ASUC Elections Council discusses 2019 ballot at Point of No Return meeting

Paolo Harris Paz/Staff

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The ASUC Elections Council met Friday for its annual Point of No Return meeting, during which it determined ballot specificities for the 2019 ASUC elections.

Of the 43 candidates who will appear on the elections ballot, none attended the nonmandatory meeting Friday.

During the meeting, Elections Council chair Shirin Moti used a random generator to determine the order in which candidates will appear on the elections ballot. There will be two official versions of the ballot, one of which will reverse the order the candidates are listed in to avoid bias, according to ASUC Adviser Megan Fox.

Ten students are running for executive positions, and 33 students are running for senate — 10 of which are running independently. Three parties — CalSERVE, Student Action and Students First — will appear officially on the ballot. Nine senate candidates are running with CalSERVE, 13 with Student Action and one with Students First.

Although 43 candidates will appear on the ballot, only 42 individual people are vying for elected ASUC positions.

According to Elections Prosecutor Jedidiah Tsang, former ASUC Senate candidates Dhruv Ahuja and Jasmine Sheena, who is also a former news reporter for The Daily Californian, have been disqualified from the race. Ahuja was not present during the second roll call of Tuesday’s mandatory Elections Council meeting, and Sheena’s campaign was rejected after an appeal to the ASUC Judicial Council.

The four presidential candidates include campus junior Wyatt Colby, whose campaign recently came under investigation for a bylaw violation, current ASUC Senators Teddy Lake and Amma Sarkodee-Adoo, and campus sophomore Stephanie Gutierrez, who ran unsuccessfully for ASUC president and senator in 2018. Lake and Sarkodee-Adoo are running with CalSERVE and Student Action, respectively.

Campus junior Maureen Simmons and current ASUC Senator Andy Theocharous will go head-to-head for the position of executive vice president — Simmons with CalSERVE and Theocharous with Student Action. CalSERVE nominee Regan Putnam and Student Action nominee Aastha Jha will vie for academic affairs vice president.

Both campus junior Varsha Sarveshwar, who is running with CalSERVE for external affairs vice president, and campus junior Nava Bearson, who is running independently for student advocate, are running unopposed. The ballot will also include an option to abstain from voting for both positions.

The ballot will also contain three referendums — the Transfer Remedy Act, the Basic Needs Referendum and the Arts, Music, and Programming Initiative. No opposition to any of the referendums has been officially filed.

“I hope we get a higher voter turnout than in past years,” Moti said.

Voting for the ASUC elections will be held April 8, 9 and 10.

Contact Katherine Finman at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @KateFinman_DC.