Contributed by Melba Murphy
Elections for Student Council officers, class officers, and Student Council representatives can be both functional and educational. By carrying out the elections in a way which reflect "real elections" , citizenship can be reinforced.
Our school runs three separate elections in successive weeks: for the Student Council officers, class officers, and Student Council representatives. With a few modifications in the rules, the procedure is basically the same.
At least one week prior to any of the election activities, there is voter registration. Anyone interested in voting must register to vote. A list of registered voters is prepared and only those persons registered can vote. This is an educational process which could be reinforced in the social studies classes.
Then comes the actual election process. First, there are approximately three days for sign-ups. Then, there is a meeting of all the candidates to go over the rules. The students have to do several activities which mirror those responsibilities which Student Council members have: fund raising (selling 10 bars of candy), school spirit (dressing up for a spirit day), participating in a school or community service project, etc.
To qualify, all must have a petition signed by 10% of their classmates. The cumulative purpose of these activities is to do what the qualifying fee does in the "real world", that is, to show that each individual is a serious candidate for office. Students must also have an endorsement sheet signed by the principal, three teachers, and their parents. This requirement is to make sure that parents know what is expected of this candidate and that the student is not a disruptive force within the school environment.
Following are samples of the registration form, sign-up sheet, regulations, endorsement sheet, and petition form. All of these were for the Student Council Officer election but are easily adaptable to the other elections.
ACTIVITY PREPARATION WORKSHEET
Purpose: To teach democratic processes.
Description: The Student Council organizes the elections for the
Class Officers and Student Council's representatives.
_____ 1. Get principal's permission.
_____ 2. Appoint a committee.
_____ 3. Brainstorm for additional ideas.
_____ 4. Set a date and secure a place for the sign-up, the speeches, and the voting.
_____ 5. Publicize.
_____ 6. Prepare Sign-Up sheets.
_____ 7. Check candidates' eligibility.
_____ 8. Have a meeting with candidates to go over requirements
_____ 9. Print and distribute petition and endorsement forms.
_____ 10. Set up work schedule for voting; remind workers to wear
Student Council shirts.
_____ 11. Prepare signs for voting directions.
_____ 12. Ask social studies teachers to do mini-lesson on the
importance of voting.
_____ 13. Get ballot box.
_____ 14. Assemble colored hi-lighters to mark off voters.
_____ 15. Get list of registered voters (voter registration is a separate project).
_____ 16. Check with probate judge's office and get official voters form.
_____ 17. Get "I voted today" stickers.
_____ 18. Talk with election officials about the use of the voting machine.
_____ 19. Fix teacher permission sheet for poll workers and vote
_____ 20. Produce and print ballots (if not using machine).
_____ 21. Set stage for speeches; OR arrange for speeches over closed-circuit television.
_____ 22. Get teachers to monitor voting and counting.
_____ 23. Announce winners and information about run-offs (if necessary).
_____ 24. Write letters of congratulations and letters of consolation.
_____ 25. Write appropriate thank-yous.
_____ 26. Take pictures for school/community newspaper.
_____ 27. Assign participation points and/or demerits.
_____ 28. Complete evaluation of project.
WAYNE COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL
Last Name, First Name, Middle Name
Street or Road Address, City, ZIP
Homeroom, Grade, Birthdate, Age
Sex, Race, Height, Weight, Eye Color, Hair Color
Telephone, Social Security Number
"I affirm that the information provided herein is true and I understand that this application will be accepted for all purposes as the equivalent of an affidavit, and if it contains a material false statement, shall subject me to the same penalties for perjury as if I had been duly sworn."
Signature of Applicant Date
Student Council Registrar's Signature
STUDENT COUNCIL PRESIDENT
Sign Up Sheet
Sign-Up Through Monday April 7, 8:30 a.m.
Must be a rising Senior.
Must have been an active member of Student Council for one year.
Must have maintained required participation points.
1. _________________________ ____________________
2. _________________________ ____________________
3. _________________________ ____________________
4. _________________________ ____________________
5. _________________________ ____________________
6. _________________________ ____________________
7. _________________________ ____________________
8. _________________________ ____________________
9. _________________________ ____________________
10. _________________________ ____________________
NOTICE: No formal campaigning until April 7th
REGULATIONS AND PROCEDURES
STUDENT COUNCIL OFFICER ELECTIONS
1. Sign-up for Student Council Officer elections is from Monday,
March 24th through Wednesday March 26th at 3:00 p.m.
