Columbia University Senate
Elections Commission
Annual Report 2011-2012

April 24, 2012


To the Senate, and Columbia Community:

This year, the Commission on Elections continued its role in supervising the conduct of elections to the Senate and other elective bodies that derive their power from the Senate. In the 2011-2012 academic year, no election disputes were formally brought before the Commission.

In keeping with its additional role as elections rulemaker under Elections Code § 16, the Commission has recently completed revisions of the Elections Code. This is a project that has been planned and considered for some time, and in last year’s Annual Report we notified the Senate of the upcoming revision. In addition to clarification and stylistic changes to existing rules, the Commission has determined that additional rules are required to address developments in Senate elections, particularly the shift by many divisions to electronic balloting and electioneering. To this end, we have added new subparagraph (a)(3) to Section 12 on Balloting Practices, and new Section 13 addressing Electronic Communications. Under the Code, the changes that we have suggested are to be reported to the Senate, which may amend, overrule, or approve them.

Under the Code, the Commission is to consist of five members, one of which is a student. The current student member and Chair, Art Cavazos, will this year graduate from the School of Law.  Steven Jean, a second year student at the School of Law, has been nominated to fill the student member seat for the next academic year.

Finally, the Commission wishes to acknowledge with gratitude the wholehearted participation and invaluable contributions of Philip Genty, Raluca Martin, and Paul Duby in the work of the Commission, as well as Jessica Raimi, whose assistance throughout the year has been invaluable.

Respectfully submitted,

Art Cavazos Jr.