UPUA Elections Commission Explains Vote Recount
The UPUA Elections Commission attempted to explain its rationale in choosing a new at-large representative after last week’s election snafu.
After receiving a more detailed report from the Office of Student Activities following Wednesday’s election, the commission named Matt Ikenberry the winner of the final at-large representative spot after originally announcing Brad Stuby for the seat. Stuby’s write-in votes were at question within the recount. The election came down to two votes after taking out Stuby’s write-in votes.
According to Mario Leone, elections commissioner for information and technology, a glitch was found in the system where a voter could select a representative from the list of options available on the ballot and write-in that same candidate 19 more times on the same ballot. There were no discrepancies with academic and executive seats.
Former UPUA presidential candidate Ryan Belz was the most vocal at the meeting, citing Section 8.8.1 of the elections code which states: “A write-in vote shall only count once per ballot for each office, regardless of the number of times that name is written in on a single ballot.” According to Belz, Stuby should have counted once for the original vote cast and once in any given write-in section. The commission disagreed with his plea, instead saying that the code is up for interpretation.
“We, in my opinion, need to make a decision one way or the other since the code doesn’t say it one way or the other,” head elections commissioner Meeten Doshi said. “You can’t have someone vote for a candidate seven times, that’s ridiculous. That’s our decision, that’s what we’re going with.”
But the saga isn’t over yet. Stuby filed an appeal with UPUA’s Judicial Board to challenge the decision.