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Irvine : Interest Dwindles as UCI Students Vote Third Time

Dwindling interest marked balloting at UC Irvine on Monday and Tuesday as students tried for a third time to elect student officers for next year, the first two attempts having been thrown out in the face of cheating allegations and a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union.

Only 10% of UCI’s undergraduates cast votes this round, compared to 23% for the original balloting in April and 15% for a second vote in mid-May, election commissioner A. J. Bardzilowski said. The votes are to be counted today, and the winners will be announced on campus radio station KUCI at 4 p.m.

Bardzilowski said many students may have been disillusioned with the election process after the two false starts. “That’s definitely a major part of it,” he said. “But most of them are just too busy studying” for final exams next week.

Results of the original election were never revealed after it was discovered that stolen identification cards were probably used. To avoid that problem, students are now required to vote at assigned polling places, produce two pieces of identification and sign beside their names on a computer printout.

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The most recent election was invalidated after a Latino student newspaper, La Voz Mestiva, was taken off campus news racks during the voting because it contained endorsements of candidates. The ACLU filed a lawsuit against the University of California on behalf of the newspaper’s editors, and the student government subsequently threw out those results.

This is the last chance to elect a new student government before next year, Bardzilowski said, because it would be impossible to hold another vote during finals week. “Nobody would show up anyway,” he said.


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