On Wednesday, sophomore biomedical engineering student Reynaldo Rodriguez filed a formal complaint against the ASUCD Elections Committee.
This complaint was filed in response to the Winter 2009 ASUCD elections. A malfunction on the campus Central Authentication System prevented students from voting between the hours of 6:30 to 10 p.m. on Feb. 19.
Rodriguez claimed that the election violated 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 ASUCD elections codes.“
Filing the complaint was an unnecessary and unjustified move.
Firstly, students were not “disenfranchised” from voting. The candidates all agreed on a 48-hour election period, which was ultimately provided. The Elections Committee compensated for the three-and-a-half hours of downtime by issuing extended voting hours from 8 to 11:30 a.m. on Feb. 20.
Rodriguez also argued “students were not properly informed of [the] Election Committee’s extension of voting hours on Friday morning.” He went on to claim “student voters were misinformed of voting hours and did not get a chance to vote.“
However, the committee did nothing to mislead students of voting hours. At worst, there was a lack of information, but the committee publicized the additional hours as best as they could – all candidates and ASUCD officials were notified of the extension, and all sides had a chance to disseminate the information to voters as well.
Additionally, the complaint itself is weak. Rodriguez vaguely lists “student testimonies“ and “e-mail accounts“ as pieces of general evidence he will utilize in trial. These are subjective items influenced by the individual; what is needed is an unbiased report. Furthermore, a preliminary list of witnesses to be called during the trial wasn’t itemized on the form, which highlights the hasty nature of the complaint.
Above all, the formal complaint only rubs salt in the wound for the losing ticket. The Elections Committee responded fairly and quickly, and voters from all sides received equal treatment.