By Christie S. Peterson
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Last year's Associated Students race saw two presidential elections due to two lengthy appeals, and history seemed doomed to repeat itself this year until former presidential candidate Ethan Orr decided to drop his election appeal.
"The whole purpose of the appeal wasn't to hold another election Ä the whole purpose was to evaluate the process used in the election and to make sure it doesn't happen again," Orr said.
However, the appeal filed with the ASUA Supreme Court did request another election, citing nine allegedly unfair actions by the elections commission in treating code violations.
Orr's main point of contention involved a last-minute reprimand which required him to take down all posters and fliers before noon on the next day, the second day of voting, which in an earlier interview he said, "destroyed our campaign."
"It seems that he (the elections commissioner) has been all too willing to nail us on petty violations," the then-candidate said.
ASUA President-elect Ben Driggs said, "I'm glad he dropped his appeal, now let's get back to work." He also said he and Orr had spoken and agreed that the appeal would not help ASUA credibility.
After dropping his appeal, Orr said, "My whole goal was to serve students," and plans to spend his remaining two months as an ASUA senator to "look at ways to change the election process."
The main way in which he wants to change the process is to create an elections advisory position to offer a "degree of impartiality," continuity, and consistency to the elections commission.
Driggs, who would be involved in creating any such position, said, "I'm willing to look into it. I don't know if it will work or not."
Eric Knopp, assistant elections commissioner this year, said, "As somebody that hopes to work on the commission next year, having a faculty advisor would hurt the process."
"Student elections should be run by students," he said. "We already have an ASUA adviser ... (and) we were in constant contact with him ... as to the code being ambiguous, it's ambiguous for a reason. The elections commission is chosen to make tough decisions, not to interpret loosely."
Orr, however, said he thinks that the new adviser would "make the election commissioner's job easier," as well as ensure fairness.
"It's been an incredible two years working as a senator... working for students," he said. "I'm going to continue to do that through whatever means. I'm not sure what those means are now."
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