Winter 2010 ASUCD Election

The Winter 2010 ASUCD Election was the ASUCD Presidential and Senatorial election that took place Wednesday, February 17th to Friday, February 19th. Six of the twelve ASUCD Senate seats were contested at this election. President-elect Jack Zwald and Vice President-elect Previn Witana were elected as a ticket pursuant to Article III, Section 3 of the ASUCD Constitution.

The results of the election were announced Friday, February 19th at 12:00pm by the MU flagpole. The election could be challenged because the Elections Committee illegally put Subhan Cheema, Sergio Blanco, and Vishakha Patel on the ballot when they didn't submit enough signatures in time (see [WWW]controversy). However, since eliminating these candidates from the running doesn't change the results, such a challenge is unlikely.

  1. Results
    1. Winners
      1. Executive
      2. Senate
    2. Vote distribution
      1. Executive
      2. Senate
        1. Summary of Senate Voting
  2. President Race
    1. Candidates on the Ballot
      1. Independent
      2. LEAD slate
      3. JAM slate
    2. Controversy - Blanco/Patel eligibility
  3. Senate Race
    1. Candidates
      1. Independents
      2. Independents Running Together
      3. JAM slate
      4. LEAD slate
  4. California Aggie Endorsements
    1. For Executive Office
    2. For Senate
  5. Links





Vote distribution


1 2 3
Jack Zwald and Previn Witana 1447 534 476
Sergio Blanco and Vishakha Patel 1336 535 530
Gregg Webb and Jessica Martín 669 829 477
Totals 3452 1898 1483

Zwald/Witana beat Blanco/Patel 1,678 to 1,561 after Webb/Martín was eliminated, 51.8% to 48.2% (3.6% margin of victory).


Table is in order of election or elimination.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
Adam Thongsavat 511 324 229 164 98 95 93 48 36 35 31 32 39
Ozzy Arce 390 311 241 204 138 108 65 66 57 52 48 33 42
Liz Walz 382 261 212 181 145 96 67 48 57 49 47 40 34
Alison Tanner 390 265 186 118 110 88 70 67 50 47 64 63 53
Osahon Ekhator 287 258 252 189 148 122 64 75 65 42 33 55 41
Selisa Romero 284 258 215 111 121 87 60 58 45 55 60 50 33
Raj Kumar 227 329 209 175 131 105 66 81 64 46 38 38 48
David Turkell 276 146 113 120 95 100 81 70 86 77 77 75 50
Rudy Ornelas 240 245 182 150 135 115 84 59 62 67 70 47 35
Kirstin Stone 222 202 190 190 143 125 73 57 51 58 52 34 55
Basile Senesi 209 155 211 101 75 66 69 67 62 66 60 67 70
Subhan Cheema 152 104 96 97 91 81 70 68 66 60 74 70 73
Christopher Adams 61 60 57 65 83 76 55 44 56 70 58 101 124
Totals 3631 2918 2393 1865 1513 1264 917 808 757 724 712 705 697

Summary of Senate Voting

No candidate reached the required 519 vote quota to be elected in the first round. First round elections have only happened in 5 of the 14 ASUCD Senate elections using Choice Voting.

Adam Thongsavat was elected after Christopher Adams was eliminated. Cheema, Senesi, Stone, Ornelas, and Turkell were eliminated in subsequent rounds, resulting in Liz Walz and Ozzy Arce being elected in the eighth round.

Raj Kumar was the final candidate eliminated, resulting in the remaining three candidates being elected automatically. However, Alison Tanner did reach the threshold in the eleventh round. Osahon Ekhator reached the threshold with Alison Tanner's surplus votes. Selisa Romero was elected about 35 votes short of the threshold (which is irrelevant once there are no more candidates to eliminate). [WWW]Ballot data analysis shows, if Kumar had received 19 more votes in the final round of the election, he would have been elected instead of Selisa Romero.

