Dust Settles in the Aftermath of 2014 Election
Written by Bwog Staff
The complete numbers have just come in for the class of 2014 CCSC election, and it was a close one! So close, in fact, that second place finisher for President, Matthew Chou, contested the results. But before we get to the grounds of the appeal and the response of the Elections Board, here is the the complete list of winners and the vote tally:
President: Conan Cassidy
Vice President: Joanna Kelly
Representatives: Roko Rumora, Daphne Chen, Cristal James
|Results for President/Vice President|
|Candidates||Round 1||Round 2||Round 3||Round 4||Round 5||Round 6|
|Conan Cassidy/Joanna Kelly||77||79||83||88||105||164|
|Matthew Chou/Joanna Kelly||68||69||73||82||101||0|
|Isaiah New/Anoushka Asgari||43||46||50||57||0||0|
|Nicolas Leeper/Andrew Glicklich||27||28||31||0||0||0|
|Steven Kyle Cook/Candice Herschel||19||20||0||0||0||0|
|Emma Ziegellaub Eichler/Lisa Zhou||18||0||0||0||0||0|
|Results for Representative|
|Candidate||Round 1||Round 2||Round 3||Round 4||Round 5||Round 6||Round 7||Round 8||Round 9||Round 10||Round 11|
|Robert Wren Gordon||24||24||24||25||25||25||25||29||0||0||0|
CCSC Election Board’s response to Matthew Chou’s appeal
The CCSC Elections Board has ruled on your appeal and has decided against the appeal. To understand our reasoning, we are giving our explanation under each of your points.
- First, I believe the election (and election events, such as the debate) were not sufficiently advertised. Given that there are about 1100 freshmen in the college, and only 252 votes cast, only 23% of the freshman class voted, an amount scarcely representative of the freshman student body. There were no posters on campus, posts on Bwog, or any other methods (as far as I or those I talked to could tell) by which people could find out how to vote. For example, at 9pm today, 4 people came up to me (ironically, the margin of victory) and said that they would vote for me later in the week.
The elections and election events were fully advertised on flyers throughout the first year dorms. The Elections Board personally hung the flyers; while flyers can be taken down or covered up, the Elections Board made a good faith effort to advertise in this way. Further, an email was sent out to the first year student body advertising both the debates and the election voting. A calendar was mailed to both the Spectator and Bwog, and the Elections Board announced the beginning of voting on its website/blog. In terms of the number of votes cast, this was not out of the ordinary for a first year election. This number is roughly similar to the number of voters for the past two years (in First Year Elections).
- Second, rules ambiguity prevented The Party from sufficiently “getting out the vote.” If I had known that we were allowed to send out reminders to vote, as the Kiwi Krew did last night, I would have prepared a much better infrastructure beforehand to enable persons to vote. For instance, I could have texted every person I met face to face during my rounds around the dorms with a link to the voting website! Instead, I had to tell countless people these past few days that I couldn’t send them the link, and that instead, they had to check the depths of their CUBMail for the one elections email (which had a subject title not indicating that it was the one and only link you’d get to vote.) It was only until last night, when I saw the Kiwi Krew organize a coordinated status spam of all their Facebook pages, that I heard that the moratorium ban on “web content,” which “includes but is not limited to Facebook/Gchat/Gmail/AIM status, emails and text messaging” was allowed. (Section IVE, Rules and Regulations) I hurriedly threw something together, but I believe the damage had already been done.
The Elections Board held a rules meeting on Sunday, September 12 where we explained the rules. At this meeting, we explained how the rules are interpreted and that actions like those of the Kiwi Krew were acceptable. Further, the Elections Board is always available by email, and you were welcome to email us at any time for a clarification of the rule.
- Third, I believe The Party was disadvantaged by the formatting of our bio. When I submitted the bio to the Board in both plain text and file form, it was formatted very clearly, with bullet points indicating our party positions. During voting, everything was muddled into one big block of text that looked wholly unprofessional. We were not told that our bio would appear that way, but we were told that the content, once posted, couldn’t be changed. First impressions matter a lot, and that bio did not make a good one.
This is the set-up of the system and something that affected all candidates equally in that anyone who chose to have bulleted formatting would have the same format you did. Text on the web frequently experiences formatting changes.
- Lastly, in a possible violation of rules, the Kiwi Krew is openly advertising on Facebook that they have won the elections (I’ve attached a screenshot). According to Section XII, Part E, “Election results become official 24 hours after their announcement or after the last appeal is decided.” Given that election results have not become official, the Kiwi Krew should not be able to establish themselves as rightful victors. By doing so, they preclude any sort of meaningful appeal action. Contesting a result (which implies the possibility of change) becomes much more difficult, as changing the result of the election would be perceived as “stealing the election” from already “official” victors.
The Elections Board considers the election and the moratorium over from the time the results are announced (11:01pm last night). The Kiwi Krew is welcome to advertise victory. That does not stop you from appealing the election.
The Elections Board believes firmly in the legitimacy of these elections. We believe that the elections and associated events were advertised and that voting was legitimate. As such, we are denying your appeal.
Please do not hesitate to contact the Board.
All the best,
CCSC Elections Board