The Declaration of Candidacy period for the External Vice President for Statewide Affairs Winter Quarter special election closed at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, leaving two candidates in the running for an executive position that has remained vacant for over nine months.
The two declared candidates – Richard Zierer and Rachel Ng – are newcomers to the External Vice President for Statewide Affairs (EVPSA) election. Neither have previous experience in Associated Students (A.S.) Senate and did not run during either the Spring Quarter 2018 election and the Fall Quarter 2018 special election.
Zierer is a fourth-year political science and English double major; Ng is a fourth-year biological sciences and global studies double major.
Neither could immediately be reached for comment.
A notable absence in the Winter Quarter 2019 special election is third-year history of public policy major Madeline Loudon. Loudon ran for the position during both the Spring Quarter 2018 election and the Fall Quarter 2018 special election.
In the first, she lost to her competitor, Mayela Morales; in the second she was the sole candidate, but the election did not reach the 16 percent voting threshold required for it to be valid.
Loudon could not immediately be reached for comment.
This is Election Board’s second attempt to fill the position following the disqualification of EVPSA-elect Morales during the Spring Quarter 2018 election.
The board discovered that Morales, a fifth-year global studies and Chicana and Chicano studies major, was not enrolled during Spring Quarter 2018, disqualifying her from the position.
Following the failure to meet the minimum voting threshold for the fall election, the board petitioned to hold a Winter Quarter special election. The Senate initially tabled the petition over winter break but eventually passed it the week before school resumed.
A.S. Senate voted to table the ballot Wednesday night, pending further background checks of the candidates.
On-Campus Senator Lea Toubian expressed concern about voter burnout during Wednesday night’s meeting – because the board has held an election every quarter this school year unlike the typical one-election-a-year system – but Elections Board Chair John Paul Renteria said he did not think it would be a problem for the upcoming spring elections.
Voting for the election opens on Jan. 24, 2019. Results will be announced on Feb. 7. More than eight percent of the student body must vote in the election for it to be valid.
Updated [Jan. 17, 12:17 p.m.]
A version of this article appeared on pg. 5 of the Jan. 17, 2019 edition of the Daily Nexus.
Evelyn Spence is the county news editor at the Daily Nexus and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.