Lansdale, Sanchez win A.S. presidential and vice presidential elections with 80% of vote

Juana Esquivel

A.S. President-elect Conor Lansdale and Vice President-elect Neil Sanchez at last month's presidential debate. Photo Credit: Hannah Pedraza/Photo Editor

Days after A.S. presidential candidate, Amanda Lynch, withdrew from the presidential race another candidate attempted to place his name on the ballot.

Justin Marks, double major in English and African American studies and one of the students arrested in the March 4 protests, made an effort on Tuesday afternoon to enter the presidential race as a write-in candidate.

“Out of 33,000 students, he (Conor Lansdale) is not the only one,” said Marks.

Unofficial reports were made around noon which said Marks was meeting with clubs and organizations around campus to encourage CSUN students to write his name in the ballot.

Anthony Garcia, another student arrested in the March 4 protest said the decision for Marks to run came shortly after he and other students learned about Lynch’s withdraw from the race because they thought it was unfair to have only one name on the ballot.

“If we want the opportunity for the students to be represented, there shouldn’t be only one individual for presidency,” Garcia said.

He added Marks was chosen because “if someone should be running, it should be one of the individual’s that were arrested (on March 4).”

Shortly after the unofficial reports, Dan Monteleone, A.S. director of elections confirmed it was a write-in candidacy, as a student was convincing others to place his name in the ballot.

With regards to students that had already placed their vote, Monteleone said the election was “like a federal election,” which meant if someone had submitted their vote in the morning and then they saw more advertising and wanted to go back and change their vote, they could not do so.

The only way the election would be postponed would be if there was a run-off election in which 50 percent plus one of the votes was not met.

However, Monteleone said a write-in victory was possible as a former A.S president won the election as a write-in candidate ten years ago.

Garcia said Marks’ write-in candidacy had nothing to do with Lansdale.

“It’s not to say anything bad about Lansdale,” Garcia said. “I wanna make that very clear. This is not an attempt to run against Lansdale. That is not the case, he obviously has a lot of experience. The problem is, it doesn’t make any sense to have elections when there’s only one person running for a very critical position, that’s what doesn’t make any sense.”

After the weekly A.S. meeting, Garcia said Marks and himself learned a candidate cannot participate in a run-off election unless the candidate is part of the initial process, which takes three weeks and includes debates and paperwork.

Garcia said this regulation presented another problem because it is similar to that of the U.S. senate.

“This makes no sense,” Garci said. “We are a university, we’re a smaller constituency. We should be able to quickly make faster decisions and actions.”

Monteleone said Marks was not allowed to run in the presidential election because of the paperwork and added he did not know about his attempts to run until half way through the day.

Garcia later learned that as long as the write-in candidate has 10 percent of the vote and the other candidate does not have over 50 percent of the vote, the write-in candidate would be qualified for run-off elections.

After the polls closed, Monteleone called it a “moot point.”

“If the situation had come up, he (Garcia) would have been right,” said Monteleone.

Marks said his campaign platform consisted of having students more actively involved on campus and connecting people and plans to work with the senate, Lansdale, and student leaders to build a connection and take it outside campus.

Conor Lansdale, president-elect, said  “I am excited yet motivated to achieve great things.  I’m going to send out a lot of emails, start meeting with people on campus, and meet with my Vice President, Neil Sanchez, to start planning now that everything is official.”