Loophole in SHSU Homecoming voting garners attention

The Homecoming king and queen election procedure is under review due to the Baptist Student Ministry’s participation in proxy voting for this year’s ceremony.Proxy voting is when the student does not physically go to the computer and register his or her own vote. “It is when you give somone permission on your behalf,” said Jason Warren, chairman of the election commission. In this case some students of the BSM wrote down their social security number and birthdate on a piece of paper and had the secretary enter their vote in the computer.The voting procedure was brought to SGA’s attention by 15 students from different oraganizations, Warren said.Although this method of voting is not a violation of any type of rule, the Student Government Association considers it an “exploitation of an election loophole.”According to a letter sent Warren, “The matter of proxy voting will be referred to the Rules and Regulations Committee of the Student Government Association for legisaltive review for next year.”Todd Johnson, director of the Baptist Student Ministry, said members of the BSM were encouraged to vote for their canidates, Michelle Blevins and Jared King.”We told them that if they wanted to vote for Michelle and Jared they could use the BSM computer and have the secretary enter it for them on the computer or if they didn’t have the time to just write down their information and we would enter it in later,” he said.The list of the people who placed their name on the sign up sheet with log-in information consisted of 15 people, and those votes were deleted from the total. “They knew what and who they were voting for,” Johnson said. “It’s not like they didn’t have knowledge. We would never cheat or purposefully break a rule. That is against everything we believe in.”You can’t win Homecoming king and queen with just backing from the BSM, it would have to have more than that,” Johnson said.Johnson said he also feels the online procedure should not be outlawed due to this occurence. “You will never know if people are collectively voting for their organization or not.” He said the BSM would never particiapte in it if it was outlawed, but “it is still going to happen,” he said.”The only way to avoid this happening is to revert back to the old method of voting,” Johnson said.”I don’t think we will ever know,” said Warren, regarding whether the outcome was influenced much.The letter written by Warren states that the election commission will survey this and other loopholes that may be implemented by organizations trying to increase the chances of their candidates winning.

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