2. Eligibility for Student Council Offices are as follows:
a. President and Vice-President
(1) President must be a rising Senior.
(2) Vice President must be a rising Junior.
(3) President must have been a member, in good standing, of Student Council for at least 1 year.
b. Treasurer, Secretary, Reporter, Parliamentarian, Publicity.
(1) Must be a rising Senior or Junior.
c. All elected offices:
(1) If on Student Council, must have maintained satisfactory participation points the current year.
(2) 80 average previous grading period.
(3) No record of having been dismissed from Student Council.
(4) Must have passed 5 out of 6 subjects the previous grading period (state requirement).
3. Other qualifying criteria to run for office.
a. Turn in an official petition signed by 100 students from grades 9 through 11. Individuals do not have to be registered to sign a petition and may sign more than one candidate's petition.
b. Submit an official endorsement form.
c. Submit a copy of his/her campaign speech.
4. Deadline for qualifying is Monday, March 31st at 8:30 a.m.
a. All qualifying material must be turned in and all qualifications
met by that time. Being absent or on school trips is not an excuse.
b. Material should be brought to room # 308 during lunch, recess,
between classes, homeroom, or before or after school. Do NOT
interrupt class to turn in material. It will not be accepted.
5. All students running for Student Council office must meet Thursday,
March 27, at recess in room # 308. If you cannot attend, you must
notify Melba Murphy before that time. Otherwise, your name will not
be on the ballot.
6. Formal campaigning does not begin until Monday, April 7th at 8:00am
a. Any material put up before that time will be taken down.
b. You may not handout any material until that time.
c. Only informal campaigning, such as asking people to vote for you, is allowed before that time.
7. Elections will be Thursday, April 10th during both lunches.
a. There should be no campaigning within the lunchroom. Candidates should not linger near the polls.
b. Only those students in the present 9th, 10th, and 11th grades,
who are registered, will be able to vote.
c. The polls will be manned and votes counted by Senior Student
Council members. No one running for office will be allowed to
work at the polls or count ballots.
d. Ballots will be counted during sixth period in the Media Center.
Any teacher wishing to monitor the counting will be welcome.
e. Ballots will be turned over to the principal after they are counted.
f. If no candidate in a race receives a majority, there will be a
run-off between the two leading candidates on Friday April 11
during both lunches.
8. Special Note:
In this type of election, the secret to success is registering
individuals to vote and then get those registered to go and vote.
The Student Council Officers make up the backbone of the Executive Committee and Student Council. It is imperative that they be good leaders and willing to participate in all areas of Student Council activities.
Officers should be those capable of initiating and carrying out responsibilities without having to be prompted or reminded. They should be willing to see projects and responsibilities through, without excuses, until completed, even if this involves recess, lunch, and after school time.
Student Council officers should have attitudes and behavior which would serve as a good example for the rest of the council.
The Student Council responsibility should supersede other co-curricular activities.
QUALIFYING ENDORSEMENTS for Student Council Officer Elections
OFFICE: ___________________________________________ CLASS:
FACULTY RECOMMENDATIONS: The signature indicates recommendation and endorsement without reservations.
PRINCIPAL'S APPROVAL :
The above- named student has not been subject to any serious disciplinary action.
HOMEROOM TEACHER'S VERIFICATION:
The above-named student is a member of the class named above and meets state standards of eligibility for participation in extra-curricular activities.
I am aware of, approve of, and will support my son's/daughter's seeking of the above-named position. I understand that this will mean responsibilities that go beyond the school day and that a commitment to the student council officer position supersedes other non-academic responsibilities.
By this declaration I am pledging to give Student Council my top priority outside of my academic responsibilities. I understand that the holding of the above-named position carries with it responsibilities and that failure to carry out those responsibilities and/or the failure to maintain the required minimum of participation points can result in my being removed from my elected position.
This endorsement must be completed and returned by Monday, April 7 at 830 a.m.
For Student Council Officer Election
PETITION OF: ____________________________________
SEEKING THE OFFICE OF: ____________________________________
In order to qualify to run for Student Council office, candidates must collect the signatures of 10% of the student body, grades nine through twelve. Individuals may sign more than one petition but may only sign each petition once. You do not have to be a registered voter to sign a petition.
Petitions must be turned in to room # 308 by Monday, April 7, at 8:30 a.m. The number of signatures required is 100.