Election Codes

Part of the statutes of Student Government, the Election Codes ensure fairness to both students running and students voting for elected positions in the Senate and Executive Branch.

Chapter IV: Elections Codes

  • Section 1. Elections Commission

    1-1. Composition

    There shall be an Elections Commission composed of a Chair, Vice Chair, and at least ten (10) members at large, and up to, but not exceeding, twenty (20) members at large.

    1-1.1 Appointments to the Elections Commission

    1. The Elections Commission shall elect their nomination for the Chair.
    2. The President of Student Government shall either
      1. Accept the nominations of Elections commission for the Chair.
        1. The President shall present the nominee to the Senate for them to either
          1. Ratify the nominations for Chair of the Elections Commission.
          2. Reject the nomination for Chair of the Elections Commission, in which case the Elections Commission shall elect a new nominee.
        2. Reject the nomination for Chair of the Elections Commission, in which case the Elections Commission shall elect a new nominee.
          1. The Elections Commission shall elect the Vice Chair.
        3. The members at large shall be referred to as Elections Commissioners and shall be recommended for ratification to the Senate at the discretion of the Chair of the Elections Commission through an application process. At the start of both the fall and spring semesters, a call for applications shall be publicized to the student body at large. Applications shall be accepted for a time period of no less than one (1) calendar week, but no more than two (2) calendar weeks. Once all applications have been collected, the Chair of the Elections Commission shall coordinate face to face interviews with all applicants. The Vice Chair of the Elections Commission shall join the Chair of the Elections Commission in the interview. The interview will also be open to at least one member of the Student Government Executive Board. Following the interviews, the Chair of the Elections Commission shall submit the appropriate legislation to the Senate recommending the ratification of the selected applicants. Ratified Elections Commission members are not subject to the application process at the end of each elections cycle. Elections Commission members may be subject to removal from the Commission in extreme circumstances, or as decided by the Advisor(s) of Student Government, the Chair, and the Vice Chair of the Elections Commission.
        4. Should the Chair of the Elections Commission be unable or unwilling to fulfill their duties as Chair, the Vice Chair of the Elections Commission shall take the place of the Chair until the process to elect a new Chair begins as stated in Section 1-1.1.
        5. The Chair, Vice Chair, and Elections Commissioners shall not serve in or run for any elected Student Government position while also serving on the Elections Commission.

    1-2. Authority

    The Elections Commission is authorized to act as an independent agency of Student Government. The Elections Commission shall have original jurisdiction to pursue matters related to elections. The Supreme Court of Student Government shall have original judicial jurisdiction. All University policies and decisions shall supersede these Elections Codes.

    1-2.1. Powers of the Elections Commission

    The Elections Commission is authorized to:

    1. Administer and conduct the organization, coordination and operation of all Student Government elections and referenda.
    2. Administratively enforce and prosecute violations of regulations, procedures and rules governing elections and referenda.
    3. Promulgate and amend the Elections Codes to administer the powers and authority vested by this chapter and the Student Government Constitution. Amendments to the Elections Codes shall be transmitted in writing to the Senate and shall become effective ten (10) days after their receipt, unless the Senate shall have rejected or tabled the proposed amendment by Category C action within such time. Further, the Elections Commission may recommend amendments to the Student Government Constitution or remaining portions of the Statutes that relate to elections procedures.
    4. Propose an Election Calendar to be submitted to the Senate by the second to last Senate meeting of the semester prior to the semester in which the election is to be held. The Election Calendar shall outline the dates, times and polling places for the election. Said information and application procedures for candidacy shall be publicized by the Elections Commission immediately upon approval of the Election Calendar by the Senate. The Elections Commission shall have the authority to amend the Election Calendar by a vote of three-fourths (3/4) of the filled positions of the Elections Commission, should it be deemed necessary by the Chair of the Elections Commission, after consultation with the Advisor(s) of Student Government. Such amendments shall be transmitted in writing to the Senate. The Senate shall have the authority to reject or table the amendment to the Election Calendar up to ten (10) days after official receipt of Category C legislation.
    5. Make expenditures on the Elections Commission Account.
    6. Use affidavit statements submitted by Elections Commissioners as sufficient evidence to hold trial.
    7. Remove and replace the Vice Chair of the Elections Commission by a vote of three-fourths (3/4) of the filled positions of the Elections Commission. The Chair of the Elections Commission is not permitted to vote in the removal and replacement of the Vice Chair of the Elections Commission and must notify the Elections Commission as well as the President of Student Government and the Advisor(s) of Student Government one (1) calendar week before a formal vote is to take place. Any removal or replacement of the Vice Chair of the Elections Commission must be transmitted in writing to the President of Student Government, the Advisor(s) of Student Government, and the Supreme Court within one (1) business day of said action by the Chair of the Elections Commission and must include the evidence and/or reasons found most persuasive by the Elections Commission. Any removal or replacement of the Vice Chair of the Elections Commission shall not constitute impeachment from the Elections Commission. If the Vice Chair of the Elections Commission is unable to or does not attend the meeting in which the formal vote is to take place, the Chair of the Elections Commission must notify the Vice Chair in writing within twenty-four (24) hours of the results of said vote. The vote of the Elections Commission is final and may not be appealed.