The new Senate will have 6 LEAD Senators (no change), 4 JAM (+2), and 2 Independents (-1). Justin Gold's expired term renders the ACT slate extinct.

Christopher Adams joins the Rev. Chad Van Schoelandt as a consecutive "winner" of the Most Hated Person on Campus title, the first repeater in five years.

If you're wondering how the election would have turned out under different election rules, visit Bizarro World.

President Race

The terms of independent President Joe Chatham and Vice President Chris Dietrich expire at the start of the last Senate meeting of Winter Quarter 2010. Pursuant to Article III, Section 3 of the ASUCD Constitution, they are expected to deliver Certificates of Election to LEAD slate President-elect Jack Zwald and Vice President-elect Previn Witana at the beginning of the final Senate meeting of their terms, projected to be March 11, 2010, whereupon Zwald and Witana will immediately assume office.

Candidates on the Ballot


LEAD slate

JAM slate

Controversy - Blanco/Patel eligibility

Daniel Golden filed [court]an ASUCD Court case against the Elections Committee alleging that because their petition to run for executive office lacked sufficient valid signatures/SID's by the deadline, they should not be placed on the ballot. The Elections Committee allowed the ticket to appear on the ballot after granting the ticket time to gather sufficient signatures to make up the deficit, a policy they made available to all candidates. [court]Justice Ryan Meyerhoff recused himself as Golden is his housemate. The case was heard February 10th 6:15pm and the Court, in a 4-2 majority decision, held that the Elections Committee exceeded its authority, and ordered the Elections Committee not to place Blanco and Patel on the executive ballot.

In a decision sure to cause PoliSci and History majors to misquote Andrew Jackson, Elections Committee Chair Nick Sidney released a statement on Tuesday, February 16, one day before the first day of voting, announcing that Blanco and Patel would remain on the ballot until they had exhausted all avenues of appeal. The release is quoted below.

As the Chair of the ASUCD Elections Committee, and in concurrence with the other members, I have decided by the power vested within me 
by ASUCD Bylaw 406.F, to certify the ballot for the Winter 2010 General Election with Sergio Blanco and Vishakha Patel remaining as official
candidates for President and Vice President.

The recent decision by the ASUCD Court infringes on the right of eligible students to run for office and neglected the procedural and
substantive due process rights of Mr. Blanco and Ms. Patel guaranteed to them by the ASUCD Constitution, the Constitution of the State
of California, and the Constitution of the United States.  The ASUCD Constitution clearly retains for the Elections Committee original
jurisdiction over questions of election law.  As such, this case falls outside of the jurisdiction of the ASUCD Court.  It is the responsibility
of the Elections Committee to ensure a fair election, in compliance with the Constitution and Bylaws.  To remove a candidate from the
ballot directly violates ASUCD Bylaw 413.E, which states that no "candidate shall be removed from the ballot until they have lost all
potential appeals" and the ASUCD Constitution, which states that the Court "cannot sanction a candidate."  Mr. Blanco and Ms. Patel
were not parties to the first case, and they have given written notice to the ASUCD that they intend to challenge the action of the Court.
Clearly, they have not lost all potential appeals.  As such, the Elections Committee cannot remove them from the ballot.

We maintain that the right of the students to vote is null and void without the right to vote for candidates of their choice.  We are not
willing to violate the ASUCD Constitution and Bylaws by denying the substantive right of a candidate to run for office and for students
to vote for a candidate of their choice.

Apparently nobody ever explained to Nick Sidney the difference between original and appellate jurisdiction. LOL!

Senate Race

The terms of Senators Joemar Clemente, Justin Gold, Kevin Massoudi, Previn Witana, Shawdee Rouhafza, and Trevor Taylor expired at the Senate meeting following the election, February 25, 2010. The winners received their Certificates of Election and took office at that meeting. 3 LEAD Senators, 1 ACT Senator, and 2 independents left office.


