Article X. Election Procedures
There shall be a regular election held in April, for the purpose of electing the Officers and Senators of the SGA, provided there is at least one (1) position for which there are two (2) or more candidates running, or a referendum is occurring. The election voting shall remain open for a minimum of forty-eight (48) hours and a maximum of seven (7) days. If there is only one (1) candidate per position running, then they shall be declared winners by default and an election will not be held. Candidates seeking the positions of President or Vice President must run as a uniform ticket (e.g., the ballot will not be separate for Presidential or Vice-Presidential candidates; the vote will be among the President and Vice President teams that are running). Individuals will not be allowed to run on the ballot as President or Vice President if they do not have a ticket partner.
Section 1. Campaign Procedures
- Candidates for SGA shall register with the Advisor(s) of the Student Government Association no later than seven (7) days prior to the election. Each candidate, upon registering, shall be given a copy of these bylaws and any additional election policies and/or procedures which exist at the time of said election.
- No candidate shall run for more than one (1) position in the same election.
- No candidate for election shall spend more than $50 per campaign. No campaign expenses made from personal funds will be reimbursed. The $50 of campaign money shall be paid for out of the SGA cost center and be approved by the Advisor(s).
- All campaign posters must be approved by the Advisor(s) prior to their posting and must use approved materials. See UHV Policy D-8.
- No candidate for election shall obscure, damage, or remove campaign posters or materials of another candidate, or in any way hinder the campaign of another candidate.
- No candidate for election shall campaign on election day(s) within twenty (20) feet of a polling location, and shall not encroach within this specified distance except to vote and/or to attend class.
- No candidate shall violate any policies set forth in these bylaws, the Student Code of Conduct, or any other university policy. Violation shall lead to immediate removal from candidacy for any position in SGA.
Section 2. Voting Procedures
- A representative from Student Affairs and/or the SGA Advisor(s) shall be responsible for the integrity of the election.
- All votes shall be cast online and the results shall be calculated by the SGA Advisor(s), one (1) Student Affairs Representative, and two (2) students from the SGA population, with the results certified in writing by those persons.
- Ballot position shall be determined by a random drawing held immediately prior to the creation of the ballots. The SGA Advisor(s) and one (1) member of the SGA (provided they are not a candidate for re-election) shall conduct the drawing. If all members are candidates for re-election, the SGA Advisor(s) will solicit help from a student, faculty, or staff member to assist in the drawing.
- Election results shall be posted no later than Noon the following business day in which the election occurred.
Section 3. Appeals
- An appeal of the election for a recount or for violation of the election rules and procedures shall be made in writing to the SGA Advisor(s) no later than two (2) full business days following the event in question.
- Appeals shall be heard and decided upon within one (1) week of receipt of the written appeal by a panel consisting of the SGA Advisor(s), current SGA President, and another member of the University of Houston-Victoria administration, faculty, or staff as requested by the SGA Advisor(s). In the case that the current SGA President is running for re-election or for another position, the Advisor(s) shall request two (2) members from the UHV administration, faculty, or staff.
Section 4. Runoff Elections
- Runoff elections shall occur when a candidate fails to garner fifty (50) percent plus one (1) vote on the regular ballot. The runoff shall be between the two (2) candidates receiving the most votes and shall occur no later than one (1) week after the regular election.
- Runoff elections shall be held during a forty-eight (48) hour time window as designated by the SGA Advisor(s).
- Ballot position for runoff elections shall be determined as in Article X, Section 2.C of these bylaws.
Section 5. Postponements
- Elections may be postponed by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the entire SGA, with the resulting election to be scheduled two (2) weeks following the regularly scheduled election.
- A second postponement shall require a unanimous vote of the SGA, with the resulting election to be scheduled two (2) weeks following the first postponement.
Section 6. Special Elections
- Special elections may be called by the SGA with a two-thirds (2/3) vote of a quorum during any spring or fall semester to deal with matters demanding a vote of the student body. No special election shall be held during the summer semester(s) or when classes are not in session. Special elections shall only be called under extreme circumstances.
Section 7. Additional Election Rules
- Campaigning shall be defined as speaking in front of an organized group if the speech concerns the announcement of candidacy or the election in any way; distributing any printed materials; organizing any campaign committees; holding any rallies or debates; or soliciting votes. Campaigning is permitted during the time beginning one (1) week prior to the election and continuing until the close of the polls on the days of the election. Runoff candidates in all elections may campaign during the period between the first election and the runoff, as well as on the days of the runoff. Candidates organizing election rallies and/or debates shall notify the Advisor(s) of the activity at least forty-eight (48) hours prior to the event. Rallies and debates are to be confined to the University of Houston-Victoria campus. The use of loudspeakers or public address systems is prohibited. All campaign material is restricted to the University of Houston-Victoria campus. All flyers and posters must be in good taste and must be stamped for approval by the Advisor(s). Campaign materials may not exceed the size of 11” x 17” and may be posted only in designated areas (no materials may be attached to glass or painted surfaces, be fastened on outdoor walls or inside classrooms, or be suspended from ceilings, clocks, or other fixtures) unless otherwise granted approval by the Advisor(s). Candidates are responsible for removing their campaign materials within forty-eight (48) hours of the close of the election.
Section 8. Appointments
- Any unfilled positions at the conclusion of the regularly scheduled election shall be filled through appointment by the elected Officers of the Executive Board. Vacancies will be filled through an application and interview process mutually agreed upon by the Executive Board. Upon request, and with written permission of the President, Legislative and Judicial Branch members may be present during the interviews for the position vacancies. Appointments require a majority vote of all elected Officers and confirmed by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Legislative and Judicial Branches.
- The application process, as formulated by the current Executive Board for the purpose of filling a vacant position(s), shall open no later than seven (7) days after the position is officially vacated and will remain open for fourteen (14) days unless otherwise stated by the Executive Board. In which case, the student body shall be notified of an extension to the application; however, an extension shall not surpass an additional seven (7) days.
- Should the President and Vice President positions be vacant simultaneously following the regular election period, only the President position may be opened during the initial appointment period with the new administration. This is to allow the newly appointed President to have input on the Vice President role, allowing for a more efficient transition.