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Sankaran, Muh Elected to Top UA Positions

By Jeremy Hylton

Vijay P. Sankaran '95 and Carrie R. Muh '95 won more than half that ballots cast to win yesterday's election for Undergraduate Association president and vice president.

Sankaran and Muh won 557 of out of over 1000 ballots cast for UAP/VP, while Michael R. Evans and Colin M. Page captured 259 votes. Roughly a quarter of the undergraduate student body voted in the elections.

Write-in candidates captured 236 other votes, with 124 of them going to Lara M. Karbiner '97 and Meghan A. Jendrysik '97, who called themselves the Tetris team.

Sankaran said he was happy and relieved that the election was over. He and Muh plan to use the next few months to finalize plans for next year.

"People want to see something positive out of the UA. And regardless of how many people voted and who voted, that's what people are going to be looking for. If we show them that, then people will me more interested and take us seriously," Sankaran said.

"I haven't [talked about] a lot of things I want to do. There are a lot of ideas that will be forthcoming in the next few weeks, but it will take a little time to solidify," Sankaran continued.

The newly elected candidates take office at the last UA Council meeting of the semester.

Voter turnout low

"Voter turnout this year was quite low," said UA Election Commissioner Rishi Shrivistava '97. Voter turnout was about 15 percent lower than the 42 percent turnout last year, and lower than the 30 percent turnout two years ago.

There was not enough publicity for the elections, Shrivistava said. Other than publicity, he thought there were two main causes for the low turnout: "One being the weather on election day, the other being the lack of strength among the candidates for UAP/VP," he said.

"I think people didn't care too much one way or another about which candidates won as much as they have in previous years," Shrivistava said.

Only three candidates ran for the four positions available of the UA Finance Board. Shrivistava explained that each candidate on the ballot received some votes and was guaranteed a spot on Finboard.

Shrivistava could not provide exact votes count, but said that the Finboard write-in candidates received only 60 votes. "We do have the ballots, but we don't have an exact number. We could count them, but we're not going to. There's no possible way" a write-in candidate could have won, Shrivistava said.

Shrivistava does not know how the final Finboard position will be filled. The UA Judicial Review Board will probably decide how the final position is filled, he said.

Sankaran, who is currently the UA floor leader, said that the UA president or floor leader will probably appoint the last Finboard member.

Class of 1994

In the Class of 1994 elections, Walter E. Babiec '94 won 37.4 percent of the 238 votes cast in the first round of balloting. After preferential balloting rules were applied, Babiec had 55.7 percent of the votes cast.

According to UA election rules, instead of voting for a single candidate, voters rank as many candidates as they choose. All the first rank votes are counted, and if no candidate wins a majority, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated.

The votes of the eliminated candidate are redistributed to the second rank candidate on the ballot. The redistribution continues until a single candidate has a majority of the ballots.

In the race for senior class vice president, Patricia L. Dunlavey '94 earned 38.1 percent of the first-round votes and nearly 60 percent of the second round balloting.

In uncontested elections, Catherine L. Downard '94 was elected treasurer, Marquita C. Gilfillan '94 was elected member-at-large, and Daniel J. Dunn '94 was elected class agent.

No candidate was on the ballot for class secretary, and none of the write-in candidates received enough votes to win. A total of 101 votes write-in votes were cast for Class of '94 secretary.

In elections where no candidate was on the ballot and a write-in candidate did not receive votes from at least 10 percent of the class, the class council will vote to appoint a member, according to Shrivistava.

Islam wins '95 president

After the fourth round of preferential balloting, Mehran Islam '95 was elected president of the Class of 1995. Islam received 35 percent of the first round votes.

Quentin E. Walker '95 captured 123 first-round votes, or 44.6 percent of the ballots, to be elected junior class vice president.

In uncontested races, Marjorie J. Delo '95 was elected secretary and Jennifer H. Chu '95 was elected treasurer. There were no candidates on the ballot for social chair or publicity chair.

In sophomore class elections, Matthew J. Turner '96 won 165 of 278 votes cast, or 59.4 percent, in the presidential election.

In uncontested elections, Michelle T. Nee '96 and Michael Cho '96 were elected vice president and secretary, respectively. The other offices had no candidates on the ballot.

The Class of 1997 ballot was the only one to have candidates for each position, but only president and vice president were contested positions.

Craig M. Robinson '97 was election president with 44 percent of the 271 first-round votes and 57.3 percent of the second-round votes.

Mala Murthy '97 won the vice presidential elections with 60 percent of the votes cast.

Other officers elected to the Class of 1997 council were: Christina Hsu '97, secretary, Lisa M. Ho '97, treasurer, Amy A. Kimura '97 and Amy L. Mousel '97, social chairs, and Helen Chen '97 and Lina Chen '97, publicity chairs.

Election understaffed

Shrivistava thought that the election commission got a late start this year and was understaffed. But, "given the limited manpower, I would have to say that elections went as well as I think they could have gone. There weren't any major problems," he said.

"We had only five members of the election commission - [and they were so] committed to so many activities" that they did not have enough time to devote to the election, Shrivistava said.

Voting went smoothly, though, Shrivistava said. The amount of tampering was negligible and electronic voting using the Athena Computing Environment went smoothly, he said.

But publicity and staffing were problems, Shrivistava said. "I feel [the election commission] should have been appointed a couple of weeks earlier. It would have helped - the extra time - but we did an excellent job with the limited time we did have," he said.

"In the future, I would suggest a commission of 10 members at the very minimum be appointed," Shrivistava concluded.