Tumultuous GUSA race comes to close

March 5, 2009

After a week and a half of disqualifications, reinstatements, and resignations, students voted in the final run-off between Calen Angert (MSB ’11) and Jeff Lamb (MSB ’10) this Wednesday. The results of the race will not be released until GUSA certifies them on Wednesday, March 18.

Last Thursday, after controversy over the last-minute disqualification of Lamb and Peter Dagher (COL ‘10), the three members of the Election Commission resigned, citing poor communication with GUSA. Will Dreher (SFS ‘09) and Frederick Moore (COL ‘09) were eventually persuaded to delay their resignation long enough to oversee the first round of voting last Friday.

Current GUSA President Pat Dowd (SFS ’09) appointed two new Election Commissioners, Mirco Haag (SFS ‘09) and Reza Jan (SFS ‘09), Sunday night. Both Haag and Jan admitted they didn’t fully understand the scope of the job when they took the position.

“There’s a big emphasis on not screwing up,” Jan said. “The time window we’re working in is very small. It’s not the job the last Election Commission had … We’re in a pressure spot just ‘cause of what the last Election Commission did.”

Josh Mogil (SFS ’11), who came in third in the first round, filed a formal complaint with the Election Commission on Saturday because he believed “faulty technology” had prevented some students from voting.

When Mogil presented his complaint to the Senate on Sunday, some Senators were put off by Mogil’s suggestion that the top three or four candidates should be included in Wednesday’s runoff election to make up for the technological difficulties.

During the meeting, Mogil repeatedly claimed that he had no idea where he stood when he protested. He later admitted that when he sent in his formal complaint, he knew he had not made it to the next round of voting.

On Tuesday, Haag and Jan reviewed Mogil’s argument and decided there were not sufficient grounds for complaint. Mogil then appealed to the Constitutional Council, which declined to hear the case.

“This is a very sad day for democracy,” he wrote in an e-mail to the Constitutional Council. “GUSA, you need a make-over.”

Despite Mogil’s dissatisfaction, Senate Speaker Reggie Greer (COL ‘09) thought Wednesday’s election went smoothly. According to Greer, GUSA has been working hard to communicate more effectively with the new Commissioners.

“We talk pretty much every day,” Greer said. “They cc us on every email … We’re absolutely telling them what the [GUSA] bylaws say and how we interpret them on our side.”

Read More

Comments 1

  • Avatar

    Wait, they’re not going to release the results of the election until nearly two weeks from now? That’s absolutely ridiculous – the winner could use spring break to plan for coming term, both candidates need an end to the suspense and if there are questions of fairness/decertification, the Senate should be able to debate them with as much notice as possible.

    Give the results before spring break ends!