ASI election troubles continue
April 24, 2009 6:05 PM
Associated Students, Inc. is close to spending next semester in court if student allegations over shady election results continue to go unresolved.
The board voted on Wednesday to invalidate the election results after students voiced complaints, however ASI will continue to use the newly elected officials until litigation is filed.
Peter Koo, the executive director of ASI said the organization voiced concerns to the ASI legal council and is waiting for a response on what to do next.
All students are members of the ASI by virtue of a mandatory $42 fee paid during registration. The governing board is responsible for various programs on campus and handle around a $3 million budget.
A group of students have alleged the recent online elections broke several laws under the official California Code of Regulations, which states elections must be held on campus, polls must be open from 8 a.m. 4 p.m. and no signs can be placed within 100 feet of any polling place.
Students also accused the board of participating in voter fraud, claiming there was suspicious activity during the online voting process including a series of votes cast in succession to indicate student ID numbers were used incorrectly.
Students involved in the issue, such as Brooke Wojo, a candidate for Sophomore Representative, asked Morgan Lamb, the current election commissioner, to set up a special election by stating ASI bylaws give an order to do so by no later than April 29.
During the ASI meeting on Wednesday, eligible board members decided to invalidate the results in a two to three vote. Around six or seven other members of the board were unable to vote because they re-ran for election.
Laura Alarcon, the Graduate Representative for ASI, said she voted no because she wanted to investigate the issue further due to student concerns.
Many students voiced concerns over the election and are not content with the overall structure of ASI, which they believe is unresponsive to student needs.
Wesley Vasquez, 21, a Rasa Studies major, said that the current ASI is unorganized and puts up barriers internally to pass personal agendas.
"I have general discontent about the way things are run. We need to investigate what happened [with the elections] and follow up in a transparent way," he said.
The Board of Directors must setup a structure for re-election if the results are invalidated, according to the Spring ASI Election Packet. However, as of Wednesday board members are choosing to wait until legal action is taken to stop the results.
"You can't just overhall an entire election because a handful of students file a complaint," said Frankie Griffen, the BSS Representative.
This is the second time ASI elections were held online. Online voting allows students to vote from home and at any time of day during the election week.
Koo said ASI will look into the online election practices, but said he didn't feel the online voting broke any laws.
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