UCSB was one of the best campuses in the country in regard to registering students to vote. Also, we had the highest turnout on any college campus in the country. How do I know this? Because our school had a 100.2 percent turnout. Yes, that’s right, the most recent, and plausibly most historic, election in our nation’s history had the overwhelming support of UCSB students. OVER being the key term.

Of the nine UCSB precincts and a total of 5,442 registered voters, we had 5,456 votes that day! We had 14 people who voted who were not allowed to. In one precinct, 30-3018, we had only 342 registered voters, yet a 445-vote turnout. That’s a 130 percent performance! You cannot make this stuff up! A combined total of UCSB and Isla Vista votes cast gave us a combined 89.9 percent turnout. This far exceeds the numbers returned from other campuses around the country on Election Day. Even worse than all of this, the Board of Elections of Santa Barbara County certified the election. Yes, even though on paper, page 12 of the 1891 page document with the elections results shows the 130 percent turnout, the election was still certified.

I am not going to make any extreme assumptions about why there were voting irregularities, but as an observant reader you must know, I am not discussing provisional ballots voted in the wrong precinct. Those would go back to their original precinct as sorted by the county. It makes me wary of the voter drives on campus that aimed to get as many students as possible to vote. A friend of mine even filled out his name and signed a voter registration card, but did not know his address. The solicitor at his dorm room let him know that it was not an issue. They would fill out the rest of the information for him – even though his signature at the bottom certified that all information at the time of the signature on this page was correct, accurate and completely filled out.

I am not trying to use this letter to defame all the voting initiative groups. I sincerely hope that they did nothing wrong. But one has to question some of the tactics used and that the obvious irregularities might be the result. Did this affect Obama’s tally in California or Strickland’s in the State Senate race? Most likely not. But the voting affected us locally in the County Supervisor race between Farr and Pappas. The candidate that this paper supported, Steve Pappas, is now contesting the legitimacy of nearly half of all the registered voters. In a press release on Dec. 31, 2008, “Steve Pappas, candidate for Santa Barbara County’s Third District Supervisor, officially contested the 2008 general election by filing a Verified Petition and Statement of Election Contest with the California Superior Court. The petition seeks a determination that illegal votes were given to opponent Doreen Farr, which, if eliminated, would result in Pappas winning the election.”

As a concerned student, political activist and most of all a patriotic American, I hope we can get to the bottom of this and that the truth will come out. We cannot sit idly by when something like this occurs here at home, or for that matter, anywhere in this country.