The Arizona Desert Lamp

Election Code violations, even over summer break

Posted in Campus, Politics by Evan Lisull on 25 May 2009

Leo YamaguchiThe fun, it seems, never ends. A quick refresher: among its many restrictions, the ASUA Elections Code includes the following:

8-4.02

All General Election candidates shall remove all campaign materials within one(1)

business week after the results of the General Election are announced.  This includes

electronic resources such as Facebook Groups.

Yet even as the Senate voted to pass the Code with this provision, most all of them continued to maintain their own groups. This story was picked up in the Wildcat, and the Senate quickly moved to change their group names, lamely offering the excuse that these groups could not be removed (lame not in the sense that it isn’t true, but that such concerns should have been raised when they voted on the Code). This year’s class seems to have learned from the follies of their predecessors; yet Senator Yamaguchi apparently missed this entire discussion, as his Facebook group still exists under the name, “VOTE LEO for SENATE…ROCK ur VOTE!” The kicker? Among his many credentials, Senator Yamaguchi cites his membership in the “ASUA Policy & Conduct Review Board.” Now several weeks have passed since the election results were announced, and it is undeniable that Senator Yamaguchi stands in full violation of the Code. But since ASUA operates not by rule of law, but by rule of BIZARRO, Senator Yamaguchi, like his Code-violating colleague Senator Atjian, will escape with nothing more than a “tsk tsk” from President Nagata.

Again – the point is not to continue such absurdity. This is an incredibly boneheaded regulation, a half-born child of the “There Oughta Be a Law” mindset that plagues ASUA and the nation as a whole. Yet for all the ruckus that has been raised relating to this clause, no one has ever asked what this regulation accomplishes, or what makes a group’s name changing so essential. No one has ever asked how ASUA gets off so flagrantly violating the Constitution, or why ASUA has any business meddling in completely voluntary and private operations such as Facebook. Hopefully, Sens. Yamaguchi and Atjian will be the ones leading the way in designing a more reasonable elections code in the coming year.

At this point, it’s a wonder that anyone even listens to the Election Commission at all. If these election code violations go by unpunished, why bother adhering to any of its provisions? Spend thousands of dollars, form political parties, and post unapproved campaign material – as things currently stand, you won’t get docked anyway.

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2 Responses

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  1. Laura Donovan said, on 25 May 2009 at 10:12 pm

    Almost everyone else changed their Facebook group names. Yamaguchi should have done so immediately, and these rules need to be enforced. I think it’s a dumb rule as well, but it applies to everyone. Elyachar always got yelled at when he’d accidentally break a rule (i.e. passing out flyers too close to the voting booth).

  2. Emily said, on 27 May 2009 at 1:32 am

    Nice to see that you are still checking up on ASUA’s elected officials over summer.

    Although my Senate did pass this elections code, I would have to agree that this clause (among many) of the code is flawed. In the transition of an old elections commissioner to a new elections commissioner, the enforcement of post-election regulations is difficult, since school ends right after an appointment is made. Also, a post-election violation is obsolete when a candidate wins office. The one violation alone can not remove a elected official unless he/she has collected many throughout the elections process.

    The original intent of the clause was legitimate– fair opportunity for both ASUA incumbents and newcomers. Regardless, it seems the elections code saga never ends. Hopefully, we will see some changes for next year!


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