AS Run-off election complicates voting process: Students forced to vote twice for their candidate

AS Run-off election complicates voting process: Students forced to vote twice for their candidate

By Lashay Wesley

 Humboldt State students cast their ballots twice in this year’s Associated Students elections.

The Associated Students Constitution states that if executive officers do not receive a majority of the vote, then a run-off election must be held, and that is exactly what happened May 1 and May 2.

With seven students campaigning for the AS President Elections Commissioner Kaitlin Carney  said a run-off is the only way to fairly get a winner when seven other students are running. “It is confusing, but that’s just the way it’s written into the code.”

Jennie Rose Saunders was an Administrative Vice President candidate.

The environmental policy major was seven votes away from the leading candidate in the first election. She said says it confused a lot of her supporters when she told them they had to vote again.

“I think most would agree the run-off was kind of a waste of time,” Saunders said.

Juan Diaz-Infante was running against Saunders and said he did not have enough time to campaign after the first elections because he was too busy catching up on classes.

“I didn’t schedule my semester for that,” Diaz-Infante said.

Jennifer Alejo, who lost in the presidential run-off elections, said she did not get to campaign very much either time.

“Damn, this took too much time,” Alejo said, “We’re all really busy, like any student.”

Jacob Bloom, who eventually won the Associated Students Presidency, said the run-off elections really put him behind in school and work. He also said that the run-off elections give candidates who did not campaign before an advantage.

“Normally [in elections] you don’t get a second chance,” Bloom said.

It was hard to motivate people to vote a second time, Bloom said. He believes that winning the elections comes down to your main support base and friends.

In the first elections cycle, 17 percent of students cast their ballot for a total of nine positions. In the run-off, 7 percent of the student body voted for three positions: President, Administrative Vice President and Student Affairs Vice President.

“How does that represent the student voice?” Bloom said.

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