ASI finalizes election results
April 3, 2008 12:54 PM
The Associated Students, Inc. finalized its election results today with Natalie Franklin capturing 371 votes to win the position of board president, beating out Anthony “muscle up” Zamora, who had 185 votes and Gray Lange, who had 72.
The race for president was the most competitive contest, but campaigning on campus was light in the weeks leading up to the elections.
Election organizers hoped that a new, online voting system would boost voter turnout, but that was not the case.
Fewer than 800 voters cast ballots either in person or online. That represents the third lowest voter turnout in ASI election history and almost half as many voters as last year, said Horace Montgomery, ASI’s leadership development coordinator.
Jesse Bevan, ASI’s behavioral and social science representative, called the turnout “extremely disappointing,” and blamed the low numbers on a lack of competitive campaigning.
The office of education representative is being contested, as both write-in candidates, Peter Gallego and Armando Longoria, received only one vote each.
If both candidates are deemed eligible for office, a special election may need to be held to resolve the tie.
But the tie is not the only leadership dispute. Former ASI President Isidro Armenta was deemed ineligible in early March to hold the presidency because he had too many units, a ruling he has vigorously disputed.
Armenta has refused to step down as the board’s president when he was deemed ineligible, but he did not attend the Wednesday meeting as he previously planned.
The last ASI meeting was adjourned when Armenta refused to yield his seat. Penny Saffold, vice president of student affairs, asked University Police to persuade him to leave. Police spoke with Armenta, but did not arrest or cite him.
University administrators wrote to Armenta and told him that he had more than the 150 units allowed to participate in undergraduate student government. Armenta contended that only units earned at SF State should be counted in his cumulative total.
Several board members publicly asked Armenta to resolve his eligibility issues without disrupting ASI meetings.
“I made my point, but if I continue to go [to meetings] they’ll blame the lack of business action on me,” Armenta said before Wednesday’s meeting.
He said funding student organizations and responding to the budget crisis was too important to be disrupted. Armenta said his next step is to send a letter to CSU Chancellor Charles Reed and make a public statement to students. Armenta isn’t worried about how he will get e-mail contacts for the entire student body.
“I’ll get it out,” he said. “I’m creative.”
Board discussion at Wednesday’s meeting focused on plans to charter busses to take students to Sacramento to lobby for restored California State University funding on April 21.
New Front Coalition, a student activist group, requested help from ASI to transport 250 students who plan to march on the capitol.
Members also reviewed a draft of a letter that will ask deans to educate their colleges about the proposed budget cuts and request students not be penalized for ditching classes to go to Sacramento.
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