Run-off election names Segura as A.S. president

Cynthia Gomez

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After a controversial Associated Student election and a long process of figuring out who are the next candidates to fill the seats of A.S. president and vice president for the 2008-09 year, Miguel Segura (President) and Nicole Umali (Vice President) of the Educate, Empower, Enhance (E3) slate have won the seats in the run-off election on April 22-23.

The A.S. Judicial Court ruled last Friday in favor of the defendant, the A.S. Attorney General Harold Ellison and the A.S. Director of Elections, Mazen Hafez, after an appeal had been filed by vice president candidate Alex Shahin on behalf of Shahin and Adam Haverstock of the Students First slate on April 22. In his complaint, Shahin stated that if the judicial court did not decide that the “intent of the voters should be factored into counting write in votes,” in which the names Alex Shahin and Adam Haverstock were written are not counted into the Students First slate total vote, then the write-in votes should be “voided and not counted in the total votes casted.”

After an hour of a closed deliberation on Friday, the judicial court favored the defendant. In their statement, the judicial court states that Hafez had “fulfilled his duties and responsibilities as outlined in the Elections Code.” The court further stated that Hafez “appropriately counted the Write-In Votes and (the) Judicial Court does not find that the Write-In Ballots questioned by the Plaintiff (Shahin) should be voided.”

Shahin did not attend the judicial court hearing, but Adam Haverstock, former A.S. president, represented Shahin at the hearing.

Ricardo Valdez acted as the Senate Representative of the A.S. Senate for the hearing due to the fact that Umali had been appointed as the Senate Representative to the judicial court.

The judicial court wrote in their statement that Umali had “refused her seat due to a conflict of interest for the hearing.”

On Friday, the A.S. Elections Committee counted the ballots of the run-off election.

Umali said the elections committee breaks up into groups of three, each group having one reader and two people as tally markers.

According the Hafez, the unofficial results of the run-off election is 904-764, making Segura and Umali of the E3 slate the winners. Hafez said the official results of the run-off election still needs to be approved by the Senate. Segura said he is “excited” about the results of the run-off election. “I kind of knew that we had it,” Segura said. He added that the E3 slate worked hard in the run-off election to get a lot of support from students.

Umali said she is excited to come into office as A.S. vice president. “I’m glad it’s not a close margin,” Umali said. “I’m hoping nobody is going to complain.” Umali added that if someone files a complaint, they have every right to do so.

Hafez said a complaint for a recount can be filed by Tuesday.

Haverstock said he is not going to file a complaint for a recount. Haverstock said he doesn’t think that in a “small turn-out election” it is not “that incredible that 70 people could change their mind.”

“Well, what is there to complain about?” Haverstock said. “140 votes is a huge gap to swing and I don’t think every count would yield any different result and I don’t want to waste the elections committee’s time.”

“If it were within maybe 20 votes, I would consider it, but no, this is way too much again,” he said.

Haverstock expressed his thoughts of the run-off election results.

“You can’t deny the will of the student voters,” Haverstock said. “And say what you want about the candidate’s views or policies?whatever the case may be, the person who wins is the person who gets the most votes so I obviously was not the best candidate for the job.”

Haverstock touched on the judicial court’s decision.

“They made a decision and honestly they had a tough decision to make,” Haverstock said. “That election arguably was decided by the judicial court and they did what they thought was the fairest so I can’t be upset with a decision made by the impartial third party.”

Haverstock said he hopes that Segura and Umali are “prepared” to come into office. “It’s going to be a lot tougher than they probably thought, but I think they’re both capable people and they will be able to rise to the challenge,” Haverstock said.