ASUCD Election Data & History

Facts

Table of Contents
Ballot Measures
First Round Senate Election Victories
Gender of Elected Senate Candidates

Ballot Measures

There have been 20 ballot measures from Fall 2003 through Fall 2012. 19 have passed and 1 has failed (The Green Initiative Fund from Winter 2009). I only know of the following three ballot measures prior to Fall 2003:


First Round Senate Election Victories

It is possible for a candidate to be elected in the first round of a Choice Voting election by virtue of meeting the threshold with first place rankings alone. There have been twenty ASUCD Senate Elections using Choice Voting as of February 2013. In nine of those twenty elections at least one candidate was able to reach the threshold on first round votes alone. Here the candidates who have achieved this feat:

In the first eight ASUCD Senate Elections using Choice Voting, Rob Roy was the only candidate to achieve a first round victory. From Fall 2007 through Winter 2013 (twelve ASUCD Senate Elections), only four of those elections did NOT have someone win in the first round.

Your first reaction may be to consider these as very popular candidates, which would be a correct assessment. However, there are other factors to keep in mind. The first is that the threshold for being elected changes in each election depending on the number of votes cast. So if the voter turnout is quite low then the threshold for being elected will be lower. In that situation, if you managed to get all of your supporters to vote, there is a very good chance you'll be elected early. On the contrary, if the turnout is very high then it can be difficult to get those increasing number of voters to all vote for you. Looking at the top 5 ASUCD Senate Elections for highest turnout (and threshold), 4 of the 5 had no one elected in the first round. Winter 2012 had one person elected in the first round, despite the high threshold, showing that the popularity of an individual candidate can overcome this hurdle and still win in the first round.

The number of candidates running in the election is another factor to consider. As an extreme example of this you need only look at the Fall 2011 election where there were 7 candidates running for 6 seats. 3 candidates met the threshold in the first round and a 4th candidate was only 3 votes shy of the threshold. Since there is no spoiler effect in Choice Voting elections voters don't have to consider the "lesser evil argument" and pick from candidates likely to win. Instead they can rank candidates based on their actual preferences, even if a candidate they prefer is likely to lose. When there are more options it wouldn't be a surprise then if voters spread their votes around more evenly instead of favoring candidates they think are likely to win anyway. Every election with 12 or fewer ASUCD Senate candidates has seen someone elected in the first round. Except for Winter 2005, every election with 16 or more ASUCD Senate candidates has not had someone elected in the first round. Winter 2005 was an anomaly election for so many reasons but still highlights the fact that a very popular candidate can win in the first round even in a crowded field of candidates.

Perhaps the biggest factor, and the hardest to address, is simply the popularity of the candidate. If an extremely popular candidate is running for election it may not matter how many candidates there are running against him/her or how high the turnout is for that election. The factors that make it difficult to win in the first round are not insurmountable as shown in some examples above.

Most Popular Senate Candidates
The popularity point made me wonder which Senate candidates had received the most first place rankings (in raw numbers, not percentages) in any ASUCD Election using Choice Voting. Here are the top 5 as of February 2013:

  1. Winter 2011 - Yena Bae (BOLD) - 849 first place rankings
  2. Fall 2007 - Lula Ahmed-Falol (LEAD) - 746 first place rankings
  3. Winter 2013 - Ryan Wonders (NOW) - 761 first place rankings
  4. Fall 2012 - Armando Figueroa (SMART) - 669 first place rankings
  5. Winter 2012 - Joyce Han (Independent) - 653 first place rankings


Gender of Elected Senate Candidates

From Fall 2003 through Winter 2013...

Gender of Elected Senate Candidates
Winter 2013 3m, 3f
Fall 2012 3m, 3f
Winter 2012 4m, 2f
Fall 2011 3m, 3f
Winter 2011 3m, 3f 1
Fall 2010 4m, 2f
Winter 2010 3m, 3f
Fall 2009 5m, 1f
Winter 2009 5m, 1f
Fall 2008 4m, 2f
Winter 2008 3m, 3f
Fall 2007 3m, 3f
Winter 2007 4m, 2f
Fall 2006 2m, 4f
Winter 2006 4m, 2f
Fall 2005 3m, 3f
Winter 2005 5m, 3f 2
Fall 2004 4m, 2f
Winter 2004 4m, 2f
Fall 2003 5m, 1f
Totals 74m, 48f

1 Migz Espinoza was listed as Miguel Espinoza and elected to the Senate in the Winter 2011 election. Since my information about candidates is limited I did not know Migz was a transgender student and therefore was included as a male Senator in the above calculations.

2 If it had been only 6 seats open, the result would have been 4m, 2f.



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