     1-3. Procedures

    1. The Elections Commission shall create procedures and guidelines for the general operation of the Elections Commission. The most recent version of these guidelines shall be made available to any undergraduate student of the University of Miami and can only be amended by a formal vote of three-fourths (3/4) of the filled positions of the Elections Commission.
    2. The Chair and or the Vice Chair of the Elections Commission shall supervise the operation of polling areas. The Chair of the Elections Commission shall declare official polls opened and closed, shall keep the official time and ensure that the polls are open for a minimum of seven (7) hours each election day. The Chair of the Elections Commission shall be responsible for the security of voting machines.
    3. Voting shall be conducted in a manner to be determined by the Elections Commission i.e. via Orgsync or other voting means.
    4. The Elections Commission shall be responsible for validating the eligibility of all votes and candidates in an election.
    5. The Elections Commission shall distribute the application to file for candidacy and all rules that pertain to the candidates and voters. The Chair of the Elections Commission shall be responsible for the distribution of the most recent version of the Elections Codes to the University community one (1) calendar week before applications for candidacy are made available.
    6. The Elections Commission shall maintain a file of all submitted graphic campaign material for an indefinite period of time.
    7. All information submitted to the Elections Commission shall be available as public information at the discretion of the Elections Commission upon the written request of any University of Miami undergraduate student. The Elections Commission may deny any request for public information by a three-fourths (3/4) vote of the filled positions of the Elections Commission. If the request is denied then it may be appealed upon acceptance by the Chief Justice. If the Chief Justice, accepts the appeal then a hearing occurs and thereafter a decision is made
    8. For the purpose of establishing a total vote count for a particular office, votes for a disqualified candidate shall not be counted.
    9. The Elections Commission will also announce if there will be a runoff election.
    10. All candidates properly registered shall be placed on the ballot with any ticket affiliation and incumbency status noted adjacent to their name.
    11. The Elections Commission shall present all information as it is to appear on the ballot to the candidates at the Mandatory Candidates meeting for verification.
    12. The Elections Commission is authorized to remove graphic campaign material provided that the material is in a restricted area, distributed prior to the date set forth in the Election Calendar, has not been approved by the Elections Commission, or damages property.
    13. The Elections Commission shall group legislative candidates on the ballot according to their ticket affiliations in alphabetical order by constituency. For Executive Candidate voting, students will have the ability to choose to vote for an entire ticket or by individual positions grouped on their ticket affiliations and position.
    14. The Elections Commission shall be responsible for submitting updates to inform the electorate regarding, but not limited to:
      1. deadlines for submissions;
      2. mandatory meetings;
      3. meet the candidate events;
      4. voting times and locations;
      5. any other information deemed to be significant to the University student body by the Chair of the Elections Commission.
    15. The Chair of the Elections Commission reserves the right, after consultation with the Advisor(s) to Student Government, to close voting, as necessary. Such decisions must be transmitted to the President of Student Government and the Advisor(s) to Student Government no later than two (2) hours after polling stations have closed and must contain the reasons for the closure.

    1-3.1. Election Results Procedures

    The Elections Commission shall be responsible for disseminating election winners, as well as the official vote total for every candidate, as soon as reasonably possible, following every Student Government election. The Elections Commission shall announce these election results to the general student body and submit them to be posted to the student body at large. The Elections Commission shall also be responsible for formally notifying by email all candidates for office of their electoral status within forty-eight (48) hours of the original election results announcement.

  • Section 2. Voter Information

    2-1. Identification

    1. Voters must be enrolled as full-time degree seeking undergraduate students and have paid the Student Activity Fee at the time of voting.
    2. The Elections Commission reserves the right to deny an undergraduate student the right to vote at an official polling station, provided that the undergraduate student is not conforming to the standards set forth in these Statutes and/or any official University of Miami policy.

    2-2. Responsibilities

    1. Voters may only vote for those candidates seeking to represent their constituency by school, year, and residency. No individual, candidate or otherwise, shall be permitted to verbally or graphically campaign within 100 feet of official polling areas. A voter may be denied the right to vote until verbal campaigning ceases and/or graphic campaign material is removed.
    2. For the purposes of Student Government elections, personal electronic devices such as laptops, cellular or smart phones, tablets, or other devices with the ability to connect to a wireless network shall not be considered official polling stations.
    3. For the purposes of Student Government elections, all computers that are the property of the University of Miami, such as those located in computer labs or in the Otto G. Richter Library, shall be considered official polling stations; therefore, no individual, candidate or otherwise, shall be permitted to verbally or graphically campaign within 100 feet of said official polling station during active polling hours.

