The amendment “amends Article VII, Sec. 2 and 3 combining the Spring Senatorial elections with the President/Vice presidential elections,” as stated on the ballot.
The final vote was 168 for, 66 against, 70 abstaining.
The change in the amendment was originally presented during ASUNM’s full Senate meetings earlier this semester via bills 9F and 10F. These two bills would have worked together to amend Article VII Sec. 2 and 3. Both bills failed the Senate’s roll-call vote 6-14-0-0.
After the initial failed vote, President Krystah Pacheco and Vice President Mikenzie Chessman petitioned the amendment to be placed on the fall ballot. The petition was presented without the Senate’s knowledge.
“I was mixed about this Bill holistically … The Bill did stand on some merit – and still has some merit – but overall, there were a lack of community-based decisions in this,” Senator Julián Ángel said.
After the passage of the amendment, Senator Bailey Rutherford said he had concerns about the lack of protections against a superstate and felt as though they had not been heard by Pacheco in conversations.
“I’ve had several conversations and I feel that (my concerns) are not being heard,” Rutherford said.
Superslates occur when presidential or vice presidential candidates can campaign with senators, Rutherford said.
“When there is one election that is a bigger deal, there is more reach across campus for that,“ Senator Ria Schultz said.
In the executive cabinet, the Chief of Staff, Jackson Zinsmeyer, and the Director of Governmental Affairs, Alex Adams, support the amendment.
“Hopefully, this is a good step for the Spring Senatorial Election. There’s always a bit of voter fatigue we see ... so it was great to see students use their vote,” Zinsmeyer said.
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The implications of this amendment will not be seen until the Spring 2024 General Election.
“Nothing is not reversible here. If something doesn’t work, we can always go back and change it,” Schultz said. “If this is a decision that the student body made that isn't beneficial to the student body, I hope that the Senate is encouraged and empowered to do what’s best.”
Jaymes Boe is a beat reporter for the Daily Lobo. He can be reached at email@example.com
Karina Bolaños is the Culture Editor at the Daily Lobo. They can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org