After the 232 votes that were lost in the Associated Students elections due to technical difficulties in the online voting, the elections continue to shock students and A.S. officials because of the 811-811 tie between the Educate, Empower, Enhance (E3) slate and the Students First slate.
“You’re not going to believe it-it’s a tie,” said current A.S. president and Students First presidential candidate Adam Haverstock to his mother over the phone.
Mazen Hafez, elections director for A.S., said A.S. is shocked with the final results. “Everyone is in disbelief,” Hafez said. “All candidates are aware.”
“Our advisor, Leanne Vincent, she’s been here for 21 years and this is the first time she remembers (this happening) for presidency, so it’s kind of a big deal,” Hafez said, referring to a time if there has been a tie between presidential candidates in the final voting results.
Haverstock expressed his reactions and thoughts of the tie. “I must have said it like 15 times over, ‘I can’t believe this,”‘ he said. “I mean you prepare yourself for a win, you prepare yourself for a loss, but you don’t ever prepare for a tie in an election like this.”
E3 slate presidential candidate Miguel Segura expressed similar reactions as Haverstock. “It was a shocker,” Segura said. Segura added that the tie seemed suspicious and “sketchy” to him. “That’s the way I felt at the beginning,” he said.
E3 slate vice presidential candidate Nicole Umali said she too was surprised about the tie. “I’m shocked,” she said. “In the history of A.S., as far as I know, there’s never been a tie like this. I knew it would be a close race, a very, very, very close race, I just never expected a tie at all.”
Hafez talked about the process if a tie were to occur in the elections. “The general practice at A.S., we count it once, you have until two days until Friday?if you like a recount,” Hafez said, referring to if the presidential candidates ask for a recount. “If not, we’ll go straight to the run-off election, which is April 22 (and) April 23.”
Hafez said there would be a run-off only between both slates’ presidential candidates.
“If a candidate asks for a recount, there will be a recount and that will be the results,” Umali said. “And then it can be appealed (by) the judicial court and then there will be a run-off election.”
Hafez said so far Haverstock has “expressed interest” for a recount. In an interview, Haverstock said he is “hoping” for a recount.
“My other thought was we should count the…votes that were online because those people voted,” Haverstock said. “They should get their vote counted and then we won’t have to have a re-election.”
Haverstock said from his understanding, there is going to be a run-off election on April 22 and April 23, which would interfere with him attending the Day of Action rally in Sacramento on April 21.
“The rally in Sacramento is on the twenty-first, the day before the run-off election, which means I can’t go and I’m supposed to be going to the California Higher Education Student summit and do the lobbying on the twenty-first as well,” Haverstock said. “So essentially, I won’t be able to campaign in the reelection. Either that or I have to not perform my duties as president, one or the other. So I’m really put in a pickle in this situation.”
Rather than the tie causing controversy, Haverstock said he thinks more students are upset because of the online voting problem.
Hafez said if there is a run-off election, paper ballots will only be used in the election.
“We’re always going to be trying online,” Hafez said, referring to future online voting.
Hafez said the voting ballots are counted by the election committee members and street team members that are hired to make sure there is no “polling violation” that occurs on the day of elections. Those who are part of the election committee cannot be part of,or affiliated with, the slates running in the elections, Hafez said.
Hafez said the presidential candidates had until 5 p.m. Friday to decide if they would like a recount or not.