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Uzamere, Faber Win 2003 UA Elections

By Jay Cameron

Pius A. Uzamere II ’04 and Jacob W. Faber ’04 won the election for Undergraduate Association president and vice president, marking the first election in four years that did not include the disqualification of a candidate.

“I feel privileged to have been part of the race this year,” Uzamere said. “All of the candidates this time around really seemed to demonstrate real passion for making MIT better. I think all of us just had different ways for going about it,” he said.

Faber attributed the victory to a detailed platform, a strong performance at the candidate’s debate, and an endorsement from The Tech’s editorial board.

About 25 percent of the class of 2003 and 50 percent of each of the other classes voted, totaling 43.3 percent of eligible voters, a big number compared to recent years’.

UA offices in transition

Following their campaign victories, the newly elected officers will be installed at the last regularly scheduled UA Senate meeting. which will take place near the end of the semester. Between now and then, the incoming will transition into their offices.

“We really want to be able to get up and running immediately upon taking office,” Uzamere said. “I’ll be meeting with Josiah several times over the next few weeks,” he said, referring to the current UA president, Josiah D. Seale ’03.

Uzamere said he would immediately begin work on his “goals checklist,” a published list of goals to be continually updated with their status and a centerpiece of his campaign.

Election results close

Results were close in the UA presidential and vice presidential race. The Uzamere-Faber ticket was determined to be the winner only after the third round of vote redistribution without even having a majority. In the last round, the Uzamere-Faber ticket defeated the Parul Deora ’04-Harel M. Williams ’05 ticket by 145 votes out of 1,812 votes cast.

Last year, the Seale-Deora ticket won with a clear majority over the other candidates by the second round.

UA Elections Commissioner Seth E. Dorfman ’05 attributed this year’s close UA presidential and vice presidential election and overall high voter turnout to a combination of the commission’s efforts and the efforts of strong candidates.

“We had three really strong tickets” who were able to get their supporters to turn out, he said.

According to the UA elections Web site, 1,751 members of the student body voted online, while 61 students voted via paper ballots, for a total of 1,812 votes cast.

Dorfman said that this year’s high voter turnout was second only to last year’s spring elections turnout, when a total of 2,009 students cast votes.

Election ran smoothly

Because members of the class of 2006 will be allowed to move to FSILGs next year, the elections commission decided that it would be best to move the Senate elections to the fall, said Rules Board Chair Swapna Panuganti ’05.

“I was really pleased and surprised to see how smoothly [the elections] went,” she said. Although there were a few minor campaign violations, which included some violations of postering rules, none of the violations affected the outcome of the elections, she said.

“The election commission did a good job,” Deora said, adding that the commission handled accusations of campaign violations well by first checking the facts.

Preferential voting decides winners

As in previous years, this year’s UA elections used a preferential voting system. In this computer voting system, voters can rank candidates in order of preference on their ballots.

When the votes are tallied, the commission first counts all the first choice votes. The candidate with the least number of votes is eliminated in the second round.

The commission then examines the ballots that ranked the eliminated candidate first and adds the second choice votes of those ballots toward the first choice votes for the other candidates. The process continues until one candidate has a majority or until there are only two candidates remaining, in which case the candidate with more votes wins.