University officials met yesterday to discuss the school’s legal options in the face of a subpoena issued by Steve Pappas’ legal team.
Pappas’ lawyers delivered the broad subpoena — which demands all information regarding voter registration drives held on campus last fall — as part of their evidence-gathering campaign for a suit Pappas is filing against 3rd District Supervisor Doreen Farr. Pappas seeks to invalidate the almost 10,000 votes from precincts on UCSB’s campus and in Isla Vista based on what he alleges are flawed voter registration forms.
If successful, Pappas would win the supervisor election by over 2,000 votes and unseat Farr, who was sworn into office earlier this month.
Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Michael Young attended yesterday’s meeting and said that the university was consulting the UC’s legal advisors to determine exactly what the school’s legal responsibilities are in responding to the subpoena.
“We are using the legal council to help understand what our obligations under the law are,” Young said.
Last week Pappas’ attorney Jeffrey Lake said that he intends to compare the voter registration information and enrollment records provided by the school with records at the county registrar’s office. He said he expects that inconsistencies found in this review will provide valuable evidence for his suit.
Although Lake has said the bulk of registration error resulted from on-campus registration drives, Young defended the school’s efforts to engage the student body in the election.
“I don’t know what their intent is,” Young said of Pappas’ request for registration records. “We were engaged in a project to register UCSB students to vote and participate in the democratic process. We want to engage straight forwardly and with integrity, and we intend to follow the letter and the spirit of the law.”
An individual involved with the registration process said that the school has turned over roughly 20 boxes worth of electronic materials, documents and receipts to Pappas’ legal team yesterday for review.
The school has yet to provide the prosecution in the case with any registration information. According to the individual, officials are working on a plan to provide students with a mechanism for individually “opting out” of the review process. The source expected that students would receive further information from the university about the situation in coming days.
As of press time, Farr’s legal council had not responded to requests for an interview. According to Pappas, however, the councils from both sides have met and have agreed to a pre-trial hearing on February 17.