Green Party at UC Davis
Launches Diversity and Democracy Campaign
Contact: Sonny Mohammadzadeh 530-750-3420
The Green Party at UC Davis began an
initiative campaign last week to increase student representation and
voter turnout in the Associated Students of UC Davis (ASUCD) student
government elections. The initiative would amend the ASUCD
Constitution to implement instant runoff voting (IRV) and
proportional representation (PR), two election systems favored by
many democracy advocates.
Under the Choice Voting Amendment, voters
will rank the candidates they support in order of preference,
instead of just bulleting them. The extra information allows for a
more efficient, more representative election. Such systems are
already used at schools like UC Berkeley, Stanford, Caltech,
Harvard, MIT, and many more.
Instant runoff voting improves upon
two-round runoff elections. Currently, ASUCD often needs to stage a
whole second election to decide the President by a majority. IRV,
however, achieves a majority in just one election, because voters
indicate their runoff choices all at once. For instance, if a
voter's top choice comes in last place in the first round of
counting, their vote will be counted towards their second choice in
the next round.
Since IRV allows election efforts to be
concentrated on a single election, IRV will increase voter turnout
while saving money. Last year, the voters of San Francisco voted to
adopt IRV for their city elections.
ensures that the voters will be more accurately represented on a
governing body like the senate. In some recent ASUCD elections, a
single slate of candidates has swept all or nearly all of the senate
seats, despite being favored by just 30-50% of the voters. Choice
voting, on the other hand, guarantees that 85-100% of the voters
will elect someone they prefer.
"With proportional representation,
the elected senate will represent a proportional cross-section of
all the voters," said Sonny Mohammadzadeh, campaign coordinator.
"This means the senate will be more likely to reflect the diversity
and views of the entire student body."
More than twenty volunteers
are helping to collect the signatures needed to put the amendment on
the ballot. Students will likely vote on the amendment next
IRV and PR are both part of the Green Party's platform.
Detailed information on the Choice Voting amendment can be found at
the Green Party at UC Davis's web site, www.ucdgreens.org.
current effort at UC Davis is part of a larger movement in
California to reinvigorate American democracy by making elections
more positive and more representative. Many are hopeful that these
changes will eventually take shape at the state level.
be a great opportunity for students to take a giant step forward in
participating in their democracy," said Yuliya Zingertal, campaign
treasurer. "We hope to educate people and set an example that others will follow."