    2-3. Electoral Fraud

    1. Electoral fraud shall be considered any action, physical, verbally, or otherwise, designed with the intent to interfere with any aspects of the voting process. Acts of interference with the voting process include, but are not limited to:
      1. Manipulation of constituency. Manipulation of constituency shall be defined as any act or attempt by a candidate or campaign to coerce, verbally or otherwise, any undergraduate student of the University of Miami to change or otherwise alter their residential status or academic school or college in order to qualify for a particular constituency.
      2. Intimidation shall be defined as any act or attempt, verbally or otherwise, designed to discourage or disenfranchise any undergraduate student of the University of Miami from voting in a Student Government election. Acts of intimidation can include, but are not limited to: violence or the threat thereof, attacks on polling places, and psychological threats.
      3. “Vote buying”. “Vote buying” shall be defined as any act or attempt by a candidate or campaign to coerce any undergraduate student of the University of Miami to vote in a particular way by providing them with any individual benefit(s) or detriment(s).
      4. Misinformation shall be defined as any act or attempt by a candidate or campaign to knowingly and willingly provide false information to a member of the University of Miami community concerning Student Government elections with the intent to discourage or disenfranchise undergraduate students from voting in a Student Government election.
      5. Group voting. Group voting shall be defined as any act or attempt by a candidate or campaign to collect the personal information, such as University login credentials or any other information that is required for the purposes of voting, of any undergraduate student of the University of Miami with the intent to vote for or in lieu of the undergraduate student in a Student Government election.
      6. Tampering with electronic voting machines. Tampering with electronic voting machines shall be defined as any act or attempt by a candidate or campaign to either damage, disrupt, or otherwise tamper with any device, personal or otherwise, that is being used as part of a Student Government election. For the purposes of this definition, any act or attempt by a candidate or campaign to disrupt or disturb access to the online polling system shall be considering tampering with electronic voting machines.
    2. Any candidate or campaign that commits any act of electoral fraud, as defined above, shall be considered at risk for disqualification from that election. Any undergraduate member of the University of Miami reserves the right to report any act of electoral fraud to the Elections Commission. The Elections Commission reserves the right to report any act of electoral fraud to the Dean of Students Office for further investigation.

  • Section 3. Candidacy

    3-1. Requirements

    All candidates must have a 2.5 cumulative grade-point average and be enrolled as full-time undergraduate students in good standing, be in good disciplinary standing as determined by the Dean of Students Office, and have paid the Student Activity Fee at the time of application. First semester Freshmen filing for candidacy are exempt from providing their grade-point average. Candidates must be a member of the constituency they wish to represent. By applying for candidacy, a candidate authorizes the Elections Commission to have the candidate’s academic records and credentials verified by authorized personnel. Candidates for President, Vice President and Treasurer must have a 2.7 cumulative grade-point average in addition to the aforementioned requirements.

    3-2. Student Rights & Responsibilities Handbook

    All candidates and campaigns must abide by the standards and policies enumerated in the Student Rights & Responsibilities Handbook. The Elections Commission reserves the right to report any alleged violation(s) of the Student Rights & Responsibilities to the Dean of Students Office.

    3-3. Application Procedures

    The following guidelines apply to all candidates filing for application:

    3-3.1. Filing for Candidacy
    In filing for candidacy, the candidate shall affirm, in writing, an understanding of the responsibilities of the office sought and the importance of abiding by the Elections Codes. No candidate may declare candidacy for more than one (1) position.
    3-3.2. Ticket Affiliation
    All candidates wishing to be affiliated with a ticket and have this information appear on the ballot must declare the ticket affiliation on their application. A candidate may not affiliate with more than one ticket.
    3-3.3. Withdrawal
    Any candidacy withdrawn after the application deadline may not be reinstated. The candidate is eligible to run as a write-in candidate. Such withdrawals must be made in writing to the Elections Commission at least twenty-four (24) hours before the application deadline. The Elections Commission shall notify candidates, at the time of application, of this policy.
    3-3.4. Mandatory Candidates Meeting
    All candidates must attend any candidates meeting as outlined in the Election Calendar. If a candidate cannot attend the meeting or must be late, a valid written excuse must be submitted to the Chair of the Elections Commission by noon the day of said meeting. The Chair of the Elections Commission, after consultation with the Advisor(s) of Student Government, reserves the right to deny any written excuse submitted. The decision of the Chair of the Elections Commission must be submitted to the candidate within twenty-four (24) hours and may not be appealed.
    3-4. Formation of a Ticket
    A ticket shall consist of candidates from no more than one of the following categories:
    1. Those candidates running for seats within a single school
    2. Those candidates running for seats within a single academic class
    3. Those candidates running for seats within a residential constituency
    4. Those candidates running for seats within a unique population
    5. Those candidates running for President, Vice President and/or Treasurer
    3-4.1. Sharing of Publicity and Finances
    Any sharing of publicity or finances between candidates of one category and candidates of a different category constitutes affiliation with more than one ticket.
    3-4.2. Slogans, Campaign Names and Graphic Campaign Material
    Slogans, campaign names or graphic campaign materials that are remarkably similar or that differ by words that do not significantly change the meaning or theme shall constitute affiliation with more than one ticket and shall be considered so at the discretion of the Elections Commission.
    3-4.3. Ticket Names
    Ticket names will be assigned in the order received. A campaign shall hold all rights to the ticket name until they relinquish the name to another campaign or no longer remains a University of Miami undergraduate student.

    3-5. Write-In Candidates

    Write-in candidates, who graphically campaign, with the exclusion of personal emails, shall be disqualified.

    3-5.1. Write-In Candidates in Run-off Elections

    1. If an unopposed candidate for President, Vice President, or Treasurer fails to win a simple majority of the votes, then the name of the write-in candidate with the most votes will appear on the runoff ballot.
    2. If a tie occurs in a Senate election, the names of all candidates tied for the position will appear on the run-off ballot. This includes write-in candidates.
    3. Any vote cast for a candidate whose name does not appear on the run-off ballot shall not be counted.

