The complaint filed last week against the recent ASUCD election’s results has left much of the student body confused and demoralized. The complaint came in lieu of hard line L.E.A.D supporters‘ and non-L.E.A.D rabble rousers‘ claims that technical failures compromised the election’s outcome. They say Joe Chatham and Chris Dietrich are not their president and vice president because the said failures violated the ASUCD Constitution’s Bill of Rights #6 by disenfranchising the student body.
But don’t let their passionate charade fool you; the complaint does not stem from their selfless desire to safeguard democracy, but from their refusal to accept defeat.
The ASUCD Constitution’s Bill of Rights #6 states: “You have the right to a fair vote in all ASUCD elections without any form of disenfranchisement.” Well, unless you are one of the aforementioned individuals, in which case it reads: “You have the right to a fair vote for L.E.A.D in all ASUCD elections without any form of disenfran-not-voting for L.E.A.D.“
But who can blame them? L.E.A.D has held the presidency since 2005 and is so pervasive on campus that when I was a freshman I mistook it for actually being the student government. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mean to condemn L.E.A.D for its political success and I know many members of L.E.A.D do not support the current complaints; however, many of L.E.A.D’s hard-line supporters have come to believe that for L.E.A.D, being elected to office is not a privilege, but a right.
This brings us to ASUCD elections technical malfunction #1: On the second day of voting Creative Media found a glitch on the voting website allowing anyone to watch the real-time progress of the election; however, this was caused by an upgrade error and not by a hacker with a vendetta against L.E.A.D.
One can only imagine how startled L.E.A.D executive candidates Lula Ahmed-Falol and Rebecca Schwartz were when they saw Chatham and Dietrich were ahead by nearly 300 votes. This gave anyone who was behind the chance to redouble their campaigning.
The second and more controversial problem occurred later that day with ASUCD elections technical malfunction #2: Students were unable to log on to the elections web site to vote between 6:30 and 10:00 p.m. Again, this was not caused by an anti-L.E.A.D hacker, but a malfunction with the Campus Data Center’s load balancing equipment. In other words, a bug in the system prevented students from logging in with their Kerberos username and password to vote for three-and-a-half hours.
Those contesting the election results say the downtime prevented many students from voting and thus students were “disenfranchised;” the polls were open for 48 hours and they were as consecutive as they could have possibly been. Even without the extra 3.5 hours, students had 44.5 hours to vote, more than enough time to find the 30 seconds it takes to cast a ballot. Given that the Elections Committee extended voting an extra 3.5 hours on Friday to make up for the time the web site wasn’t working, this does not constitute “disenfranchisement.“
Critics claim this extension was not publicized well enough; however, it was posted on the elections web site and anyone who visited the site was well-aware of the extension.
The angry rabble attending last week’s Senate meeting claiming to have been denied their “fair vote” was determined to rescue democracy from the tyranny of … democracy. They spat on ASUCD leaders‘ calls for unity, spread rumors of racism and did their best to make the incoming senators ashamed to be part of the election.
Ahmed-Falol and Schwartz would do well to encourage their supporters to cease their damaging tirade; it is destroying L.E.A.D’s credibility, quashing student body morale and castrating ASUCD’s ability to function.
MIKE HOWER hates when people use selfless excuses to justify selfish aims. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.