Wrong ballots in election

By Dana Netzel

Some students used the wrong ballot and were not checked for identification during the Student Association senate elections.

The second day of last week’s election was postponed because of more than seven inches of snow. Today is the last day to vote, but SA members said some students received ballots for the wrong district in the five-district system.

“I can’t imagine this (the election set-up) being a problem,” said SA President Huda Scheidelman. Students are asked to indicate the district they live in and if they do not know, there are district maps available, she said.

However, District 4 candidate Richard Shippy said he knows of about 20 people who received a ballot for the wrong district. Shippy said he complained to poll workers, telling them to “make sure to hand voters the right ballot.”

SA Elections Commissioner Ray Callahan defended the poll workers. “If someone got a wrong ballot it would not be the poll workers’ fault,” he said.

District 5 candidate Sadia Ahmed said she went to vote on Jan. 24 and the poll workers did not ask for any type of identification. Ahmed said she also received the wrong ballot.

“I could have easily gone to another polling place and told them I had not voted,” Ahmed said. “Not checking a list or asking for a schedule makes me wonder how accurate this election is.”

Sometimes poll workers give voters the wrong ballots, but there is no way to know where the student lives because addresses are not available on identification cards or class schedules, Callahan said.

“The people working at the polls are volunteers and are not perfect,” said SA Vice President Steve Coloia.

A number of students who received ballots from the wrong district wrote-in the correct candidate names for their district, Shippy said. Coloia said the election commissioner will decide if these ballots are valid.

During last spring’s election there were only two voting districts. However, the system was ruled unconstitutional by the SA Supreme Court in January, 1989, because it favored geographic areas and social groups.

Senate elections are today from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. in DuSable Hall, Founders Memorial Library and the Holmes Student Center Pow Wow Room.

Voting District 1 includes commuters living outside the city district and all DeKalb east of the Kishwaukee River. District 2 includes the area enclosed to the north by the DeKalb city limits, to the west by Annie Glidden Road, to the south by Lucinda Avenue and to the east by the Kishwaukee River.

District 3 excludes all residence halls and consists of the area within the DeKalb city limits to the west side of Annie Glidden Road and the Kishwaukee River. District 4 consists of Douglas Hall, Stevenson and Grant towers. University Plaza, Neptune, Lincoln and Gilbert halls are included in District 5.

There are 10 official candidates running for 17 senate seats. In District 2, Monica Brace, James Hollendonner, Gavin Kemp, James Mertes, Kathleen Rosenburg and Steven Zarch are running.

In District 4, John Hughes, Gloria Pina and Richard Shippy are running. Ahmed is the only District 5 candidate.

There are no official candidates for Districts 1 or 3, but several people are conducting write-in campaigns.