Tag: voting

Photo by James Xue (SEAS ’17)

As part of our elections coverage, The Lion is sharing responses from candidates about the following questions:

  1. What motivated you to run for this position?
  2. If elected, what would your goals be
  3. What is something you want to fix at Columbia? How would you plan to address it
  4. Any additional comments you would like to share with voters?

Below, you can find the candidate(s)’s unfiltered responses to help in deciding who you choose to vote for.  The Lion has yet to endorse any candidate at this time and the views below do not necessarily represent the views of our team. For more information, email submissions@columbialion.com.

The entire process behind student government is farcically corrupt. They make excuses but it’s true.

The elections board is now part and parcel a part of the Columbia Political Union. Their irrelevant club has decided that their debates with audiences of twenty people justify them absorbing the body that manages all of our elections. And unfortunately they are completely and utterly incompetent. They barely advertised the process as a whole. I saw registration hours before the deadline. Huge registration errors left half the positions empty. They let someone sign up for multiple positions and other people just ignore mandatory meetings. We don’t need a privately run “election center,” we need an election that functions at the most basic level. They were this bad at their jobs in the fall, and it has only gotten worse, but still they are being allowed to push this on us. That’s accountability at Columbia.

And it is far from just them. The student council has had insiders tie up the entire process. This election is a complete sham, the council members divided up the spoils months ago. There isn’t even a real second ticket running for exec board and two exec positions are just anointed with no-contest, let alone the lack of serious (or any) competition across the board. Friends told me months ago who would run and who would win and evidently they were right on both counts. Members are committed to this remaining their special little club regardless of how much they consistently fail all of us. At least the Class of 2017 President had the sense to not seek another term after giving open seats to his friends and sabotaging everyone else. How can a club with almost no integrity claim the legitimacy to fight for us, assuming they even want to?

I don’t like a lot of the more cavalier activists any more than anyone else, but at least they yell, shout, and scream when people face real problems rather than just sit in a circle and spit crap for an hour every week. Maybe if there was single leader on this campus they wouldn’t have to turn all the way to changing the Core to fight discrimination, assault, and food insecurity.

And know that nothing will never change if there if there isn’t a student press that can do its damn job. All we have is Spec and it doesn’t just suck, #Specislegitimatelyaterribleorganization. How many worthless freshman op-eds about discourse does it take to fix our campus? Apparently they’ll just pumping them out until they find out. It’s not like they actually pay their work study reporters to find real news or police the student government and elections. And their days are numbered because no one here has the guts to force the administration to protect press freedom.

This really is just a cycle of incompetence because of which we all are going to suffer. This may seem harsh but our campus and its students aren’t a joke and we can’t be played like this.

Don’t let all of them get away with it, rain on their stupid parade. Don’t just check “none of the above,” check “f#ck this process and everyone involved in it.” I do not want this job and believe me, I won’t take it.

UPDATE (3/29/16): This candidate has withdrawn their candidacy for the University Senate.

Voting can be a tedious process, but it is also a relatively quick one. Coming out of the Iowa Caucuses, where the difference was decided by 6 coin tosses on the Democratic side, it’s hard to say that it does not matter. For all the people who don’t have the right to vote here and for those who would risk their lives to live in a democracy, please do your research and vote. Look honestly at the candidates and their records, and pick the one that best represents your values. Episode 5 of Game of Thrones will still be there for you when you get back. Here are five questions that should help you figure out how to vote absentee:

  1. Is my state holding a primary or a caucus?

If it’s a caucus, you need to be there in person in almost all cases. Check your caucus, but it’s most likely that you can’t participate and you’re better off registering in NY. Caucuses (to summarize a mind-numbingly tedious and complex process) involve filing to different sides of the room and convincing everyone who’s undecided to join one side or the other. Counting votes is usually done by counting hands raised, so delegate counts are rough representations of the popular vote at best. Your voice matters more in a caucus if you’re loud and persuasive, but you need to be home to participate. Some states have tele-caucuses for soldiers abroad and expats, but they usually exclude all students attending college out of state, as Iowa did.


Map of states and primary format

Map of states and primary format

  1. In order to vote, when do I have to be registered? Do I have to join a political party?

VoteForBernie.org has a complete list of the various deadlines for registration and what parties are allowed to participate in each election/caucus. Pay attention to party-change deadlines (when you affiliate by). You may have voted without registering for a party in the past, as they are often before the registration deadline for first time voters. You can check your voter registration status here.

  1. Is it better to vote in my home state or register in NYC?

If you have voted before as an Independent, Green, or Republican, then this question is N/A because NY has an archaic rule that forces you to change parties in October. First time voters, however, can still register until March. If you’d like a postmarked like a voter registration form, just email columbia4bernie@gmail.com. We won’t ask you who you’re voting for, and we will give forms to anyone.

The logic behind registering in NY is that earlier primaries matter more. If your primary is before April 19th (check at VoteForBernie.org if you don’t know), and you can comfortably register and send in your ballot there, vote there. If it’s after, it may be more beneficial to register at your college address. You should also register in NY if you’ve already missed your primary or otherwise can’t vote in it.

  1. How do I request an absentee ballot and when do I need to request it?

Order your absentee ballot and Long Distance Voter.org now please. It will take you 5 minutes. The general rule for when to apply for/request one is a month before your primary, but some states deliver the ballots much faster than others. Check request deadlines here.

  1. When do I need to send in my absentee ballot?

Send it in within two weeks of your election if you can, as most states count when the ballot is received, not when it is sent, but check here to see your state. Happy voting.

This post was submitted by Columbia and Barnard for Bernie. To respond to this piece or submit one of your own, email submissions@columbialion.com.