  • Section 4. Finances

    4-1. Expenditures

    1. Expenditures for independent candidates or tickets for the positions of President, Vice President, or Treasurer shall be limited to the amount of $1250 for spring elections. Exceeding this amount will result in a point violation of up to twenty (20) points.
    2. Expenditures for Senate candidates shall be limited to the amount of $300 for fall or spring elections. Exceeding this amount will result in a point violation of up to twenty (20) points.
    3. Expenditures for referenda shall be limited to the amount of $300 for fall or spring elections. Exceeding this amount will result in a point violation of up to twenty (20) points.
    4. Expenditures during run-off elections shall be limited to total retail expenditure per campaign of $500 regardless of the amount of money spent during the election. Exceeding this amount will result in a point violation of up to twenty (20) points.

    4-1.1. Goods and Services

    All goods and services, excluding labor performed by full-time University of Miami undergraduate students, that are either purchased or donated shall be assessed as a campaign expenditure at its retail value. If these goods or services were acquired at a price substantially below the market value available to the general public or other candidates, the Elections Commission shall determine its retail value. Any University resources that are available to all students for free may be used by any candidate or ticket during their campaign.

    4-1.2. Corporate Sponsorship

    Any corporate or commercial promotion in graphic campaign material in exchange for sponsorship is prohibited. Violating this rule will result in disqualification.

    4-2. Financial Report Procedure

    A Financial Report must be submitted by all independent candidates, tickets, and referenda by 10:00 A.M. on the last day of voting if any money was spent on their respective campaigns. The report must include the retail value of all goods and services used in the campaign, all income sources, expenditure receipts and other pertinent information as determined by the Elections Commission and included in the election packet. For candidates, tickets, and referenda that did spend money on their campaign, submission of an incomplete or late Financial Report will result in automatic disqualification.  Candidates, tickets, and referenda that do not spend any money are not required to submit a form; they must however email the Chair of the Elections Commission notifying that no money was spent in their respective campaign by 10:00 A.M. on the last day of voting.

  • Section 5. Campaigning

    5-1. Campaign Procedures

    In areas where University policy conflicts with campaign procedures, the University policy shall be supreme. The following guidelines shall apply to all graphic campaign materials:

    5-1.1. Campaigning Definition

    Campaigning shall be defined as any verbal or graphic campaigning or any other action that is intended to solicit votes for a particular candidate, ticket, or referendum.

    5-1.2. Graphic Campaign Definition

    Graphic campaigning shall include the distribution or exhibition of any written, electronic or printed material that contains any reference in support of or is a clear reference to a candidate, ticket or referendum. Any election code that refers to graphic campaigning applies to articles of clothing, unless otherwise stated.

    5-1.3.Approval of Graphic Campaigning

    1. All graphic campaign material, not including personal emails, personal social networking messages, or personal text messages, must be approved by the Elections Commission before use in the campaign. Messages sent to groups/chats where membership is based on class standing, club membership, and/or residency will also not be considered personal in nature. Emails sent to Listservs, or that utilize a mail merge software function, or are otherwise an attempt to send an email to multiple recipients are not considered personal emails, and are subject to approval by the Elections Commission before sending. The Elections Commission is the sole authority in determining the approval/disapproval of graphic campaign material content. The submission of any graphic campaign material does not constitute approval by the Elections Commission.
    2. Graphic campaign material shall be considered unique and separate, regardless of outstanding similarities or duplication, including material submitted by the same ticket.
    3. A candidate must submit an online copy of each piece of graphic campaign material and a brief description for each piece of campaign material explaining its explicit purpose and how it will be used. The Elections Commission shall maintain an electronic copy of all submitted graphic campaign material. The Elections Commission shall notify candidates of the approval or disapproval of their graphic campaign material electronically within 24 hours.
    4. All revisions to graphic campaign material must be approved by the Elections Commission before said material may be redistributed.
    5. All graphic campaign material will be approved by the chair of the Elections Commission and/or any member(s) the chair of the Elections Commission appoints to allow graphic approval. The Chair of the Elections Commission may select up to four people from the Elections Commission.
    6. Notwithstanding the foregoing, graphic campaign material for any single campaign shall not be distributed to the same listserv more than once, nor shall graphic campaign material be sent privately to a single individual recipient more than three (3) times. In the event of a runoff election, the same rule would apply.

    5-1.4. Verbal Campaigning Definition

    Verbal campaigning constitutes oral solicitation of votes for any candidate, ticket, or referendum.

    5-2. Campaign Policies

    The following campaigning policies shall apply to all candidates and referenda:

