Who’s on Our New UJ?

There’s a debate in the comments of the election results post over who exactly won the Union Judiciary race.  This is a complex situation, and there’s a lot of confusion surrounding it.  I’ve looked at the election rules, the Constitution, and the vote totals as thoroughly as I can, and here are five scenarios on the election results to consider:

Scenario 1. What should happen: “Mandate” should be defined as being chosen by over 50% of the voters. Currently, it appears to be calculated as getting over 50% of the total votes, which is absolutely nonsensical because it’s impossible to get a mandate in a multi-seat election. In that case, Justin, Matt, Judah, and Neda received mandates, and, since Leeyat was chosen by over 10% of the voters (NOT votes), there should be a final round consisting of just her and abstain.

Scenario 2. What should happen otherwise: Article IX, Section 9 6 of the Constitution, which trumps the election rules, should take hold, and the five students with the most votes should be seated. Since Justin, Matt, Judah, Neda, and Leeyat all got more votes than abstain, they should all be seated.

Scenario 3. What should happen under the elections commissioners’ flawed and unconstitutional interpretation of the elections rules: Seeing as no one got over 50% of the vote, all candidates that got over 10% should go to a final round, as long as the final round ballot would be different than the first round ballot. Since this would be the case, there should be a final round consisting of Justin, Matt, Judah, Neda, and abstain.  See how messed up this is?

Scenario 4. What did happen: Justin, Matt, Judah, and Neda were all declared winners since they got over 10%, and Leeyat lost because she didn’t. I can’t find ANY reading of the Constitution/elections rules that supports this position.

Scenario 5. What will happen: Fucked if I know. I just can’t figure what the elections commissioners could possibly be thinking. Why is there always some kind of mistake in determining the results?


10 thoughts on “Who’s on Our New UJ?”

  1. Makes sense. It may also have to do with elected officials quitting (more like dropping like flies, actually…go back and count from this year if you want). Or not discussing with constituencies but rather their friends. If at all.

    I’m sending Leeyat the link to this page with the comments.

  2. While the election process is indeed a legitimate concern, I think the bigger issue is how many people actually voted in the election races. Class of 2012: 127? Class of 2010: 125?

    Perhaps those involved in the Union should take all of this legal mumbo-jumbo out the window and start actually talking to Brandeis students.

    Just a thought.

  3. The 10% requirement comes from the Election Rules. Under the Constitution, the Secretary sets the election rules (Article IX, Section 7(3)). Under these powers, the Secretary sets the guidelines for being a candidate. Because a write-in candidate is not someone who officially declared as a candidate, the Secretary sets in the election rules what it takes for a write-in to get on the final round ballot. Even if you were to determine that Leeyat met the requirements to go on, she would still need to appear on a final round ballot where she is actually a candidate.

  4. Rachel — Pardon me, I meant Article 9, Section 6, which states, “The winner of any election for Union Government office shall be the option who receives the greatest total number of votes cast in that election.” The section lists no 10% requirement for winning a race, so I think it persuasively argued that, since Leeyat finished in a winning position and beat abstain, the Constitution mandates that she be declared a winner (even if we ignore the fact that she DID get picked by +10% of the voters).

    Jordan did win a mandate during the first round last year because the votes were counted the way I argue they should in scenario 1. If they were counted that way in the round, none of this would be a problem.

  5. Correction- was the 5th place candidate a write-in receiving less than 10% of voters? I tend to doubt it, just thought I’d mention it as a possibility.

  6. Scenario 2 is the correct and traditional interpretation of the election rules. Of the 4 options listed, the one the secretary chose is the most unreasonable.

  7. Also, Michael Newborn got over 50% of the votes in his multi-seat election for Class of 2011 Senator this year and to the best of my recollection, Jordan Rothman received a mandate in the UJ race last year.

  8. Article IX, Section 9: If an appointed official can no longer serve the remainder of his/her term for any reason, s/he shall be replaced in the manner s/he was appointed.

    UJ justices are elected, not appointed, so this section doesn’t apply.

  9. clarification:
    what will happen? Answer: nothing. The 5th seat will go up for election along with the rest of the seats in the Fall.
    Also, the commissioners have very little/no voice in this. Almost everything is determined by Tia and since she clearly follows her own rules, i.e. not informing the student body that because the voting system was jacked up for the first 10 hours the voting was extended until 10am, we can assume that she will be doing whatever it is that she feels is in her right to do.
    Don’t blame the commissioners, it’s pretty much all on Tia. And why is there always a problem? answer: it comes from having a SU secretary who’s using this position as a resume booster. We’ll see if Diana can step it up.

  10. someone should tell leeyat that she could sue. she doesn’t really know about this stuff. this would make a GREAT uj case. we have a great UJ. both this past one and probably the one coming up. she should bring a suit. anyone friends with her? let her know. i know a lot of talented ppl who would defend her stance

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