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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


ASUA split on possible Elections Code changes

ASUA presidential candidates Daniel Hernandez and James Allen say ASUA’s Elections Code needs to be re-evaluated in the wake of their disqualifications on March 9.

But officials in the Associated Students of the University of Arizona differ on how, or if, the code should be changed.

ASUA candidates are allowed nine violation checks under the code. Each election violation that is deemed to give a candidate an unfair advantage over another is charged with one check, and additional checks can be given depending on the severity of the violation.

Hernandez and Allen each received 11 checks during the ASUA general election, though both are appealing to the ASUA Supreme Court.

ASUA President Emily Fritze said she believes the check system needs to be re-evaluated.

“”We will take a serious look on what constitutes a check and how we handle evidence to see how we better serve the candidates and students to make sure this doesn’t happen again,”” she said.

Fritze also said that the Elections Code should be updated often to ensure it remains current and fair.

“”I think that we will have to make changes,”” she said. “”We can never predict what will happen, but it seems that every year we must react to make changes to improve the code to ensure a fair election.””

ASUA Elections Commissioner Michael Colletti said he does not believe the code needs to be changed and that he thought the new system of candidate slates brought additional challenges to the elections process.

“”I think that created a whole new aspect to elections,”” he said. “”But I don’t think the code or violation system needs restructuring.””

Each candidate was required to attend a Mandatory Candidates Meeting, during which the ASUA Violation Guide was gone over in “”great detail,”” according to Colletti.

Despite this, Hernandez said he believed that violations had been handed out inconsistently throughout the course of the election.  

Hernandez also said he thinks the number of permissible election violations checks should be increased for candidates running on a slate, since if one member of that slate receives a check, every other slate candidate is charged one as well.

“”It’s very easy for an entire slate to be disqualified with such a small number of checks allowed for slates,”” he said. “”We need to be looking at slates, how we clearly define them and how, monetarily, they can work together and have a little more freedom.””

Allen called this year’s election a “”clear indicator”” that the Elections Code needs to be re-evaluated.

“”It will be a priority of mine to review the inefficiencies and ineffectiveness of the code, and revise it in a manner that ensures future elections results are arrived at following the utmost professional and democratic processes,”” he wrote in an email.

Allen stopped short of saying that the number of allowable checks should be increased, however.   

“”The entirety of the code needs to be critically reevaluated, including provisions regarding slate members and tickets,”” he wrote. “”Before narrowing our focus to individual parties of the elections process, questions regarding the criteria and issuance of checks, and the nature of the violations themselves, should be thoroughly reviewed.””  

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