2nd Pirate Party ASUC senator resigns this year, leading to vote recount

Sydney Chang/Staff

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In fall 2017, campus senior Jonathan Allen secured a seat in the ASUC Senate after the resignation of former senator Sunny Aggarwal. This spring, however, votes were recounted for a second time as a part of the ASUC Elections Council meeting Monday after Allen himself resigned.

Allen replaced Aggarwal as the Pirate Party candidate through a vote recount in October, when Aggarwal stepped down from his post because he was not enrolled as a UC Berkeley student that semester. But less than five months after assuming the role of ASUC senator, Allen submitted his own request for resignation to the Judicial Council this week, according to Elections Council Chair Shirin Moti.

“There has been a senator, Jon Allen, who has not been showing up to senate meetings and submitted his resignation to the Judicial Council five days ago,” Moti said at the meeting.

The 2017 vote was tabulated again, excluding for current senators and candidates who did not opt in for reconsideration, and independent candidate Bryan Osorio garnered the most votes from the single transferable voting system, making him the second replacement senator for Aggarwal’s seat.

The move was certified by Graduate Assembly Rules Officer David McSwiggen and seconded by ASUC Chief Personnel Officer Evan Cui.

Allen could not be reached for comment as of press time.

This week’s meeting focused largely on preparations for candidate campaigns and the general election itself, which is set to take place April 9-11.

Included on the agenda was a discussion on installing a polling booth in Dwinelle Plaza, one part of an effort by the Elections Council to encourage student voter turnout, which hit a historic low last year — plummeting from 12,559 ballots cast in 2016 to just more than 10,000 votes in 2017.

Moti said at the meeting that she had submitted a request to reserve Dwinelle Plaza during voting period in addition to the administrative office in Eshleman Hall.

“This would make sure all of our bases covered,” Moti said. “We want to add another polling station to make it more readily available to students.”

Another key agenda item was “Voter Incentive,” a long-term project aimed at boosting publicity around the general election. The Elections Council has traditionally distributed coupons offering discounts to restaurants housed in the ASUC Student Union. This year, the council is looking into securing a coupon deal with the Cal Student Store to further incentivize voter turnout among students.

The Elections Council also announced a new partnership with CalTV, the ASUC-sponsored television network, as a digital platform for candidates to promote their campaigns.

“We are partnering up with CalTV, potentially interviewing all candidates and putting up videos on what senators are campaigning for and their platforms,” Moti said.

Contact Miyako Iwata at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @dailycalmiyako.

A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that ASUC election retabulations use run-off votes. In fact, retabulations are counted through a single-transferable vote system.