Oh, Democracy

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jfjSo the College Dems elections are on Wednesday, and by decree of a constitutional amendment, everyone who wants to vote must be registered by TODAY at 5PM (that’s a change from last year, when large numbers of people left Satow after their friends were elected). But only if you think you’ve been “involved.” Here’s a bit from an e-mail sent by Dems President Mike Nadler to declared candidates:

“You are all encouraged to scour your memory (and the facebook) for active Dems members, and to campaign for their votes by encouraging them to register and show-up on election day. The deadline for them to sign up is 5 pm on Monday, April 9th. That said, you should NOT pack the vote with your friends, unless they are friends who have been really involved with the Dems.

To be eligible to vote you must either have been involved (i.e. more than the signing of an Activist Council postcard) or to have a very good reason for why you did not get involved this year ( i.e. if you were CCSC President). We ask that you pledge to follow both the letter and the spirit of these rules.”

Also, from the application, which asks aspiring voters to describe in detail their activities with the club: “If you have not attended a Columbia Democrats event this year and are interested in voting, please write a well-constructed paragraph outlining why you did not participate this year and telling us how we can improve our organization next year.”

One more thing before we stop: the Dems also abandoned drop-down voting this year, which means that you can’t run for lower positions if you lose in higher ones. And people have to sit around tables moderated by senior members of the current e-board. And they have to stay till the end for their votes to count. And they have to get their fingers dyed purple when they’re done.

OK, just kidding about the last one. Good luck beating CCSC turnout, kids!


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  1. Vote!

    Vote for Yoshi!
    VP of Ridin' Dirty

  2. hypocrite watch  

    mike nadler is such a hypocrite. last year, when he was running for dems president, he had every member of his fraternity come out and vote for him (many of whom were members of college republicans). long live bloated voter fraud legacy-presidents!

    • An Insider  

      Last year both Nadler and his opponent tried to pack the elections. There was no voter registration system, and packing had been an issue with dems elections in previous years as well because that was the only way to win.

      Rather than letting the flawed system go on, Nadler led a group of active dems members in trying to figure out how to reform their elections. Trying to fix a systemic problem isn't hypocritical.

      Unless you think he would have supported allowing last year's elections to be packed but opposed it this year, there is no contradiction. Last year people couldn't figure out a good system for preventing election-packing. This year Nadler and others came up with one. If a similar system was in place last year and candidates still tried to pack it, may be that would be have been hypocritical, but thats not the case here

  3. hah  

    because all that was needed last year was for a person to be on the dems email list, nadler added all his aepi brothers to the list and brought them out to vote for him even though many were not involved with the dems. its hilarious to see him writing this one year later.

  4. Chad Dangler  

    As a member of another campus organization, I'll credit the College Democrats for coming up with a useful idea to prevent the douchebaggery that is election-packing. I find it particularly offensive when people leave after their friends get on.

    However, I question the validity of this initiative when it comes to an organization that means to be a practice ground for would-be politicians, especially Democrats, who live and die by overall voter turnout. A rainy election day means a Republican victory 9 times out of 10. If you ask me, Chad Dangler, the Democrats need all the practice they can get in bringing unlikely voters to the polls.

  5. another insider  

    I agree with 4, Nadler rigged the elections last year and now wants to reform them? Props to the younger dems that actually pushed this initiative, let's give credit where credit is due. Plus maybe this means the dems can stop being such a lame organization.

    • An Insider  

      you clearly have no clue what you are talking about.

      The election reforms weren't designed by younger members of the dems - they were designed by a panel of active seniors in the dems: nadler, seth wiener, jess blakemore (lead activist on the dems' activist council), julia moline (former dems' vice president), and seth flaxman (former dems president)

  6. Around campus  

    On another note, Model UN elections are tonight, a club that prides itself on a history of electoral success.

  7. the right to vote!  

    does anyone else think it's ironic that the College Dems are instituting a poll tax and disenfranchising people?

    • A poll tax  

      typically means that there is a tax involved...

      nice try at being clever

      • economizing  

        taxes don't have to be strictly monetary. or maybe your time isn't worth anything.

        • Just to be a dick  

          actually, costs don't have to be monetary. Taxes are money demanded by governments. I can't impose a tax on you because I am not a government. Bwog forcing you to spell out a color in order for you to post isn't a tax because theres no money involved, though it is a cost, albeit a negligible one.

          To be even more of a dick, even if you were right on the definition of a tax, a "poll tax," which is what is in question here, is even more specific. It is a flat fee charged by the government, as opposed to taxes that are calculated based on the value of some property or good.

          Poll Taxes don't necessarily describe taxes that are related to suffrage, but in the American context, they almost always refer to a flat fee that one had to pay before voting, which many southern states adopted as a way to keep blacks from voting.

          Again, nice try

  8. then again

    whenever the GOP tries to combat voter fraud - the DNC yells 'poll tax' regardless of monies involved.

  9. Actually...  

    It's part of our proud history in the South

  10. Jonathan  

    Having run (and lost) in Dems' elections and having been a little involved with some reform ideas, I can say that there is no hypocrisy at all in these changes. Last year was eye-opening to a lot of people and these changes probably reflect genuine growth and a change of heart. It's definetly for the good of the club.

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