Tuesday, April 7, 2020
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Inspections into Elections

ASUCI Judicial Board Justice Nicole Bastos delivered a majority decision that found Traci Ishigo and Andrea Gaspar innocent of any elections code or constitutional violations.


Khorsandi v. ASUCI Elections Commission, released on Friday, May 4, upheld the elections commission’s decision in Saeedy vs. Gaspar; however, it also raised numerous concerns about the lack of clarity and specificity in the elections code and constitution, and calls into question the legitimacy of Andrea Gaspar’s and Ryan Reyes’ testimony.


In their recommendation, the judicial board notes that changes should be made to Elections Code sections relating to candidate endorsements, and use of ASUCI or University equipment. The recommendations also center on the vague definitions of “equipment,” and lack of guidelines on campaign resources.


“If ASUCI does not amend all three elections codes disclosed in the three violations presented by Khorsandi, there are detrimental consequences to the integrity of ASUCI and its political process,” the majority decision said.


Justice Bastos was joined by Vice-Chair Dat-Vinh Nguyen, and Justices Felipe Hernandez and Rahul Chopra in filing the majority decision. Chief Justice Abdullah Siddiqui noted on Sunday that the case was not yet closed, and that he was working on the dissenting opinion, joined by Justice Kayvon Hosseini, which will elaborate on the judicial board’s concerns about Gaspar’s and Reyes’ testimonies.


“This case touches upon a very fine line that compelled the ASUCI judicial board as a whole to make a very stern recommendation about witnesses Andrea Gaspar and Ryan Reyes,” the board noted near the end of the majority decision.


“The judicial board questions the validity of their testimonies under oath during the trial and will take action to investigate the veracity of their statements.”


One day before the judicial board decision, Gaspar commented on the general climate of the election, and the amount of student involvement that took place this year.


She noted that over 90 students came to the hearing during the evening of Tuesday, May 1. The judicial board opened up Tuesday’s meeting based on their belief that transparency, especially in a high-profile case, is essential.


“It wasn’t just about a person getting into office,” Gaspar said.


“It wasn’t just about me running. Students became aware of the power they have to organize and bring communities together.”


Chief Justice Siddiqui’s dissenting opinion has not yet been posted on ASUCI’s Spring Elections website. Due to printing deadlines, information on this opinion is not available in the print edition. Visit www.newuniversity.org to read the updated version of the article.