ASUC Elections Council discusses procedure to fill vacant senate seat

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The ASUC Elections Council held a special meeting Wednesday to discuss the procedure of filling the vacant senate seat left by former ASUC Senator Jenny Jungmin Kim.

Following Kim’s resignation announcement at the ASUC Senate meeting Jan. 29, the council convened to outline a modified vote countback procedure.

The Elections Council proposed a temporary rule designed to solve issues in this kind of situation. The rule would be implemented if the ASUC were to follow the current system of vote re-tabulation to fill a vacant senate seat, which is outlined in its bylaws.

According to Elections Council Chair James Weichert, since the system is based on an old electoral act, it produces calculations that could result in multiple successful candidates after tabulating the votes again, along with several other internal inconsistencies if run without the proposed rule change.

By implementing the temporary rule, the council would suspend the bylaw in question to create a unique countback method for the ASUC Senate’s institutional structure. The proposal would run the tabulation of senate votes again, with Kim’s name removed from the process.

When any ballot that lists Kim as the first preference is encountered, it will be reassigned to its next preferred candidate. This way, only one candidate who is still willing but was previously unsuccessful will be elected to fill the seat.

The ASUC Judicial Council is meeting to approve the proposition Friday. If the Judicial Council approves the proposition and both councils certify the countback results, they will be codified and the selected candidate will be elected. The candidate will be notified and then sworn in at the next senate meeting following their election.

The bylaw will be subject to permanent revision by the senate.

While the date for the re-tabulation is unconfirmed, Weichert said he hopes to have the new senator seated by the Feb. 12 senate meeting.

“My priority is to minimize the number of senate meetings with a vacancy,” Weichert said.

Angelina Wang is a student government reporter. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @dc_angelina.