AS election results delayed

The Associated Student election results have been delayed due to being mired with complaints filed from both student slates, resulting in a postponement until Friday, Apr. 22. The dispute is considering the possible violations of five candidates and one campaign worker. The election committee will be holding a meeting to discuss the complaints this Friday at 12:30 p.m. The election results will follow after the committee decides what action, if any, to take regarding the alleged code violations.

Those accused of violating the election code include Student Services candidates Mackenzie Becket and Hua Diao, Financial Support candidate Kai Ian Chan, Publicity candidate Teya DeSesa, Academic Support candidate William Sun, and campaign worker Arthur Rodriguez.

According to Leo Leung, Inter Club Council Chair, the candidates and campaign workers have been accused of violating a specific code regarding voter privacy. The code states that candidates and campaign workers must remain a minimum 8 feet away from students while voting. The election committee received the complaints accompanied by pictures and witness reports before their meeting Friday, April 8,the day after the voting deadline.

Due to time constraints and the beginning of spring break, the election committee chose to postpone determining the results until Santa Monica College had been reopened. Additionally, Deyna Hearn, Associate Dean of Student Life, as well as members of the election committee, needed time to review and weigh the validity of the complaints.

"If they are found to have violated the election code, they may be disqualified," said Leung, expressing skepticism of any disqualifications. "If we find it a minor violation, then we probably won't go that far. In fact, in the past we've seldom really disqualified people."

The code was enforced for elections this year after candidates "abused voters' privacy" by standing too close to students while voting, and pressuring students to vote for them during last year's elections, Leung explained.

Election results have yet to be privately determined as well. "We don't want the results to influence the committee because if [the candidates] violated the code, they violated the code," said Leung.

As of 7 p.m. on Thursday, Apr. 7, at least 3,500 student voters have been tallied. Compared to last year's 2010 votes, this year's A.S. election saw a 50 percent increase in voters, resulting in a new record for student voter turnout in an A.S. election.