    1. There shall be no campaigning prior to the time established by the Election Calendar. As indicated in the Elections Calendar, during the Interim Period, candidates, campaigns, or organizations part of an organizational referendum campaign may contact an organization’s president/chair or the event coordinator, whichever is applicable, in order to schedule a time to campaign or make a formal presentation at any organizational meeting, general or otherwise. During the Interim Period, candidates, campaigns, or organizations part of an organizational referendum campaign may not graphically campaign or actively solicit votes. Campaigning will be allowed once Graphic Campaigning begins, as indicated in the Elections Calendar.
    2. Only enrolled undergraduate students who have paid their Student Activity Fee shall be allowed to wear graphic campaign material, to orally solicit votes or to distribute or display graphic campaign material.
    3. A member of a campaign is anyone who engages in graphic or verbal campaigning or contributes time and effort to a campaign in any way.
    4. A ticket/candidate will be held responsible for any violation committed by a campaign member.
    5. There shall be no graphic or verbal campaigning within the area defined as the Student Center Complex in Section 5-2.1 (Clause 1) of this Chapter of the Statutes to the Constitution of the University of Miami Student Government, Shuttles, Student Government Events. Graphic material may not be visible in the Student Government Office, events or meetings and University of Miami employees must not have graphic material visible while at work.  An exception shall be banners displayed in accordance with the Elections Codes. For the purpose of this rule, persons wearing graphic campaign material shall not be considered to be graphically campaigning if they are proceeding or moving by the polling place in an inconspicuous manner or occupying the UC Patio as deemed by the Elections Commission. Persons wearing graphic campaign material are allowed to vote at polling stations, given that they cast their votes in a timely manner.  Violations are recommended at the discretion of the Elections Commission. A second exception shall be campaigning on The Rock, which is permitted to candidates for campaigning purposes. Candidates may campaign on The Rock during Elections Commission mandates days; candidates must reserve The Rock through the Elections Commission 48 hours prior to the intended day(s).  Violations are recommended at the discretion of the Elections Commission. A second exception shall be campaigning on The Rock, which is permitted to candidates for campaigning purposes. Candidates may campaign on The Rock during Elections Commission mandates days; candidates must reserve The Rock through the Elections Commission 48 hours prior to the intended day(s).
    6. Amplification of any kind must be authorized by the Elections Commission and must follow the University of Miami policy regarding sound amplification.
    7. No verbal or graphic campaigning shall be allowed inside the Rathskeller or in the surrounding patio or inside the Richter Library. For the purpose of this rule, persons wearing graphic campaign material shall not be considered to be graphically campaigning.
    8. Campaigning at University sporting events is strictly prohibited. For the purpose of this rule, persons wearing graphic campaign material shall be considered to be graphically campaigning.
    9. Verbal campaigning shall not impede nor constrict the normal flow of traffic, or be unreasonably disruptive as deemed by the Elections Commission.
    10. Designated posting areas are bulletin boards. Other designated posting areas must be approved by the Elections Commission prior to posting material.
    11. Only one piece of graphic campaign material per candidate or ticket is permitted per designated posting area. Graphic campaign material may not cover more than one-fourth (1/4) of the posting area.
    12. Graphic campaign material shall not be attached to any plant life and trees. Graphic campaign material shall not be inserted into, or attached to the ground.
    13. The covering of other posted material by campaigning material is prohibited, unless the other posted material is outdated. Authorized campaign material may only be removed by the Elections Commission.
    14. In any instance within these Codes where the permission of a third party, such as a student organization, is required to allow campaigning, the permission must be in written form and submitted to the Elections Commission for approval.
    15. Graphic campaigning in the form of marking or chalking on University property is prohibited.
    16. Graphic campaign material shall only be placed on personal property with consent of the owner. Personal property includes motor vehicles.
    17. Banner displays, no more than two, will be permitted in the following areas only:
      1. Banner displays managed by the Student Center Complex
      2. The lobbies of the Residential Colleges, with permission from the Area Director
      3. Other locations specified by the Elections Commission and approved by the appropriate administrators
    18. Any videos must be pre-recorded and approved by the Elections Commission. A “live video” is not permitted.
    19. Any event pages made on social media outlets must be approved by the Elections Commission.
    20. Geotag filters are permitted on social media outlets e.g. Snapchat, contingent on approval from the Elections Commission.
    21. No Student Government owned property shall be used to endorse any campaign, except for the purpose of a Student Government organizational referendum.
    22. Harassment, as defined in the University of Miami Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook, of any member of the University community by any candidate or active member of a campaign is strictly prohibited. The Elections Commission is obligated to report any violation of the Student Rights & Responsibilities Handbook to the Dean of Students Office.
    23. Inappropriate behavior directed towards the Elections Commission will result in a violation recommendation deemed appropriate by the Elections Commission.
    24. Any graphic material that is negative or slanderous in content, as deemed by the Elections Commission, is strictly prohibited.
    25. The Elections Commission, after consultation with the Advisor(s) of Student Government, reserves the right to deny any candidate, campaign, or organization as part of an organizational referendum campaign the right to campaign, graphically or otherwise, at any time, provided that the candidate, campaign, or organization is violating Student Government and/or official University policy.

    5-2.1. Student Center Complex

    1. The Student Center Complex shall be defined as the entire Shalala Student Center building, Whitten University Center building, the Food Court, the Rock, the Patio, UC Pool, and the Breezeway, as well as their immediate vicinities and the pathways around them, excluding the U Statue.
    2. Banners placed at the University Center must follow proper procedures through University Center Reservations. A candidate is limited to a maximum of two (2) on campus, of which only one may be in the University Center excluding the Breezeway (from the bookstore to the first door of the food court).
    3. There shall be no verbal or graphic campaigning in the Student Government Office and in any official Student Government meetings by candidates or tickets, with the exception of Student Government organizational referenda.
    4. No student employee of the Student Center Complex or an office located in the Student Center Complex may wear or display graphic campaign material during the time they are at work.
    5. No organization’s office in the Student Center Complex may be used for campaign meetings, storing or producing campaign materials or serving as a campaign base in any other way. This does not apply to the organizational referenda of those organizations possessing offices.
    6. Campaign t-shirts can be worn anytime in the Student Center Complex except for the Student Government office and any Student Government meeting.

