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Irvine : UCI Students Will Try Election for Third Time

UC Irvine students will try for a third time next week to elect student body officers, and those results should be validated--as long as no write-in candidates win.

After making several changes in the election code, the student government decided to hold a vote Monday and Tuesday in hopes that new officers can be chosen before the summer break. Results of the original balloting for student officers in April were thrown out after it was discovered that stolen student identification cards had been used.

A second vote three weeks ago was disallowed after election officials removed a Chicano student newspaper, La Voz Mestiva, from campus news racks for publishing candidate endorsements during the voting, an act then deemed illegal under the election code. The student council voted to invalidate those results after the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit on behalf of the newspaper’s editors.

ACLU attorney Dan Stormer termed “unconstitutional” an election code provision which prevents write-in candidates who didn’t receive any votes in previous balloting from participating. He said other problems have been ironed out.

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If a write-in candidate wins any office and is subsequently disqualified, Stormer said he would attempt to have the courts invalidate the results again. “We’re in the process of throwing out increasingly less egregious provisions,” he said, adding that the problem would likely be resolved during summer negotiations.

University of California attorney Gary Morrison said he feels the issue should be left up to the students. Anyway, he pointed out, “There’s really no issue unless some write-in candidate wins. I guess we’ll just have to grapple with the issue if that happens.”

Student body president Julie Justus said next week is the last time the election can be held before the summer recess. Elections couldn’t be held a week later because “it’s totally inappropriate to ask candidates to campaign during final exams,” she said.

Ballot results will be broadcast on campus radio station KUCI at 4 p.m. Wednesday.

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