Newly elected ASUCD senators might have to wait longer than they expected before beginning a term they believed would start tonight.
Yesterday, UC Davis student Reynaldo Rodriguez filed a formal complaint against last week’s ASUCD elections. A website malfunction prevented students from voting for 3.5 hours on Thursday evening. Rodriguez claims student voters were disenfranchised despite the 3.5-hour extension granted by the Elections Committee the following morning. The malfunction was due to an error within the Central Authentication Service.
“I feel that the election was unfair because students weren’t notified well enough when the website wasn’t working,” said Rodriguez, a sophomore biomedical engineering major. “The time that the website was down was really inconvenient. I think that the voting should be reopened for at least a day so that students who weren’t notified of the [extension] could make their voices heard.“
Rodriguez cited the ASUCD Constitution’s Bill of Rights #6, which states that students “have the right to a fair vote in all ASUCD elections without any form of disenfranchisement. All ASUCD elections shall be fair and proper as outlined in the ASUCD elections codes.“
In response, the ASUCD Elections Committee feels that the election was fair, due to the extension of the voting period.
“The amount of time that the election was extended is equal to the amount of time that students were unable to vote,” said the Elections Committee in a written response. “A message was posted on the elections website informing students of the extension. In addition, all candidates and ASUCD officials were notified of the extension.“
The case will be taken to Student Judicial Affairs, which has jurisdiction over this case according to the ASUCD bylaws.
The investigation of the complaint will likely suspend the swearing in of the six newly elected senators. If the investigation lasts until next week, president and vice president-elects Joe Chatham and Chris Dietrich will also have to wait for the results before their inauguration, scheduled to occur next Thursday.
“This complaint is going to be a huge inconvenience to a lot of people in ASUCD,” Dietrich said. “The [outage] was unfortunate, but it affected both parties. Also, the complaint seems like it’s being used in a partisan way by our opponents.“
LAUREN STEUSSY can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.