ASEWU makes a mockery of elections

By Scott Summers

contributing writer


Why does ASEWU get to perform actions that would violate federal election laws in the name of boosting voter turnout for school elections?

The Macklemore and Ryan Lewis show, with guaranteed seating spots being provided for voting, is an example of behavior that would be illegal and punishable if it occurred in a real election in Washington state.

Starbucks and other corporations had to discontinue special discounts to people who provided proof that they voted when confronted with federal election laws that prohibit gifts or consideration to people for voting, not voting or voting in a particular fashion.

As a school, we need to decide if our elections are some type of farce that ignores the real world of voting or our elections are to be modeled on legal and proper state and federal election laws.

Shane Hamlin, co-director of elections for Washington state, said that for a county or state election, this would appear to be a violation. While his office holds no power over EWU elections, this would appear to violate the spirit of our laws against providing consideration for voters over non-voters.

The funding of the event is not relevant to the issue at hand. Even if Macklemore and Ryan Lewis were paying EWU $500,000 for the opportunity to perform here, under the circumstances of preferred or guaranteed seating as an incentive to voters, it would still be an improper activity.

A large helping of shame should go to ASEWU. If EWU is to consider itself as a proper and ethical school, it should conform to state and federal rules and prevent this event from occurring in a manner which provides voters with this treat for voting.

I completely sympathize with wanting to increase voter turnout. However, in the effort to do so, laws and expectations of our American electoral system should not be compromised.