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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Editorial: ASUA elections demonstrate willful disrespect for constituents

The Associated Students of the University of Arizona presidential election has inexplicably dragged on for so long that we’ve almost lost track of how much time has passed since we began.

For the record, it’s been 26 days since the night the general election results were announced. That’s 26 days of hanging out, waiting around, listening to ASUA Elections Commissioner Michael Colletti defend the integrity of his precious Elections Code. Meanwhile, presidential candidates James Allen and Daniel Hernandez floundered in the wake of the announcement of their disqualifications.

Finally, after several days of speculation, the ASUA Supreme Court weighed appeals filed by Allen and Hernandez. The court overturned enough violation checks for both candidates that they each qualified for office under the court’s decision. It could have been over then.

Then Colletti chose to disregard the court’s ruling on Allen’s case, with the unsatisfactory excuse that his violations were so “”severely detrimental”” to the election process that Allen had to be disqualified regardless of the number of violation checks against him. ASUA declared it would hold a special election. It could have been over then, too.

Allen, who had previously told the Daily Wildcat he would not seek an appeal if Colletti disqualified him again, decided to appeal after all. This stalls the special election, and everyone gets to look forward to more debate about ASUA’s flawed Elections Code.

This is stupid. The “”ethics”” governing ASUA’s elections desperately need revamping, and there’s no need for a second appeal by Allen to demonstrate that.

Colletti’s decision to uphold Allen’s disqualification was a sharp slap to voters, the very few students who even kind of cared. Hernandez lost by more than half, with 1,004 votes to Allen’s 2,009. Constituents wanted Allen for ASUA president. By disregarding both the court and the votes, Colletti willfully ignored the whole point of the election process.

If voters have to wait another month, will many of them change their minds? Maybe. Perhaps knowing about Allen’s Elections Code violations tainted their opinion of him. Or maybe they just won’t bother voting again if ASUA is forced to have another election, depending on the results of his second appeal.

What would be the point of voting, either in an upcoming special election or in future ones, when it appears to have meant nothing the first time around?

It’s no wonder that students in ASUA frequently cite student apathy as a concern, especially during elections time when candidates preach about representation and leadership. There isn’t exactly a reason to care if no one seems to be listening. It’s decisions like Colletti’s that breed apathy.

 

— Editorials are determined by the Daily Wildcat editorial board and written by one of its members. They are Kristina Bui, Ken Contrata, Michelle A. Monroe and Heather Price-Wright. They can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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