    5-2.2. Campaigning at Organizational Meetings or Events in the Student Center Complex

    1. Any candidate, campaign, or organization as part of an organizational referendum campaign, must request the approval of the Elections Commission to campaign or make a formal presentation at any organizational meeting, general or otherwise, or event that is held.
    2. Any candidate, campaign, or organization as part of an organizational referendum campaign campaigning or making a formal presentation at any organizational meeting, general or otherwise, or event that is held at the Student Center Complex must obtain the permission of either the organization’s president/chair or the event coordinator, whichever is applicable.
    3. The Elections Commission reserves the right to accompany any candidate, campaign, or organization as part of an organizational referendum campaign to any campaigning or formal presentations at any organizational meetings, general or otherwise, or event that is held.

    5-2.3. Residential Colleges and University Village

    1. All campaigning in the Residential Colleges and University Village must be approved by the Area Director as well as the Chair of the Elections Commission. A candidate may actively solicit votes only in a designated area. This area is at the discretion of the Area Director and the Chair of the Elections Commission. These designated areas may change at the time of polling.
    2. Candidates and their supporters shall not orally or graphically solicit votes in any student residence by campaigning door-to-door.
    3. Distributing graphic campaign material under doors is strictly prohibited in the Residential Colleges and University Village.
    4. One piece of graphic campaign material per ticket or candidate may be placed per designated posting area.
    5. Graphic campaign material shall not be placed in student United States postal mailboxes unless mailed through the United States Postal Service.

    5-2.4. Fraternity Row and Pan-Hellenic Suites

    1. All campaigning, graphic or otherwise, in the Fraternity Houses and Pan-Hellenic Suites falls under the same requirements as any other student organization. Candidates must obtain approval from the organization’s president in order to campaign at a particular meeting and/or chapter.
    2. The Elections Commission reserves the right to accompany any candidate, campaign, or organization as part of an organizational referendum campaign to any campaigning or formal presentations at any organizational meetings, general or otherwise, or event that is held in any Fraternity House, Pan-Hellenic Suite or any physical space where an organization and/or a fraternity and sorority might meet.

    5-3. Referendum Campaign Guidelines

    1. All referendum campaigns must be registered with the Elections Commission; registration is done by attendance of the Mandatory Writing Workshop by the author of the referendum.
    2. To qualify as an organizational referendum, an organizational authorship form must be filled out completely and include all appropriate signatures.
    3. Only enrolled undergraduates who have paid their Student Activity Fee may participate in referendum campaigns, including the wearing or distribution of campaign materials.
    4. In order to appear on the ballot, the referendum campaign must submit a petition signed by at least five hundred (500) enfranchised undergraduate students with their school, class and C numbers, who support the referendum campaign.
    5. A referendum shall abide by all rules governing candidates unless stated otherwise.
    6. The Elections Commission may, at its discretion and by a three-fourths (3/4) vote of the filled positions of the Elections Commission, issue a Cease and Desist order for the entire campaign, if a referendum campaign fails to comply with the rules herein.
    7. The Elections Commission shall reserve the right to request to review the budget of the organization seeking additional funding through a referenda campaign, for advisory purposes.
    8. In order for a referendum to be adopted, the number of votes cast must be at least sixty percent of the number of votes cast of the most recent non-concurrent Presidential election.
    9. An entity requesting a referendum may do so no sooner than three years after their last referenda.
    10. A 2/3 majority of votes in favor of a referendum shall be required for the referendum to be automatically adopted. In the event that a referendum receives a majority between 50% and 2/3, the question must be sent to the Senate per Article VI, Section I of the Student Government Constitution.
    11. In the event that the Senate does submit an alternate referendum question, the ballot will consist of two questions: a question to vote for or against the referendum and, exclusively among those who voted in the affirmative on the first question, a question to vote for either the original wording or for the modification proposed by the Senate. Only the first question must achieve the vote thresholds set forth in these statutes; the majority vote on the second question will then determine which version of the referendum will be adopted.

    5-4. Run-Off Elections

    1. A run-off election will be held in the event two candidates running for the same Senate seat receive the same highest number of votes or if no candidate running for an Executive office receives a majority of the votes cast.
    2. The run-off election shall not be considered a new election. All point limits and guidelines shall still be in effect. Points assessed shall carry over to the run-off.
    3. Expenditures for independent candidates or tickets for the positions of President, Vice President, or Treasurer shall be limited to the amount of $500 for spring elections regardless of the amount of money spent during the election for tickets
    4. Expenditures for Senate candidates shall be limited to the amount of $150 for fall or spring elections regardless of the amount of money spent during the election for tickets.

  • Section 6. Enforcement

    Section 6. Enforcement

    6-1. Elections Commission Procedures

    1. Any University of Miami undergraduate student may bring notice of any Elections Codes or official University policy violation to the attention of the Elections Commission up until one (1) hour after the polls close on the last voting day. The complaint must be in writing citing all relevant facts regarding the alleged violations.
    2. The complaint shall be submitted to the Elections Commission, which shall determine whether probable cause exists. If probable cause exists, a hearing shall be scheduled in which all sides involved in the complaint shall appear before the Trial Court.
    3. Elections Codes violations must be notified to the Elections Commission up to 72 hours from the time of their occurrence.
    4. The Chair of the Elections Commission shall submit to the Trial Court a summary of evidence and findings, which shall contain all the evidence and facts regarding the alleged violation. The Trial Court shall provide the accused party with this document before the Trial Court proceedings.
    5. The Chair of the Elections Commission may, at their discretion, forward any alleged violation of the Elections Codes to the Dean of Students Office.