The Elections Committee does not require candidates to note slate affiliations with their candidacy paperwork.


Independents Running Together

JAM slate

LEAD slate

California Aggie Endorsements

The California Aggie editorial board meets with all candidates and considers their platforms and statements at its candidates forum to make its endorsements. In [WWW]its Thursday, February 11th edition, it announced its endorsements.

For Executive Office

1. LEAD ticket Jack Zwald for President and Previn Witana for Vice President

For Senate

1. Rudy Ornelas (LEAD)
2. Adam Thongsavat (Independent)
3. David Turkell (LEAD)
4. Ozzy Arce (LEAD)
5. Alison Tanner (JAM)
6. Subhan Cheema (Independent)



Note: You must be logged in to add comments

2010-01-21 13:29:56   BrentLaabs caught me using weasel words.

But seriously, who else is running for anything? Is the list of persons who have taken out a petition a matter of public record? —JeremyKoo

2010-01-29 21:33:11   Well, the list is up now. I've added any current/past ASUCD positions for the senate candidates as told by the wiki+ASUCD website. Good luck everyone! —RyanMeyerhoff

2010-01-29 22:01:28   Interesing list. My first thought: Wow, is the Elections Committee Slate back? —BrentLaabs

2010-01-31 12:58:26   Is it the general sentiment that elections are never won at the Forum, but can certainly be lost, either by failure to get your name out (read: Logan Taylor, despite a #2 Aggie endorsement (Fall 2009)) or gaffe (read: Burke Rosen and rape victims (Winter 2009))? —JeremyKoo

2010-02-04 03:07:56   So, that court case sounds like fun. I miss ASUCD Elections Committee controversy. Someone post more details so I can relive my college years through Davis Wiki! —JonathonLeathers

2010-02-13 20:00:11   I'm honestly not seeing it Brent. Bylaw 407A says a write-in candidate's votes can only be tallied if they have registered with the Elections Committee no later than seven academic days prior to the first day of the Election. Election Day is Feb 17th, which is 3 academic days away, and Sidney told me today that Blanco has not filed for write-in candidacy. —JeremyKoo

2010-02-15 22:43:04   It appears we've scooped the Tuesday Aggie on the Court ruling, despite them having the extra holiday, and despite their Twitter stream receiving a tweet from [WWW]@ucdaction. —JeremyKoo

2010-02-16 15:16:43   Well, now this just got interesting because now it's become a question of the Court's role overall. We may remember that the Supreme Court of the United States depends on the respect from executive and legislative branches for enforcement of its rulings. The ASUCD Court, comparatively, is still in its infancy, and has to make decisions that also consider the other branches' likelihoods that they will respect its ruling. It would seem that the Court failed to account for this.

Also, let's assume Blanco wins, because it's all moot if he doesn't, then you'll have the EC certify, the Court voiding that certification and ordering the EC to reconsider in light of a new opinion, and the EC standing its ground and refusing to certify any candidate for Executive Office. Then we might reasonably assume the new Senate gets to deal with a vacancy in both the office of President and Vice President which starts at the end of the last Senate meeting of winter quarter. In this case, the Senate President Pro Tempore becomes President at the end of the last Senate meeting of Winter quarter under Art III, Sec 5, Clause 3, and appoints a Vice President approved by majority vote of the Senate.

But who would be this Senator? Well, since under Art II, Sec 6 the Senate does not choose a Senate President Pro Tempore until the first meeting of the new quarter, the current PPT becomes President. Someone start the betting on ASUCD President Andre Lee. —JeremyKoo

2010-02-19 15:06:22   Blanco and Patel were one vote shy of being 1337... —PaulAmnuaypayoat

2010-03-06 20:03:13   Here's what Andrew Jackson initially said about the Supreme Court "the decision of the supreme court has fell still born, and they find that they cannot coerce Georgia to yield to its mandate." —PrevinWitana

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