by Alliah Czarielle Relayson Guerra
Filing of candidacy for the yet unscheduled special elections for the vacant positions in the Business Administration Council (BAC) ends March 4 at 5 pm. The empty posts include two councilor seats and the post of junior batch representative. Unopposed candidates clinched seats in the election held last February 27.
Julius Martin Padernal landed the top post of BAC Chairperson, having garnered 733 votes over 133 abstain votes, while Germaine Gaerlan won the position of Vice Chairperson with 756 votes over 107 abstain votes. All candidates running for local council positions were independent.
Raphael Adam Letaba, the sole candidate for the post of college representative to the University Student Council, ran under the banner of UP Alyansa ng mga Mag-aaral para sa Panlipunang Katwiran at Kaunlaran (ALYANSA). Letaba won with 775 votes up against 88 abstain ballots.
Voting took place at the College of Business Administration Computer Lab on an initial schedule running from 9 am to 7 pm, with no major problems encountered apart from a five-minute delay caused by the late arrival of representatives from the Office of Student Affairs (OSA) with the voters’ passwords.
By noon, the number of total votes cast was tallied at 262, or roughly 22 percent of the college’s 1,212 registered voters. This number climbed to 655 , by 4:30 pm, a value past majority count at 54 percent.
The college’s rules state that when the total number of votes cast reaches majority (50 percent of all registered voters + 1), a winner can be declared.
Following an OSA directive, the voting period was extended to 8 pm but remained open for at least an hour in consideration of catch-up voters, mostly graduate students who had late classes to attend, concluding in a voter turnout of 863.
After final review and re-computation, the number of registered voters was lowered to 1206, due to the discovery of students that were on leave of absence but had illegally voted.
Electoral board member Nikki Turano described the overall process as having taken place smoothly.
“We started with 18 computers, and ended with the same number. Only two or three students had problems with their passwords and asked to have these regenerated. We noticed a few common errors like misspelling and voters typing their student number with dashes, but those errors aside, the elections here are going smoothly,” said Turano.