    6-2. Trial Court Procedures

    1. The Trial Court shall be a standing committee of the Student Government Supreme Court. The Trial Court shall be composed of the Associate Chief Justice, acting as Chair of the Trial Court, and three (3) Associate Justices. The Chair shall participate in all hearings of the panel; quorum for trial court will consist of the chair and two (2) associate justices.
    2. All parties involved in hearings before the Trial Court shall be served notice of the time, location and nature of the Trial Court hearing. The accused party shall be made aware of its Affirmative Rights when served notice of the time, location and nature of the Trial Court hearing.
    3. Hearings shall commence at 9:00 PM and end no later than 12:00 AM.
    4. All parties shall be sworn in prior to the start of the first hearing of the night.
    5. The Trial Court shall determine responsibility and assess a penalty or dismiss the complaint. All decisions of the Trial Court are to be expressed and explained in writing and are public information.
    6. The Associate Chief Justice shall inform the accused party of its Affirmative Rights before commencing with the Trial Court proceedings.

    6-2.1. Affirmative Rights of the Accused Party

    1. The accused party has the right to challenge the hearing date, time, or location. The objection must be submitted in writing to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court within 16 hours of receipt of the notice. The objection must fully explain the reasons for the request.
    2. The accused party has the right to choose a University of Miami undergraduate student to attend the hearing and assist the student. The advisor(s) cannot speak on the accused party’s behalf.
    3. The accused party has the right to question the complainant and witnesses and submit statements or evidence to prove innocence.
    4. The accused party has the right to remain silent and no inference may be drawn from this silence.
    5. The accused party has the right to call witnesses and present evidence in its defense. A student may offer a written request to the Trial Court that the Court call specific witnesses for it if those witnesses have previously refused to appear and are shown in the request to be material to the accused party’s defense. The Trial Court shall determine a witness's materiality based on the statement presented by the accused party.
    6. The accused party, if found responsible, has the right to review a written summary upon which the finding of responsibility was based.
    7. The accused party has the right to appeal. The appellate option may only be exercised after the Trial Court’s decision finding responsible or from penalties arising from the violation. Appeals must be in writing, addressed to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and, be submitted within twenty-four (24) hours of receipt of the Trial Court’s decision.

    6-3. Supreme Court Procedures

    1. The Student Government Supreme Court shall have final appellate jurisdiction. The Supreme Court may hold a public, formal hearing for all appeals properly submitted. Appeals to the Supreme Court must be submitted in writing within twenty-four (24) hours of the decision by the Trial Court. All parties involved shall be served reasonable notice of the time, location and nature of the Supreme Court hearing.
    2. There shall be three grounds for appeal:
      1. The procedures of or leading to decisions by the Elections Commission or Trial Court violated the Elections Codes.
      2. The penalty does not properly reflect the severity of the violation.
      3. New evidence has become available that would significantly alter the outcome.
    3. In all appeals properly submitted, the Supreme Court may affirm the decisions of the Trial Court, reverse and remand the decision with instructions, or reassess the point distribution.
    4. Supreme Court Justices hearing a case as members of the Trial Court shall be prohibited from personally participating in the appellate hearing of the same case in any manner whatsoever.
    5. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court shall inform the appealing party of its Affirmative Rights before commencing with the Appellate Court proceedings.

    6-4. Violations and Penalties

    1. The Trial Court shall be empowered to penalize independent candidates, tickets and referenda for violations stated within these Elections Codes.
    2. Penalties, in the form of points, shall be based on the point system enumerated in section 6-5 of the Elections Codes.
    3. In assessing penalty points, the Trial Court shall levy the points up to the amount stipulated by this section.
    4. The accumulation of twenty (20) points shall disqualify any independent candidate, ticket or referendum. Any penalties assessed to a ticket or candidate, will be charged to the ticket.
    5. The Elections Commission shall charge candidates, tickets, or campaigns with Automatic Disqualification.

    6-4.1 Violations of the Student Rights & Responsibilities Handbook

    1. The Elections Commission reserves the right to report any violation of the Student Rights & Responsibilities Handbook to the Dean of Students Office.
    2. No Student Government proceedings, judicial or otherwise, shall commence before the completion of the Dean of Students Office investigation.
    3. Any candidate, campaign, or organization as part of an organizational referendum that is found responsible of violating the Student Rights & Responsibilities Handbook by the Dean of Students Office, shall be automatically disqualified.
    4. An automatic disqualification due to a violation of the Student Rights & Responsibilities Handbook may not be appealed.
    5. Should a candidate, campaign, or organization as part of an organizational referendum be found not responsible of violating the Student Rights & Responsibilities Handbook by the Dean of Students Office, the case against them shall be dismissed and no agency or branch of Student Government may pursue actions against them regarding the alleged violation.
    6. Violations of the following shall be cause for automatic disqualification and may not be appealed to the Supreme Court:
      1. Section 3-2.
      2. Section 5-2. (Clause 19)

