The Association of Students of the University of Nebraska annual election will be held later this spring with some changes to the process due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The group in charge of creating and integrating these changes is the ASUN Electoral Commission, led by Electoral Commission Director Jared Long. Those changes include moving the filing process online.
“We’ve had to completely digitize all of our election forms, which has honestly been something that has needed to happen for a long time,” Long said.
Another change this year is the required number of signatures to appear on the ballot.
For the president and internal vice president to appear on the ballot in the past, they needed 450 signatures from eligible student voters.
With the pandemic, Long said that they cannot ask candidates to approach students in person for the safety of everyone involved. Additionally, there are no mass gatherings on campus for candidates to go to gather signatures.
In response to this, Long said the required signature number has been lowered.
The president and internal vice president, who run together, will now need 100 signatures. External vice president candidates need to collect 50 signatures. The Graduate Student Assembly president and vice president will need to collect 25 signatures. Senate candidates, Committee for Fee Allocations candidates and Green Fund Selections Committee candidates need to collect 50 signatures, according to Long.
Students can sign for the number of seats available for that position, Long said. This means that for positions where only one person will be elected, students can only sign for one candidate. For senate seats, students can sign for the number of seats up for grabs.
Students can begin signing for candidates on Form B, Thursday, Feb. 18 via the ASUN website. Form B will be a survey-like form where students will be able to sign their support for candidates, Long said.
For candidates wishing to run, the deadline to file is Wednesday, Feb. 17. Students can file on the ASUN website.
Long said one of the other changes this year will be how candidates get their message out to students, but ultimately that will be for the candidates to decide.
Current President Roni Miller, Internal Vice President Drew Harrahill and External Vice President Saisha Adhikari formed a group that ran a victorious campaign last year.
Miller said running a campaign while also being a student is mentally draining and a lot of work, so it is important that candidates know why they are running and are committed to it.
While running a campaign is a challenging process, Long said he wants to make sure that students know the Electoral Commision is here to support students and help them navigate this process.
Students who are interested in running for student government but have questions or concerns are encouraged to reach out to the commission, Long said.
Miller and Long both stressed the importance of students getting out to vote come election time.
Long said there are many things that will be on the ballots, and it is important that students get out and vote to make their voices heard.
“It is important for students to be involved, but also for all students to be aware and knowledgeable about these processes and how they can make their voices heard,” Miller said.
The general election will be held from 8 a.m. on Tuesday, March 23 until 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 24 via MyRED .