Marandah Field-Elliot wins preliminary retabulation to fill ASUC Senate vacancy

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Marandah Field-Elliot — who ran for senate with SQUELCH! in the recent ASUC election — will likely fill the vacant ASUC Senate seat following Guillermo Perez’s resignation, the ASUC Elections Council announced Thursday.

Perez, who also ran with SQUELCH!, resigned Tuesday for “personal reasons,” according to the letter of resignation he submitted to the ASUC Judicial Council. His seat will be filled using a countback retabulation of the votes, in which votes cast for Perez are re-evaluated and awarded to the second-ranked candidate on each ballot.

The results are not official until they are certified by the Elections and Judicial councils, which will happen within the next few weeks, according to an email from the Elections Council.

The new method of replacement for ASUC senators was established as part of the Constitutional Clarity and Consistency Amendment 2016.

The Elections Council voted to implement the new method of replacement for this specific situation because the new bylaws do not officially go into effect until the end of the spring semester, according to the council’s chair, Meeri Shin.

Shin said that under the old bylaws, the senatorial candidate who ranked 21st in the original election — Student Action candidate Elise Hayshi — would have won the countback retabulation. But she said the new system more accurately determines which candidate would have won a seat in the event that Perez had not originally run.

“There might be some people who wonder why we didn’t go with the 21st person,” Shin said. “But these were the rules that were voted in, and we thought we would abide by what the student body clearly said they wanted.”

Field-Elliot said she approached the countback retabulation without expectations but was deeply moved when she heard she was the preliminary victor.

“I was not expecting it to be me whatsoever, mostly because I didn’t know the specifics of what the countback actually is,” Field-Elliot said. “When I found out, I was very shocked and very excited.”

Field-Elliot added that she believed her platforms — which included a greater emphasis on sexual violence policies, as well as a focus mental and reproductive health — are particularly relevant today. She stressed the necessity of “continuous leadership” in both areas.

Contact Logan Goldberg and Ariel Hayat at [email protected].