    6-5. Violation Point Values

    Five-Point Violations

    1. Violation of Section 5-2 (Clause 10)
    2. Violation of Section 5-2. (Clause 11)
    3. Violation of Section 5-2. (Clause 12)
    4. Violation of Section 5-2.3 (Clause 4)
    5. Violation of Section 5-2.3 (Clause 5)

     

    Fifteen-Point Violations

    1. Violation of Section 5-1.3. (Clause 1)
    2. Violation of Section 5-2. (Clause 2)
    3. Violation of Section 5-2 (Clause 5)
    4. Violation of Section 5-2 (Clause 20)
    5. Violation of Section 5-2 (Clause 18)
    6. Violation of Section 5-2 (Clause 19)
    7. Violation of Section 5-2. (Clause 16)
    8. Violation of Section 5-2. (Clause 17)
    9. Violation of Section 5-2. (Clause 8)
    10. Violation of Section 5-2.1 (Clause 2)
    11. Violation of Section 5-2.1 (Clause 3)
    12. Violation of Section 5-2.1 (Clause 4)
    13. Violation of Section 5-2.1 (Clause 5)
    14. Violation of Section 5-2.1 (Clause 6)
    15. Violation of Section 5-2.2. (Clause 1)
    16. Violation of Section 5-2.2. (Clause 2)
    17. Violation of Section 5-2.2. (Clause 3)
    18. Violation of Section 5-2.3. (Clause 1)
    19. Violation of Section 5-2.3. (Clause 2)
    20. Violation of Section 5-2.3. (Clause 3)
    21. Violation of Section 5-2.4. (Clause 1)
    22. Violation of Section 5-2.4. (Clause 2)
    23. Violation of Section 5-3. (Clause 3)
    24. Violation of Section 5-4. (Clause 4)

     

    Twenty-Point Violations

    1. Violation of Section 2-2. (Clause 1)
    2. Violation of Section 2-2. (Clause 3)
    3. Violation of Section 4-1. (Clause 1)
    4. Violation of Section 5-2. (Clause 1)
    5. Violation of Section 5-2. (Clause 5)
    6. Violation of Section.5-2. (Clause 6)
    7. Violation of Section 5-2. (Clause 9)
    8. Violation of Section 5-2. (Clause 14)
    9. Violation of Section 5-2. (Clause 13)
    10. Violation of Section 5-2. (Clause 15)
    11. Violation of Section 5-2. (Clause 23)
    12. Violation of Section 5-2. (Clause 7)
    13. Violation of Section 5-2. (Clause 21)
    14. Violation of Section 5-2.4. (Clause 3)
    15. Violation of Section 5-2.4. (Clause 6)
    16. Violation of Section 5-4. (Clause 3)
    17. Violation of Section 5-4. (Clause 4)

    Subject to Automatic Dismissal

    1. Falsification of any document submitted to the Elections Commission, Trial Court or Supreme Court
    2. False testimony to the Elections Commission, Trial Court or Supreme Court
    3. Falsification of ballots or similar forms of election fraud
    4. Section 2-3. (Clause 1)
    5. Violation of Section 3-4.
    6. Violation of Section 4-1.2
    7. Violation of Section 4-2.
    8. Violation Section 3-3.4 Missing a Mandatory Candidates Meeting
    9. Violation of Section 5-3. (Clause 1)
    10. If a candidate feels that he or she has been wrongly automatically dismissed, the candidate has the right to submit a written appeal to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court within twenty-four (24) hours of notification of automatic dismissal. If the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court determines that the request meets the standards for appeal as outlined in Section 6-3. Clause 2, Point a) of the Elections Codes, the case will be brought before the Student Government Supreme Court. The appellate court has the authority to allocate points in lieu of automatic dismissal. The decision of the Supreme Court may not be appealed.

  • Section 7: Commission on Elections Codes Revision

    A revision of Elections Codes may be initiated by a petition signed by the President, the Speaker of the Senate, the Chief Justice, the Chair of the Elections Commission, and the Student Government Advisor requesting the creation of a Commission on Elections Codes Revision. The petition should indicate that, “effective and efficient functioning of Student Government elections requires holistic changes to the Student Government Elections Codes.” The Commission shall be comprised of the Chief Justice or Associate Chief Justice, who shall serve as a non-voting Chair; a voting representative from the Executive Branch chosen by the President of Student Government; a voting representative from the Legislative Branch chosen by the Speaker of the Senate; a voting representative from the Judicial Branch chosen by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court; and a voting representative from the Elections Commission chosen by the Chair of the Elections Commission. The Commission on Elections Codes Revision’s purpose shall be to make edits and revisions to the Codes that (1) address student concerns; (2) reflect de facto changes to the electoral process and the environment in which elections take place, particularly with regards to new media and physical changes to campus geography; (3) facilitate the proper functioning of enforcement mechanisms with regard to Codes violations; (4) uphold the integrity of the democratic elections process; and (5) correct any grammatical or factual errors. It shall be the duty of the Chair to ensure that all changes being proposed fit the above criteria. The Commission may propose as many revisions as its members feel are necessary so long as the proposed revisions fit the above criteria. If the Commission unanimously votes to accept the revised Elections Codes in their entirety, the revisions shall then be referred to the Senate. The Senate, with a quorum, may, by simple majority of the present senators, approve the revisions in their entirety.

*Updated on 03.29.2018