ASUC Elections Council briefs candidates on election policies

Photo of Man walking past Eshleman Hall
William Webster/Staff
At an ASUC Elections Council meeting Tuesday, the ASUC Bylaws Series 4000 Elections were read through. Some attendees criticized the duration and structure of the four-hour meeting while others defended the students running the meeting.

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The ASUC Elections Council held its annual mandatory elections meeting Tuesday where candidates for ASUC elected positions and proponents of referendums were briefed on election policies.

The four-hour meeting involved reading through the ASUC Bylaws Series 4000 Elections, which includes policies on campaign finances, ballots and candidate expectations during the election cycle, according to Elections Council chair Skyler-Myles Clinton Cobb. Some attendees criticized the duration and structure of the meeting, expressing their complaints to the Elections Council in the Zoom meeting chat.

“Why would you take the time to read the entire bylaws, and then not read the most important ones?” said Adam Orford, former president of the UC Berkeley Graduate Assembly, in the Zoom chat. “This is one of the worst meetings I’ve ever seen conducted.”

The ASUC Elections Council read through the entire Bylaws Series 4103 on voting, which included information about in-person polling usually held on campus such as poll locations and hours.

With the fully virtual election this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, several candidates in the Zoom chat questioned why the Elections Council chose to read these policies.

“So why are we reading about in-person polling?” said James Weichert, an ASUC academic affairs vice president candidate, in the Zoom chat. “Could I have a member of (Election Council) reference the section in the 4000s that requires *all* bylaws to be read verbatim?”

Candidates such as Emily Mullin noted that other policies that are more applicable to this year’s election were “sped through” by the Elections Council, including the Bylaws Series 4205 on enforcement. The series includes policies on candidate guilt and association, punishment, judicial procedures and prosecution for the violation of ASUC election policies.

Jedidiah Tsang, former ASUC chief legal officer, added in the Zoom chat that mandatory elections meetings in previous years had only read the Bylaws Series 4203 and Bylaws Series 4205 verbatim. This year’s meeting was the first to read through the entire 4000 series, which resulted in the lengthy meeting duration, according to Tsang.

In response to the criticism, other attendees defended the ASUC Elections Council.

Candidate and current ASUC Senator Michael Savides urged attendees to “cut them some slack,” stating that the council is made up of students who are only trying to do their jobs. In order to improve the meeting structure for the future, Riya Master, ASUC external affairs vice president candidate, added that constructive criticism from attendees should be worded better.

“Thank you all for your understanding. We understand that this is a stressful time, a stressful process, and a late night,” said Josh Kay, ASUC elections prosecutor, in the Zoom chat. “We are available to answer questions that may arise should you need additional clarification at [email protected]

Contact Annika Kim Constantino at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @AnnikaKimC.

A previous version of this article incorrectly called Jedidiah Tsang a candidate. In fact, he is not.