The student news site of Francis W. Parker School

The Parker Weekly

The student news site of Francis W. Parker School

The Parker Weekly

The student news site of Francis W. Parker School

The Parker Weekly

Election Allegations

Upper School assured of fairness in election process
Photo credit: The Parker Weekly
Screenshot of the Student Government ballot.

Election season has officially come to a close. Colorful posters have been taken down, speeches have been given, and a new cabinet has begun their work for next year. However, students say allegations of election fraud and stuffed ballot boxes (or Google Forms) still fill the hallways, leaving the Upper School with questions. 

“I thought that the election was definitely going to be rigged, and the winners would just be hand picked by Upper School faculty and staff. If Ty didn’t win president, this would have definitely made me more confident in my theory,” stated an anonymous Upper School Student. 

When asked about how the election follows constitutional procedures, Parliamentarian Julia Josephson explained, “We have a whole section of the Constitution dedicated to the election process. This section is Article X: Elections and Appointments, which goes over how election season works and what positions are available. Under this article, there are 6 sections, 3 of which pertain to the election process. The other three go over appointed positions,” Josephson said. 

Section A is of the SG Constitution covers Elected Offices. It outlines what positions are open for election and gives the requirements for people running for specific positions. “Section B of the Article is all about voting, which is an important part of the process to ensure a fair election. This is the only procedural matter that constitutionally requires an electronic ballot to ensure that vote counts are exact and that there is no fraud,” Josephson said. Section C covers rules for candidates, such as submitting platforms and signatures, speeches, debates, Democrafest, and runoff elections. 

The Constitution ensures the integrity of the election through the election process. “Our Constitution ensures integrity in the election because it makes sure that campaigners are transparent with the student body. To run for office, candidates have to receive signatures, submit a platform, attend a debate, and possibly make a speech.” Josephson said that there were no situations this year where a campaign did not follow the Constitution. “All of this is to ensure the students are educated on the candidates so they make informed decisions when it’s time to vote. Furthermore, with voting, the electronic ballot allows us to track the number of people who voted, do it anonymously, and accurately examine data,” Josephson said. 

Student Government faculty advisors Jeanne Barr and Julia Garner have assured the community of the election processes and integrity. Barr described her role in preparing for the election process. “I work with the cabinet and adjust any rules for the election, like how much items can cost, and if there’s anything that they want to make changes on. I proofread the platform’s documents that the cabinet puts together to make sure that everything in there is appropriate, there’s no character attacks, no vulgar wording or anything like that.”

Barr also works to ensure the integrity of the balloting,  “I oversee the ballots and the results of the ballots, which is all saved in Google. So it’s all verifiable that it happened, as reported,” she said.

The Upper School can be sure of the election’s integrity, according to Garner. “We now vote through Google Form, meaning no one can vote more than once.” The Weekly asked Garner if she thinks there would ever be election fraud. She responded saying “That would never happen. People who are making these accusations clearly don’t know Ms. Barr.”

The election results are communicated quickly to the Upper School. “This year, Ms. Barr saw the results of the Google Form and published those, it was a quick turnaround. I think the first round, voting was on a Wednesday. The polls closed at 4pm and the results came out later that afternoon. The same goes for the second round.”

“The election process is one of the most exciting parts of the school year in student government. We’re excited to see students participating whether they’ve participated in the past or not. There are some students that we’re already familiar with from their previous years on Cabinet, but we are always excited to see a broader participation than just students that have participated in the past, said Garner.

Parker can look forward to new officers and new perspectives in the coming year. Garner welcomes this broader participation. “Student Government is stronger because of the new participants, and if the same students were participating over and over, Student Government would become repetitive and redundant.”

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About the Contributor
Sascha Keller
Sascha Keller, Staff Writer
Sascha is so exited to start her first year on the Weekly! If she isn’t writing, Sascha will most likely be found spending time with her friends and family.