent on behalf of a slate with a slate’s knowledge, it will be considered a major infraction even if the email did not originate from a University account.
If the BEC receives notifications that a slate is sending out multiple emails, private messages via social media, text messages or phone calls to an individual or individuals who have already stated a desire not to be involved in the campaign, this will be considered “harassment” which will be brought up as a violation at the discretion of the BEC and the Student Court. The severity of the violation will be based on the type, amount, and content of the messages that the individual or individuals have received.
Solicitation of Campaign Workers Via Mass Email
If a slate requires a mass e-mail to be sent for campaign staffing purposes, emails must be approved by the BEC. The BEC reserves the rights to determine where the mass email is sent. Emails must be generic to avoid any indirect vote solicitation and will be changed if necessary. The email also cannot promise future executive positions to the campaign workers. If an unapproved email soliciting campaign workers is sent out on behalf of a slate’s knowledge, it will be considered a major infraction even if the email did not originate from a University account.
Infractions and Penalties
This is not a complete list and additional infractions may be added by the BEC.
Moderate fines will be levied on a strike system. Infractions will fall into two categories, Minor and Major.
- Definition: minor inaccurate representation of form information (minor inaccurate representation is considered two or fewer inconsistencies).
- The first violation will be a written warning from the BEC.
- The second violation will carry a $100 fine.
- The third violation will carry a $300 fine.
- The fourth violation shall be considered major and all subsequent violations shall continue on the major infractions penalty list.
- Definition (acts):
- Using MSA offices, equipment, etc. for campaigning purposes.
- Purposeful falsification of official BEC documents and forms.
- Destruction, removal, or obstruction of opponents campaign materials.
- Covering an entire bulletin board or the majority of a bulletin board will be deemed obstruction.
- Campaigning prior to the start of the allowed campaigning period.
- Violating BEC email policy.
- Violations of University policies outside of MSA Bylaws, Election Handbook guidelines, and M-Book policies (Residential Life, Campus Dining Services, Student Unions, etc.).
- Violations of MSA Bylaws, Election Handbook guidelines, and M-Book policies.
- MSA Bylaws & Election Handbook is subordinate to University policy except in instances in which MSA policy more explicitly defines an issue.
- Punishment: major infractions carry different penalties to prevent repeat offenses.
- The first violation will result in a campaign losing the privilege of campaigning for three days.
- The second violation will result in the expulsion from the election, along with minor fines.
All fines must be paid directly to the BEC within 3 academic days of official notification from the BEC, or in the case of an appeal, 3 academic days of the Student Court decision. Slates are expected to pay all fines even if the slate is no longer running a campaign.
If a slate wishes to file an appeal of any infraction they must do so within 24 hours of being notified of the infraction by the BEC.
Slander, libel and profanity will not be tolerated in campaigning or campaigning materials. Any slates including these aspects in their materials will be immediately dismissed from the election. Additionally, candidates that commit obstruction of election process will be immediately expelled from the election.
BEC Case Guidelines
Generally, the BEC will act as the prosecution in cases involving violations of election law, except in cases in which the BEC acts as the defense.
The BEC, with the consent of the Court, has the ability to offer sanction agreements between the accused slate and the BEC. However, these agreements must be submitted to the Court for approval via e-mail to MSACourt@missouri.edu. The BEC is not required to offer agreements of any kind.
BEC initiated court procedures are outlined in the MSA Student Court Handbook. Case guidelines and timelines are also outlined in the Court Handbook.
The BEC will NOT have communication with the accused slate(s) prior to oral arguments and will NOT ask for a testimony without the presence of an MSA Court Official. If a slate wishes to express their opposition to an infraction being issued, they may express this in their brief to the MSA Court. If a slate has any further questions they should contact the BEC for clarification.
Important Election Dates
|Friday, September 25||Official Election Date Announcement Deadline: The Department of Student Communication must publicize the official filing date no later than this day.|
|Thursday, October 8
1 PM-5 PM
BEC Desk in the Student Center
|ZQ||* If fewer than 500 signatures are verified, the slate will have 60 hours after being notified to submit enough valid signatures to make up the difference.|
|Friday, October 9
*Or within 14 days after all nominating petitions have been verified
|Election Advisory Session: Following the filing date and certification of nomination certificates, one or more representatives from each slate (which should include the candidates themselves) and appropriate judicial parties shall meet together for an Election Advisory Session hosted by the BEC*.|
|Monday, October 12||*Candidates may not begin soft campaigning until Monday, October 12 at 8 AM.|
|Monday, October 26
|Presidential Debate Hosted by the BEC: Prior to the election, the BEC will host one presidential/vice-presidential debate for the general public.|
|Monday, November 9
|Election Begins: Students may begin voting in the president election by going to vote.missouri.edu.|
|Wednesday, November 11
|Election Ends: Voting for the presidential election ends at 5 PM.|
|Wednesday, November 11
Location: Traditions Plaza
|Winner Announcement: The winners of the presidential election will be announced at a ceremony following the closing of the polls. Rain location will be announced if deemed necessary.|