Winter 2013 ASUCD Election

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The Winter 2013 ASUCD Elections were held from February 19th at 8am until February 22nd at 8am. Six Senate seats, along with the President and Vice President, were up for election. Voting took place, as always, at [WWW]http://elections.ucdavis.edu.

With 19 ASUCD Senate candidates, this was the third highest number of candidates in an ASUCD Election in over 10 years, behind only the Fall 2004 ASUCD Election (20) and Winter 2005 ASUCD Election (23). Coincidentally both of those elections also had three slates each running four or more Senate candidates.

Scandals

The three slates made some lame agreement to not unload their piles of election violation claims against each other, so the campaign violations didn't pile up at all.

There was an incident dubbed Retardgate though, where one candidate said that having a senate meeting last more than four hours is retarded. A low level fight broke out where rude words were exchanged but zero fists flew. The use of the word was debated thoroughly, and ended with a facebook campaign against the candidate who used the word. Death threats were flung from the social justice side, and then everyone realized they were making a mountain out of a molehill. well, not really, but it fizzled out.

Results

Preliminary results [WWW]were released on Feburary 22, 2013. The results became official the following week and the Senators-elect were sworn in on February 28, 2013.

Executive Winners

Carly Sandstrom for President and Bradley Bottoms for Vice-President (NOW)

Senate Winners

Endorsements

[WWW]The California Aggie

Evan Rothstein additionally was endorsed by Rob Roy, but Rob may be a little too far out of reach of the UC Davis community to have had an effect.

The ASUCD Elections Committee list of [WWW]Official Endorsements.

Alternate Universe

These are not the actual election results, but fun we can have with the data. The usual disclaimers apply, such as voter behavior being different in a system without choice voting, etc.

The Condorcet winner (the candidate who wins in a pairwise contest against each other candidate) of this election was Ryan Wonders.

Top 6

What if the top six vote-getters were elected?

  1. Ryan Wonders

  2. Amrit "Kaur" Sahota

  3. Ingrid "Pamela" Nonga Ngue

  4. Jonathan Yip

  5. Yee Xiong

  6. Miles Thomas

Most Hated

Who got the most last-ranked votes?

112 Araxya Movsisyan
63 Jonathan Yip
59 Brendan Crotty
59 Roman Rivilis
50 Evan Rothstein
49 Brittany Garzaniti
44 Justin Dowdle
43 Iris Xie
40 Yee Xiong
36 Miles Thomas
36 Ryan Wonders
35 Joanna Villegas
32 Nicole 'Nikki' Kim
31 Chandler Hill
31 Ingrid 'Pamela' Nonga Ngue
30 Reuben Torres
26 Marissa Ayala
19 Bryce Fick
12 Amrit 'Kaur' Sahota

Countback Winners

These Countback elections were run under the assumption that all eligible candidates were willing to serve if elected in the Countback election and that there had been no prior Countback election for the Winter 2013 pool of Senate candidates. Both of those assumptions can alter the outcome of an actual Countback election. This list shows the current Senators and who would replace them in a Countback election if both of the preceding assumptions were true.

The ASUCD Constitution requires that the winner of a Countback election acquire at least 50% of the threshold for the Countback election to serve as a Senator. All six candidates met that requirement.

Name Controversy

Timeline of Events

After the mandatory candidates meeting on January 29, 2013 the ASUCD Elections Committee released an official list of candidates that listed each candidate's legal name next to the name they wanted place on the ballot. This document was later amended to show just the names that would appear on the ballot. Both members of the FUQ executive ticket wanted all election material to use the names they listed as nicknames in place of their legal first names, not in addition to their legal first names. They expressed this to the Elections Committee but were informed that the ASUCD Bylaws stated that a candidate must use the name that appears on their student ID card and the use of a nickname can only appear between the first and last name of the candidate. The bylaw in question is 405E:

ASUCD Elections Committee Chair, Aaron Hsu, is reported to have claimed he could not replace their first names due to the 405E bylaw. The issue [WWW]was brought up at an ASUCD Senate meeting on February 7, 2013 by FUQ's Vice Presidential candidate, Lane Lewis, and the Senate ultimately voted to suspend the bylaw. As a result, the ASUCD Elections website lists both FUQ candidates with their preferred first names and not their legal first names. A [WWW]letter to the editor appeared in The Aggie on February 12, 2013 about the issue.

Who was at fault

A close reading of the 405E bylaw reveals that whatever a candidate puts on their Petition of Candidacy as their first name and surname is what will appear on the ballot. Furthermore, the bylaw states that candidates must use the surname that appears on their student ID card but the bylaw makes no mention of checking a candidate's first name. As such, a candidate may list any first name they desire on their Petition of Candidacy and that is the name that will appear on the ballot. Blame could fall on the ASUCD Elections Committee for this issue in two instances:

  1. If the FUQ candidates did actually list the names they wanted to appear on the ballot when they took out their Petition of Candidacy and the Elections Committee changed them after the Petition was returned.

  2. If the FUQ candidates were told by the ASUCD Elections Committee, either verbally or on an elections document, that they had to use their legal first names on their Petition of Candidacy.

If neither of those two instances occurred and the FUQ candidates listed their legal first names on their Petition of Candidacy without the influence of the ASUCD Elections Committee then, according to the 405E bylaw, the Elections Committee was required to use the names listed on the Petition of Candidacy. Anyone who takes out a Petition of Candidacy is also given a copy of Chapter 4 of the ASUCD Bylaws, the section pertaining to election regulations. Any candidate concerned with how their name will appear on the ballot can read this bylaw and immediately take out a new petition if they are displeased with the first name they chose to place on their Petition of Candidacy.

Ultimately the 405E Bylaw is not to blame for the controversy as it allows students to use any first name they choose and only requires that they use their legal last name. It is still unclear if the blame falls upon the Elections Committee for the two reasons listed above or upon the FUQ candidates for failing to put the names they wanted on their Petition of Candidacy. Future issues on this subject can be prevented by keeping the 405E bylaw but informing candidates when they take out their petitions that they must use their legal last name but their first name choice is up to them and whatever they use on their petition is what will appear on the ballot.

Links

[WWW]Winter 2013 Ballot Data and Reports

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