After election fiasco, new DASB presidential election to be held
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The original election will be scrapped and a new DASB presidential election will be held from March 13 to 17, after unanimous approval from the DASB Election Committee and the full DASB Senate.
Students will be be allowed to cast votes starting Monday 12:01 a.m. until Friday 4 p.m for just the four presidential candidates.
Senate elections committee chair Faris Waiteasa said College Life Office Coordinator Dennis Shannakian will be regularly checking with the head of web to ensure the integrity of the new election.
On March 3, students discovered that votes for two presidential candidates, Rhozhen Panahi and Cialysiah, “Cici,” Washington, were not counted because DASB’s online voting system was not prepared for candidates running without vice presidential candidates on their tickets.
Before the decision to hold a new election, the voting period was extended until Wednesday, March 8, accompanied by a mass email instructing students to re-vote if they voted for either Washington or Panahi.
During the revote period, the server displayed the candidate’s vote counts while voting was still open, potentially influencing voters actions. Another concern was the unlikelihood that most students would re-vote.
In Tuesday’s elections committee hearing which was open to the public, Panahi and Washington advocated for a brand new election.
“To me and Cici, this is totally unfair,” Panahi said. “Keeping what we have right now wouldn’t be just. We have to restart a new election.”
Washington said, “I want the students’ voices to be heard and the best way to do that is have a re-election.”
Candidate Dylan Kim, who finished with the most votes in the now invalidated election, originally wanted to keep the results after the extended voting period finished.
“Initially, I thought having a re-election in which voters, who actually voted during the original election, would be thrown away is a ridiculous solution, but after considering that prospect from the point of view of Cici and Rhozhen’s candidacies, I realized that is the most fair and equitable solution,” Kim said.
Candidate Carlos Duran proposed leaving the presidential post empty and leaving it up to the next Senate to vote in a new president, also known as an internal election. Others believed that would be unfair to candidates who did not run in a coalition or for those who do not already have close relations with current senators.
“If you did that, it puts candidates who ran with very big coalitions at an advantage over candidates who maybe ran with smaller coalitions,” Senator Dara Streit said.
“The only fair thing I see is redoing it,” De Anza Political Revolution Club president Eddie Cisneros, 23, public health major, said. “Then you get one person, one vote. And everybody knows that what happened was credible.”
All four presidential candidates will be given $100 to re-campaign until next Friday, March 17.