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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Mailbag: Oct. 12

ASUA should adopt ranked-choice voting

Although ASUA elections may not be foremost on students’ minds until next semester, the ASUA Senate is considering amendments to its election code right now. This is the best time to take a hard look at how the ASUA elections were conducted in the past and consider changes for this coming election.

ASUA currently uses one of the most cumbersome and expensive methods for electing its senate and officers. If you voted last year, you experienced it firsthand: The candidates go out and solicit votes, then wait a week, then do it again. Two rounds of elections doubles the costs, confuses voters and ends up polling two separate groups of students. Candidates for the senate find that they must not only run themselves, but also oppose other candidates, since anyone who votes for more than just them helps their opponents.

This method does have one major benefit: It prevents splitting the vote between two candidates and giving the election to a third. However, this can be achieved even better with a single round election if ASUA adopts ranked-choice voting, or RCV.

In an RCV election, rather than voting for 10 candidates for senate and one for every other office, all candidates are simply ranked. Your first choice candidate for an office is number 1, your second choice number 2, and so on. Where there’s a split vote among first choices, a candidate can simply be eliminated and those votes go to their second choice in an instant runoff. The election only requires one round, the same group is polled and the candidates are encouraged to campaign positively as they compete not only for first-choice votes, but for the second-choice votes of their opponents’ supporters. There’s no concern with vote splitting and the instructions for voting are exactly the same whether voting for a single-seat executive office or for the 10-seat senate.

This system is being used by a variety of other universities, including at least six of the UA’s sister schools including every campus of the University of California. It’s also being picked up by more and more cities and municipalities in the U.S., with the largest being San Francisco and Oakland in California, and Minneapolis and St. Paul in Minnesota. Exit polls in these cities consistently show that voters prefer being able to rank candidates and not having to worry about the “”spoiler”” effect in races with more than two candidates.

ASUA conducts a number of very important duties for its constituents. It would be best if it were elected in a way that really represents its constituents, not to mention saving the time and money of an unnecessary runoff election. Now is the time to let your senators know if you agree with me: ranked-choice voting is just better.

Andrew Spencer

Law student

Column incorrectly jumped the gun on continuing investigation

In the article published Sept. 1 titled “”Anti-immigration stunt backfires,”” Kristina Bui does nothing more than spread lies and add fuel to an ongoing fire. The piece was so biased that she concluded (assuming with her own investigation?) Deputy Louie Puroll had shot himself: “”Regardless of all the possible answers, I wouldn’t put my faith in a law enforcement official who apparently shot himself or allowed himself to be shot for any reason, especially to create a perception of fear and danger. That scenario is scary, but not for the same reasons Puroll’s version of the events is,”” the column read.

There was no proof saying he did or didn’t shoot himself at that time. Independent tests have since determined the round was fired from a distance, so he didn’t shoot himself. I expected more from a student-run newspaper, but instead your bias toward S.B. 1070 is clearly evident with the side you chose to take in an unsolved investigation. Sometimes bad people do bad things, and sometimes they happen to be illegal immigrants.

Thomas Noble

Regional development undergraduate

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