ASUCD Senators should educate student body, not change the system

Published October 19th 2004 in California Aggie

The ASUCD Senate failed a bill on Thursday that would ask voters in the fall senate election to repeal choice voting. With the voting system, implemented in fall 2003, voters rank candidates in order of preference - candidates are either elected or eliminated after each round of vote tabulation.

The potential ballot measure abandoning choice voting was misguided and abrupt. ASUCD has only used the system for two elections - simply not enough time to know which method works better.

Some ASUCD officials complain that the system is far too complicated for voters to understand. This is unacceptable not only because it shows a refusal to adapt to a new system, but it also underestimates the intelligence of the student body. UCD students ought to be outraged at such hasty generalizations from their student government officials.

In failing the bill, a majority of senators recognized that it is too early to give up on a system that is relatively new to student government. But the general attitude that students cannot fathom the complexity of choice voting is unsatisfactory at best.

Voters deserve a voting system they can understand. But no system is inherently understood. If senators are truly concerned that students do not know how choice voting works, then they ought to make an effort to educate their constituents. That means informing themselves first on how the voting system works, so they can explain it to fellow students.

Additionally, the senate should charge the ASUCD Elections Committee with the task of running a campaign to explain choice voting. Instead of changing the system, ASUCD officials should try to increase the dismal voter turnout.