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Wertheimer '10 wins UCS presidency

Other races marred by controversy, appeals

Correction appended.

Clay Wertheimer '10 was elected president of the Undergraduate Council of Students with 65 percent of the vote in this week's run-off election, defeating Ryan Lester '11.

Diane Mokoro '11 was elected vice president of the council with 66 percent of the vote, winning her run-off with Harris Li '11.

The run-off was announced last week when no candidate achieved a majority in either the UCS president or vice president races last week, although both Wertheimer and Mokoro came within 5 percent of doing so in the first round of voting.

"I want to thank everybody that helped make this possible," Wertheimer said Wednesday night after the results were announced by Elections Board Chair Lily Tran '10 from the steps of Faunce House.

While those two races were neatly resolved, elections officials had to respond to several elections-related controversies.

UCS voted not to certify the results of the election for Undergraduate Finance Board at-large positions after an appeal from Anish Mitra '10, whose name was absent from the online ballot for the first hour and 15 minutes of the 48-hour voting period due to an error by an elections official.

Two hundred and sixty-eight votes — more than 10 percent of all votes cast in the race — were cast before Mitra's name was added to the ballot.
The elections board threw out these votes in calculating the top six finishers in the at-large race.

The exclusion of these votes did not alter the results, but Mitra, a Herald opinions columnist, argued that the outcome could have been different if his name had been on the ballot when those votes were cast.

Mitra finished in eighth place, just 66 votes away from sixth place and a seat on the board.
The seventh place finisher, Tan Nguyen '10, finished just 22 votes behind 6th-place finisher Soobin Kim '11.

A new student body election will be held for the six at-large seats either this semester or in the fall, according to current UCS president Brian Becker '09.

The council certified the elections of Jose Vasconez '10 to UFB chair and Juan Vasconez '10 to UFB vice chair despite appeals brought by one-time vice chair candidate Neil Parikh '11, who withdrew from the race on the first day of voting, and Salsabil Ahmed '11 who lost in her bid for UFB chair.

Parikh argued that elections board officials improperly pressured him into resigning after he was seen tearing down campaign posters for both Vasconez brothers from a door on Wriston Quadrangle.

He also said the posters had been placed in an illegal location.

Rakim Brooks '09, an elections board official, responded that the elections board has never enforced rules against the placement of posters on those doors.

Ahmed appealed to the council on the grounds that Jose Vaconez's campaign posters inaccurately represented her experience, and that the elections board failed to respond to a formal complaint she had lodged early last Thursday morning.

The council deliberated on the appeals in closed session for over 40 minutes.

Becker told The Herald before deliberations that there has been significant controversy surrounding the process in each of the four most recent elections, and that he hoped UCS would order a review of the elections process next year.

"It needs to be fixed," he said.

An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Juan Vasconez '10 was elected chair of the Undergraduate Finance Board, and that Jose Vasconez '10 was elected vice chair of UFB. In fact, Jose Vasconez was elected chair, while Juan Vasconez was elected vice chair.


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