ASG representatives, including Student Services Coordinator Nicole Moya (right), help students vote on the rescheduled election day, May 6. Diego Devia / el Don
As the result of voting and campaign violations, part of the student government’s two-day election process was invalidated and re-scheduled, delaying results a week.
By statute, Santa Ana College students elect next year’s Associated Student Government officials 60% of the way through the spring semester. On the first day of elections, Monday April 29, an unidentified candidate violated the Student Constitution and Bylaws by verbally endorsing another unidentified candidate, Associate Dean of Student Development Jennifer de la Rosa said.
Officials also discovered that an email containing the website link for secure voting had been sent to unauthorized people and votes were being made via cell phones instead of at the official on-campus polling location. The email with the link was meant to set up the in-person computer voting stations.
“I wouldn’t say [the link] was leaked because I don’t think it was intentional but there were students who were voting not in person [on April 29] which was another reason why we felt we needed to remove Monday’s result,” de la Rosa said.
De la Rosa said all votes made on Monday were thrown out and an email was sent to Monday voters informing them of a rescheduled election day May 6. However, some students said they did not receive any email and were unaware that their original vote was not counted.
Votes from May 6 replaced those from April 29 and final results of the election were posted Wednesday, May 8.
Theodore Moreno was elected the 2019-2020 Student Trustee. Moreno will represent students from both Santa Ana College and Santiago Canyon College at Rancho Santiago Community College District board meetings next year.
Mariano Cuellar will be ASG president for the 2019-2020 school year. Cuellar was the spring 2019 Inter-Club Council President and plans to bring new resources for AB540 students.
“[My goals are] to advocate for everyone equally at any conferences we may hold, but to implement new ideas on campus, and new resources for AB540 students,” Cuellar told el Don before the election. “That is something on my agenda to accommodate for any way I can. The majority of people I know and love are undocumented.”
Officials declined to state who broke the bylaw, but Chief Justice Magdalena Soria said on May 6 it was a presidential candidate who endorsed another person running for an ASG position.
“In an election should everybody know the bylaws? Absolutely. But I don’t think anybody [violated them] intentionally,” de la Rosa said. “I don’t think it was clear that by someone supporting another person verbally that it counts as an endorsement. We need to work on clarifying the bylaws so that they are less confusing to those in the future.”
Additional Reporting by Liz Fuentes