The Arizona Desert Lamp

Let the Farce Begin

Posted in Campus, Politics by Evan Lisull on 10 March 2009

Leading up to today’s election, there was a good deal of speculation over what exactly the write-in ballot would look like. After all, the Code only states that,

4-5.01

Every ballot shall contain one (1) blank space for every declared write-in candidate.

Yet as you can see below, Mr. Nagata got a good deal more than “one (1) blank space.”

Write-In Candidate

Perhaps there’s precedent for this; if there is, I’d be interested to hear about it. Yet outside of the Bizarro World that is ASUA, no “write-in” candidate gets their name put on the ballot, along with a description of how to properly write in their name. As Wikipedia pithily defines it,

A write-in candidate is a candidate in an election whose name does not appear on the ballot [emphasis added -EML], but for whom voters may vote nonetheless by writing in the person’s name.

Once you put the name on the ballot, you’ve entirely defeated the purpose of “write-in,” no matter what other requirements you may add.

As if that weren’t enough, it seems that the Elections Commission decided to go ahead and let PIRG write their own ballot question:

PIRG Question

In fact, you can even see the first-person plural in the question itself. In most democratic states, this sort of thing doesn’t happen, because it inherently sets up bias. You don’t only let business groups write ballot questions about taxes; you don’t reserve the right of designing ballot questions on marijuana to NORML. Elections agencies spend a good deal of time working out the wording of questions so that they are as unbiased as possible. Yet here in ASUA Land, we have no fear of PIRG designing the ballot — after all, they work right down the hall from us. What could possibly go wrong?

As a friendly reminder, here’s why you should check “no” on the PIRG question.

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5 Responses

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  1. Jimi Alexander said, on 10 March 2009 at 9:31 am

    I noticed Nagata’s space (voted half an hour ago). That really threw me, and it may hurt him because students voting in a hurry aren’t going to stop and read the directions even though the process is prominently displayed on his campaign posters. They’ll just click the radio button and say they’ve done their part.

    I didn’t even look at the PIRG question, but on second glance…wow. There’s no excuse for it, but it just goes to show how dedicated the Elections Commission is to getting a PIRG fee passed come hell or high water.

  2. Kyle Sandell said, on 10 March 2009 at 10:17 am

    I was originally going to vote for Nagata, or simply leave the presidential vote out (as I did last year and with the VP candidates this year). But then I saw the bullshit ASUA is trying to pull here. I voted for Mr. Cathers and I urge others to do the same, if simply to show the establishment at ASUA how screwed up they really are.

    I’m pretty pissed about this if you can’t tell.

  3. E said, on 10 March 2009 at 10:42 am

    To vote for someone solely on the basis of making a statement is ridiculous. If you had researched the presidential candidates or gone to the debates last night, you would have realized that a vote for Mr. Cathers is the most irresponsible decision a student could make, regardless of your feelings towards ASUA as a whole.

  4. Stephen Bieda III said, on 10 March 2009 at 2:52 pm

    So it seems that the ASUA Election’s Code is not meant to be followed. Is this how the Undergraduate Student Government is supposed to work?

  5. […] and the Senate are responsible for the Elections Commission, is it fair to blame them – and you – for the outrageously slanted PIRG question and the printing of a write-in candidate’s name? Can you point to any precedent where a write-in candidate’s name was printed on the […]


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