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Of Ballots and Revolution

The right to vote for the candidate of one's choice, and in doing so, to be assured of playing a role in government, is a fundamental part of the heritage of this nation. As a result, the process and mechanics of voting are held in high regard. This principle holds whether the election in question is for president of the United States or third-grade class treasurer. Or so one would hope.

This was not the case in Wednesday's Undergraduate Association elections. The ballot box in Lobby 7 was stolen, emptied, and placed in the Bexley Hall courtyard as some sort of obscene trophy. A few minutes later, a group of students entered Walker Memorial and attempted to steal that ballot box as well, but were stopped by a quick-acting Hans C. Godfrey '93.

These actions are reprehensible and indefensible. The thieves gain nothing, save perhaps some small glee at having disrupted an orderly process of society. Much is lost, however: the votes, of course; many hours volunteered to staff the Lobby 7 polling location; even more hours put in by the UA Election Commission; and several days' worth of the candidates' peace of mind.

According to the "Manifesto of The Student's [sic] Revolutionary Government," distributed yesterday and presciently dated May 10, 1992, the ballot box was stolen "for the sake of democracy. To protect whatever real candidates may exist ... from any behind-the-scenes sleight of hand... . FOR THE ELECTIONS ARE RIGGED!" An interesting hypothesis, but one that requires far more evidence than the list of unopposed class elections given by the group.

If the SRG is serious, and from all indications it is, then perhaps one of its graduating members could have valiantly entered the race for president of the Class of 1992, though such an effort would no doubt have been quashed by the "iron fisted despots" who currently occupy the UA office. Instead, the SRG's move of stealing the ballot box has served only to hurt everyone involved.