ASUC Elections Council certifies referendum results, Judicial Council postpones certification

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During an ASUC Elections Council meeting, the council affirmed the Protecting the Checks and Balances of the ASUC Constitution referendum and did not pass the remaining three referendums on the 2021 election ballots. At a separate meeting, the Judicial Council moved to table the certification of all four referendums at a later date.

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Amid disputes and the inconclusive status of three of the four propositions in the 2021 ASUC elections, the Elections Council convened Monday to certify the referendum results.

The council affirmed the passage of the referendum titled Protecting the Checks and Balances of the ASUC Constitution, however, election results are only finalized upon certification by both the election and judicial councils.

The three remaining referendums — the Graduate Assembly Fee, Student Technology Fee and Daily Cal Initiative — did not pass, according to the Elections Council, because they did not meet the threshold of eligible student voters that UC Berkeley’s referendum policy requires. In order for a referendum to pass, at least 20% of students must vote, and a simple majority of the voters must approve the proposition, according to the policy from the UC Berkeley Division of Student Affairs. 

During the Judicial Council meeting later that evening, there was contention over the weight of abstentions in voting that, under campus policy, do not count to meet the minimum level of student voters needed for the referendum to be considered.

According to ASUC bylaw 4105, section 5.3, abstention votes are counted to determine voter turnout, which is inconsistent with campus policy. However, the policies governing referendums passage include both ASUC bylaws and campus rules. Therefore, the Elections Council excluded abstentions from voter turnout calculations, according to a press release from the council.

“The rules laid out in the campus policy is the guideline governing how campus-based student fees are approved,” the press release reads. “Thus, these fees cannot be certified or implemented by campus regardless of their certification by Elections or Judicial Council.”

Following public comment framed around ensuring the greater good of the UC Berkeley community, the Judicial Council moved to table the certification of all four referendums at a later date.

Once the Judicial Council has certified referendum results, they will be reported to UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ, according to the press release.

Check back for updates.

Maxine Mouly is the university news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @moulymaxine.